House Republican leaders have given Americans a glimpse of the GOP agenda to privatize Social Security and end Medicare as we know it.  The messengers for this campaign immodestly call themselves the “Young Guns”.  Unfortunately, what they’ve really taken aim at are the benefits working Americans have paid for throughout their lives. In an over-the-top video chock full of waving flags and slow motion walking shots, meant to evoke every American action hero since Superman, Republican Whip Eric Cantor, Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy and Ranking Budget Committee member Paul Ryan attempt to sell their new book repackaging the same old anti-Social Security dogma that dates back to the days of Alf Landon.  Obviously, convincing Americans they don’t need Medicare and Social Security will be an especially tough sell these days, as Americans continue to suffer in this recession, so this time GOP leaders are wrapping their proposals in the best marketing PAC money can buy.  They claim privatization and ending Medicare are “innovative” and “energetic” proposals offered by a “new generation” of leaders.  Huh? Why would the “Young Guns” release a book and Hollywood style video rather than introducing a piece of legislation?  Here's an easy answer to that question:
… Ryan’s proposal, which looks to balance the budget through slimmer versions of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the tax code, has vexed many Republicans who have attacked Democrats over the federal debt but who don’t want to say they would favor cutting entitlement programs. Roll Call, 8/30/10 The House Republican leadership has been reluctant to embrace, at least formally, Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) "Roadmap for America's Future." That's not surprising -- Ryan's plan is both radical and ridiculous, and GOP leaders don't necessarily want to spend the next two months talking about it...but how long is this shell-game going to last? Can Eric Cantor, whose political action committee is chiefly responsible for this "Young Guns" book, credibly argue that he only agrees with certain chapters of his own book? The House Republican leadership's Whip and Deputy Whip are publishing a book touting a specific plan.  Must we maintain the pretense that the right-wing roadmap belongs solely to Paul Ryan? Washington Monthly, 8/31/10
The book won’t be released until later this month but here’s a preview from those who’ve gotten an advance look at how the GOP would handle programs serving America’s seniors, disabled and their families (even though they don’t really want to talk about that before November):
Just one section of the book, written by Ryan, spells out what Republicans might do if they are charge. The “road map” includes such ideas as converting Social Security for future retirees into private accounts that could be invested in the stock market. Medicare would become a voucher-type program where the government gives seniors money to buy health plans. “The problem, in a nutshell, is this: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, three giant entitlements, are out of control,” Ryan writes. Wall Street Journal, 8/31/10
In a new book to be released next month, three House Republican leaders include many of the policies and ideas that some in their party have promoted over the last year, as well as a controversial plan to drastically cut the country’s entitlement spending. Roll Call, 8/30/10
These “Young Guns” are shooting blanks if they really think slick marketing and super hero music will persuade Americans they don’t need Social Security and Medicare.