President Barack Obama. (photo: Getty Images)
12 November 16
Ladies and gentlemen, introducing Paul Ryan.y Walk To Work, November 11, 2016: Part Two.
Every few days, when I walk to the BlogCave, I stop at a local McDonald's for one of their Triglyceride Festival breakfasts. Every time I've done this, there has been a table full of elderly gents sitting at the same table by the side door. (Yeah, elderly. They're older than me.) All of them wear baseball caps. One of them always wears a cap that marks him as a "Vietnam Veteran." Sometime last summer, I noticed that a couple of them had taken to wearing those familiar red baseball caps that told the world that the elderly gents were ready to Make American Great Again. Presumably, most of these guys, if not all of them, benefit from Medicare.
Gentlemen? May I introduce you to Paul Ryan, the zombie-eyed granny starver from the state of Wisconsin? Jonathan Chait in New York would like to explain to you all how you are about to get bamboozled into a worse life than you have right now.
"Your solution has always been to put things together, including entitlement reform," says Baier, using Republican code for privatizing Medicare. Ryan replies, "If you're going to repeal and replace Obamacare, you have to address those issues as well. … Medicare has got some serious issues because of Obamacare. So those things are part of our plan to replace Obamacare."
Yep. That's what's going to happen to your healthcare, gentlemen. And he's going to blame the black guy for it, and my money's all on you guys buying that wholesale. It is, of course, a blatant lie, because Paul Ryan is the…say it with us now…Biggest. Fake. Ever.
The Medicare trust fund has been extended 11 years as a result of the passage of Obamacare, whose cost reforms have helped bring health care inflation to historic lows. It is also untrue that repealing Obamacare requires changing traditional Medicare. But Ryan clearly believes he needs to make this claim in order to sell his plan, or probably even to convince fellow Republicans to support it.
One of the few positions on which the President-elect was marginally consistent during the campaign was that he would not touch entitlements. However, his economic plan was so stuffed with vague nonsense that I am fairly sure this is what's going to happen: Ryan will come up with some bullshit "stimulus" program that is larded with tax-cuts and other goodies, and he will offer it to the White House in exchange for his life's dream of shredding what's left of the social safety net. He will put together a big pot of offal, slap a label reading "Medicare" on it, and then peddle it to the suckers.
The guys at McDonald's will find themselves choosing between cat food and insulin and it will be Barack Obama's fault. Lovely.