When Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his radical Roadmap for America’s Future — which he claims will balance the budget via privatizing Social Security and Medicare — Republican leadership quickly ran away from it, emphasizing that it was Ryan’s personal plan and not the official GOP platform. Now, it seems, Ryan doesn’t want anyone else scrutinizing his plan at all.
During an appearance at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, Ryan criticized Democrats for “the political weaponization” of Social Security, and asked candidates on the campaign trail to please stop attacking Republican plans to gut entitlements. Politico reported:
“We’ve got to get through this political moment. The political weaponization of entitlement reform is very unfortunate. It’s hurting our chances of actually getting bipartisan agreement in the near future. It’s unfortunate but we’ve got to get out there.” Though he called for candidates to stop talking about entitlement reform on the campaign trail, Ryan also cast his Roadmap in a soft light to deflect criticism that it will hurt seniors. He reminded the audience that his plan doesn’t affect those over 55.
Of course, Ryan’s plan would radically alter Social Security, to the detriment of the program, which is something that needs to be talked about. Remember, under the Roadmap, Social Security would be privatized through the creation of personal investment accounts and benefits for future retirees would be cut, all without setting the program on a path for solvency:
The Ryan plan proposes large cuts in Social Security benefits — roughly 16 percent for the average new retiree in 2050 and 28 percent in 2080 from price indexing alone — and initially diverts most of these savings to help fund private accounts rather than to restore Social Security solvency. Because the plan would divert large sums from Social Security to private accounts, it would leave the program facing insolvency in about 30 years, just as under current law. The plan would avoid insolvency by transferring $1.2 trillion from the rest of the budget to Social Security between 2037 and 2056.
Ryan’s Roadmap would also end Medicare as we know it, creating a voucher that won’t keep up with the cost of health care.
Republicans, from their rhetoric to the plans that they actually put on paper, have failed to explain what cuts to the federal budget they would make if given the opportunity, leaving raiding entitlements as the only way to make their various plans work. Ryan, on the other hand, has laid out some of the draconian cuts that he would make, but he would really prefer people don’t take him to task for proposing to tear apart programs upon which millions of Americans depend.
The original Politico story linked above said that Ryan called for candidates “to stop talking about entitlement reform,” but now reads “stop attacking.” We have an email in to the reporter to clarify and have altered the post accordingly.