Saturday, August 11, 2012

President Obama on Ryan

Back in April 2011, President Obama had some things to say about Paul Ryan's budget. Perhaps this morning would be a good time to remind ourselves what he said.
Now, to their credit, one vision has been presented and championed by Republicans in the House of Representatives and embraced by several of their party’s presidential candidates. It’s a plan that aims to reduce our deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and one that addresses the challenge of Medicare and Medicaid in the years after that.

These are both worthy goals. They’re worthy goals for us to achieve. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known certainly in my lifetime. In fact, I think it would be fundamentally different than what we’ve known throughout our history.

A 70 percent cut in clean energy. A 25 percent cut in education. A 30 percent cut in transportation. Cuts in college Pell Grants that will grow to more than $1,000 per year. That’s the proposal. These aren’t the kind of cuts you make when you’re trying to get rid of some waste or find extra savings in the budget. These aren’t the kinds of cuts that the Fiscal Commission proposed. These are the kinds of cuts that tell us we can’t afford the America that I believe in and I think you believe in.

I believe it paints a vision of our future that is deeply pessimistic. It’s a vision that says if our roads crumble and our bridges collapse, we can’t afford to fix them. If there are bright young Americans who have the drive and the will but not the money to go to college, we can’t afford to send them.

Go to China and you’ll see businesses opening research labs and solar facilities. South Korean children are outpacing our kids in math and science. They’re scrambling to figure out how they put more money into education. Brazil is investing billions in new infrastructure and can run half their cars not on high-priced gasoline, but on biofuels. And yet, we are presented with a vision that says the American people, the United States of America -– the greatest nation on Earth -– can’t afford any of this.

It’s a vision that says America can’t afford to keep the promise we’ve made to care for our seniors. It says that 10 years from now, if you’re a 65-year-old who’s eligible for Medicare, you should have to pay nearly $6,400 more than you would today. It says instead of guaranteed health care, you will get a voucher. And if that voucher isn’t worth enough to buy the insurance that’s available in the open marketplace, well, tough luck -– you’re on your own. Put simply, it ends Medicare as we know it.

It’s a vision that says up to 50 million Americans have to lose their health insurance in order for us to reduce the deficit. Who are these 50 million Americans? Many are somebody’s grandparents -- may be one of yours -- who wouldn’t be able to afford nursing home care without Medicaid. Many are poor children. Some are middle-class families who have children with autism or Down’s syndrome. Some of these kids with disabilities are -- the disabilities are so severe that they require 24-hour care. These are the Americans we’d be telling to fend for themselves.

And worst of all, this is a vision that says even though Americans can’t afford to invest in education at current levels, or clean energy, even though we can’t afford to maintain our commitment on Medicare and Medicaid, we can somehow afford more than $1 trillion in new tax breaks for the wealthy. Think about that.

In the last decade, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of all working Americans actually declined. Meanwhile, the top 1 percent saw their income rise by an average of more than a quarter of a million dollars each. That’s who needs to pay less taxes?

They want to give people like me a $200,000 tax cut that’s paid for by asking 33 seniors each to pay $6,000 more in health costs. That’s not right. And it’s not going to happen as long as I’m President.


  1. Mo'nin', Ms. Pants

    This, as you clearly know,is gonna get EPIC.

    And, even after some decent sleep, I find I'm still annoyed with Pierce. In staying on topic...

    PBO goes, aLONE, to the Republican Retreat and, with cameras blazing, tears the enTIRE group to idealogical SHREDS and singles Paul Ryan out for the set-up re: The Ryan Budget.

    Then, invites him to a presser to have a front and center seat (along with Mitch McConnell) and, again with cameras blazing, tells him TO HIS FACE how wrong his ideaology is, that it is un-American, and, using a verbal sledge hammer, told them BOTH that they were NOT patriots. The end result of that was that Mr. Ryan high tailed it outta there, ran to the nearest mic, and whined how PBO had just been vewy, vewy, meeeeean to him.

    Yes...the timid and overly cautious, black, not wantin' to upset the white people Barack Obama ladies and gentlemen. Pierce winds up comin' off like Bill Maher and, with that, I'm REALLY gonna try to let it go. Now...

    We all are about to get VERY familiar with The Ryan plan.

    THANK YOU Willard Romney.

    1. Mornin'

      You're so right about how PBO just took it to them...mano-a-mano.

      It reminds me of one of my most lasting memories of the 2008 election. When McCain and Obama had the audience participation debate, McCain couldn't look him in the eye. It was such a "tell" of cowardice and duplicity to me. It was also, by the way, the debate where McCain referred to Obama as "that man"...couldn't even say his f*cking name!

      PBO doesn't lie or demonize. That's why he has the courage to take it to them directly.

      I didn't see your comment about Pierce until this morning. But it inspired a lot of thinking on my part that got distracted by the Ryan business. I'm pretty sure it will result in a new post by me later on today. I'll be anxious to get your reaction.