American Elephants

Paul Ryan Boldly Goes On Offense! by The Elephant's Child

Paul Ryan is going on offense. The budget, the failure of the President to produce one, and the failure of the Senate to pass one are a national crisis.  Democrats’ stubborn and disgraceful refusal to deal with it, because they would rather play politics, is also a national crisis. Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Budget Committee not only understands the problems intellectually, but can explain them clearly. Listen to him.

So-called entitlements are the big problem. These are payments that the federal government has promised to individuals: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The Social Security problem is largely demographic. We have seen the baby boom generation growing older, and listened to years of warnings about the need to reform Social Security so that it would be available for future seniors. Democrats have fought tooth and nail to avoid even a discussion of the problem.

Medicare is partly a demographic problem, but it is also a problem of rising medical costs. Cat-scans and MRIs don’t come cheap. Conditions are cured that could never be cured before. New drugs save and extend life. And government regulations interfere and raise costs unnecessarily. Democrats assertions that Republicans are trying to destroy Medicare “as we know it” are absurd. They have already reformed it and in a way that promises rationing and less access to care, in the ObamaCare law.

Paul Ryan has developed a way out of this mess — the “Path to Prosperity”, showing that we can fix our problems if we don’t just kick the problem down the road. He offers it as a starting point, not the only possibility. What he does show is that there is a way out.  We have the time, if we act promptly, to forestall collapse of these programs.

The Democrats’ solution is ably demonstrated by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, the new Chairman of the Democrat National Committee. First – duck the question because the Democrats have already destroyed Medicare as we know it.  Second – keep pretending that we can pay for the program indefinitely by raising taxes on the rich and slashing Defense.  Third – wait for Medicare to go broke (soon, and the new Medicare is hastening the day) and blame Republicans.

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