RUSH: I talked to Congressman Paul Ryan on the phone this morning. He is going to announce a major budget blueprint, a ten-year budget blueprint tomorrow, and, folks, it’s wonderful. Forget all of this that’s going on with the remaining budget, continuing resolutions for the remainder of this fiscal year, which goes to September. The next budget starting in October, the budget that’s gonna be put forth and announced tomorrow by Paul Ryan, he gave a prelude to it on Fox News yesterday. I spent some time on the phone with him this morning and substantively it is superb. Politically it’s brilliant. They are going to throw so many balls in the air at the Democrats that the Democrats are not gonna know which ones to focus on and try to defeat first.
It’s a tough budget. You’ve probably heard $4 trillion in cuts over ten years. It might end up being more than that. It is a growth-oriented budget. It doesn’t feature a lot of tax increases. There’s new spending in it, of course. But basically it’s going to freeze spending levels at 2008 levels, and it’s just fabulous. It’s exactly what the election last November was all about. And Ryan has worked hard, and he has slaved over this, and already it’s being responded to in the most predictable, cliched manner. Chris Van Hollen, leading Democrat in the budget committee in the House came out with 30-year-old cliches in opposition.
But there’s another story unrelated to this that is gonna be fun juxtaposing against what Van Hollen said in reaction to what he heard the Ryan budget was going to be.
RUSH: Paul Ryan’s budget, a plan for the 2012 budget starting in October, would cut more than $4 trillion over the next decade, maybe as much as $6 trillion, “more than even the president’s debt commission proposed, with spending caps as well as changes in the Medicare and Medicaid health programs.” Now, I spoke with Congressman Ryan on the phone this morning, and one of the things that he made clear to me, which I think is very wise, by the way, he’s very much aware how they’re gonna demagogue this. He’s very much aware how they’re gonna lie about it. He wants them to. They’re throwing so many balls in the air at this thing that they’re not gonna know which to attack first. Virtually every sacred belief, every one of their talking points of criticism, is met here.
Now, one of the reasons nobody wants to get anywhere near Social Security, the third rail of American politics, is because Social Security is paid out to the most active and participatory voting members of our culture and our population, the seasoned citizens. They vote. One of the things that’s gonna happen in this budget is that there will be no cuts whatsoever, no reductions whatsoever anywhere, any time for current Social Security recipients. Ain’t going to happen. And Congressman Ryan said, “I expect some people on our side of the aisle are not going to like that.” Look, it’s reality. And he’s a brilliant guy. He really is. He’s fully aware that the independent voters moved to the Republicans in November not because of anything the Republicans did, they moved to the Republicans because they were just fed up with Obama, fed up with the Democrats, fed up with all this big spending, and they want to make sure they don’t do anything to drive ’em away policy-wise or what have you. Not to mention that in any reform of Social Security, any reform of Medicare, Medicaid, it’s always been the case that current recipients would not be included. They’re living under the deal that was made and they have never been targets, if you will, of any of the necessary reforms.
He wanted to make that plain because the Democrats are gonna demagogue that. Democrats are gonna tell seasoned citizens, “This budget, this Republican budget’s gonna take your house away from you. It’s gonna take your Medicare away from you. It’s gonna take your health care in total away.” They’re gonna say this. None of it will be true. But what Ryan is doing, he is taking the battle right to Obama; he’s taking it right to Harry Reid; he is taking it right to ’em. He is just running face-to-face. He said, “Here it is. This is who we are. This is what must be done. We have got to roll back our spending and freeze it to what it was in 2008. We have to have legitimate cuts. We are going to reduce the baseline on which all this stuff is based and takes place.” This is what he was sent here to do. He told me, “You know, Washington is a place of ideas. If you believe in ’em, you fight for ’em. If you don’t, get outta town. There’s no other reason to be there. If you lose interest or passion in your ideas, then scram. Washington’s not the place for you.”
“In an interview with ‘Fox News Sunday,’ Ryan said budget writers are working out the 2012 numbers with the Congressional Budget Office, but he said the overall spending reductions would come to ‘a lot more’ than $4 trillion.” This is over ten years. “The debt commission appointed by President Barack Obama recommended a plan that it said would achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction,” which Obama totally cast aside. The Democrats and Obama totally threw it away. After asking for it, after ballyhooing it, after making a big deal of it, when they finally came in, because, you see, whole point as far as Obama was concerned is not the results of the commission, not what they said to do, it was just that he was forming one. You just form a commission. That is all you do. That’s all you have to do. That shows that you care. That shows that you take it seriously. So here are some of the broad items. And, of course, all the detail is forthcoming tomorrow.
There will be a what’s called a “‘premium support system’ for Medicare. In the future, older people would choose plans in the marketplace and the government would subsidize those plans.” Not fully pay for them, but subsidize them. “Ryan said that would differ from the voucher system he has proposed in the past. Those 55 and older would remain under the present Medicare system.” They don’t get touched. But people who will get there in the future would choose a plan and the government would subsidize part of it, which is the deal Paul Ryan gets, by the way. This deal is what every member of Congress, House and Senate, gets. “Ryan acknowledged that the ‘premium support system’ would shift more costs to Medicare recipients, especially what he called ‘wealthy seniors.’ He did not define at what level someone would be considered wealthy,” but means testing, in a sense here. If you can afford it, you’re going to have to pay a part of it. It only makes sense.
You know what else he said? He said to me, “If this thing can be made to happen –” and it’s a long shot because you write a one-year budget, but you always do ten-year projections when you write your one-year budget. “If we could win the White House and if we could have a nominee who really embraces this, if we have a nominee who can explain it, who supports it, who’s energetic, passionate about it, and will implement this stuff, we could reduce, eliminate the national debt in 10 to 15 years. We will not balance the budget for a host of reasons, but we’ll get much, much closer than these obscenely high deficits that we have now.” He was dead serious when he told me that we could eliminate 80%, almost all of the national debt, over a period of time with a commitment to this.
“Block grants to states for Medicaid, the health program for the poor. Ryan disputed reports that the plan would seek savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid, but would say only that the details would be in the plan. ‘Medicare and Medicaid spending will go up every single year under our budget. They don’t just go up as much as they’re going right now,’ he said.” In fact, I think there’s new spending in Ryan’s budget, $35 trillion new spending, versus Obama’s $49 trillion. This is, again, another great way that Ryan has stumbled upon to illustrate just how outrageous the spending on the Democrat side is. Now, Ryan was a member of the bipartisan debt commission. He voted against its final recommendations because they fail to reduce spending on health care. He said, “How can you be serious about deficit reduction in this country if you’re not gonna deal with health care costs?” You can’t.
Now, what Ryan’s doing essentially is clawing back all the spending the Democrats have done since they took over Congress in 2007. That’s the point of freezing spending at 2008 levels. This is my words, not his. This is a clawback. This is an attempt, and what’s made to order here for the Republican presidential nominee, if whoever he or she or it is will just embrace this, the problems that we face are traceable to 2007. This is not to let the Bush bunch off the hook, they spent, too, but it’s not comparable to what has happened since Pelosi and the Democrats took over Congress in 2007 and Obama, the White House in 2009. And what Ryan is doing here is trying to claw back all of that spending that started in 2007. The national debt was nine and a half trillion dollars when Obama took office. Today it’s just over $14 trillion.
So a reduction of $4 trillion over ten years is a natural number. That’s the clawback. That takes us back to the national debt of nine and a half trillion when Obama took office. That’s almost how much Obama has increased the budget in two measly years, folks. In two measly years the national debt has gone from nine and a half to $14 trillion — in two years! Nine and a half trillion national debt since our founding. In two years of Obama that number becomes $14 trillion. And we can reduce that much in ten years, and people are gonna say, “We can’t do that. This is Draconian, gonna starve.” It’s all BS. And as I say, it’s about time.
RUSH: On Fox News Sunday, Paul Ryan said, “They will have to lie and demagogue,” talking about the Democrats and their approach to governing. He said, “We are giving them a political weapon to go against us, but they will have to lie and demagogue to make it a political weapon.” Ryan knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows how to push their buttons just as I know how to tweak the media. If you look at Chris Van Hollen’s knee-jerk, cliched reaction to what he was told Ryan’s budget is, then Ryan is exactly right here. They are gonna have to lie and demagogue. How must it feel to be a Democrat today? I’m gonna make an assumption that in this audience some of you are normal Democrats, not the extreme kooky, anti-American leftist bunch that now seems to represent your party. Some of you people are just old-fashioned Democrats. Did you sign up for this when you voted for Obama?
Are you comfortable knowing that your state and the federal government is bankrupt? Is this what you thought you were getting when you voted for this guy? Mountains of debt, assaults on liberty, assaults on capitalism and the free market, private sector? Do you believe Harry Reid and Pelosi and Obama have a plan to slash the deficit, get us back to 5% unemployment? Is this really what you signed up for, all of these jobless people, gasoline higher now than at any time in the last ten years, oil price skyrocketing up again? Does Dick Durbin actually represent your views? What’s it gonna take, gasoline five bucks a gallon, inflation at 15%? At what point are some of you Democrats gonna say, “Nah, nah, nah, this is not what we signed up for”?
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