Republicans are running from Paul Ryan’s budget plan because of the medicare proposal in the plan.

The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein and Sirius Radio’s Bill Press talk about the beginnings of a Republican surrender on Representative Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare.

UYGUR: Now, Paul Ryan, it turns out, to be completely under the bus. Republicans are running for the hills and now signaling surrender on Ryan`s plan to cut Medicare.

Can you believe that? Well, we`ll tell you what caused their panic.

And America`s richest companies were revealed today. Guess how many were oil companies? And guess how much of your money the GOP gave them again today?

UYGUR: For our “Con Job of the Day,” we`ll take a look at the bait- and-switch move that the House Republicans have pulled to work on their real priorities instead of jobs. House Republicans couldn`t talk enough about jobs when they were in the minority.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), MINORITY LEADER: The American people are still asking the question, where are the jobs?



ERIC CANTOR (R-VA), MINORITY WHIP: This election is about work. It`s about getting people back to work.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are determined to fight for the future of the American people, to create jobs.


UYGUR: So you would think they would be gung ho to pass some job bills, right? Of course not.

The number of jobs bills proposed so far? You guessed it, zero. Or as they would say on Cinco de Mayo, nada.

Instead, they`re pushing social issues and helping big banks. Of course! That`s what they always do.

Just yesterday, the House passed a bill to permanent ban federal funding for abortion; ban tax credits for businesses that cover abortions under their health insurance plans; and bar women from counting the cost of an abortion as a deductible medical expense.

Great. So, instead of attacking the jobs issues, they immediately started attacking women`s rights.

Now, if you`re a woman who voted for them thinking that they were going to help you find a job, how do you feel now?

And, of course, two House committees also voted to advance bills to weaken the new financial regulations. One would delay implementing new rules governing to — while the other would limit the power of the new consumer financial protection bureau. Out of control derivatives are what sunk the economy in the first place. And now the Republicans want to let the banks do the same exact thing again? And these guys pretend to be against the bailouts? Please. But Boehner says by doing things like limiting the abortions, the house is keeping good on its promises.


REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Today we`re taking another step toward media commitment in keeping our word.


UYGUR: How about your word on creating jobs? House Republicans campaign on jobs but deliver on their social agenda in giving the Wall Street donors another huge break. And that`s our con job of the day.

Now, Eric Cantor and the Republicans are throwing Paul Ryan under the bus. Fun for everybody, especially us. The white flags are up. We`ll tell you all about it. And the Republicans did show unity today on one thing. It was with their buddies in big oil. The grand oil party just gave away more of your money to the richest companies in the world. We`ll tell you all of that.

UYGUR: With Americans` attention fixed on the death of Bin Laden this week, Republicans and Congress are hoping no one will notice that they`re surrendering on Paul Ryan`s plan to privatize Medicare. Well, I noticed how Speaker John Boehner started the retreat last week.


BOEHNER: Paul Ryan has an idea, they`re certainly worthy of consideration.


I voted for it. I`m for it. It`s our idea, all right? It`s Paul`s idea. Other people have other ideas. I`m not wedded to one single idea, but I think — we have a plan.


UYGUR: Damn, I`m kind of into it. It was Paul`s idea. I`m not saying anything, right? Then yesterday, a “Washington Post” story suggested that Majority Eric Cantor was dropping the Medicare proposal from budget negotiations. Cantor denied saying that, but he wouldn`t say Medicare was still in play. Instead, he told reporters quote, “I have not taken Medicare off the table, but the president has. The reality is this president has excoriated our budget plan, and the Medicare proposal in the plan.” So, all of a sudden he`s like I`m not backing away, the president has just been too tough on it. Fascinating. Well, that convince yet that their back and down. This morning, the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Dave Camp indicated he`s not even going to bring the plan up in committee.


REP. DAVE CAMP (R), MICHIGAN: I`m not really interested in just laying down more markers. I would rather have the committee working with the Senate and with the president focus on savings and reforms that can be signed into law.


UYGUR: That`s great. And now, even Paul Ryan himself is backing up with this statement, quote, “Our starting point is the budget passed by the House. We are under no illusion that we`re going to get everything we`ve always wanted in this one bill.” Oh, really? Well, Ryan sounded pretty sure of himself exactly one month ago today when he unveiled his budget proposal.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You`re a liar! (bleep).

REP. PAUL RYAN (R), WISCONSIN: Everyone under 55 is.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Why in the world did you ever vote for the Paul Ryan Medicare plan?

RYAN: This is the path to prosperity. This is the budget that we are putting forward today. This represents our choice for our country`s future, and it`s our commitment to the American people. We don`t need clever politicians. We need leaders and we need leadership. And so we believe we have a moral imperative. It is time to stand up and do what is necessary to fix this country.


UYGUR: So those town hall events might have had something to do with him going from it is a moral imperative to, did we say we were going to end Medicare, I didn`t mean we`re going to end Medicare. Where did you get that idea? Back pedal, back pedal, back pedal, back pedal. And look, beyond the town hall outrages, poll after poll shows that American people are against on the Republicans on this one. A brand-new Quinnipiac poll found 70 percent of people oppose cutting Medicare to balance the budget. That`s like the 20 millionth poll in a row saying the exact same thing. So what part of 70 percent did they not understand? Well, if they missed it the first time around, they seem to be getting the message now.

All right. Joining me now is Ezra Klein, MSNBC contributor, a reporter from “The Washington Post,” and Bill Press, host of “The Bill Press Show” on Sirius Radio. Ezra, let me start with you. We`ve got a republican aid telling the press, quote, “it is a big problem about the Medicare plan.” Things are unraveling. So, is that true? Have we analyzed this right? Are they really running away from this issue?

EZRA KLEIN, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: It is a big problem. So, on the one hand they are simply bowing to the laws of political gravity here. They don`t control the Senate, they don`t control the White House. What is fascinating, however is that knowing that they could have never gotten a plan that is this extreme signed by the president, they still made all their people vote on it. Usually, when you control only one chamber of Congress, you try to keep your people from taking very, very dangerous votes, because you don`t really have the promise you actually pass the plan you want. And so, why get them on record for something the other party can run against you in the next election. They got them on record on privatizing Medicare, they`re not going to pass a privatization of Medicare. And yet, it`s still going to be example A in the democratic campaign against them. So, I wonder if there are no couple of very annoyed house members this week.

UYGUR: Well, you know, the thing though is that Bill, you know, Representative Camp won`t bring it up for a second voting committee, because he`s afraid of exactly what Ezra just said. And Boehner is trying to spin this like it`s not a retreat, but let me give you Boehner`s clip here and then we`ll come and talk about it.



BOEHNER: My interpretation of what Mr. Camp was, was a recognition of the political realities that we face. While Republicans control the House, the Democrats control the Senate and they control the White House. We`ve put our plan on the table. It`s out there — and it`s time for the Democrats to put their plan on the table.


UYGUR: Bill, when`s the last time you saw Republicans retreating like this, talking about, oh it`s political reality, we have to run for the hills?

PRESS: I don`t think I`ve ever seen them retreat like this. As relate to that, absolutely perfectly and Boehner just confirmed that. You know, what, I think this is the republican Jonestown, Cenk. I mean, Paul Ryan mix the Kool-Aid, they all drank it, and now they realize it`s a poison brew, but they can`t deny it. I mean, they wrote this thing. They introduced it. They embraced it and they voted on it. It`s like it`s stand freight on their part. And even Eric Cantor`s aide this morning said, quote, “Our position is the Ryan budget.” So, they`re trying to have it in a sense both ways. They don`t want to alienate the Tea Party, but they know this is poison. I mean, this is — I honestly believe on this issue alone that they could lose the House of Representatives. It`s stunningly politically stupid for them to do this.

UYGUR: Well, now, to Bill`s point, Ezra, it seems like they`re stuck in the middle. Because you got a freshman congressman like Joe Walsh who`ve said this today, “I would be very disappointed if we didn`t follow through. We have spent, gosh, a month or two now trying to educate the American people to a pretty good reception, I appreciate the chairman`s notion but I would continue to respectfully challenge him to get this thing through committee.” Meaning, he thinks they`re definitely not going to push it forward and he`s mad about it, so now you`ve got the Tea Party guys mad, and you`ve made the seniors and the rest of the voters mad. Well, this looks like a disaster, doesn`t it?

KLEIN: Right. There`s two big things to watch here. And number one is by bringing out the Ryan plan, by conflating deficit reduction with vast ideological, reshaping of the American state, the Republicans committed a lot of people in their base and in their party to something much bigger than just cutting the debt. That`s going to make it much harder for them to cut eventual deal on the debt ceiling, on the budget, because there are people that now see this as an opportunity, not something to bring down the budget deficit, but to get things like the privatization of Medicare, they wanted all along. But the other thing to watch is that they could drop something like the Medicare privatization plan, so people begin saying, well, they`ve lost.

They`re backing down and get things like big cuts in the Medicaid. But obviously go to the poor and the disabled. And so, don`t have very powerful political constituency. If the Republicans end up seeming like they suffer big political defeat here, but actually getting a big policy win, because it looks like they compromised from something immeasurably extreme to something that`s only quite extreme, that won`t at the end of the day be big policy. So, I`m really urging people to keep an eye on Medicaid that doesn`t have quite the same protection as Medicare does.

UYGUR: Right. And never, you know, underestimate the Democrats` ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

PRESS: Well, on that point.

UYGUR: So, Bill, how do they press forward on this one now? Because it`s time to put it away.

PRESS: Well, I just going to say, on the point, I think Democrats really have — the ground has certainly shifted, and I think Democrats have gained the advantage in maybe three ways. One, I think they`ve had an advantage now in getting an independent vote on the debt ceiling and stop playing political game with it. Two, I think they have gained an advantage in these budget negotiations. Call it excoriating the Republicans or whatever, but now the Democrats can push for cuts where they ought to come in the oil subsidies, in the Ag-subsidies, in raising the taxes on the wealthy and those things that President Obama has talked about. And then again, thirdly, I think that they have already made those spots, every one of those Republicans that voted for this is going to have that spot running in their district. It was a vote to save Medicare or kill Medicare, and they voted to kill it, and they can`t run away from them.

UYGUR: Bill, I think you`re exactly right. You know how I feel, you have them on the run, you press forward, you move forward.

PRESS: Absolutely.

UYGUR: Go forward. Go after them on a lot of this stuff. We`re talking about oil subsidies next, but there is one issue that they still have a tremendous backing on which I`m not sure they are going to tackle. Let me ask you about that, in that latest Quinnipiac poll, when asked about taxes, here we go again, increased taxes on people making over $250,000, the American people are totally on board. Sixty nine percent say yes, only 28 percent oppose. Is this the time to strike on that as well?

KLEIN: Not only is this the time, but it`s been the time for years now. The Democrats have been running on taxes for a very long time. And the key failure they make when they run on taxes, if you`re not willing to forthrightly advocate for some taxes, and that means on people who make less than $250,000 occasionally, the Clinton era tax cuts rates weren`t horrible for people making 150, 000, 100,000 either. If you never allow people to really raise taxes, you eventually going to have to have something like the Ryan plan. You cannot have a state with any sort of real level of responsibility and things like Medicare, and Medicaid and Social Security, if you don`t also have revenues. The Obama administration has always been quite terribly on the tax issue. And even as they begin to push on 250k and up, at some point Democrats are going to have to come out and say, you know, what, if you want a government, you have to be willing to fund it and it seems people want it, so we got to be adults here.

UYGUR: Hey, listen, if we went back to the Clinton rates, I would do that in a second. I know it`s little tougher on all of us, but hey, we got 22 million jobs at that time. I mean, it was a comprehensive plan that worked.

PRESS: It worked.

UYGUR: Absolutely. All right. Ezra Klein and Bill Press, as always guys, great having you here tonight.

KLEIN: Thank you.

About William Brighenti

William Brighenti is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Business Valuation Analyst. Bill began his career in public accounting in 1979. Since then he has worked at various public accounting firms throughout Connecticut. Bill received a Master of Science in Professional Accounting degree from the University of Hartford, after attending the University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University for his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees. He subsequently attended Purdue University for doctoral studies in Accounting and Quantitative Methods in Business. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals throughout the country as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. In addition to the blog, Accounting and Taxes Simplified, Bill writes a blog, "The Barefoot Accountant", for the Accounting Web, a Sift Media publication.
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