Politics

08.14.12

Romney and Ryan and the Medicare Lies

Well, leave it to Mitt Romney of all people to put Paul Ryan on his ticket and then move immediately thereafter to distance himself from the Ryan budget. It's so typical of everything we've seen of this semi-vertebrate. Try to bathe in Ryan's refracted glory to right wingers while trying to tell senior hey, psst, this is not really my thing, get it? Unbelievable.

It's important to keep track of the Medicare lies, as they're bound to pile up. The basic deal is that the Romney-Ryan line about Obama cutting $716 billion while they'll "strengthen" the program is, shockingly I know, a lie. Ryan's Medicare program cuts the same $716 billion! And then it cuts even more. And then, Romney's proposal, insofar as it can be divined because as usual the details are scant, would likely cut even more than that.

And the important point is that the $716 cut (under the ACA) are to things like reimbursements, not direct care for recipients. Ryan and Romney, in contrast, start to cut directly into care and coverage. See Ezra Klein here and Igor Volsky here for some more details.

Meanwhile, I trust you saw the USA Today/Gallup poll yesterday showing that Ryan is the second least-approved of vice-presidential choice in the last quarter century. And no, the person you think came first did not. Palin had good numbers out of the chute. It was only three weeks or so later, when people saw that she didn't know a newspaper beyond the state of Alaska and so on, that she tanked. Number one was Dan Quayle. "If the Democrats handle this right" is always a big if, but if they do, this ticket has the makings of a disaster.