Just a few months after becoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) hosted a town-hall meeting in his district, and fielded a question about taxes. When the far-right lawmaker argued the wealthy are already taxed enough, his own constituents booed him.
Now his party’s vice presidential nominee, Paul today traveled to New Orleans to address a national AARP event, where the boos were much louder and more sustained. Barbara Morrill posted this clip.
Before we get to the booing, let’s not brush past the substance. Ryan said repealing the Affordable Care Act would lead to “a stronger Medicare,” but that’s both wrong and nonsensical. For one thing, “Obamacare” expands health care benefits for seniors, closing the Medicare prescription drug donut hole and making routine preventive care available without copays. If Ryan successfully kills the law, that means immediately taking away benefits current and future retirees now enjoy.
For another, by finding significant cost savings in the Medicare system, Obama’s health care law strengthened Medicare’s finances and prolonged its financial health. Every independent analysis has found the Romney/Ryan plan does the exact opposite, pushing Medicare closer to insolvency. That’s not opinion; it’s arithmetic.
And while we’re at it, Ryan attacked Democrats’ Medicare savings in his speech, assuming his audience isn’t smart enough to know his own budget plan adopted the identical savings. Ryan also buried the needle on the Irony-O-Meter by complaining that President Obama hasn’t “moved an inch” to compromise with Republicans, when it’s Ryan and the GOP who’ve refused to budge.
That’s the bad news. The worse news, at least for Ryan, is that much of today’s AARP audience was wholly unimpressed with his deceptive rhetoric, his intention to cut their health care benefits, and his plan to eliminate Medicare altogether and replace it with a private voucher scheme.
Whereas the far-right congressman is accustomed to warm greetings from adoring fans, Ryan was booed, several times, during his remarks this morning.
If the point of today’s appearance was to help win over elderly voters to the Romney-Ryan ticket, it didn’t seem to go well.