Obama in 2010: I Wish We Could Have a "Serious Conversation" About Medicare's Insolvency

Posted: Aug 15, 2012 2:28 PM

This remarkable video, culled from The One's appearance at the House Republican retreat in 2010, is quite illuminating.  The president calls Paul Ryan's initial reform package "serious" (it's since been updated to incorporate a bipartisan solution), he tells the truth about the drivers of our long term and unsustainable debt, and he acknowledges that Ryan's proposal "grandfathers in" those who are 55 or above (a fact that his campaign and surrogates now purposefully elide):

In this thoughtful exchange with Ryan himself, the president calls the GOP plan "entirely legitimate."  He also asks, "at what point can we have a serious conversation?"  Contrast that Obama with today's Obama:

The Obama campaign released a new ad this morning warning voters that Romney and Ryan would “end Medicare as we know it.” The ad features Paul Krugman warning that Paul Ryan’s “voucher” plan would mean that “tens of millions of older Americans would not be able to afford essential care.” Obama traveling Press Secretary Jen Psaki, explained to voters this morning that Obama planned to feature Medicare attack points in a speech later today. “[H]e will lay out the choice between his plan and  the Romney-Ryan plan to end Medicare as we know it, leaving new retirees with nothing but a voucher in place of the guaranteed benefits they rely on today,” she said. “This kind of plan forces people with Medicare to pay an extra $6400, all so Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan can give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires.”

Obama is answering his own 'seriousness' question: Not now.  Obama's new ad neglects to mention that simple math "ends Medicare as we know it" within 12 years, and that he has no plan to avoid that outcome.  This is far and away the biggest point.  The spot also enlists Left-wing columnist Paul Krugman to muddy the waters on the bipartisan Romney-Ryan framework, insinuating that it would affect "tens of millions of older Americans."  It would, in fact, not affect anyone over the age of 54.  It also fails to mention that the Romney-Ryan proposal is means-tested, so sicker and poorer future seniors will get the most help.  It's telling that Obama must distort the GOP plan in order to attack it.  Meanwhile, Republicans continue to tell the truth about Obama's irresponsible cuts and non-solutions:

And while we're on the topic of ideas, what is President Obama's solution for jobs, beyond raising taxes on job-creators and spending hundreds of billions on a second "stimulus" program?