25 May, 2011

Scott Brown Jumps Off The Path To Prosperity

So, Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) has decided to vote No on Congressman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI-01) Path to Prosperity. I’m not surprised or even disappointed in that. I predicted events like this back in January, 2009.

But don’t start believing that Brown is the answer to everything. He’s not. In a few years, if he’s still around, many will be complaining about what a RINO he is. Well, guess what? If you want a Republican elected in MA, or ME, or NY, s/he’s probably going to be a RINO. Even Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) qualifies at least on social issues.

What does disappoint me are his reasons.

First, I fear that as health inflation rises, the cost of private plans will outgrow the government premium support— and the elderly will be forced to pay ever higher deductibles and co-pays. Protecting those who have been counting on the current system their entire adult lives should be the key principle of reform.

Ryan agrees. That’s why his plan makes no changes for people over 55.

Second, Medicare has already taken significant cuts to help pay for Obama’s health care plan. The president and Congress cut a half trillion dollars to the private side of Medicare — meaning seniors are at risk of losing their Medicare Advantage coverage.

Again, Ryan agrees. In fact, he’s stated unequivocally that the only people that want to cut Medicare are Democrats, and that they’ve already done so with ObamaCare. Also, as I said above, his plan makes no changes for people over 55. So seniors are at no more risk of losing anything with the Ryan plan than without.

What’s important is that we get started now and, where appropriate, phase changes in over time. This phase-in should be another principle of reform: give our future seniors enough years to adjust to the “new normal.”

Ryan agrees. In fact, this is exactly what his plan does.

I have made boosting jobs, reducing spending and repairing our economy my top priorities in the Senate. I plan on continuing to work with people of goodwill - in either party - to solve the very real problems we face. Our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path.

Still in 100% agreement with Ryan here.

And he closes with:

This is not the time for finger-pointing or the usual blame game. For every reckless decision - on both sides of the aisle - that led us to this point where we are $14 trillion in debt, we now will have to make a hard decision to help get the country on the right track.

That track must lead to a sound financial future — where we protect and provide for the elderly while also promoting fiscal responsibility.

Does he realize that he’s pretty much quoted Paul Ryan in every thing he’s said here?

Look, I can handle voting against the plan. I never thought he’d be a solid conservative anyway. But, when you claim that you can’t vote for it because what you’re looking for is something exactly like the plan, then you either haven’t read the plan or you’re lying.

Neither of the above is acceptable. And that’s what surprises, disappoints, and angers me.

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