U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-Okla.) released the following statement today after Mitt Romney named Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate.
“Governor Romney has made an outstanding selection. He has sent a clear signal that he intends to win not just a political victory but a mandate to restore America. The Romney-Ryan ‘comeback team’ understands our debt is the greatest threat to our national security and will act decisively to meet that generational challenge,” said Dr. Coburn.
“I have had the privilege of working alongside Paul Ryan for many years. He has exhibited the rarest and most essential quality of leadership in politics – moral courage. When most elected officials have offered only rhetoric, Ryan has had the audacity to offer specifics and a plan that has transformed the landscape of American politics.
“Those on the left who view this pick as an opportunity to demonize their opponents will, through their attacks, only energize Americans who are yearning for honesty and real answers. The fact is Ryan has proposed innovative ways to salvage the noblest goals of his political opponents – a safety net that is both compassionate and sustainable. I applaud Governor Romney and look forward to helping the Romney-Ryan ticket put America back on track.”
see an example of Ryan in action, click here for the YouTube video as
the Budget Committee Ranking Member walked through why the bill put
forward by Democrats fails the deficit test President Obama declared to a
Joint Session of Congress, September 9, 2009.
Hiding Spending Doesn’t Reduce Spending
Text highlights of Ryan’s remarks follow:
The Majority Leader said the bill scores as reducing deficit by $131 billion over the next 10 years.
First a little bit about CBO: I work with them every single day; very good people; great professionals. They do their jobs well. But their job is to score what is placed in front of them. And what has been placed in front of them is a bill that is full of gimmicks and smoke and mirrors.
Now what do I mean when I say that?
First off, the bill has ten years of tax increases and ten years of Medicare cuts to pay for six years of spending. The true ten year cost when subsidies kick-in? $2.3 trillion
The bill is full of gimmicks that more than erase the false claim of deficit reduction:
– $52 billion of savings is claimed by counting increased Social Security payroll revenues. These dollars are already claimed for future Social Security beneficiaries, and claiming to offset the cost of this bill either means we are double-counting or we are not going to pay Social Security benefits.
– $72 billion in savings is claimed from the CLASS Act long-term care insurance. These so-called savings are not offsets, but rather premiums collected to pay for future benefits. Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad has called these savings, A ponzi scheme that would make Bernie Madoff proud.
Additionally, the nearly half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts cannot be counted twice. Medicare is in dire need of reform in order to make certain that we can ensure health security for future seniors.
Using Medicare as a piggy bank, it raids a half trillion dollars from retirees health coverage to fund the creation of another open-ended health care entitlement.
The Presidents chief Medicare actuary says up to 20% of Medicare providers may go bankrupt or stop taking Medicare beneficiaries as a result. Millions of seniors who have chosen Medicare Advantage will lose the coverage they now enjoy.
Objections to the policy aside, you cannot use these savings twice to both extend the life of Medicare and to pay for other spending. The half-trillion dollars in Medicare cuts are either to extend the programs solvency or to reduce the cost of this deficit but not both as its authors claim.
When you strip away the double-counting of Medicare cuts, the so-called savings from Social Security payroll taxes and the CLASS Act, the deficit increases by $460 billion over first ten years and $1.4 trillion over second ten years.
Finally, one of the most expensive and most cynical of the gimmicks applies to Medicare physician payments, the so-called Doc Fix.
By your own estimate, the Doc Fix adds an additional $371 billion to the cost of health care reform. With the price tag beyond what most Americans could handle, the Majority decided to simply remove this costly provision and deal with it in a stand-alone bill.
Ignoring this additional cost does not remove it from the backs of taxpayers. Hiding spending doesn’t reduce spending.