1. “Mitt Romney wants tax cuts for the rich.” This line is repeated ad nauseum by every Obama flack and media pundit. In fact, Romney-Ryan want to reduce rates for everyone and take away deductions and exclusions for the wealthy to maintain revenue neutrality and keep the code’s current progressivity. The infamous Tax Policy Center analysis saying this can’t be done has been debunked again. (It only took a 20-something-year-old staffer at the American Enterprise Institute to do it.)
2. “The Republicans want to end Medicare as we know it.” You can watch Rich Lowry go after the $700 billion in Medicare cuts that President Obama enacted to funnel money to Obamacare. President Obama, having gone on record in the grand bargain discussions in favor of means testing for Medicare is in no position to claim he’ll keep Medicare as is.
3. “Ryan wants to destroy Medicare.” By now the details of the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan are well known. Avik Roy explains:
the Wyden-Ryan Medicare plan—so named because it was coauthored by progressive Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) — only applies to Americans younger than 55 years of age, and gives those younger individuals the option of remaining in the traditional Medicare program, or choosing a comparable private-sector insurance plan.
The policy-wonk term for this approach is “competitive bidding,” an idea that originated with Democrats. The Wyden-Ryan plan is nearly identical to one that was introduced a few weeks earlier by Mitt Romney.
The bottom line: if Romney and Ryan leave you the option to remain in the 1965-vintage, fee-for-service, traditional Medicare program, and you claim that Medicare has “ended as we know it,” what you’ve really ended is the English language as we know it. . . .
In addition, President Obama’s budget uses exactly the same target growth rate for future Medicare spending as does the Wyden-Ryan plan: growth in gross domestic product plus 0.5 percent. The long-term difference between these two approaches, then, is not how much they reduce Medicare spending, but how.
Obamacare reduces Medicare spending using a government-centered approach. The law creates a new panel, called the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will be composed of 15 unelected government officials, who will be charged with rationing care to seniors, primarily by underpaying doctors and hospitals.
The approach advocated by Ryan and Romney, by contrast, gives seniors more control over their own health dollars, allowing them to choose the plan that provides the best value for their money.
As Yuval Levin aptly put it: “Essentially all of the criticisms of the Ryan-Wyden(-Romney) proposal ignore its innovative combination of defined-contribution and defined-benefit insurance — directing themselves instead to older versions of the premium-support idea — and ignore the fact that it would leave all current seniors and near-retirees untouched.” No one is better than Ryan in explaining his plan or debunking the false characterizations on the left. (Scroll through some of the videos on the House Budget Web site to get a sense of how effective he is.)
4. “Ryan’s spending cuts are radical.” Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget bends the spending curve, but the federal government would continue to grow. “It would spend $40.135 trillion over 10 years, compared with the $46.959 trillion the White House said its budget would spend over 10 years.” Medicaid would be block granted, and grow over time. (“Beginning in 2013, the Federal share of Medicaid’s payments for acute and long-term care services should be converted into an allotment to states. In exchange for slower growth in the Federal government’s Medicaid payment, states will have more flexibility in how they use Medicaid funds to meet the needs of their low-income populations. Each state’s initial allotment would be determined by the state’s per capita low-income population based on Federal Poverty Level. The state allotment would grow at GDP + 1 percent and would be further adjusted for population growth.”)
5. “Ryan’s budget slashes ‘investments.’” That is liberal-speak for “discretionary spending would be restrained.” Ryan has explained many times that unless we control entitlement spending, discretionary spending will be eaten up entirely. He is hardly savaging domestic non-defense spending. He simply suggests we take it back to the pre-stimulus levels, when as best I can recall we still had generous federal support for education, infrastructure and much more. In fact, as Conn Carroll points out: “while [Ryan’s budget] does spend a bit less on transportation than Obama does, compared to other spending priorities, the differences are rather small. Obama plans to spend just $28 billion more on transportation than Ryan in 2016. That comes out to less than 1 percent of Obama’s entire budget. That $28 billion is also dwarfed by the $47 billion Obama wants to spend on high-speed trains to nowhere.”
The Obama team and their liberal handmaidens are so accustomed to treating false spin as fact (Tax cuts for the rich!) that they may be startled to find what they say just isn’t so. And there is so better person to explain it all to them than Ryan.