Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s remarks at last week’s summit were an absolutely devastating critique of Obamacare and its true cost. In the hyper-charged political atmosphere, their impact wasn’t fully felt. But now, after re-reading the transcript at our leisure, the respectful yet systematic way in which he picked apart the budget offal was as effective a rebuttal as any we’ve seen thus far. The proof, as noted by the Wall Street Journal, is nary a peep from the administration and reform proponents in response.
Color us surprised. He dared question Washington’s fuzzy math and emerged unscathed. Not so for Kentucky Senator Jim Bunning, someone who simply held the president to his own words and Congress to its own “Pay-go” promise. For his trouble, he received an outright hit piece from ABC, was tagged as “abrasive” by CNN and “heartless” by more commentators than we can count and — of course — was video-snipped by Jon Stewart (a man whose show and political philosophy stem from a singular source, “ridicule” from Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals). Half the states now award unemployment benefits for 79 weeks, and Congress at one point sought to extend them for another 13 weeks. Quick un-fuzzy math brings us to 92 weeks, or just under two years, with continued borrowing as the only way to pay for it.
Compare the treatment he received with that of New York Rep. Charlie Rangel, a man whose freebie trips and tax dodges have been common knowledge for at least two years (even though as chair of Ways and Means he writes the country’s tax code). His “good for thee, not for me” hypocrisy (outright corruption?) garnered little media attention before these most recent revelations. The charges stalled in the House ethics committee and Speaker Pelosi sought to minimize them Sunday with the oh-so-lame “it’s not like what he did endangered national security.”
Surprisingly, we’re with CNN’s David Gergen. The talking head/professor/presidential advisor noted last night (we paraphrase), “Most major legislation in the modern era, whether it’s the Civil Rights Act, Medicare and Medicaid, Welfare, has enjoyed some degree of bipartisan support. This health care reform proposal does not, and I’m worried if reconciliation is used it will just get worse.”
The populace has spoken, with a clear “no” to the president’s plan, which makes the use of reconciliation in this instance so contemptible. Their math is fuzzy, as is their respect for the citizenry they represent.