That nice Boy Scout from down the street who's politely offered to fix America's finances, Rep. Paul Ryan, visited the White House today along with many, many other invited House Republicans. And Ryan, who has been known to sport a sad face when people say mean things about his policy ideas, had some tough words himself for that "demagogue" Barack Obama.
Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, got a standing ovation from his colleagues during the meeting.
"Hey, I'm that Ryan guy," Ryan said at the start of his remarks at the meeting, according to a Republican aide.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told reporters after the meeting that Ryan told Obama "we're not going to make progress on reforming Medicare unless we cut through the demagoguery on the issue."
In reply, Obama "spelled out his differences and responded with the thought that if everyone would follow that, certainly he would," Goodlatte added. "Paul's point was that as president of the United States, he can take the lead in cutting through that and having a serious discussion.
"Medicare cuts" can always be on the table, but they don't have to be Paul Ryan's plan to end Medicare — and sorry, but that's a statement of fact that explains his plan, and therefore something which concerned politicians have the right to "Mediscare" over, even if it upsets columnists like David Brooks and Joe Nocera who are dismayed with Democrats for relaying important facts to voters. Paul Ryan is welcome to propose a new, debatable Republican plan that includes cuts in reimbursable services, or premium increases, etc., at any time of his choosing. Just to hammer this in again: The goal of these negotiations is to come up with a plan that significantly cuts our national debt over the next ten years, and Paul Ryan's Medicare plan would not start for another ten years.