Quotes of the day

posted at 10:32 pm on August 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

Presumptive Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan launched an offensive on President Barack Obama’s cuts to medicare to pay for ObamaCare, his first public reference to the issue since accepting the role as Mitt Romney’s running mate.

“The president took $716 billion from the Medicare program, he raided it, to pay for ObamaCare,” Ryan expained, noting that an Obama aide called the cuts an “achievement” in a television interview…

“Governor Romney and I will protect and strengthen Medicare for our current seniors and for our future seniors of tomorrow,” Ryan added…

“I’m told President Obama is talking about Medicare today, “Ryan said. “We want this debate. We need this debate. And we will win this debate.”

***

Ryan plans, for the first time, to travel on his own this weekend to senior-heavy Florida, where his campaign has said he will address entitlement reform.

A Ryan campaign aide emailed reporters to say that Ryan would “highlight President Obama’s record of slashing Medicare for current Florida seniors to fund Obamacare.” And a second campaign aide, speaking to reporters in Denver on Tuesday, told reporters that “this is a debate we invite.”

“The message here is that we’re on offense on Medicare,” the aide told reporters. “There’s only one candidate in this race that has raided over $700 billion dollars from Medicare in order to set up a new entitlement that we can’t afford and is making it harder for businesses — especially small businesses — to create jobs.”

***

Some Republicans worry that fighting about Medicare takes valuable time from talking about jobs, growth and deficits. True, but this fight was coming anyway. Better to debate it now in ways the Romney campaign can control rather than see it raised in the campaign’s final moments through under-the-radar robo calls and mailers to seniors by Democrats.

It is said that in politics, if you’re explaining, you’re losing. That’s not always true. Sometimes when you’re explaining, you’re reassuring voters and undermining your opponent’s credibility.

That’s the case with this issue now. It’s why Team Romney was smart to quickly run an ad attacking Mr. Obama for robbing Medicare to pay for ObamaCare.

Democrats have long had an issue advantage on Medicare. Republicans cowered in fear. This time it’s different. The Romney-Ryan ticket is not only talking about Medicare, it is putting Mr. Obama on the defensive. If Republicans succeed, politics will never be the same.

***

In the last few days, the Romney campaign has moved to dramatically change the terrain of Medicare politics, and it looks like the Democrats are beginning to realize how vulnerable they might be. Because of Obamacare, it is the Democrats who now plan to cut current seniors’ benefits (especially those in Medicare Advantage) and access to care (thanks to the IPAB) while still failing to avert the program’s (and the nation’s) fiscal collapse, and because Romney would repeal Obamacare and pursue a version of the Ryan-Wyden premium-support reform it is the Republicans who would protect current seniors’ benefits and make them available to future seniors while saving the program from collapse through market reforms. Through the candidates’ statements this week and through this new ad, Romney and Ryan have made clear they’re going to inform voters about this and force the Democrats to defend themselves on Medicare.

That won’t be easy for the Left, since the Romney campaign’s charges are true, and it is beginning to become apparent that the Democrats are totally unprepared for the coming fight. Their defenses so far fall into roughly three categories: Ryan did it too, the Obamacare Medicare cuts aren’t very serious, and finally what can only be called frantic distractions. Even as pure demagoguery (let alone as efforts at actual substantive arguments) all three are exceptionally weak defenses, and suggest the Democrats could be in serious trouble.

***

Rather than instituting free market reforms, the Democrats are applying governmental infrastructures like the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). This, they hope, will tame the runaway cost of Medicare, but it also will ruin traditional Medicare for future recipients as well. The program will be fundamentally different in the future than it is today, thanks to the IPAB, which will be unelected and largely free to act without interference from Congress. If the GOP is vulnerable on premium supports, Democrats are at least as vulnerable on the IPAB…

So, where does that leave us? The GOP has proposed a premium support program for the next generation of recipients in the hopes of saving Medicare for the future. Politically dangerous, for sure. But the Democrats have blown past mere danger and charged headfirst into the utterly suicidal: They are using a top-down governmental board to cut costs in ways that will likely diminish the availability of care, not to secure the future of the program but to bankroll a brand new entitlement.

So, who is more vulnerable to “Mediscare” this cycle?

Answer: the Democrats.

***

There are many Americans who believe two things about where things stand right now: The Romney-Ryan approach is unacceptable, and the status quo is unsustainable. Obama may be able to win the election by persuading a majority of the few voters still open to persuasion that in the short-term, the status quo is preferable to Romney-Ryan. But if he closes the deal by shutting the door to the reforms that we may well need in the long-term, it will be a Pyrrhic victory.

Let me be specific. A number of Democrats once believed—and some still do—that a well-crafted version of premium support is part of a balanced and sustainable long-term fix for Medicare. If the effect of the Ryan choice is to take not only the Ryan budget’s version of premium support off the table, but also the kinds of approaches that Alice Rivlin and Ron Wyden have proposed, then we’ll be left with far less appealing options for stabilizing Medicare.

***

In a November 2009 interview with ABC News’ Jake Tapper, Obama acknowledged that a third of the funding for ObamaCare came from cutting Medicare

Tapper went on to ask Obama whether he would allow Congress to repeal or patch the Medicare cuts as it does every year with the so-called Doc Fix, a measure designed to ensure adequate reimbursement payments are maintained to doctors who care for patients covered by Medicare.

Obama said that his Medicare cuts were permanent and that he would never allow Congress to repeal them.

***

“I think the Democrats are discovering that they stepped on a land mine with Medicare.”

***


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I would agree with you if we had a fair press but the press will start that she is as smart as Ryan and they already setup the vp debate up for her

Conservative4ev on August 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Don’t worry about that either. Ryan is prepping for it as we speak. I heard him go thru a littany of things of what’s wrong with Team O’s Middle East policies…Iran and the bomb, getting behind on Syria and watching the massacres and oh don’t forget that nice bunch of Muslim Brotherhood boys ruling Egypt now….and Ryan has made several trips to the Middle East so he knows all about it. He is an excellent student and can talk circles around Hill’s bullpooh….oh ya, I forgot Umah Hillary’s girl sidekick and the Muslim Brotherhood’s snitch.

gracie on August 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Here’s the problem with the Hillary addition, which believe is imminent: the independents that are Hillary fans will flock to that ticket. I’m not a happy camper. Not a defeatist, by any means, but not happy.

totherightofthem on August 16, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Today’s schedule

10:15AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office

Closed Press

10:45AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of State Clinton

Oval Office

Closed Press

12:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch

Private Dining Room

Closed Press

Flora Duh on August 16, 2012 at 8:34 AM

I sent this curious schedule to Drudge as a tip — and now it’s his headline. I am so glad! I want the pressure to be turned up on barack so he looks weak, weak, weak when he makes the change to Shrillery.

Rational Thought on August 16, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Bmore on August 16, 2012 at 9:31 AM

I’m trying to decipher your hints from yesterday and I haven’t figured it out yet. I’ll keep trying.

Fallon on August 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

the independents that are Hillary fans

These are the single women and lesbians. Team O already has them. No one else is gonna flock to Hill & Bill to save O.

gracie on August 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

These are the single women and lesbians. Team O already has them. No one else is gonna flock to Hill & Bill to save O.

gracie on August 16, 2012 at 9:44 AM

I sure hope you’re right.

totherightofthem on August 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

I forgot Umah Hillary’s girl sidekick and the Muslim Brotherhood’s snitch.

gracie on August 16, 2012 at 9:38 AM

If Hillary replaces Joe, Huma will become an HUGE issue. Michele Bachmann (one L, two Ns, three cheers) will be vindicated.

Fallon on August 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

If Hillary replaces Joe, Huma will become an HUGE issue. Michele Bachmann (one L, two Ns, three cheers) will be vindicated.

Fallon on August 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Right. Because the big issue this election is…the Muslim Brotherhood. Oh…brother. My delusional, delusional friends. If barack taps Shrillery, they win. And they win big. This is a disaster. We’ll hear nothing — NOTHING — for the next 2.5 months except “LET’S MAKE HISTORY AGAIN!!!!!” The youth vote will be back, barack will get 70% or more of the woman vote, old people love her and her adorable, affable husband. Name me one constituency of his that will miss Joe. Name one. They’ve done the math. They know this is a game-changer.

Rational Thought on August 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM

If Hillary replaces Joe, Huma will become an HUGE issue. Michele Bachmann (one L, two Ns, three cheers) will be vindicated.

Fallon on August 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Fallon, I left you a message on QOTD for the 14th. Pay close attention to my punctuation. That is the key.

Bmore on August 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

If barack taps Shrillery, they win. And they win big. This is a disaster. We’ll hear nothing — NOTHING — for the next 2.5 months except “LET’S MAKE HISTORY AGAIN!!!!!”

Rational Thought on August 16, 2012 at 10:16 AM

Would you like a brown paper bag to breathe into? Not even the boyz at HillBuzz would back that ticket.

Fallon on August 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

have the same concern about merging FB with HA as most here do.

HA may know how many think about that. However, do you think we should contact this person?

HotAir.com is part of the Townhall/HotAir network alongside Townhall.com, Townhall Magazine, FreedomCards.com and Townhall Finance in a network of conservative websites and publications with over four million monthly readers. Jonathan Garthwaite, General Manager @JonGarthwaite on Twitter.

bluefox on August 16, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Posting this again, since I’m not sure if this is the most current info on Jonathan Garthwaite.
Thanks.

bluefox on August 16, 2012 at 10:40 AM

WOW, more illegal votes with the “expanded” Dream Act B.O. signed.

Administration officials confirmed on Tuesday that they have expanded the White House immigration policy for younger illegals to include low-skill immigrants who have not completed middle school or high school.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/15/obama-immigration-amnesty-to-include-middle-school-dropouts/#ixzz23ikl0V4d

bluefox on August 16, 2012 at 10:50 AM

csdeven on August 16, 2012 at 11:01 AM

The IPO for FB was weird in the aftermath. Something wasn’t right with that. My opinion was that pressure was put on Investor’s to tank it by not buying. The initial buys, IIRC, were then being cancelled. Never did understand that. I don’t think the truth of the IPO has come out. The way I look at it, who gained on the failure of FB’s IPO?

bluefox on August 16, 2012 at 11:14 AM

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