• http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    It’s like a smoke screen. If you tell people you are running, they’ll target you.

    ObamaCare is designed to slowly destroy the system and make people totally dependent upon government fiat.

    It doesn’t require people to know what it is, to support it. 

    They want a true “mixed economy” where they get the goods of capitalist, free market production while you and people people get centralized planning. This is the “mixed economy” so often touted as the ideal by democratic socialists.

  • abc

    I like Paul Ryan’s persona.  He is a solid Midwesterner who projects a wholesome image.  But Ryan could not possibly run given his position on Social Security.  We just saw a Democrat in in a Republican district in NY because people are worried about their Social Security, and that worry is largely driven by the Ryan plan.  Folks have no doubt seen Ryan heckled at grassroots events even by conservatives who view his voucher plan as a non-starter.  On this single issue alone, politically speaking, Paul Ryan would be a gift to Obama’s reelection team…

  • suek

    >>Ryan could not possibly run given his position on Social Security.>>

    People need to understand that half a loaf is _way_ better than none.

    I understand that people don’t want to cut back – that they’d rather spend like there’s no tomorrow… but the fact is that at some point there will simply be _no_ money. _That_ will be disastrous.

  • abc


    “People need to understand that half a loaf is _way_ better than none.”

    Well good luck convincing them of that.  We are in this mess because we vote for the politicians willing to say anything to get elected.  Gullible electorates deserve their governments.  I am not passing judgment on his plan, although I have done so in the past.  My comments reflect current political realities, which appear to hold as much as they ever had in the last 30 years.  By the way, have you looked at interest rates on Treasuries.  According to the bond market, we are not close to running out of money or credit, so this coming election cycle almost certainly will be more of the same.

  • jj

    You just saw a democrat win in a republican district because (A) the ‘democrat’ ran harder against Obama policies than the republican did, and (B) because there was a third party in the race: a democrat passing as a tea party candidate who successfully siphoned 9% of the vote away from the republican.  Without that, the republican wins.

    Despite what Harry Reid thinks (if ‘thinks’ is the word for anything Harry Reid does,) this race was not in the least reflective of the national issues attributed thereto, nor was it predictive of much of anything.  (Though it does point to what might be a successful democrat strategy: send out phony tea party candidates to run to the right of the legitimate republican candidates, and you may fool enough of the old folks and otherwise not-paying-much-attention voters to split the republican vote and sneak your guy in.  They have to start their stalking horses moving right now, though.

  • abc

    jj, the siphoning was going on throughout the race, but the Republican saw the support plummet, and this is clearly seen in the time series of polls done over time, after Jane Corwin came out in support of Ryan’s plan.  That was the defining moment, and it is born out in the level of support that was tracking nearly on a daily basis.  By the way, this fits with more general polling data on the average American.  The polling data regarding SS is clear:  Americans do not want their Social Security cut in the way that Ryan envisions.  The Democrat robocalls warning about SS cuts were apparently very effective, according to local press.  Again, I am not passing judgment on Ryan’s plan or any other options for entitlement reform.  I am merely observing that the minute Corwin endorsed the Ryan plan, her poll numbers starting dropping.  Without that endorsement, Corwin likely wins even with the vote siphoning you point to.

  • BrianE

    By the way, have you looked at interest rates on Treasuries.  According to the bond market, we are not close to running out of money or credit, so this coming election cycle almost certainly will be more of the same.- abc

    So Gross is buying treasuries again? Here I thought it was the Fed. I wonder how long they’re going to keep doing that? What? They’re not?

    We are out of money. That I think we can agree on, or maybe not. I would say we’re closer to running out of credit than you do apparently.

  • abc

    He’s not shorting them either.

    I am merely observing that US Treasury rates are still way below long-term averages.  Read what you want into it, but to say that the US is out of credit with the prevailing rates might be a bit premature.  Note that I am not necessarily advocating any given level of deficit spending, nor saying that we don’t have to fix our budget problems, but the rates tell a different story than the Republicans.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Frankly, I don’t think the American people have a clue how the Ryan Plan envisions SS and Medicare being cut.

    The issue is being demagogued to death by the Democrats. I’m not blaming the Democrats – that’s just in their nature. Like the scorpion and the frog.

    As to Interest Rates….let’s wait until July (after the end of QE-2).

  • abc

    “I don’t think the American people have a clue…”

    If I said that, I’d be a liberal elitist. 

    “The issue is being demagogued to death by the Democrats. I’m not blaming the Democrats – that’s just in their nature…”

    The robocalls in Carolina from the Bush camp accusing McCain in 2000 of “fathering a black child” made anything the Dems are doing today on SS look like child’s play.  Why do you selectively criticize the parties and their demagoguery?  Why can’t you admit that both organized parties sacrifice truth and national interest for the sake of election wins?  It would be refreshing to see someone be that honest and state the obvious for once…

  • BrianE

    The Democrat robocalls warning about SS cuts were apparently very effective,….- abc

    The Ryan plan doesn’t address SS but Medicare, Medicaid and deficits and the debt.

    Here’s a summary by the Pete Peterson foundation:


  • BrianE

    For Medicare, the chairman would fundamentally transform the program from its fee-for-service model to a “premium support” model beginning in 2022. Under this reform, the government would make a premium-support payment to an approved private insurance plan that was chosen by the Medicare beneficiary.  (The proposal also would gradually increase the eligibility age for the Medicare program from age 65 in 2021 to age 67 in 2033). The premium support would partially subsidize the purchase of insurance and would be adjusted so that wealthier beneficiaries received smaller subsidies, sicker patients received larger payments, and lower-income seniors received more help to cover out-of-pocket expenses. Current Medicare beneficiaries would have the option to join the new premium support system or continue with the current program. Because the rate of increase for the government’s premium support would be limited, the reform would slow the growth of Medicare spending over time compared to current law. However, CBO also found that under the proposal, most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system. – CBO analysis to Ryan

    Similarly, most corporations have switched from defined benefit plans to defined contribution plans as it became apparent the former were unsustainable.

    The key to making this work is finding market solutions to reduce rising medical costs. Price controls are not a long-term solution (as we can all remember from the wage and price controls of the 1970’s).

  • abc

    That’s true.  The Ryan plan doesn’t cut Social Security.  Even Ryan avoided SS in that plan because it’s the third rail of politics, but Ryan has spoken about the need to reform SS, so it was easy to make people conflate the issues.  Clearly, the assumption made by many and encouraged by the Dems was that if Ryan was willing to cut Medicare, then SS would certainly follow.  And the robocalls made during that election tied those issues together to scare senior–who care about both issues–to avoid the Republican candidate.

    I like Peterson’s work on budgetary matters, although I disagree with some of what his foundation wrote about Ryan’s plan, although that’s not really relevant here.  What matters is that Ryan is politically vulnerable from the center and from the left, although the GOP certainly closed ranks around the guy when Gingrich called him out with harsh criticism on his plan and ideas.

  • Mike Devx

    It certainly is a political reality that if you put out a plan to solve a crisis, and your opponent doesn’t, you’re vulnerable to attacks on your plan.  Your opponent isn’t vulnerable – because he’s got no plan.

    Pollster: Are you in favor of or opposed to the Paul Ryan plan to reform Medicare?
    Person: Opposed!
    Pollster: Why?
    Person: Cuz he’s going to push grandma in her wheelchair right over the cliff, that’s why!  Right over that cliff!

    Pollster: Well, al-righty then.

    We’ll see a solution when demagoguery and wild-eyed lies backfire.  Maybe this demagoguery and distortion will backfire on the Democrats as the months go by.  But the Republicans will have to fight, for that to happen.

    If my browsing is a true indicator, the Democrats do *know* that Medicare is doomed, and doomed soon, so inaction is not an option.  Therefore they are simply playing politics.  Pure politics.  They are in a box – they politically cannot propose free-market reforms of the type Paul Ryan proposes.  To satisfy *their* liberal constituency, theirs must simply tax more, spend more, and increase government bureaucratic control more.  They know that can’t fly.

  • abc

    Mike, I agree.  And I applaud Clinton for criticizing the Democrats for this.  Clinton said that he hopes that the Dems don’t think that merely because Ryan put out an unpopular and unworkable plan doesn’t mean that they can stay with the status quo.  He also encouraged them to take the short-term political hits for putting out a better plan than the Ryan plan, in order to reap longer-term gains.  Sound advice, I think, both politically speaking and from the standpoint of solving the problem.