Monday, May 30, 2011

Steve Benen: The Problem Is The Ryan Plan, Not Democrats’ Warnings

Paul Krugman recently observed about Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to destroy Medicare: “…the Ryan plan is turning into a political disaster for Republicans, not because the plan’s critics are lying about it, but because they’re describing it accurately." After commenting on the imbalanced tilt toward conservative voices discussing the plan on “Meet the Press” yesterday, Steve Benen (left) confirmed Krugman's statement. Republicans who charge the Democrats with “Mediscare” are hiding the fact that it's the Ryan plan that's frightening:

It’s exasperating, but it’s worth reemphasizing what too many establishment types simply refuse to understand: Democrats are telling the truth. Indeed, Dems are doing what the media is reluctant to do: offering an accurate assessment of the Republican plan for Medicare. If voters find the GOP proposal frightening, the problem is with the plan, not with Democrats’ rhetoric.

I’m at a loss to understand what, exactly, Ruth Marcus, David Brooks, and their cohorts would have Dems do. Congressional Republicans have a plan to end Medicare and replace it with a privatized voucher scheme. The proposal would not only help rewrite the social contract, it would also shift crushing costs onto the backs of seniors, freeing up money for tax breaks for the wealthy. The plan is needlessly cruel, and any serious evaluation of the GOP’s arithmetic shows that the policy is a fraud.

...political rhetoric isn’t “demagoguery” when it’s true. If a political message leads the mainstream to feel scared, it’s not necessarily “scare tactics” if people have good reason to worry.

What Dems are doing is ringing an alarm — Republicans are up to something dangerous, and Democrats want people to know about it. The question isn’t why Dems are on the offensive; the question is why the Beltway media finds it offensive.

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