Real Time Thoughts on Meet the Press (August 19th 2012)

Medicare, Medicare, Medicare. Governor Martin O’Malley  of Maryland and Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia are here to speak on behalf of their respective candidates and parties. (Whooo hoo, parties!)

What does Paul Ryan bring to the table? It’s hard to say since the argument here is completely rhetorical. Medicare, as a wedge. And, really, why doesn’t David Gregory take his guests to task as, say, his colleague Chuck Todd has done? As CNN’s Soledad O’Brien has done?!

Gov. O’Malley is saying that Vice President Biden was using an indelicate remark in responding to the GOP’s use of the term unshackling the so-called shackled economy. He used the term unchained instead of using the term unshackling.

And what about Romney’s tax returns. He says he’s never paid less than 13% in taxes. Is that 13% in federal income taxes. And McDonnell is saying that this issue isn’t about Romney’s taxes, but about the tax burden of Americans. Okay, so why don’t we talk about that? Instead , let’s talk about the ways some Americans engage in tax avoidance. Mitt Romney, for all his work, has certainly engaged in tax avoidance. (There is no doubt about that!)

David Gregory is laying out the facts on the Obama Medicare plan. Obama will leave the program as is but will cut payouts to hospitals by $716 billion. The Romney plan changes the plan for seniors in 2023; he promises to change the program into a voucher plan that will force seniors to pay out nearly $7000.

McDonnell is saying that Obama isn’t changing a system that will go broke in 12 years. But what about the fact that privatizing this system will destroy the structure of the entitlement provision as given.

And what about the fact that the GOP is saying the Obama Admin. is using stealing $716 billion when really the money is coming out efficiencies, and cutting redundancies; indeed, it precisely the same cut as what Ryan supported in his own Medicare plan.  What about that? McDonnell has nothing to say about that.

Ted Cruz, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Chuck Todd, E.J. Dionne and Peggy Noonan are here to speak up as the Roundtable.

Ted Cruz is the Tea Party backed GOP candidate for Senate in Texas.  He’s excited that Paul Ryan is here to make a conversation about issues. (So how come there’s been no real issues? How come no one is talking about compromise and real content?)

Dionne is here to say that both Conservatives and Liberals are glad that Ryan is the V.P. candidate. The Conservatives are doubling down on their agenda. And Liberals think that doubling down in this way cuts away at some independent support. (There is no doubt that for two cycles, the GOP has gone deeper into the right than seems smart given our electoral/political system.)

Chuck Todd smartly is arguing that this is the 25th day away from talking about the economy. Is it possible that the Romney campaign wishes it spent that time talking about jobs?

Noonan is saying that though the parties are thoroughly partisan (aren’t they supposed to be so?), the American people are not as partisan as we think. If someone can come in and offer hope that he can broach partisanship, then he will win the election. (Ummmm, wasn’t that precisely what Barack Obama messaged himself to be?)

Mayor Reed is pushing back on the argument that Paul Ryan is a serious man who for most of his career marched in lock-step with every budget busting move that Bush rode right into? And over the last two years he’s spun to the Tea Party side of things. And now he’s serious? How come no one in the Tea Party is concerned about Ryan’s entire career as a profligate spender? He’s serious? How do we know that??!!

This notion that Pres. Obama never put some political down to pay down the debt is nonsense because President Obama did put down a budget that he was working with John Boehner and it got shot down by the Tea Party backed GOP.

To Rudy Giuliani’s claims that Biden is stupid and that he shouldn’t be taken seriously. Chuck Todd, what say you? Biden is really good on the stump and the man is strong in retail politics and he can stand strong against a newbie like Ryan.

Now the President is using an argument for fairness to fight back against the Romney-Ryan ticket. Is that a strong argument? (Yes, it’s hard to see how it can be otherwise?)

Mayor Reed: To say that the president hasn’t shown leadership when he extended Medicare by 8 years. Now, how can that not be something good? And if the Ryan plan is so great, why it is being phased in after three cycles in 12 years.

Todd, is it not the case that it’s disingenuous for the GOP to critique the president when they will have to plump for very similar cuts?

Dionne is saying well, the contested $716 billion is a reduction in the growth of Medicare mostly by pushing efficiencies in Medicare and a lot of this money will get plowed back into Medicare for seniors. So, fine, let’s talk about Medicare, but let’s not flip things around away from facts.

~ by Faheem Haider on August 19, 2012.

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