Kathleen

The Donald won’t be running for president after teasing (threatening?) the American people for a few weeks. I’m glad that the less serious candidates are starting to drop out and folks like Mitch Daniels are giving a nod and a wink to the race. The second most destructive GOP bid is, in my opinion, Newt Gingrich – particularly after his performance on MTP yesterday where he gave a rather uncharitable reading of Paul Ryan’s budget proposals. Yuval Levin weighed in on the Corner:
On the Ryan budget’s Medicare reform, Gingrich basically echoed the liberal talking point that moving to a premium-support system starting in ten years (and only for people who would retire at that point or later) was too radical. Instead, he said, “we need a national conversation to get to a better Medicare system with more choices for seniors.” His own contributions to that conversation, he suggested, would be ways of addressing fraud in Medicare and the notion that “I think what you want to have is a system where people voluntarily migrate to better outcomes.”
Fraud is, of course, a huge problem in Medicare and should be addressed, but it is hardly the essence of our health-care financing crisis. Gingrich’s second point was specific-sounding enough that it presumably refers to some particular idea. But what would that be? Perhaps a premium-support system as an option alongside today’s fee-for-service Medicare? Such an approach was considered during the Clinton years (a form of it was proposed by the Breaux-Thomas commission in 1997) but eventually killed by the White House and congressional Democrats. If that’s what Gingrich is saying, then let him say so and argue out its benefits and drawbacks compared to the (very similar) Ryan proposal, rather than just parrot Charles Schumer’s talking points about radicalism in a way that hands the Democrats a weapon to use against any real reform. Calling such reforms radical while repeating unfounded Democratic talking points is certainly an effective way to undermine such solutions.
I’ll be honest, Newt Gingrich embarrasses me as a history major, an American, and as a registered Republican (forgive me for linking to ThinkProgress video). The only person he seems to be consistently in favor, and in defense of, is himself.

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