Friday, December 16, 2011

Paul Ryan about to implode

Rep. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has taken up the mantle of enlightening the Republican party about health care and taxes.  He is using Wisconsin Republican Rep Raul Ryan has the vehicle.  Wyden and Ryan have teamed up to fix Medicare and health care "premium support" and there are enough changes to Ryan's original plan to make it work.  The caveats: it will provide universal coverage and it will entail higher taxes to pay for it.  In effect, Ryan is signing on to Obama's Affordable Care Act provisions and even includes a public option.

As Matt Miller says in the WaPo:

With this new plan, Ryan has signed onto the idea of subsidizing people to buy coverage from well-regulated health exchanges that must take all comers and charge them similar premiums regardless of health status (provisions that did not exist in Ryan’s previous premium-support plan). If that framework sounds familiar, it should — it basically describes the dreaded Obamacare! And here’s the kicker: Wyden-Ryan has a public option to boot, because fee-for-service Medicare would remain an option for seniors. 
Wyden has put Ryan in a box where he can be forced to admit that there’s no way to get our long-term fiscal house in order without higher taxes as the boomers age. (I know it must seem crazy to get excited about forcing a politician to admit the obvious, but that’s the kind of breathtaking intellectual dishonesty on taxes we’ve been dealing with). If the media are smart and persistent enough to force this question of Ryan’s endless debt, Wyden will have set in motion a Republican “uncle” on taxes that could fundamentally alter policy debate in the years ahead.

I can see how this plays out.  The Republicans will say that they are forced to raise taxers because of the irresponsible spending under Obama. It will be a lie of course.  The huge and growing debt is a result of the discretionary spending for wars, coupled with irresponsible tax cuts.  In time, to provide the promised health care and Social Security for seniors, the coffers will need to be replenished with the stolen money.  Maybe Ryan's acquiescence will serve as the beginning of that realization, but don't expect it to all happen magically without partisan rancor.

Given the hysterics demonstrated within the GOP about taxes, I cannot envision Ryan, with his reaching across the aisle, surviving this episode intact.

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"no way to get our long-term fiscal house in order without higher taxes"

That's greedy and destructive. The ruling elites have plenty of money. We need lower taxes, not higher taxes.