David Frum

08.16.12

Paul Ryan Declares Generational War

A friend from the next generation emails:

Look at the Weekly Standard today, quoting Paul Ryan at Miami University of Ohio:

Ryan criticized President Obama for "raiding" $716 billion from Medicare to pay for Obamacare. "The president’s campaign says this raid of Medicare to pay for Obamacare, which leads to fewer services for current seniors, is an achievement."

Ryan slightly reframed the attack by arguing that Obamacare is effectively taking hundreds of billions from payroll taxes. “Take a look at your paycheck next time. Look at that line on your paycheck that [reads] payroll taxes," Ryan said. "You see our payroll taxes from our paychecks are supposed to go to two programs--Social Security and Medicare period. Now because of Obamacare they’re also going to pay for Obamacare." The crowd booed.

"It’s not right. He knows it. He can’t defend it," Ryan said. "And that is why he’s resorting to this kind of distraction and an election based on anger and division.”

See that? The talking point isn't even about changing Medicare, its about keeping the entitlements for the old, and not spending any of that money on the young. You could title this speech: Entitlements for Me, Not for Thee. Spending money on 'deserving' old people is good, spending on anyone else is a waste.