07.31.2010 0

TimesCheck.com: Krugman’s Attack on Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” Perpetuates Entitlement Myths

  • On: 08/29/2010 21:14:12
  • In: Entitlements
  • Krugman’s Attack on Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap” Perpetuates Entitlement Myths

    By Kevin Mooney

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has offered a comprehensive, highly detailed plan for financial and economic renewal that has inspired small government activists across the country. It has also earned positive media coverage from left leaning sources that are normally hostile toward free market concepts.

    But the New York Times is not part of this mix. Columnist Paul Krugman claims Ryan’s plan is an unrealistic giveaway to the rich. He is agitated, if not panicked. An audacious proposal aimed at reforming collapsing entitlements, reducing debt and alleviating burdensome taxation has been on the receiving end of positive press coverage.

    It must therefore be taken down and discredited as an unrealistic sham replete with tax favors for the rich. Even as The Washington Post and other left-leaning publications provide readers with a balanced and comprehensive critique, it is instructive to note that The New York Times feels a need to perpetuate entitlement illusions.

    Democrats who have added a new financial liability on top of existing programs in the form of ObamaCare get a free pass, while Krugman zeros in on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) for offering up a proposal that the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) says would make Medicare permanently solvent. Ryan has called for a voucher system that would allow seniors to shop for their own private insurance as part of his Roadmap for America’s Future. This is but one aspect of a highly detailed financial plan set up in stark contrast to the “government-centered ideology” that now holds sway in Washington D.C.

    It is the ideology Krugman and the NYT are desperate to preserve.

    “And we already know, from experience with the Medicare Advantage program, that a voucher system would have higher, not lower, costs than our current system,” he argues. “The only way the Ryan plan could save money would be by making those vouchers too small to pay for adequate coverage. Wealthy older Americans would be able to supplement their vouchers, and get the care they need; everyone else would be out in the cold. In practice, that probably wouldn’t happen: older Americans would be outraged — and they vote. But this means that the supposed budget savings from the Ryan plan are a sham.”

    The correlation between consumer choice, greater market discipline and lower costs has been evident throughout human history. But this fundamental point is lost in the Krugman analysis. New studies show that HMO programs with private options reduce costs. They are not so dissimilar from what Ryan has proposed.

    The whole point of Krugman’s piece is to close off debate. With demographics changing, more Americans are becoming open and receptive to the idea of large scale entitlement reform. Big government advocates are concerned for the same reason Tea Party activists are emboldened.

    Kevin Mooney is a contributing editor to Americans for Limited Government (ALG) News Bureau and the Executive Editor of TimesCheck.com.


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