Thursday, August 23, 2012

Matthew Yglesias is too kind to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and David Brooks

Matthew Yglesias is too kind to Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan and David Brooks in the post entitled "David Brooks is Wrong ..."

Brooks wrote

But to be fair Romney and Ryan do have an incredibly brave and sensible Medicare reform package on offer. It’s written down. It’s on paper. I don’t see anything comparably brave from the Democratic side.

Yglesias notes that Obama does have a very detailed plain.  It's in his proposed budget and the ACA.  To Brooks this massive reform doesn't count as a reform because -- shut up.

I comment.

Also Ryan and Romney don't have a plan. Romney insists that he hasn't adopted either of Ryan's plans as his. Ryan's newer plan says both that people get a voucher worth enough to buy the second cheapest Medicare plan (which will be the cheapest private plan since CMS Medicare will be the cheapest as the Medicare Advantage experiment has proven -- so thus far Ryan has found a way to increase Medicare spending) and that there will be a GDP growth rate + 0.5% per year growth ceiling.  
The plan doesn't say what happens when (not if when) the two promises turn out to be inconsistent. Will his plain cause higher Medicare spending growth of will it deprive people under 55 of current Medicare benefits at current premiums and copays ? It will do one or the other. Either choice would amount to a plan. Chosing both is not chosing at all. Ryan has a wish not a plan. 
In contrast Obama has a plan for Medicare which will lead to spending growth faster than GDP growth rate + 0.5% per year. His bs promised growth rate is clearly a forecast (and not a sincere one) not a hard ceiling. This means he hasn't brought spending growth under control, but at least he has a well defined plan.

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