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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI): The Conservative Antidote to Obama

He's about the only guy who can leave Obama speechless (well, almost)!

During the health care summit setup Obama arrogantly put down Sen. John McCain with his remark that "we're not campaigning anymore, the election is over." It was an attempt to paint all GOP criticism of Obama Care as nothing more than political talking points. Never mind that one Dem after another was in full campaign mode when they trotted out heart wrenching stories of people denied medical care. If a story about a woman who had to use her dead sister's dentures [video] isn't campaign posturing I don't know what is.

But the GOP did have one card up it's collective sleeve to which Obama had no answer: The factual integrity and sheer scope of knowledge demonstrated at the summit setup by Rep. Paul Ryan, Republican from Wisconsin. Rep. Ryan just turned 40 but is already serving his 6th term in Congress. Compared to some of the old gray heads in the room for the health setup he's a bright, fresh face and no pushover for Obama.

Here are two of his shining moments at the summit/setup:

RYAN: "Hiding spending doesnt reduce spending."

RYAN: "The difference in our approaches is clear. We don't think all the answers lie in Washington."

Investor's Business Daily noted that some "news" analysts were wowed by Obama's command of the room at the health summit/setup. But they point out that none of these so-called analysts bothered to note "Obama's conspicuous non-rebuttal to Rep. Paul Ryan."

Here are some of the points stressed by Ryan that Obama failed to address:

• "This bill does not control costs (or) reduce deficits. Instead, (it) adds a new health care entitlement when we have no idea how to pay for the entitlements we already have."

• "The bill has 10 years of tax increases, about half a trillion dollars, with 10 years of Medicare cuts, about half a trillion dollars, to pay for six years of spending. The true 10-year cost (is) $2.3 trillion."

• "The bill takes $52 billion in higher Social Security tax revenues and counts them as offsets. But that's really reserved for Social Security. So either we're double-counting them or we don't intend on paying those Social Security benefits."

• "The bill takes $72 billion from the CLASS Act (long-term care insurance) benefit premiums and claims them as offsets."

• "The bill treats Medicare like a piggy bank, (raiding) half a trillion dollars not to shore up Medicare solvency, but to spend on this new government program."

• "The chief actuary of Medicare (says) as much as 20% of Medicare providers will either go out of business or have to stop seeing Medicare beneficiaries."

• "Millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage (Medicare through a private insurer) will lose the coverage that they now enjoy."

• "When you strip out the double-counting and ... gimmicks, the full 10-year cost of the bill has a $460 billion deficit. The second 10-year cost of this bill has a $1.4 trillion deficit."

• "The 'doc fix' (restoring cuts in Medicare reimbursements) costs $371 billion ... a price tag (that) made the score look bad. (So) that provision was taken out, and (put) in stand-alone legislation. But ignoring these costs does not remove them from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending does not reduce spending."

• "Are we bending the cost curve down or are we bending the cost curve up? If you look at your own chief actuary at Medicare, we're bending it up. He's claiming that we're going up $222 billion, adding more to the unsustainable fiscal situation we have."

In response to all this, Obama basically talked up the benefits of Medicare Advantage. Call us sticklers, but we expected something a little more, uh, professorial.
Rep. Ryan also gave a strong performance on Fox News Sunday in an interview with Chris Wallace.

Readers should also note that if the GOP takes control of the U.S. House of Representatives Ryan will become the Chairman of the powerful Budget Committee. He's another of the rising stars of young GOP leaders we can all be proud of as a they take their place in leadership positions!

Don't tell me that Republicans are just as bad as Democrats. With young leaders like Paul Ryan the GOP future is bright!

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