Yesterday Fred Barnes posted an article at the Wall Street Journal explaining how Mitt Romney‘s choice of Paul Ryan as his Vice-Presidential running mate has impacted the presidential campaign.
The choice of Paul Ryan has moved the future of Medicare to the front of the debate.
The article states:
The economy remains a central issue, as do Mr. Obama’s overall record and Mr. Romney’s past one. But now the looming fiscal crisis, Medicare, and the size and role of government are front and center of the campaign. The presidential contest has been elevated into a clash of big ideas and fundamental differences. Neither presidential candidate, but especially Mr. Obama, could have imagined this. Credit Mr. Ryan.
This shift has been damaging to the president and helpful to Mr. Romney. The slogan of Mr. Obama’s campaign is “Forward,” but he’s become the status-quo candidate. Mr. Romney, having adopted slightly revised versions of Mr. Ryan’s bold plans for reducing spending and reforming Medicare, is now the candidate of change. This might have happened to some extent without Mr. Ryan in the race, but it certainly wasn’t inevitable.
There have been a lot of personal attacks on Mitt Romney from the Obama camp during this campaign. Mitt Romney has been accused of being responsible for the cancer death of someone’s wife, insinuations have been made that there is something unseemly about his wealth, and he has been accused of all sorts of nefarious things. The addition of Paul Ryan to the ticket will not only spread out the attack–it will change to debate to actual substance.
The more Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan talk about issues, the more foolish the President’s minions look when they engage in personal attacks.
Fox News posted a story today about the attacks by the Obama campaign against Paul Ryan‘s plan to reform Medicare. It seems as if the plan that the Obama campaign is criticizing is not the right plan!
The article reports:
The president’s accusations largely refer to Ryan’s 2011 plan, ignoring the fact that the House Budget Committee chairman rolled out a different version in 2012 — taking into account Democratic critiques. Though the 2012 plan is more moderate, Obama and his surrogates have all but ignored the newer version as they amp up their accusations against the Romney-Ryan ticket.
Most glaringly, the campaign has omitted a key point.
While Ryan’s 2011 plan proposes to give seniors a government payment to buy private insurance, his 2012 plan offers seniors a choice.
Under the blueprint, seniors could use the payment to buy private insurance or stay in traditional Medicare.
The bottom line here is simple–Medicare is going broke. Medicare needs to be reformed in order to survive. Taking over $700 billion out of Medicare to fund Obamacare does not help Medicare. We need a serious discussion of how to fix Medicare–not rob it blind to fund more government programs.
This week on Fox News Sunday DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz provided a preview of the attack aimed at the Romney-Ryan ticket. She repeatedly called Paul Ryan‘s budget proposals extreme (while conveniently not mentioning that it has been more than three years since the Democrats made a serious budget proposal) and stated that reducing spending by any significant amount would harm the fragile recovery. (Recovery???)That is the preview of what is to come.
Michael Barone posted an article at the Washington Examiner today explaining that the choice of Paul Ryan as the Vice Presidential candidate puts the entitlement crisis at the center of the presidential campaign. At this point I would like to state that Social Security is not an entitlement–the people who will be collecting Social Security from this point on have paid more into the program than they will get out. The problem is not Social Security–it is the fact that since the mid 1960’s, Congress has spent the money that was supposed to be set aside for Social Security on other things. However, Medicaid and Medicare spending has increased so dramatically above what was originally projected, that there is no way to cover the rising costs without major modifications to the programs. Social Security also needs to be modified, but again, I resent calling it an entitlement when I was forced to pay into it my entire working life.
Michael Barone’s article concludes:
For Ryan and Romney can make the point — lost in the shuffle when this is a low-visibility issue — that their plan leaves the current Medicare system in place for current recipients and those over 55. Those who have made plans based on the present program can continue to rely on it.
But they can also make the point that their reforms are necessary in order to make sure Medicare is sustainable in the long run. Polls show that many voters under 55 doubt that they’ll ever get the Medicare and Social Security benefits they’ve been promised.
One more thing about Ryan, I think, appealed to Romney. He has already shown he cannot be intimidated by the most eminent opponent. Watch the video of Ryan’s five-minute evisceration of Obamacare at the president’s Blair House meeting. You can tell that Obama didn’t like it one bit.
He better get used to it. Obama’s side is relying on trash-talking ads. Romney’s selection of Ryan shows he wants a debate on whether America should follow Obama on the road to a European-style welfare state.
Make up some popcorn, there is going to be a show!