Cenk Uygur: Paul Ryan, the Congressman who came up with a plan to cut Medicare, is being asked to explain it, and the fact that it is incredibly unpopular, I love his explanation. Here’s the clip for you.
David Gregory: How much damage has Newt Gingrich done to your effort to reform Medicare?
Paul Ryan: I’m not a pundit; I’m a policy maker. I’ll let you and your panel figure that out, and it’s up to the voters to figure this stuff out. The point is this: we’ve got to get beyond this and we’ve got to get into a serious conversation of what it takes to fix the fiscal problems in this country. And the people in New Hampshire can figure this stuff out.
Gregory: That’s a dodge. You are the chairman of the committee, you are serious about entitlement reform, you’re also a politician. You say that you want to do it on your terms. Law does not become law without building political consensus, and you don’t have that. And now you have a major figure in the Republican party say this is right-wing social engineering. So I’m wondering how much you feel undercut in getting this thing passed, which I assume is your goal?
Ryan: First of all, if people are describing this accurately in the polls, it is far more popular than the poll you reference. Second of all, leaders are elected to lead. I don’t consult polls to tell me what my principles are or where our policy should be. Leaders change the polls. And we are leading in the House; we are not seeing this kind of leadership from the President of the United States. We are going to lead and we are going to try to move these polls and change these polls because that’s what the country wants.
Uygur: I love that ending. Ignore what the polls say about what the country wants; instead what the country wants is for us to change their minds. Really? That would sound counter-intuitive, counter-logical, and counter-factual. Hey, but you got to give the Republicans credit on this. They do want to push the polls. They are very aggressive, and when they see a poll that is not on their side, sometimes they run for the hills when it’s bad enough, and they have largely enough on this Medicare plan, funny enough, but in a lot of other instances, they say okay and let’s double down on our talking points. Let’s reeve up that machine of Fox News Channel and all the politicians saying the exact same thing, repeat it, repeat it, repeat it, until we get the polls to move.
Whereas the Democrats, when they see a poll that’s only 60% in their favor, they say, oh, that’s not enough, oh, God, please, please, the polls…and they run.
Now what Ryan says makes no sense. The American people have spoken in those polls and they do not like Ryan’s plan. Every single poll shows that by overwhelming margins. But Republicans think, who cares what the American people want. We’ll strong arm them into wanting something else. And now Ryan continues that in the next clip.
Ryan: I just did nineteen town hall meetings in a district that I work for, that went for Obama, Dukakis, Clinton, and Gore. People are hungry for solutions, and I really fundamentally believe that the people are way ahead of the political class and I think that they are going to reward a leader who steps up to the plate and actually fixes these problems no matter how much demagoguery, no matter how much distortion, no matter how much political parties try to scare seniors in the next election, I just don’t think that they are going to buy it this year, and they are hungry for leaders to fix this problem before it gets out of control.
Uygur: Alright, except that they don’t want to kill Medicare as you do. They don’t want to turn it into a voucher program. They don’t want to get rid of guaranteed benefits. And the Republican so-called proposal for fixing Medicare is ending Medicare. So how does that fix it?
Later you won’t have Medicare, so that’s why you should sign unto a program now that ends Medicare. That makes no sense whatsoever.
And of course, the reason for all of this is that they need more money for tax cuts. Remember the other half of Ryan’s plan is to lower the top tax rate for the rich from 35% to 25%. Now where is he going to get all of that money. He’s going to raid your Medicare and Social Security. That’s where he is going to get that money. That’s why he’s got this trick where he wants to convince you to believe something you do not believe.
Barefoot Accountant: In spite of Godwin’s Law, I will risk the following assertion. Isn’t this posture of leading on pure “principles” in opposition to the will of the people, or, worse yet, even with the intent and determination to change public opinion through the techniques of propaganda, including the use of the media (e.g., Fox News?) as well as politicians and paid political mouthpieces repeating over and over again how ending Medicare and going on a voucher system is the only way to save our country from being destroyed, reminiscent of that of Hitler and Goebbels during Nazi Germany? Shouldn’t leadership in a Democracy reflect and represent the will of the people, and not the other way around: i.e., forcing the will of a country’s leaders onto that of the people? 80% of the American people wish to preserve Medicare. 72% of the American people have expressed their solution of fixing deficit spending: by taxing the rich. And a similar majority also wish to cut military spending.
It is interesting that in the very same plan to cut Medicare in order to correct our country’s deficit spending that Paul Ryan wishes to also reduce taxes on the very rich and on corporations even further than what they are now; and they are much too low now.
Transcribed by the Barefoot Accountant of Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC.
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