I thought the debate last night was great. It was a lot of fun to watch Joe Biden, but in addition to that, it was really substantive. I know political media and conservatives are running like mad from the actual issues discussed, but there’s really no need to do that. I’m sure Paul Ryan has the Courage of his Convictions, and won’t mind further discussion on his positions. I know Biden won’t mind. If political media and conservatives are worried that viewers were upset, can I just reassure them right now that we are fine?
In our little debate-watching group here in NW Ohio, we talked about these two issues post-debate:
MS. RADDATZ: You were one of the few lawmakers to stand with President Bush when he was seeking to partially privatize Social Security.
REP. RYAN: For younger people. What we said then and what I’ve always agreed is let younger Americans have a voluntary choice of making their money work faster for them within the Social Security system.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: You saw how well that worked.
REP. RYAN: That’s not what Mitt Romney’s proposing. What we’re saying is no changes for anybody 55 and above.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: What Mitt Romney is proposing —
REP. RYAN: And then the kinds of the changes we’re talking about for younger people like myself is don’t increase the benefits for wealthy people as fast as everybody else —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Martha —
REP. RYAN: — slowly raise the retirement age over time.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Martha —
REP. RYAN: It wouldn’t get to the age of 70 until the year 2103, according to the actuaries.
Now, here’s the issue.
MS. RADDATZ: Quickly, Vice President.
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Quickly, the bottom line here is that all the studies show that if we went with Social Security proposal made by Mitt Romney, if you’re 40 — in your 40s now, you will pay $2,600 a year — you get $2,600 a year less in Social Security. If you’re in your 20s now, you get $4,700 a year less. The idea of changing — and change being, in this case, to cut the benefits for people without taking other action you could do to make it work — is absolutely the wrong way.
Wow. I had not heard Romney-Ryan were going to roll out the Bush privatization scheme again. I personally knew they would, Social Security is a big pot of money and conservatives have been lusting over that big chunk of change for decades, but I had not heard that from their mouths this cycle. If Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan plan to change Social Security to a 401k, I think people have the right to know that.
Here’s number two:
MS. RADDATZ: Can you declare anything off-limits —
MS. RADDATZ: Can you declare anything off limits? Home mortgages deductions —
REP. RYAN: Yeah. We’re saying close loopholes on high-interest people–
MS. RADDATZ: Home mortgage deductions —
REP. RYAN: — for higher-income people. Here —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: Can you guarantee that no one —
REP. RYAN: This taxes —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — making less than $100,000 will have a mortgage —
REP. RYAN: This —
VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN: — their mortgage deduction impacted? Guarantee?
REP. RYAN: This taxes a million small businesses.
He keeps trying to make you think that it’s just some movie star or hedge fund guy or an actor—
Romney-Ryan will not guarantee they will preserve the mortgage interest deduction. Wow, again. Whatever one thinks about that deduction, I don’t think political media and conservatives can deny it is important to many, many ordinary people. We’re just now finding this out?
Oh, and the “Moderate Mitt” bullshit conservatives and media are selling? Let’s recap what we learned last night. Big, big, structural and ideologically-driven changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the tax code are planned. That is no normal person’s definition of “moderate.” And Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan know it.