TAMPA — Rep. Paul Ryan had a very nice passage toward the end of his misleading and deeply partisan convention speech here Wednesday night.
The sentiment is hard to disagree with: “We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.”
Exactly. The problem is, if I may quote some scripture (James 1:22), that we should prove ourselves to be “doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” Let’s just look at the Ryan budget. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities carefully studied Ryan’s 2011 numbers and concluded: “House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan would get nearly two-thirds of its $4.5 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years from programs that serve people of limited means, which violates basic principles of fairness and stands a core principle of President Obama’s fiscal commission on its head.”
The center found that $2.17 trillion in the reductions came from Medicaid and related health-care programs. On Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog, my colleague Suzy Khimm cited a Kaiser Family Foundation study showing that even if states minimized the budget’s damage to people with low incomes, “14 million beneficiaries would still lose Medicaid coverage under the Ryan plan. And that’s on top of the 11 million Americans who would lose Medicaid coverage because the Ryan plan would repeal Obamacare. So all in all, Ryan’s cuts could mean as many as 30 million Medicaid beneficiaries lose their coverage.”
So, yes, let us use Ryan’s excellent standard, and let’s hold Ryan and Mitt Romney to it – in deed and not just in word.