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August 18, 2012


None of this matters.

It's like playing with your chips
when you are 'all in' with a losing
poker hand. Stack 'em any which way
you like. You are still going to lose.

As I have been saying: The U.S. is broke.

Here it is clearly spelled out in 5 minutes:


It's time for a chapter 11 restructuring.

tucson’s comment and video are the only things of substance posted on this page so far. And the person in this campaign echoing tucson’s message most closely is Paul Ryan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xwv5EbxXSmE

As for Politifact... they should change the name to Politimaybe. Even when I agree with Politifact’s outcome I often find their reasoning silly or short on substance.

They address too many questions of no consequence. One good example from above is “Ryan's plan includes $700 billion in Medicare "cuts," says Stephanie Cutter. True.” Duh, really? You mean the two Ryan budgets voted on since Obamacare became law reflect the reality that Obamacare cut $700B from Medicare? How earth shattering. Investigative journalism at its best. Would the Ryan budget retain that money for Medicare’s insolvency or spend it like Obama does? Oh, didn’t address the real issue that matters, did ya?

Ditto with, “Barack Obama says Paul Ryan's Medicare plan could raise costs for Medicare beneficaries by $6,000 each. Mostly True.” Again…of no consequence… since, as Politifact admits, this Obama criticism is referring to a previous Ryan plan and ignores the latest plan authored with Democratic Senator Ron Wyden. Who does this?…would you run around town bad mouthing your spouse when in fact you’re happily remarried and it’s your ex you can’t stand? Why do we care if Obama doesn’t like Ryan’s ex?

“Do Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to turn Medicare into a voucher program? Mostly True.” No consequence yet again. The trick word here is “want.” They very well may prefer a voucher program, but neither of their plans forces current or future seniors into one. Under the Romney-Ryan plan seniors have the option to choose traditional fee for service Medicare as it exists today. If the voucher option turns out to be as expensive as critics say (Medicare trustees say otherwise) then seniors will choose traditional Medicare. Politifact didn’t tell you that.

“Mitt Romney says Barack Obama robs Medicare of more than $700 billion to pay for Obamacare. Mostly False.” Again… whether you call them “cuts” “reductions” or “savings” …the real question is what does Obama do with that anticipated “reduction?” Does he set it aside to extend the life of Medicare? No, according to Stephanie Cutter he’s already spending it. Do the Medicare Trustees think the projected cost “reductions” from efficiency improvements are likely? In a word, no. See page 7 where they say: “Hospitals have been pushing back in recent years against payment reductions aimed at further reducing inefficiency, a signal that much of the achievable gains may have already been made.” That’s right, Obama is already spending “cost reductions” from “all that waste and fraud” that will never be realized. http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/ReportsTrustFunds/downloads/2010TRAlternativeScenario.pdf

Like Obama does on the stump, the Cutter video repeats much of the same and twice references the Medicare Trustees to support her arguments. She does so fully knowing and ignoring that the Medicare Trustees issued a companion report warning that the assumptions they were required to work with are inadequate, making benefits to Medicare from Obamacare unlikely. They went on to say that real-world market forces would make access for Medicare beneficiaries increasingly difficult under Obamacare. Not a word about that from Stephanie Cutter.

But why would anyone believe Stephanie Cutter in the first place? This woman was caught red handed lying about the recent Joe Soptic anti-Romney PAC ad. It’s a Federal Election Commission violation for a campaign to coordinate on a PAC ad, and Cutter claimed in media interviews that she didn’t “know the facts” behind the Soptic ad. In fact, Soptic told all of the details directly to Cutter after she invited him to join a conference call she held on 5/14/12. Hear both of their voices on that conference call here: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV?id=%7BD344D519-5B5D-458B-AEAF-55D2CE575E61%7D&title=Obama-Campaign-Aide-Caught-Lying-Over-Anti-Romney-Ad

As demonstrated, Politifact’s commentary is nearly irrelevant. And Stephanie Cutter – Obama’s DEPUTY CAMPAIGN MANAGER – has no trouble violating FEC laws and lying to the American people on national television. Brian, do you have ANY credible claims from ANY credible sources? Any at all?? Knocking down your Medicare posts is easier than slow motion whack-a-mole.

Big Oil

DJ, you've got discredited arguments about global warming, and you've got discredited arguments about the Romney-Ryan Medicare lies.

Objective truths do exist. They really do. Scientific consensus homes in on them. Reputable fact checkers like PolitiFact do also. You can nitpick all you want, but the truth remains:

I win, you lose. Scientists and independent fact checkers are on my side. You've got Fox News and right-wing bloggers.

Laughable comment, Brian. Actually, my arguments are supported by a Democrat appointed by Obama, by the expert opinion of nonpartisan Medicare actuaries, through authorship by the Ryan plan’s Democratic co-author, and with a record of bipartisan votes in Congress.

Ryan’s current criticism for Obamacare-Medicare is perfectly consistent with what he told Obama in Feb. 2010. Yet in 2010 Obama characterized the Ryan plan as, “a serious proposal” – but today campaigns on its evils. Likewise in Dec. 2011, Brian, you characterized the “Wyden-Ryan” plan (that’s what you were calling it back then) as “interesting” and “ideas to improve Medicare” and “There’s some things to like here.” But, like Obama, in the face of having to consider the words ‘Vice President Paul Ryan’ – to you his plan is now evil incarnate. I smell creeping desperation, and fear of tucson’s November landslide prediction.

Out of that fear, Brian, you’ve become that which you loathed when you wrote these words: “For sure, though, Democrats and Republicans are going to retreat to their usual corners and come out swinging at each other when debate on the Wyden-Ryan plan begins. Per usual, rationality, facts, and respectful discourse will take a back seat to political posturing.”

Other excerpts of yours… whatever happened to the guy who wrote these:

We need to resist making snap judgements about the plan to reform Medicare unveiled today by Democratic Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Republican Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Yes, that Paul Ryan. …A person. With ideas to improve Medicare. Basically, by offering seniors a choice: stay in the current government-run Medicare system, or join a private insurance plan with the same defined benefits as the public plan.

But I'll admit that when I saw Paul Ryan's name in the first news story I read about the Wyden-Ryan Medicare reform plan, my intuitive reaction was "This must be a bad idea." Then I read some details about it and thought, "Hmmmm. There's some things to like here."

For sure, though, Democrats and Republicans are going to retreat to their usual corners and come out swinging at each other when debate on the Wyden-Ryan plan begins. Per usual, rationality, facts, and respectful discourse will take a back seat to political posturing.

We can only hope that things will be different in 2013, when the Wyden-Ryan plan may become proposed legislation.

I don't have a problem with offering a defined Medicare benefits package through both the current federal program and private insurance plans.

Read it all here: http://hinessight.blogs.com/hinessight/2011/12/wyden-ryan-medicare-reform-plan-looks-interesting.html


Big Oil

DJ, good try at changing the subject of this post, which is that Romney and Ryan have been lying about their plans to change Medicare into a voucher program, and the fact that Ryan had the same Medicare cost savings in his plan as the Affordable Care Act does.

I'm not running for president, Romney is. If Romney wants to run on turning Medicare into a voucher program, he should stand up and say so. Instead, he refuses to define exactly what his plans for Medicare are. Probably because he knows Americans won't go for them.

I didn't know every detail of Wyden's plan when I said it looked interesting. I assumed that the "keep traditional Medicare" option was just that: keeping the current Medicare program. Wyden didn't make clear that this also was a voucher program to buy into Medicare.

Wyden has disavowed support for Romney/Ryan's attempts to change Medicare into a voucher program. Read this interview with Ezra Klein. So if you're looking to Wyden for support, forget it. I also disavow my support, which will probably REALLY doom Romney, since I have so much influence over voters.

Wyden makes some good points. His plan assumes that the Affordable Care Act stays in place. Yet Romney and Ryan want to do away with the ACA, which contains many benefits for Medicare recipients and cost-cutting measures for the entire country. So what Romney and Ryan are proposing now isn't at all the approach outlined in the Wyden-Ryan white paper.

Excerpts from the link above (quotes from Ron Wyden):
Probably the two most significant specific differences between what Governor Romney is talking about and the white paper is, first, that the Romney campaign and the governor would repeal the Affordable Care Act. To lay a foundation for putting together a program to protect the guarantee and protect the budget, you need the changes the Affordable Care Act makes to Medicare, like bundled payments and moving the system towards pay-for-quality. Without it, you can’t move to premium support.

The second difference is that the Romney approach completely pulls the rug out from under the poorest and most vulnerable seniors. In the white paper, protections for so-called dual eligibles, the people in both Medicare and Medicaid, are bulletproof. There’s no way to throw them under the bus. Gov. Romney says he’d block grant the Medicaid program and push those cuts onto the people, which would do enormous harm to those people whose protection was at the center of the white paper.

...Mitt Romney is the head of the ticket. And the primary development since the white paper came out was that the House Republicans were not willing to accept what was in the white paper. That’s why I went to the floor when we were debating the Ryan budget in the Senate and spoke specifically against the Medicare portion and voted against it. And there’s no evidence that Gov. Romney will see the world any differently.

There would not have been a white paper if there was a requirement to go forward with a proposal that included block granting Medicaid. When you’re trying to lay out a set of possibilities to deal with the premier domestic issue of the time, everyone talks about what’s important to them. And that was important to him. But I said there’s no agreement if that’s included. I said the heart of it is that Medicare continues on as a public program and there are robust consumer protections and the premium support is progressive. And what Paul Ryan was interested in doing was looking at new approaches in terms of competitive bidding and the like.

[DJ, your on-topic comments will be published. Your off-topic comments won't. This post is about how various Romney/Ryan claims about Medicare have been debunked by fact-checkers like PolitiFact.

For some reason -- probably because you have no evidence to prove PolitiFact wrong -- you veered off in a comment I won't publish into trying to prove what can't be proven: that when I said my impression of the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan was that it allowed seniors to stay on traditional Medicare, with the other option being a voucher to buy private insurance, I wasn't telling the truth.

Actually, I was. I figured Wyden and Ryan wanted to run another experiment to see if private insurers could provide Medicare benefits more cheaply than the current Medicare system. Of course, that experiment already has been done: Medicare Advantage is 107% as expensive as regular Medicare.

Deconstructing my previous blog posts about Medicare to try to decipher my inner awareness of the Wyden-Ryan plan is ridiculous. You should spend your blog commenting time discussing the subject of a post, not the inside of my head -- which you have no access to. -- Blogger Brian]

nobody knows what is going with medicare debate so the mistformation is confusing at best i am old it remebering how democrats scarce people about dropping medicare they claim sen. barry Goldwater they lied about it so they are still using this please anyone prove to me wrong

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