Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is a liar.
I mean, anyone paying attention at all during the last presidential election should have come to that conclusion by now. But in case there were any still convinced that Ryan got a raw deal in the trainwreck that was the Mitt Romney campaign, consider this latest proof of Ryan’s difficult relationship with the truth: despite all the promises made, he’s gunning for Medicare.
Politico reports that Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, has been privately floating a plan that turns almost the entire system into a voucher program. Now, Ryan wanting to privatize Medicare into a voucher-boondoggle for the insurance industry is nothing new. But to secure normally-reliable senior votes during the 2012 campaign Ryan insisted the vouchers would be kick in for Americans younger than 56, while those 55 and older were exempt, meaning Medicare would not change for seniors who know and understand it.
Now, Ryan wants his changes to Medicare to kick in for everyone. See? Liar. And he is apparently not running for president either because privatizing Medicare for seniors currently dependent on Medicare is not the kind of policy designed to either win votes or seriously address any long-term solvency concerns with the federal health insurance program.
The Ryan budget wasn’t popular or practical in 2010 nor is it now. Yet Republicans will back it, even in the face of revolt by voters. Why? Honestly, I have no clue anymore except perhaps that the party is so far adrift this is just what the rest of us will have to expect from the right until a new, fresh leadership movement emerges from its ranks. Ryan pits ideology against pragmatism, which is fine up until the actual governing needs to happen.
Democrats have plenty of opportunities to pounce once Ryan’s plan is fully public and Republicans start lining up in support of it. Ryan’s obvious flip-flop here is the stuff of campaign ad gold with Republicans showing their true loyalties to the private marketplace rather than the public good.
Photo from donkeyhotey via flickr.