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Rep. Paul Ryan
Here we go again: Rep. Paul Ryan and his plan to end Medicare. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Rep. Paul Ryan, House finance chair, releases his big budget tomorrow, the budget that will break the August debt limit deal, and subsequent law, and that thus threatens a government shutdown. Oh, and it would privatize Medicare, too.

But House Republicans are absolutely certain that, this time, they'll sell this load of crap to the American public and emerge victorious in 2012.

But it’s a gambit fraught with political peril, especially in an election year. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget last year gave Democrats an opening to paint Republicans as willing to end Medicare as voters know it and batter Medicaid — while cutting taxes for the wealthy.

The GOP believes that crucial independent voters will reward them for being willing tackle the nation’s faltering finances. If Republicans can show they are a party of ideas and solutions and that Democrats don’t have the guts to make the tough calls, the risk, they believe, will be worth it.

They think they can sell it this time because a lone Democrat, Sen. Ron Wyden, has signed on to Ryan's Medicare plan, never mind that every other prominent Democrat, regular Democrat and especially the White House has rejected it.

Ryan seems to be forgetting the reaction he faced back home over his plan, and remains convinced that the problem isn't the plan, it's how they're selling the plan.

Last May, they tried to sell that plan with fear, exactly as they are this year. And I mean, exactly. It's the same message, and it's the same content: Cut Medicare and Medicaid AND taxes for the wealthy.

But this year there's a great added twist, a government shutdown threat. That'll go over well.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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