Sunday, October 14, 2012

Conservative Activist Mrs. James Carville (ok Mary Matalin) Calls Paul Krugman a Liar For Characterizing the Romney-Ryan Medicare Plan as a Voucher Program

Apparently Forgetting that Paul Ryan Characterized the Plan as a Voucher Program

Don’t These People Realize They Have Been Recording Things for Like 100 Years or So?

[Editor's note:  The Dismal Political Economist has been told not to refer to Ms. Matalin as Mrs. Carville.  Sometimes he doesn't listen.]

For reasons beyond the understanding of this Forum, Republican are furious when people characterize their plan to end Medicare and give senior a voucher to buy private insurance as a ‘voucher’ plan.  Here is Mary Matalin, who somehow has stayed married to James Carville, with a rant on Paul Krugman, who does just that.

During a roundtable discussion on George Stephanoupolos’ This Week Sunday morning, GOP political consultant Mary Matalin got into a heated exchange with Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, calling him a “liar” for previously referring to Paul Ryan’s Medicare reform plan as a “voucher” program:
MATALIN: You have mischaracterized and you have lied about every position and every particular of the Ryan plan on Medicare, from the efficiency of Medicare administration, to calling it a voucher plan, so you’re hardly credible on calling somebody else a liar.

And yes, here is VP nominee Paul Ryan and author of the plan calling it a voucher plan on CNN.

Paul Ryan Didn't Always Shy Away From The Word "Voucher"

At a speech at the AARP, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said the word “voucher” was “a poll tested word designed to scare today's seniors.” Ryan added “nobody is proposing” a voucher. But Ryan previously embraced using the word, as these two videos from 2009 and 2010 show as well. A a search of the candidates House website also shows he has articles on his website describing his current plan a voucher system.

Now this Forum has always liked the term “subsidized premium” rather than voucher because it seems more accurate.  But if someone wants to call it a voucher that is certainly accurate.  When you are bumped from a flight because a late flight caused you to miss a connection,  the airline gives you a piece of paper, called a voucher, which pays a fixed amount for your meal.  Call it a voucher, call it a ‘meal subsidy’ it doesn’t change the fact that the airline does not give you the meal, they give you part of the cost and you are on your own to find some food.

But what exactly is the problem with calling the Ryan plan a voucher?  It is still privatization of Medicare regardless of what it is called.  It is still an end to Medicare even if Republicans want to say it is still Medicare.  And that is the important part and that is what Republicans want to hide from the American seniors.  And presumably that is why they get so made when anyone even brings up the program.

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