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David Brooks Is Excited: Paul Ryans Kicks the Elderly While Protecting the Wealthy

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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 06:27 AM
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David Brooks Is Excited: Paul Ryans Kicks the Elderly While Protecting the Wealthy

Dean Baker, CEPR | Apr. 5, 2011, 4:44 AM | 241 | comment 2

There are few things that get David Brooks more excited than seeing a politician beat up on the elderly and because he has a column in the New York Times, we all get to share the thrill. As Brooks tells us, Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, has a long list of budget reforms and most importantly is prepared to go after Medicare. Ryan would replace the current Medicare program with a voucher system. This would end the commitment of Medicare to provide decent health care to the elderly and disabled. If private sector health care costs grow as projected the vast majority of seniors would soon find themselves unable to afford health care under Mr. Ryan's plan.

Brooks' excitement for Ryan extends beyond his willingness to cut Medicare benefits for retired workers. He tells us that Ryan would even, "reform the tax code along the Simpson-Bowles lines, but without the tax increases." What a guy, Ryan is even prepared to reduce taxes as he ends the security that Medicare provides for retired workers.

I'll confess to having gotten caught up in the excitement, but getting back to the facts that Brooks gets wrong, he tells readers that:

"The current welfare state is simply unsustainable and anybody who is serious, on left or right, has to have a new vision of the social contract."

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Sal Minella Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:02 AM
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1. Burying the elderly in "applying for vouchers" paperwork and
waiting for them to die seems like a good plan.

Touting "choices" and "finding the best health care plan for themselves" is absurd -- people want a health care plan that pays their health care costs. Period. "Choice" is a euphemism for deliberately confusing people.

(Also pondering how "choice" in a storm of redundant paperwork is assumed to be good, but "choice" as to what one does with one's uterus is a bad thing.)

Focusing on bringing down health care costs in the United States would be a good idea but no one seems remotely interested in that. Why do we spend twice as much on health care as any other civilized country?
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