Does Ryan Budget Plan Slash Medicare to Fund Tax Cuts for the Rich?

By Garance Franke-Ruta

Jonathan Chait points out the rather vulnerable-looking achilles heel on on which Paul Ryan's proposal to privatize Medicare stands:

Liberals are kind of short-circuiting in response to Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity," which contains so many bad Republican economic proposals in one place you don't even know what to say about it. But there's really one clear issue here that encapsulate both the intellectual and the political vulnerablity of the plan: It contains a massive, regressive tax cut.

Ryan does not want to talk about the tax cut. His video touting the plan focuses entirely on the debt, and makes no mention whatsoever of the tax cuts...

Ryan doesn't mention the tax cuts, of course, because they unravel the entire rationale for his proposal. Americans overwhelmingly oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. Ryan understands he can only make his plan acceptable if those cuts are seen as necessary to save the programs.

And certainly some level of cutting is necessary. But Ryan's level of cutting goes far beyond what's needed to preserve those programs, and it does so in order to clear room for a very large, regressive tax cut. He is making a choice -- not just cut Medicare to save Medicare, but also to cut Medicare in order to cut taxes for the rich.

Read the full story at The New Republic.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/04/does-ryan-budget-plan-slash-medicare-to-fund-tax-cuts-for-the-rich/236879/