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Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ryan's "Just Like Congress" Talking Points Don't Hold Up

I completely disagree with President Obama that Congressman Paul Ryan's roadmap schemes deserve serious honest debate. Not just because he uses cheesy used car salesman tactics to sell his class war lemon, the "Roadmap for America's Future" but that his rhetoric simply does not own up to the reality. I don't trust Ryan one bit on any of it.

Just consider his core principle on health care.

Roadmap Excerpt:
* Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs.
Ryan uses the talking point "just like the program enjoyed by Members of Congress" religiously throughout his roadmap plans, yet the words carry little weight.

For instance, the federal government subsidizes Ryan’s family health care with about $9,200. He co-pays about $4,300 a year for a grand total of $13,500. Numbers are approximate. Ryan has repeatedly stated that his Roadmap health care plan will give everyone the same coverage as he gets, but for less. Ryan expects families to pay for $13,500 worth of insurance with a $5,700 TAX CREDIT subsidy. At the same time, his plan relieves employers from the duty of sponsoring a health care plan. Why? Because that is where the $5,700 tax credit comes from – his plan shifts the employer tax credit incentive to the employee.

No more group leverage, you’re on your "Randian" own in state exchanges. For everyone except himself of course – the government employee. He gets to keep his employer $9,200 subsidized private plan - it's champagne and caviar.

Americans should ask Ryan if his employer (us!) will be relieved of subsidizing his personal family health care plan like his plan does for other employers, so that Congress can enjoy the same tax credit he wants all of us to have.

Social Security

Ryan still doesn't get that Social Security is a government backed payroll funded insurance policy that guarantees a monthly endowment beginning at age 65 for most participants. It's NOT a "personal savings account." It's in addition to 401k's, Roth's, saving accounts and other investment vehicles.

The Congressman also implies that his reformed Social Security system offers the same investment options — just as Members of Congress and Federal employees get. Again there is a major disconnect. So why doesn't Congress invest SS I.O.U.'s into the low-risk bond markets to keep SS solvent?

For years I've received political emails from all sorts of people (Left and Right) demanding that Congress should not be be allowed to skip out of the Social Security. The people want Congress to participate in Social Security - we want Congress, Federal employees and other public sector employees to have the same as the rest of nation, not the other way around. Social Security only needs more participants and a higher income ceiling to extend it into the distant future. Besides, private investment options and savings accounts are available to everyone of their own free choosing right now. Why would we want more government control?


Ryan's Roadmap plan DOES end Medicare as we know it. Despite his own fact checking remarks. You can't have two different Medicare's, one for people under 55 and one for people over 55 with completely different points and parameters and call it the same plan! It is fundamentally illogical. How stupid does he think Americans are?

"The Medicare reforms provide future beneficiaries (those currently under 55) with health coverage options just like the program enjoyed by Members of Congress." -- Paul Ryan

Is Congress on Medicare? They must be if the above statement is true and Ryan is honest that his plan doesn't end medicare as we currently know it.

Ryan and his GOP colleagues are in complete "denial" mode. Social Security, Medicare and our tax system are not crushing our country and making it uncompetitive. The high cost of health care is.

What's wrong with Paul Ryan? Why is he so dishonest?

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