It's Policies Not Personalities

Paul Ryan: Don't Blame Me for NY-26 Loss! The criticisms of Paul Ryan's budget is based on sound economics and honest appraisal of what his ideas would do to our country and its senior citizens. Never mind that Republicans fear-mongered over

Paul Ryan: Don't Blame Me for NY-26 Loss!

The criticisms of Paul Ryan's budget is based on sound economics and honest appraisal of what his ideas would do to our country and its senior citizens. Never mind that Republicans fear-mongered over the national deficit and tried to make Americans believe that it's more important to keep funding the enormous military machine than to care for its peoples. The critiques aren't based on his personality. Why should it? The numbers speak for themselves. Enter Joe Nocera, who's replacing Bob Herbert at the NY Times. He was totally against Ryan's ideas on handling the situation, but is now smitten after meeting with the Wisconsinite because Ryan reminds him of Jack Kemp. He's now taking the Villager prospective that Ryan's a brave guy for putting something out there supposedly tackling the rising Medicare costs even if it's absurd.

I hadn’t realized until I met him on Tuesday that Paul Ryan had been a protégé of Jack Kemp. But the minute I heard him talking about his late mentor, everything suddenly made sense.[...]“Jack used to talk about the battle of ideas,” Ryan told me. In fact, he lived for those battles.

[E]ven if Ryan’s solution is wrongheaded, he’s right that Medicare is headed for trouble. It might not be in nine years, but as health care costs continue to rise uncontrollably, and as baby boomers continue to age, Medicare will gobble up an ever larger percentage of the federal budget. […]

To put it another way, while the Democratic Party might be well served in trying to use the Ryan plan to bury their political opponents, the country itself is not. The debate we need is not about whether Medicare should be reformed, but how. […]

It would be nice if we could treat the Ryan plan not as an object of derision but as a launching off point for a serious debate.

Let me remind everyone and Joe that Jack Kemp was Grover Norquist's hero and we know how much damage he's caused to the welfare of America.

Who Was Jack Kemp? by Grover Norquist
05/03/2009
Jack French Kemp changed the conservative movement, the Republican Party, the nation and the world. For the good. Few men have accomplished as much in one lifetime.

Kemp was a football player who changed how economists understand the way the world works.
--

In the Wake of the 2006 and 2008 elections many conservatives have asked, “Where is the next Reagan.?” The first question to be answered, however, may be, “Where is the next Jack Kemp?”

Joe Nocera isn't some newbie getting into the world of politics and economics. He's been opining and editing on this for a long time including a stint at the Washington Monthly. So he should be aware how Conservatives think and operate when they propose economic legislation. There's nothing brave about Ryan's plan or the fact that he published it and the Republican-led House passed it. He simply got drunk on the midterm election victory of 2010 and felt emboldened enough to exalt his Randian beliefs. George Bush did the same thing when he won re-election in 2004 and tried to force feed the country the idea that it would be just swell if we privatized Social Security. That policy idea failed miserably with the American people, but can you imagine what would have happened to the seniors in our country if it had passed and then we had the financial and stock market collapse after the mortgage fraud scam was uncovered? Millions of people would never have recovered from that and their security would have been destroyed forever. No bailouts or stock market boom afterwards could have ever recovered the monies lost for each individual person dependent on Social Security to live out their lives.

Paul Ryan's budget works for the wealthiest like a con-man's dream because those at the top would get richer at the expense of the welfare and health care of the rest of the constituents. We know there's a problem. Yes, anyone could promote an idea on how to solve it, but it has to at least be credible.

You need to get the policy right. You need to actually care about controlling healthcare costs. You need to actually care about delivery systems. You need to actually care about what works and what doesn’t. You need to actually care about the details. Paul Ryan doesn’t. He’s a right-wing ideologue with a single right-wing solution for everything. But he’s sociable and friendly, not a fire breather, so everyone figures he’s not one of the tea party nutjobs. This is a serious mistake.”

As Steve Benen writes:

Nocera wants to give Ryan credit for noticing problems with the bridge. But that’s not just overly generous, it’s also setting the bar for seriousness way too low.

Overall, there are two broad ways of scrutinizing the GOP’s Medicare privatization plan. The first is to emphasize its needless cruelty towards seniors, which is problematic for those who believe Medicare beneficiaries deserve better. He wants to shift costs onto seniors and use the “savings” for tax cuts, all while pretending to care about a non-existent debt crisis.

The other is to note that Paul Ryan’s numbers simply don’t add up, making his approach unworthy of serious consideration. The combination of the two points to a proposal worthy of the trash heap, not “serious debate.”

The question isn’t why the left would treat this scam as “an object of derision”; the question is why others aren't doing the same

.

Digby joins in:

This is the new columnist for the NY Times, not some windbag blogger. And he's spouting the most shallow analysis of the current Medicare debate possible. And, sadly, it's probably going to have an influence on the way the Villagers see it. After all, he's a crackerjack "business reporter." He must know what he's talking about, right?

Instead of reading that stale Village CW (Jack Kemp -- idea man!) read this piece by Nocera's Times colleague: The Economy Is Wavering. Does Washington Notice?

Nocera is upset that the Democrats are pointing out that the Republican budget they are promoting will surely kill Medicare as we know it and has been proven to be junk science. Because he hates that the Democrats are using the GOP's own actions against them.

You can't make this stuff up.

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