Paul Ryan Voted For Medicare Part D in 2003

April 6, 2011 at 9:08 am | Posted in American politics | 12 Comments

don’t forget that while we’re playing up his “courage” today in cutting medicare. I will be amazed if any reporter actually does his homework and asks Mr. Ryan why he voted in favor of the unfunded Medicare Part D.


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  1. His courage is not the issue. It’s that he is doing the right thing now.

    But anyway, here’s your answer, from Ryan himself, about why he voted for medicare part d. From The American Spectator:

    “You don’t get to take the vote you want in Congress,” Ryan laments. “Sometimes you have to take votes that you don’t want to take, but they’re the best of the two choices.”

    In the case of the Medicare expansion, which by some measures added $15.6 trillion to the long-term entitlement deficit, Ryan recalled that “President (Bush) was really clear to me at the time, and I talked to his chief of staff and others as well, that he was either going to sign the House-passed bill, which had my health savings accounts amendment and real free market choice and competition like Medicare Advantage in it, or the Senate bill, which was just a big government-run program.” In the end, he voted for the bill with some free market elements. “That was the choice he gave us,” he says. “It was not a choice I liked.”

  2. my point was more rhetorical in question. It doesn’t matter why he voted for it. The point is that he had no problem vastly increasing the size of our debt when it mattered for his party. And now, in the continuing fleecing of America, he wants to remove Medicare so that his party can cut even more taxes for the top 1%, even though it makes no economic sense.

    • Ryan is not cutting taxes. He is cutting tax rates but collecting more in taxes.

      As to the deficit issue, if he was wrong because of the deficit issue, Obama is wrong, today, for the same reason.

      • That’s his theory and in theory, Communism works. Unfortunately, reality doesn’t always tie low tax-rates to boom times. Otherwise we wouldn’t have just had the biggest stock market crash since the Great Depression.

      • The increased revenue theory is based on Reaganomics – and the increased revenue then came from a Social Security Tax Increase – On Working People. Look at where the difference in taxes from 1980 to 1987 came from.

  3. If it doesn’t matter why he voted for it, then it shouldn’t matter how he felt about voting for it, yet that is exactly what you express concern over when you say he had no problem with it. If you are going to concern yourself with his intentions and motives, then you also need to examine his reasoning in order to be intellectually honest. His own reasoning explains that he did have a problem with it, but he made a tough decision to vote for the lesser of two evils. Had he no problem with “vastly increasing the size of our debt” he would’ve voted no to help ensure that the big government form of the bill (meaning more expensive) would’ve passed.

    It’s ironic that you speak of medicare d vastly increasing the debt, as though you have a problem with it, when it is your party who is making the debt under Bush look like chump change. In 8 years of office, Bush added $3.2 trillion to the debt, while in only 3 years, Obama has managed to add $4.4 trillion. And the Democrats are complaining about ‘draconian cuts.’ Why aren’t they screaming about all the money being spent in this administration like they were during the Bush administration?

  4. what I’m saying is that conservatives and their representatives are not actually concerned about deficits, as their votes prove. but they posture to the public as if they actually care. I personally don’t care that much about the deficit. I’m merely highlighting the hypocrisy of those like Paul Ryan who proclaim themselves as kings of fiscal restraint. What a bunch of bullcrap.

    Oh, and your numbers are not accurate. The $3.2 trillion is through FY2008. You’re completely forgetting Fiscal Year 2009, which was Bush’s last fiscal year. That’s the one that was at $1.4 trillion. So Bush’s contribution to the debt is $4.6 trillion (vastly more than Reagan’s contribution, which was about $2.8 trillion), and thus Obama’s contribution is only $3 trillion, most of which was decline in revenue due to the downturn in the economy, thanks to Bush’s policies. The rest of the decline in revenue (and this is also the case during Bush’s terms) stems from Bush’s tax cuts, which, unpredictably, reduced tax revenue. Obviously Obama agreeing with extending Bush’s tax cuts makes absolutely no sense at all, and I think it is one of the worst decisions Obama made. The argument that those taxes spur economic growth is bullshit. See this graph where you will see how poorly those Bush tax cuts were at spurring economic growth. Ironically, if you increase taxes on the rich, the economy grows. That’s what needs to happen.

  5. There are certainly many Republicans (who are not all conservative, btw) who are not as concerned about deficits as they should be. But the topic is Paul Ryan, not Republicans in general. Ryan’s explanation makes a plausible case that he was and is concerned.

    You are partially correct about my numbers not being accurate. 2009 was not entirely Obama’s. Bush and Obama share responsibility for it. Politifact and many other sources confirm this fact. But Bush was only responsible for about $500 billion of that $1.4 trillion deficit you cite. He was only responsible for spending during the first quarter. The other three quarters were Obama’s, regardless of deficit projections. He and his Congress were still responsible for the spending. But even if you want to pin it all on Bush, Obama is still racking up debt at about triple the rate of Bush.

    You are wrong, however, that the Bush tax cuts reduced revenue. In 2006, revenue was over the 2003 pre-tax cut baseline. It wasn’t far off from even the pre-recession levels.

  6. There are certainly many Republicans (who are not all conservative, btw)

    Riiiight….i guess Reagan was not conservative…

    as for the rest I’m glad you see that Bush added more to the deficit than you earlier admitted. 🙂

    and yes, revenue was reduced. The 2006 number you’re probably thinking of was lower than what it would have had Bush not passed the tax cuts.

  7. You are ALL economic illiterates. I can see that there can be no discussion here of true economic laws, cause and effect, free markets, or liberty in general. It’s beyond ALL of you. The Democrats AND Republicans are for thier party and against the people. It’s all about advancing the party, the agenda, and power in their hands and not yours. The child-like, my party is better than yours on this site, IS the problem with our great Union of States. Also, both parties have DESTRUCTIVE economic, centrally planned, ideologies that will result in the collapse our Union. It is inevetable as long as people keep bickering over left vs. right, red, republicrats vs. democans, Yankees vs. Red Sox etc. etc. and understand that only truth matters. When it comes to truth NONE of them can claim that they have a firm grasp on that!

  8. Maybe Ryan made a mistake. Obama said he made a mistake in not voting to increase the debt ceiling in 2006. If it’s OK for Obama to make a mistake, why can’t Ryan make a mistake. Then was then and now is now, right? In other words, whatever suits your political agenda at any particular moment is just swell with you, right?

  9. paul ryan is a hypocrite. he voted for the iraq invasion which has cost us trillions. he voted for medicare part d more trillions. he voted for bush tax cuts. now he acts like he is clean as a whistle because now we have a Democrat at the helm. the only consistent choice out there is ron paul. if he is not nominated we may as well keep obama in there.

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