Paul Ryan: Obama was “shadowboxing a strawman” on entitlements

posted at 3:11 pm on January 22, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

While such occasions are reliably light on substance, the put-up-or-shut-up tone of President Obama’s second inaugural address yesterday was pretty unmistakable. With hardly a concerned mention of jobs, the struggling economy, or our monstrous debt, the president also conspicuously neglected to acknowledge the inherent troubles of our metastasized entitlement state — but did go to great pains to defend and celebrate it, taking what sounded an awful lot like a direct shot at his erstwhile campaign opponents:

But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future. For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm. The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

That doesn’t much sound like President Obama is ready or willing to take Republicans’ suggestions for entitlement reform in good faith — and Rep. Paul Ryan was not pleased with the suggestion. The WFB snagged the audio from a morning radio interview:

No one is suggesting that what we call are ‘earned entitlements’, entitlements you pay for, you know, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, are putting you in a ‘taker’ category. No one suggests that whatsoever. The concern that people like me have been raising is we do not want to encourage a dependency culture. This is why we called for welfare reform. This is what welfare reform in 1996 was. This was what the new rounds for welfare reform we’re calling for do, which is to increase social mobility, economic opportunity, self-responsibility, those kinds of things. But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs. And I think when the president does kind of a switcheroo like that, what he’s trying to say is we are maligning these programs, that people have earned throughout their working lives. And so it’s kind of a convenient twist of terms to try and shadowbox a straw man in order to win an argument by default, is essentially what that rhetorical device is that he uses over and over and over.

Michael Gerson struck much the same note in his inaugural-response column; the “post-partisan” president seems mighty ready to go no-holds-barred on mischaracterizing Republicans’ aims on not merely entitlement reform, but everything else besides:

Those who oppose this agenda, in Obama’s view, are not a very admirable lot. They evidently don’t want our wives, mothers and daughters to “earn a living equal to their efforts.” They would cause some citizens “to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote.” They mistake “absolutism for principle” and “substitute spectacle for politics” and “treat name-calling as reasoned debate.” They would have people’s “twilight years . . . spent in poverty” and ensure that the parents of disabled children have “nowhere to turn.” They would reserve freedom “for the lucky” and believe that Medicare and Social Security “sap our initiative,” and they see this as “a nation of takers.” They “deny the overwhelming judgment of science” on climate change, don’t want love to be “equal” and apparently contemplate “perpetual war.”

For Abraham Lincoln, even the gravest national crimes involved shared fault. For Obama, even the most commonplace policy disagreements indicate the bad faith of his opponents. In his first inaugural address, George Washington described the “sacred fire of liberty.” In his second, Obama constructed a raging bonfire of straw men.


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Paul Ryan: Obama was “shadowboxing a strawman” on entitlements

Obama: “what’s a strawman”

/Obama: “This is my ‘innocent’ face”

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

Blah, blah, blah. You’re all talk, choir boy. Another empty GOP suit. You can’t fight the left. You proved it.

Gerson’s column lost me in the opening paragraphs when he pulled the usual self-loathing RINO moral equivalence BS about the “over-reaching” republicans.

Get lost, all of you. You’re useless to the fight.

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs.

If you are ‘taking’ out more money than the programs are receiving then how are they not ‘taker’ programs? Where does Ryan think the money is coming from?

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

a straw man in order to win an argument by default, is essentially what that rhetorical device is that he uses over and over and over.

No! No way! You’re kidding me! And what is a “straw man” again?

/shocked, shocked that Obama is using … what did he call it … a “straw man argument”

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I feel like I live in a foreign country now….and I didn’t even have to move…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

It is with a heavy heart that I agree. I was one of Ryan’s biggest fanboys…

lucyvanpelt on January 22, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Dammit – where is the call for increasing the eligibility age for SS benefits? That ought to be right up front and on the table.

We expect to live longer, so we should expect to work longer. I’m tired of hearing that the subject is toxic. I don’t believe it. Quit being chicken-shiites about it.

connertown on January 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs.

I seem to recollect a 1960 Supreme Court decision that said you have no property rights tied to Social Security. If congress wanted to end the payments today you have no recourse but to suck it in.

When our side is either lying or doesn’t know the truth we are so screwed.

chemman on January 22, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Obama was “shadowboxing a strawman” on entitlements

That’s what Obama does pretty much every single time he discusses policy.

besser tot als rot on January 22, 2013 at 3:33 PM

I wonder what Obowma has in store for his third term…

Seven Percent Solution on January 22, 2013 at 3:35 PM

The concern that people like me have been raising is we do not want to encourage a dependency culture.

Too late, son. 0bama has already “fundamentally transformed” America.

UltimateBob on January 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

They would cause some citizens “to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Gerson

If you are waiting for hours to vote it is YOUR DUMB TOWN GOVERNMENT that is at fault. They are the stupid people that can’t keep the voter registration up to date.

Fleuries on January 22, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Blah, blah, blah. You’re all talk, choir boy. Another empty GOP suit. You can’t fight the left. You proved it.

Gerson’s column lost me in the opening paragraphs when he pulled the usual self-loathing RINO moral equivalence BS about the “over-reaching” republicans.

Get lost, all of you. You’re useless to the fight.

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

I think what Paul Ryan said above is spot on. If you have a suggestion about what can possibly be done right now to convince the overwhealming sea of morons out there not to be tempted by nice shiny free governemnt goodies we are all ears. Makes it pretty difficult too when their god kind is whispering sweet nothings into their ears about how us conservatives just want to take those goodies away for no other reason than the fact that we are evil and don’t really care about them.

Zetterson on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

One of the first things they should do is get rid of the early retirement age for Social Security.No one should be getting it at age 62.

They have already raised the retirement age to 67 for most people coming into it the next few years.

Barred on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Who is the bigger fake? Ryan, Beyonce’ , 0 or his band?

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Ryan is unfortunately right. How else would you explain Ryan’s votes? Republicans don’t want to cut entitlements. They want to expand govt. It’s all strawman kabuki theater. Race of the cliff at 100 mph with a D or 95 mph with an R. Conservatism is not an option for the current establishment GOP.

sauldalinsky on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

We expect to live longer, so we should expect to work longer. I’m tired of hearing that the subject is toxic. I don’t believe it. Quit being chicken-shiites about it.

connertown on January 22, 2013 at 3:23 PM

Social Security, when enacted, was structured so it wouldn’t have to pay out.

1937 SS retirement age: 65.

1937 Age expectancy: Male-58, Female-62

It was a scam from the beginning.

WisRich on January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Too late, son. 0bama has already “fundamentally transformed” America.

UltimateBob on January 22, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Yup. Bingo. I’m fully convinced its too late to fix this thing.

Zetterson on January 22, 2013 at 3:41 PM

Obama was “shadowboxing a strawman” on entitlements

That’s what Obama does pretty much every single time he discusses policy.

besser tot als rot on January 22, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Obama: “There are those who would gut all the social welfare programs, letting every man fend for himself, eating out of dumpsters, sleeping in the gutter, fighting in the streets, wearing dirty rags while the rich live in splendor, laughing and spitting at the poor, and urinating on them. Then there are those who would provide any and all necessary food, housing, clothes, medical care, education, arts, entertainments, and heavily discounted travel to all — a socialistic approach. I prefer a middle way, a balanced approach. Just kidding! I want to provide for everyone! Let’s make this a Paradise on earth! We’re a land of plenty, we can afford it!”

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2013 at 3:43 PM

I think what Paul Ryan said above is spot on. If you have a suggestion about what can possibly be done right now to convince the overwhealming sea of morons out there not to be tempted by nice shiny free governemnt goodies we are all ears. Makes it pretty difficult too when their god kind is whispering sweet nothings into their ears about how us conservatives just want to take those goodies away for no other reason than the fact that we are evil and don’t really care about them.

Zetterson on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Watching Ryan right now try to make the D’s understand the Constitutional restrictions on budgets and how the process works between the House, the Senate and the WH in the Rules Committee Meeting is beyond conception. They don’t even know the law surrounding their responsibilities let alone the math. And these are not even the NEW members being schooled.

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 3:45 PM

We are doomed, Boehner, et al can not withstand a straw man….

RAGIN CAJUN on January 22, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Social Security, when enacted, was structured so it wouldn’t have to pay out.

1937 SS retirement age: 65.

1937 Age expectancy: Male-58, Female-62

It was a scam from the beginning.

WisRich on January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

It’s still a scam too.

$2.7 trillion dollars in the fund and $2.7 trillion ‘borrowed’ by the government to pay for even more goodies.

The Social Security warchest is filled with government IOUs, but hey…those are just as good as money!

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 3:47 PM

One of the first things they should do is get rid of the early retirement age for Social Security.No one should be getting it at age 62.

They have already raised the retirement age to 67 for most people coming into it the next few years.

Barred on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

Aye. We also need to make the qualification process for SS Disability much more rigorous. Many thousands of Americans are abusing the program.

slickwillie2001 on January 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

Paul Ryan has joined Rubio as a pro-amnesty shill. He’s embraced Rubio’s plan, which does not include any discussion of enhanced enforcement or securing the borders.

Further, with 22.5 million Americans either unemployed or chronically and acutely underemployed, where is the discussion regarding jobs and the increased enrollment in the 83 means tested welfare programs that already pay out to over 100 million Americans and represent the federal governments largest expenditure? These 83 means tested programs DO NOT include Social Security, Medicare, or the VA.

Paul Ryan’s ambition to become the next president has already overcome his fiscal conservative principles. His largest concern, rather than balancing the budget, the rule of law, and our basic principles, which include the enforcement of our laws without prejudice or preference, seem to have gone by the wayside in his drive for the presidency.

thatsafactjack on January 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM

If you are ‘taking’ out more money than the programs are receiving then how are they not ‘taker’ programs? Where does Ryan think the money is coming from?

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Most people would call them earned because they’re based on working.

As for the whole incident, it does show that Barry is a Chicago bully who cannot even resist the urge to tweak a rival in his inaugural address. I guess that since Ryan is going to avoid being in the same room as Barry for the next four years as much as possible (see GWU speech), that Barry took one of the only chances he had to publicly trash him… Classy. Also, those two really hate each other. Ryan winning in 2016 would lead to some great political theatre and incredibly awkward pictures.

Illinidiva on January 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Here’s a list of takers that produce nothing but a paycheck that’s taxable. You’ll never hear a politician wanting to cut 90% of these federal entitlement programs stuffed with friends and family. All of these are funded by our taxes. …..http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

mixplix on January 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

Wait, what?

Medicare and Social Security liberate us to gamble our retirement funds on capital ventures, because we can still retire even if we lose our money?

Is he honestly arguing that the government is actively encouraging people to rely on these programs instead of saving for their own retirement?

The Schaef on January 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I feel like I live in a foreign country now….and I didn’t even have to move…

PatriotRider on January 22, 2013 at 3:19 PM

And if Paul Ryan gets his way with amnesty, you will be in a foreign country. I’ve got tons of third worlders in my area and I feel like I need a passport just to go to Kroger. And those are the legal ones!

Just yesterday, two hispanic thugs (13 and 16) broke into a 93 yr old WWII vet’s house and trashed it. Yeah, thugs like that are future Republican voters. Keep telling yourselves that Rubio, Ryan and the rest of the pro amnesty crowd.

TxAnn56 on January 22, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Most people would call them earned because they’re based on working.

Illinidiva on January 22, 2013 at 3:52 PM

They are based on government promises that the government has no legal requirement to honor. The money isn’t there and exists only as a government promise to pay, if they so choose.

“The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Blah, blah, blah. You’re all talk, choir boy. Another empty GOP suit. You can’t fight the left. You proved it.

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

I am not going to dispute your claim but I agree with lucy and zetterson that what Paul Ryan said is correct. Maybe this is lame of me but I am tired of talking to people for whom even the most basic economic principles – like you can’t go on indefinitely spending more than you take in – is on the same level as their trying to understand quantum mechanics. Or they just don’t want to face uncomfortable facts. The strength of our republic relies on the personal initiative of the citizen to inform himself/herself of the facts of the important issues of the day. Paul Ryan should have to do no more than he has done in the statement above to initiate that process in a citizen’s mind. I hope we never send our military to war again because these young people would be asked to potentially sacrifice their lives for a profoundly provincial, disinterested and intellectually lazy citizenry.

DaveDief on January 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Who is the bigger fake? Ryan, Beyonce’ , 0 or his band?

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

All, for $1,000.

Schadenfreude on January 22, 2013 at 4:22 PM

No one is suggesting that what we call are ‘earned entitlements’, entitlements you pay for, you know, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security, are putting you in a ‘taker’ category.

except lyin’ ryan himself and the entire hotair commentariat.

clowns.

sesquipedalian on January 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
Wait, what?

Medicare and Social Security liberate us to gamble our retirement funds on capital ventures, because we can still retire even if we lose our money?

Is he honestly arguing that the government is actively encouraging people to rely on these programs instead of saving for their own retirement?

The Schaef on January 22, 2013 at 3:54 PM

I asked myself and others yesterday WTF Obama was talking about – how does anyone paying for, or collecting, a SS check free us to do anything?

The 2 best answers I received: Obama is peddling vacuous platitudes that mean nothing; or Obama thinks that government spending actually creates wealth.

matthew8787 on January 22, 2013 at 4:25 PM

I am not going to dispute your claim but I agree with lucy and zetterson that what Paul Ryan said is correct. Maybe this is lame of me but I am tired of talking to people for whom even the most basic economic principles – like you can’t go on indefinitely spending more than you take in – is on the same level as their trying to understand quantum mechanics.

DaveDief on January 22, 2013 at 4:16 PM

Paul Ryan is NOT correct.

But earned entitlements, where you pay your payroll taxes to get a benefit when you retire, like Social Security and Medicare, are not taker programs. And I think when the president does kind of a switcheroo like that, what he’s trying to say is we are maligning these programs, that people have earned throughout their working lives. – Paul Ryan

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323353204578127374039087636.html

As of the most recent Trustees’ report in April, the net present value of the unfunded liability of Medicare was $42.8 trillion. The comparable balance sheet liability for Social Security is $20.5 trillion.

In theory, the Medicare and Social Security trust funds have at least some money to pay a portion of the bills that are coming due. In actuality, the cupboard is bare: 100% of the payroll taxes for these programs were spent in the same year they were collected.

When the accrued expenses of the government’s entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit.

Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws.

In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn’t be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities.

Total confiscation of every taxpayer dollar wouldn’t pay for what Ryan is defending.

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:33 PM

they do think govt. spending creates wealth.. I forget the exact numbers but weren’t they peddling that $1 in unemployment puts $1+ back into the economy!

CoffeeLover on January 22, 2013 at 4:34 PM

except lyin’ ryan himself and the entire hotair commentariat.

clowns.

sesquipedalian on January 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

This is the best you can do? Compared to the Prevaricator-In-Chief this is really lightweight stuff. Obama actually got his way on health care and his lies regarding that little gift are much more pernicious than this. Geesh.

DaveDief on January 22, 2013 at 4:37 PM

They are based on government promises that the government has no legal requirement to honor. The money isn’t there and exists only as a government promise to pay, if they so choose.

“The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Umm.. Great for philosophical discussions, not great if you’re a politician with eyes on a promotion.

except lyin’ ryan himself and the entire hotair commentariat.

clowns.

sesquipedalian on January 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

ZOMG e.e. cummings wannabe. Nobody makes you post here. Why not go back and prostrate yourself before the altar of Barry?

However, one thing that has always perplexed me is why Ryan makes liberals become so unhinged? Do you hate math that much?

Illinidiva on January 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Blah, blah, blah. You’re all talk, choir boy. Another empty GOP suit. You can’t fight the left. You proved it.

Gerson’s column lost me in the opening paragraphs when he pulled the usual self-loathing RINO moral equivalence BS about the “over-reaching” republicans.

Get lost, all of you. You’re useless to the fight.

rrpjr on January 22, 2013 at 3:17 PM

Paul Ryan has consistently proven he talks the talk, but doesn’t walk the walk (TARP, auto bailout, No Child Left Behind, Financial cliff, etc., etc., etc.).

Michael Gerson is another loser from the Bush43 Team (along with David Frum, the Wallaces, Steve Schmidt, etc.).

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM

“The proceeds of both the employee and employer taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like any other internal revenue generally, and are not earmarked in any way.”

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:02 PM

Umm.. Great for philosophical discussions, not great if you’re a politician with eyes on a promotion.

Illinidiva on January 22, 2013 at 4:39 PM

Economics, not philosophy. I have no interest in self-promoting scumbags who don’t care if they bankrupt the economy as long as their political career is well served. We already have Obama for that.

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:42 PM

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Thanks sharrukin. I appreciate the reply and the research. Look, I think Paul Ryan as is everyone here is aware of dire economic straits we are in and how it is not realized by the general public. However, as dire as these economic facts are, the political aspects are that people have paid into these programs with the full expectation of getting something back. The government encourages this pespective. I don’t know if the public even wants to hear about reform but any proposal that would get the public’s ear must include them getting some return for paying into this system.

DaveDief on January 22, 2013 at 4:55 PM

However, as dire as these economic facts are, the political aspects are that people have paid into these programs with the full expectation of getting something back. The government encourages this pespective. I don’t know if the public even wants to hear about reform but any proposal that would get the public’s ear must include them getting some return for paying into this system.

DaveDief on January 22, 2013 at 4:55 PM

What they expect and what they are going to get are two different things. I understand that its an unpleasant truth, but we need men who are willing to speak the truth and start telling people that it’s not going to work. We can perhaps cobble something together as a replacement, but as is, it’s a bust.

The sooner that happens, the more in the way of fixes we can manage. If we keep putting it off, the more longterm the damage that will be done. Neither Ryan, or obviously Obama have shown any interest in doing that. One is a leftist big-government spender, and the other is a moderate big-government spender.

We need leaders, not panderers.

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

Paul Ryan has joined Rubio as a pro-amnesty shill. He’s embraced Rubio’s plan, which does not include any discussion of enhanced enforcement or securing the borders.

thatsafactjack on January 22, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Rubio and Ryan have not put a number to what this will cost. Once these illegals earn their “path to citizenship,” they will be entitled to more “free stuff,” sponsoring parents, brothers, sisters, etc. It will also serve as a magnet for tens of millions of additional illegals in the future.

Newt Gingrich, a proponent of amnesty himself, admitted the governmant estimated there were 300,000 illegals in 1986 and there ended up being 3 million (just as today’s 11 million will end up being 20+ million).

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

“shadowboxing a strawman” says Mr Weaksauce of the Too Polite To Campaign Effectively Team.

rayra on January 22, 2013 at 5:10 PM

Like I’ve said since Election Day, the only viable option left to the GOP is to forget politics and to embrace principle. They cannot win national political fights when 1) upwards of 90% of the US populace have absolutely no civic-mindedness whatsoever and 2) when they actually do pay attention to political news, they turn to a news media that is simply the public relations arm of the Democrat party. Besides, the only thing “compromising” with Democrats accomplishes anyway is that it hands that PR news media a means of twisting the truth so that they can blame Republicans for the inevitable failures of Dem policies.

Time to start telling the truth and standing on principle. Give the American people hard, clear choices to make. Will the people choose correctly? Of course not. After 50+ years of Leftist control of the educational system, the American people are stupid, ignorant and self-involved – i.e., exactly how the Left wanted them. But unfortunately, the only thing that’s going to break through the Left’s lies and the public’s ignorance is a heaping helping of pain.

There is no escaping the reckoning that’s coming. And when you understand that, the question then becomes: which scenario is preferable when the bottom drops out? Two political parties, one filled with liars and thieves and the other with gutless cowards who sat idly by while the liars and thieves destroyed the greatest nation in history?…or one party filled with liars and thieves and the other filled with honorable men and women who had spent 10-20 years calling out the liars and thieves and telling the American people hard truths?

The combination we end up with when the SHTF may well be the difference between a societal meltdown or a painful – but mostly peaceful – revival.

rvastar on January 22, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Social Security, when enacted, was structured so it wouldn’t have to pay out.

1937 SS retirement age: 65.

1937 Age expectancy: Male-58, Female-62

It was a scam from the beginning.

WisRich on January 22, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Very true. But, in fairness, FDR and the liberals that pushed Social Security through were thinking in 1935 terms and were not aware of two things: 1) how medical science would increase life expectency and 2) increased use of birth control and the legalization of abortion which would eliminate tens of millions paying into the system.

bw222 on January 22, 2013 at 5:12 PM

Obama has long blown past Reagan as the most influential president of the last 50 years. Reagans influence is ancient history.

rickyricardo on January 22, 2013 at 5:16 PM

Ryan couldn’t even deliver Wisconsin…….or beat Joe Biden in the debate.

Ryan…….FAIL

PappyD61 on January 22, 2013 at 5:17 PM

Zetterson on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM

+ 100..Nice post..:)

Dire Straits on January 22, 2013 at 5:19 PM

The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security — these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

LOL. Because America was never great until 1940, when Social Security starting paying out benefits, eh Barry?

Gee, how could the colonists have risked declaring independence from Britain and fighting the Revolutionary War without knowing that they could count on their Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security checks? And how could the Founders have had the courage or intellect to get together and create the U.S. Constitution without Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? How did Americans invent the steam engine, the cotton gin, the telegraph, the telephone, the lightbulb, etc., without Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security? How did the Wright Brothers fly the first plane, or Henry Ford set up the first automobile assembly line, without Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security? How did the U.S. win World Wars I and II, and then help to rebuild Europe and Japan, without Medicaid/Medicare and Social Security? And all those waves of poor immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 19th and early 20th centuries — how were they able to survive, let alone thrive and prosper, without Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security?

This country was great long before any of our modern entitlement programs were so much as a gleam in a “progressive’s” eye. This country became great because generations of hard-working, God-fearing, self-reliant, freedom-loving people worked and fought and sacrificed to make it great — and not because millions of illegal aliens and gay cowboy poets sat on their couches and waited for their government checks to arrive every month.

AZCoyote on January 22, 2013 at 5:28 PM

except lyin’ ryan himself and the entire hotair commentariat.
clowns.

sesquipedalian on January 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

Meh, how weak! Just because you and the rest of your lefty “comrades” can’t handle the truth of what Ryan and Mitt said doesn’t mean it isn’t true. it is true and all of your lefty scrams of “racist!!” doesn’t change that fact.

What Ryan and Mitt said was true, the ranks of the takers vs the producers is increasing every year and once we exceed the point of no return (more takers than producers) and people like you (and all those that voted for Obama twice) vote based on the “gubment goodies” they can get rather than voting based on leadership, experience and keeping us safe then we as a nation are finished!

Also, it never ceases to amaze me that someone like sesqui-reptilian and the rest of the lefty ilk get their little girly panties in a wad over Mitt and Ryan speaking the truth yet they’re not in the least bit concerned with this kind of ridiculous “guns, what guns” behavior and lies from a lefty politician!

Here’s more truth for ya reptilian: Lefty Progs are MORONS!

Liberty or Death on January 22, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Hey!…I have a good idea! How about a circular firing squad armed with self righteous blowhards?
That’ll rally people to help discredit the left, because it’s shows real maturity and a clear vision that everyone is sure to be drawn to!
What could go wrong?

Down with Ryan..down with Romney..down with Rubio..down with all of them! Up with..uhh…SOMEBODY!

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 5:55 PM

Ryan couldn’t even deliver Wisconsin…….or beat Joe Biden in the debate.

Ryan…….FAIL

PappyD61

No one with a brain should have expected him to deliver Wisconsin anyway, considering no Republican has carried the state in 28 years. He hasn’t even won on the state level himself beyond his own gerrymandered congressional district. You’re right about the debate though. It was a letdown, though not really unexpected. Crazy Joe is a very experienced and convincing liar. Tough to go up against that if you’re not willing to do the same.

xblade on January 22, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Down with Ryan..down with Romney..down with Rubio..down with all of them! Up with..uhh…SOMEBODY!

Mimzey

Since they’re all desperate to embrace the worst democrat policies, may as well be up with Biden.

xblade on January 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Down with Ryan..down with Romney..down with Rubio..down with all of them! Up with..uhh…SOMEBODY!

Mimzey

Since they’re all desperate to embrace the worst democrat policies, may as well be up with Biden.

xblade on January 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I think we should go with Bill Clinton. He’s already served two terms, so he can’t be president again, but Republicans never win anyway, and it sure would be fun with him as the GOP candidate. /

sharrukin on January 22, 2013 at 6:07 PM

It was a letdown, though not really unexpected. Crazy Joe is a very experienced and convincing liar. Tough to go up against that if you’re not willing to do the same.

xblade on January 22, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Go up against what??..a smirking interrupting, eye-rolling idiot?

The one mistake that was made by the R/R ticket was thinking the American people would be attracted to honesty and intelligent, on topic answers. Apparently they don’t. Flashpots, confetti and bullshit still reign supreme.
Surprised me. I though people had enough of con artist bullcrap.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:09 PM

Since they’re all desperate to embrace the worst democrat policies, may as well be up with Biden.

xblade on January 22, 2013 at 6:03 PM

Really? Including what we are now facing with Obama Unchained, exactly what ..if anything, do you think would be different if Romney would have won?

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM

One of the first things they should do is get rid of the early retirement age for Social Security.No one should be getting it at age 62.

They have already raised the retirement age to 67 for most people coming into it the next few years.

Barred on January 22, 2013 at 3:39 PM
Aye. We also need to make the qualification process for SS Disability much more rigorous. Many thousands of Americans are abusing the program.

slickwillie2001 on January 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

I agree with slickwillie on disability. We are not checking bonifidies nearly enough. Look at the explosive growth in the receipients in the last few years. On the other argument about retiring at 62– You only get about 75% of your full benefit, this actually does not cost the system too much since your benefit for early retirement is severely reduced. Many people’s health is shot at 62 and if you don’t have the mental faculties for a sit-down job it is probably a necessary option.

KW64 on January 22, 2013 at 6:13 PM

Really? Including what we are now facing with Obama Unchained, exactly what ..if anything, do you think would be different if Romney would have won?

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:12 PM

1. Obamacare would be suspended.
2. The public would get an honest discussion of the entitlement and debt situation.
3. Tax reform would lower rates not just raise revenue and thus would stimulate the economy rather than slow it. Yes, I think Harry Reid would compromise on this.
4. The job killing regulation river would slow and then reverse.
5. The pipeline from Canada would be built.
6. Offshore drilling would increase.
7. The regulatory threat to fracking would recede.
8. The green energy subsidies would stop.

There is a lot more that would be different if you look at it with an open mind.

KW64 on January 22, 2013 at 6:19 PM

We also need to make the qualification process for SS Disability much more rigorous. Many thousands of Americans are abusing the program.

slickwillie2001 on January 22, 2013 at 3:48 PM

I agree. I think people would be surprised how many people they know are pulling down a free handout at the countries expense. They would be surprised because many of those people may appear healthier and more able than they may be.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:21 PM

There is a lot more that would be different if you look at it with an open mind.

KW64 on January 22, 2013 at 6:19 PM

I agree. Yet many people will claim there is no difference between the two, and that’s why they voted 3rd party or sat it out in order to “send a message” or some such crap.
Thanks a lot D-bags…..now we’re screwed.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I agree. Yet many people will claim there is no difference between the two, and that’s why they voted 3rd party or sat it out in order to “send a message” or some such crap.
Thanks a lot D-bags…..now we’re screwed.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 6:24 PM

We were screwed either way.

astonerii on January 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Re the DOJ lawyer who claims to have started the booing against Congressman Paul Ryan:
http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/338402/about-doj-lawyer-who-booed-paul-ryan-hans-von-spakovsky

We have one of the most politicized DOJ since Holder has taken over. Enough already!

onlineanalyst on January 22, 2013 at 7:24 PM

Ryan doesnt speak for conservatives , he speaks for the GOPe.

AH_C on January 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

We were screwed either way.

astonerii on January 22, 2013 at 6:57 PM

On what issues?
Make some comparisons of the know directions that Obama IS leading us to, and what you think Romney would have done on the same issues..just for insights sake.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Ryan doesnt speak for conservatives , he speaks for the GOPe.

AH_C on January 22, 2013 at 7:42 PM

On what issues?

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 7:55 PM

On what issues?
Make some comparisons of the know directions that Obama IS leading us to, and what you think Romney would have done on the same issues..just for insights sake.

Mimzey on January 22, 2013 at 7:53 PM

Why? We already hashed it out.

Romney likes the safety net, it allows him to ignore the poor. Even argued it needed strengthening.

Romney likes social security and medicare. Planned to put more money into medicare if I recall.

Romney likes to hamstring the energy producers.

Obamacare? Need I say more? “I like mandates”, just could not resist…

Agreed on bailouts…

Agreed on auto bailouts…

Obama is a nice guy, but he is just not up to the task. In other words, correctly so, he agrees with Obama on the issues, just not the execution.

Remember that Ryan’s Road Map to the enslavement of the next generation was way too much for Romney that he would not even embrace that small level of reduction of government.

he could not be pinned down on how much debt is moral to pass onto the next generation.

All in all, the best we would have gotten with Romney would have been a VERY short extra time before the end of the nation.

In other words… we were screwed no matter what happened.

astonerii on January 22, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Ryan is so last year.

Bmore on January 22, 2013 at 8:31 PM

clowns.

sesquipedalian on January 22, 2013 at 4:23 PM

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2013 at 8:57 PM