It’s pretty funny watching Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his surrogates trying to distance him from his running mate’s budget that explicitly states, among other draconian measures, there would be more tax cuts for the wealthy while increasing taxes on the middle class.
When an empty suit who has not a single conviction about even the time of day “hires” someone overflowing with cocksure confidence that he knows what’s best for everyone else, you’re going to be stuck with his budget plan, not your own. Odd that the man they keep telling us is so smart didn’t know that.
Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget plan promises that people age 55 and older would not be affected by his plan to kill Medicare; they would be able to keep traditional Medicare. In a comment on yesterday’s post, I said this:
”I am continually amazed that politicians who want to cut Social Security and Medicare…appeal to us by saying the changes will not affect anyone 55 and older.
“It’s my experience over nearly nine years on this blog and elsewhere, that elders are care a great deal that the two programs remain in place for their children, grandchildren and beyond.”
I finished it off by going all snarky on you:
I wonder why the politicians believe current elders are willing to throw their progeny under the bus. Oh, right – I forgot: because the politicians are willing to do so.”
It’s not all snark; I believe what I wrote yesterday and then I ran across a political writer who believes it is the actual strategy of the Romney/Ryan ticket to rely on exactly their kind of greedy geezers to elect them:
”Last year, when Ryan’s (sic) was pushing his Medicare overhaul, he and other advocates specifically stressed to seniors at town hall meetings that they would continue to get the system’s guaranteed benefits, an explanation that drew applause from some voters in that age group but prompted concerns from others,” writes Robert Parry at OpEdNews.
“For instance, in Elkhorn, Wisconsin, 64-year-old Clarence Cammers hesitantly asked Ryan a question that got to the heart of the matter. After describing himself as a disabled veteran living on Social Security, Cammers said he could stand some cutbacks for himself; that wasn’t his concern.
“‘I will be fine,’ Cammers said. ‘I guess what I’m saying is, what are all these changes going to mean for my son?’
“Cammers was noting the hard truth that it would be younger Americans who would face Ryan’s scheme of replacing Medicare with government vouchers that would fall short of covering the costs of private insurance.”
Apparently, a large number of elders are not as concerned about their children as Mr. Cammers is. Yesterday, Fox News website reported:
”A recent Rasmussen poll showed that 31 percent of likely senior voters gave Ryan a “very favorable” rating, compared with 21 percent of all legal-age voters giving him that rating. Just 16 percent of seniors gave him a “very unfavorable” rating.”
Other quickie polls taken since Paul Ryan joined the Republican ticket on Saturday show strong numbers in support of Ryan among elders. In an ABC/Washington Post poll, people 65 and older
”…moved in Ryan’s favor, from a 28-28 percent favorable-unfavorable view prospectively to 46-28 percent this weekend.”
(I guess you can tell I was trawling right-wing websites yesterday.) Townhall.com reports on a new Gallup/USA Today poll:
”…the age group most receptive to House Budget Chair Paul Ryan’s plan to deal with the budget – seniors. The poll finds 48 percent of seniors (those 65 and over) support Ryan’s plan over President Obama’s plan, while 42 percent back the president.
“That’s the highest total among the age groups tested – a 47 percent plurality between the ages of 50 and 64 backed Ryan, and a 45 percent plurality of those between 30-49 backed Ryan. But young voters overwhelmingly sided with Obama by a 23-point margin, 53 to 30 percent.”
It is still early in Ryan’s campaign and other polls show that not many Americans know much about him yet so as the Democrats define him more sharply over the coming weeks, elders may begin to see that a vote for Romney/Ryan is not only a vote against their own interests, but their children’s interests too.
Or not. Perhaps Messrs. Romney and Ryan know what they’re doing by counting on the elder vote. As Robert Parry concludes his story at OpEdNews:
”And for those already on – or soon to be on – Medicare, the Republican bet is that these seniors and near-seniors will be the greediest of geezers, enjoying the health program for themselves but willing to take the risk that their children and grandchildren will be left at the mercies of private insurance giants.
“The Romney-Ryan calculation suggests the Republicans really do believe that today’s senior citizens represent the most selfish generation in American history.”
And Monday’s polls seem to confirm their belief. What do you think? Are we, in aggregate, the greediest ever?”
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Claire Jean: Go Phillies