As explained by Andrew Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute - while both the Administration’s proposal and the Ryan-Wyden plan would increase Medicare funding by about the same amount over time, the latter’s plan puts the program on a significantly stronger footing, by “giving seniors cheaper, higher quality choices they can take if they wish, with the traditional program remaining an option.”
The factual distortions that form the basis for the Democrats’ anti-Ryan diatribe includes a large dose of hypocrisy as well. While the Obama campaign almost gleefully claims Ryan would massively cut Medicare, it conveniently ignores the $716 billion in cuts the Democrats made to the program to help pay for the centerpiece of the President’s first term – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Without these cuts, of course, the predicted cost of ObamaCare would have been far higher than the numbers used to secure its passage by the Congress in 2010 – which likely would have resulted in its defeat.
Ryan’s presence on the Republican ticket puts entitlement reform front and center in this presidential campaign. For this, the American people owe both Ryan and Romney more than a pat on the back. What this duo has done – if they hold firm in this regard -- is give America an opportunity to mend its fiscal house while there is small window of hope to do so. It truly may be – to borrow a phrase from Ronald Reagan’s famous 1964 speech – the “last best hope” we have to save our country from the cold darkness of fiscal oblivion.
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