“Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table. Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’”
~Email from the National Republican Congressional Committee
This is how it works. You may notice that Romney and Ryan are in fact following this advice; they constantly use the words “save” and “protect” when dealing with Medicare and Social Security. It is called poll testing and you can get a primer on what that looks like HERE. It is very simple … Romney likes to use the word “free enterprise” instead of “capitalism” because capitalism isn’t viewed as favorably even though he’s referring to the same thing.
Relative to the Romney/Ryan plan for Medicare and Social Security …. they won’t use the word “privatization” or “entitlement reform” because Americans have started to figure out … that’s bad. So – instead …. they’ll just use different words for the same exact plan. They want you to put wolves in charge of the hen house. And their strategy is simple – attack President Obama for eliminating handouts to insurance companies that were contributing to bankrupting Medicare. Republicans are now saying that “Obama stole $700 billion from Medicare”; we debunked this thoroughly HERE.
So think about this – the Republicans have said time and time again … they want to eliminate “European style socialism” and that they want to push America back to free markets. And yet – at the same time … while they decry the evil that is “socialism” – they say they want to protect and save Medicare which IS SOCIALISM. They promise you that even though they hate the programs … they’re going to do it so much better and nobody will have to suffer in order to do that. It will be perfect … just trust them. That argument has been had since the 30′s when Republicans tried to attack the “socialism” of Social Security that has done so well for our country. And their argument hasn’t change since then.
Politico has the story HERE:
The email read like a warning shot, alerting Republicans that they would soon face a barrage of Medicare-themed attacks and telling them they needed to be ready for the scrutiny that was to come. The internal email, obtained by POLITICO, was a clear and immediate sign that Republicans knew Ryan could create trouble down ballot for GOP candidates in tight congressional races.
The memo — the first of at least a half-dozen the NRCC has sent out to campaigns since the Ryan pick was made public that have been obtained by POLITICO — sheds light on the lengths to which Republicans are going to coach their members and candidates to navigate Democratic efforts to tie them to Ryan and his controversial plan to rewrite entitlement laws.
While Republicans insist they aren’t panicking over the Ryan-centered assault, they also acknowledge that their effectiveness in pushing back will play a large role in determining their success in defending their House majority.
Just remember this – words are just words … but all you need to know is that under the Romney/Ryan plan for seniors …. the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities explains HERE just how bad seniors get screwed:
In 2022, the first year the voucher would apply, CBO estimates that total health care expenditures for a typical 65-year-old would be almost 40 percent higher with private coverage under the Ryan plan than they would be with a continuation of traditional Medicare. (See graph.) CBO also finds that this beneficiary’s annual out-of-pocket costs would more than double — from $6,150 to $12,500. In later years, as the value of the voucher eroded, the increase in out-of-pocket costs would be even greater.
CBO wrote that “Paying more for health care would be particularly challenging for elderly people with less savings and lower income.”5 And Alice Rivlin said that she does not support Ryan’s new proposal. Rivlin observed that it would result in a massive cost-shift over time to beneficiaries and that the growth rate Ryan set for his vouchers is “much, much too low” and “I don’t think that’s defensible.
And the reason that conservatives have a real problem is because the math simply doesn’t add up for them. They can’t cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires without making huge cuts to Social Security and Medicare. And if given the choice – Americans would rather increase taxes than cut Medicare and Social Security. So – they’ll just do what they did in 2001 and 2003 – they’ll tell Americans that they can HAVE IT ALL. You can have your cake and eat it too they say.
Pew Research shares their polling HERE:
Most Americans say avoiding future cuts to the program is more important than avoiding increases in Social Security taxes for workers and employers (by 56% to 33%). Two-thirds of Democrats (67%) say avoiding benefit cuts is more important; that compares with 55% of independents and 49% of Republicans.
There has been a small shift in opinion about whether the costs associated with changes in Social Security should be borne by all income groups or by those with higher incomes since 1999. Today, a slim majority (53%) says that higher income people should make these financial sacrifices.
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