Earlier Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered
the definitive Republican smackdown
on President Barack Obama's second inaugural address
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday accused
President Obama of attacking “straw men” in his second inauguration speech,
arguing that the president mischaracterized Republicans’ position on
federal entitlement programs.
“No one is suggesting that what we call our earned entitlements – entitlements you pay for, like payroll taxes for Medicare and Social Security – are putting you in a ‘taker’ category,” Ryan said on conservative commentator Laura Ingraham’s radio show. “No one would suggest that whatsoever.”
Ryan, the GOP’s 2012 vice-presidential nominee and his party’s leader when it comes to pressing for federal entitlement reform, contended that Obama made a “switcheroo” in his speech by suggesting that Republicans have referred to beneficiaries of those programs as “takers.” In reality, he said, that term refers to recipients of welfare and other non-“earned” entitlements.
Ooomph. Talk about a punishing barrage of brutal rhetorical blows. Seriously, that was epic. In fact, it's a good thing that President Obama already won his reelection campaign (beating none other than Paul Ryan in the process), because otherwise, I don't know if the president could ever hope to recover from Ryan's devastating critique.
And let me be clear, I'm perfectly serious. As Ryan said, the president attacked a strawman. For example, when Ryan proposed ending Medicare as we know it, he wasn't doing so because he is against Medicare—it's just that he doesn't think it should exist, at least not as it currently stands. So it's a total strawman to say Paul Ryan isn't the most committed Medicare supporter in the world. After all, his mother is a Medicare recipient.
Same goes for Social Security. Paul Ryan is the the biggest champion of Social Security ever to walk on the face of this earth. FDR pales in comparison. Nobody should ever forget Ryan's stirring, emotional defense of the program when he spoke to the Ayn Rand Leadership Society of America (or whatever the name of the group was):
But when you look at the fight that we’re in here in Capital Hill, it’s a tough fight. It’s a very important fight. But we need more people on our side to fight this fight. That is why there is no more fight that is more obvious between the differences of these two conflicts than Social Security. Social Security right now is a collectivist system, it’s a welfare transfer system.
See? President Obama was totally setting up a straw man when he suggested Republicans believe programs like Social Security "make us a nation of takers." That's nothing at all like what Republicans believe, certainly not Paul Ryan. Instead, he believes Social Security is a collectivist system. It's a wealth transfer system. That's totally different than "a nation of takers." Totes!
Continue below the fold to find out which one of Paul Ryan's former bosses helped make his case in a secret video recorded during the 2012 presidential campaign ...
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