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Ryan re-engineers Medicare Plan – Newt was right

Ryan re-engineers Medicare Plan – Newt was right

Newt Gingrich has been raked over the coals for using the term “right wing social engineering” with regard to Paul Ryan’s Medicare Plan released last spring.  In context, Newt was making the point that the plan as proposed went to far in one fell swoop to pass unless public confidence had been built in advance of passage.

Newt’s comment, taken out of context of course, now is the main focus of attack for the Romney negative campaign and the proof-positive invoked by almost every well-known conservative Beltway pundit as a disqualifying factor.

Newt has been proven right, and is owed a huge apology, which of course will not be forthcoming.  Newt was the adult in the room, as it turns out.

Ryan is abandoning his original plan, and has developed a hybrid in conjunction with Democrat Ron Wydon which does not go as far as the prior plan:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, who has been castigated by Democrats and hailed by Republicans for his plan to privatize Medicare, will on Thursday unveil a new approach that would preserve the 46-year-old federal health program.

Working with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), the Wisconsin Republican is developing a framework that would offer traditional, government-run Medicare as an option for future retirees along with a variety of private plans.

So much for our brilliant conservative Beltway punditry and commentariat.  They got it wrong, they have skewered Newt who got it right, and now they are telling us we should trust their judgment that Newt is not fit for office.

The world has gone mad.  Or at least the conservative punditry world.


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Thank you professor. I cannot for the life of me understand the savaging of Newt that is taking place in all kinds of conservative circles right now. If he can withstand this, it’s hard to believe the Dems will be able to destroy him in a general election

Mr. Jacobson, you must be joking here. Seriously you can’t think that the original Paul Ryan plan was “right wing social engineering” as Newt put it – can you? I heard Newt say that during that commentary on Meet the Depressed first hand and was floored. Paul Ryan’s plan was REVERSING social engineering not creating more of it! That phrase was – and is – inaccurate to the n-th degree. To now say Newt was right on that simply because Mr. Ryan is advancing to the SAME END, but more slowly, is silly. Newt also said the Reagan era was over and he is surely correct on that if this kind of thinking about “right wind social engineering” is accepted as fact. YIKES!

    Absolutely right iambasic. This post is complete Newt coolaid-drinking moonbattery. It is the equivalent of a Jennifer Rubin, Romney apologist post. If Ryan changes his plan, it is not because his original plan went “too far,” it is because he believes he found a way to get something passed in the current environment, found a way to improve his plan, or otherwise move the baton in an incrementalist direction towards where we need to go.

    Ryan should be the frontrunner, not Newt or Romney.

      dorsaighost in reply to mikehinton. | December 15, 2011 at 6:52 am

      It was exactly because his plan “went too far” that he needed to dial it down …

        RickCaird in reply to dorsaighost. | December 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm

        Which is what Newt was saying….

        iambasic in reply to dorsaighost. | December 15, 2011 at 5:41 pm

        Paul Ryan’s plan didn’t go “too far” unless you think the original social engineering the Dems dropped on us (which Reagan was strongly against ever being instituted) is something that just needs to be worked around the edges on. I defer to Americanism as still being strong despite the ever trumpeted contrary by the main stream media and inside the beltway types. Newt was trying to play the old get along game instead of using his historical knowledge to educate people on how correct every warning Reagan gave us was. Stop the self defeatism and playing into the Dem template on issues that are important.

        Newt has a great mind and has said many things during debates that I was the first to jump up with pom-poms on. At the same time, he has said many things that just don’t seem to fit with regards to conservatism.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to iambasic. | December 15, 2011 at 3:02 am

    OMG -Meet The Depressed-I luvvvvv that .

    CAConservative in reply to iambasic. | December 15, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Here’s the deal: if we pass something unpopular without first convincing the American people of its necessity, we will suffer the same way the Democrats suffered in 2010. Our successes will be reversed, and Democrats will institute something far worse than Obamacare. Because our successes reduce, rather than increase, government, they are much easier to reverse.

    Rather than trying to convince the American people of the need for Medicare reform–I think about 1 in 10 people currently knows how bad the situation is–Paul Ryan decided to look flashy and pass a bill that was widely reviled.

    Newt was right to call him out on that.

    Coincidentally, Newt is the one guy of all the candidates who can convince Americans that smaller government is good. None of the others can make an argument for smaller government effectively.

      You are contradicting yourself in this defense of Newt. The Paul Ryan plan was only “widely reviled” by the leftists of the Democrat party. If only “1 in 10” know how bad the situation is we would not have had the landslide in 2010. I have more faith in the intelligence and the Americanism of Americans. Paul Ryan was barely starting to educate people on this reform when Newt cut him off at the knees with his reckless statement.

        CAConservative in reply to iambasic. | December 15, 2011 at 9:08 am

        We lost eminently winnable seats because we went too far on the ideology bit in Nevada, Delaware, and probably Colorado. And the reason we did well in House elections had nothing to do with Americans worried about Medicare eating up too much of the budget.

        Simply put, you’re not in touch with the facts here:

        It took us a lot of work to make Obamacare equally unpopular.

          Went too far on ideology??? Conservatism is now going to far on ideology??? HUH??? Paul Ryan’s plan had more than just the medicare portion AND Americans were against Obamacare from the beginning. It never was wanted. We didn’t need to “work” to make it unpopular.

That Ryan backed up a little bit and proposed something different hardly makes his original plan “right-wing social engineering.”

I think the good professor has not thought through this line of reasoning…

    dorsaighost in reply to WarEagle82. | December 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Newt was simply pointing out the liberal line of attack on Ryans original plan. It went too far and would be called right wing social engineering … all of which is true …

      iambasic in reply to dorsaighost. | December 15, 2011 at 7:25 am

      No, Newt was not “pointing out A liberal line of attack”. Newt pointed out Newt’s liberal line of attack. Remember he tried to walk that statement back with his damage control after this reckless commentary was made.

Even a hick like me could understand Newt’s ironic point at the time, and appreciate the need for eventual change. The professor is spot on. Apparently Congressman Ryan also sees the problem and is involved in suggesting a solution. Why is there so much denial here? Are toes being stepped on? Is someone’s ox being gored? Hmmmmmmmm.

Perhaps some paulbots could come on here and explain to us why The Leader is still beating Newt over the head with this dead issue… any integrity over -er- OUT there? (as in WAY out there where the busses don’t run)


BannedbytheGuardian | December 15, 2011 at 3:25 am

Did Ryan beaver away at that original plan all by himself? B for effort . C for presentation . D for effect.

It still beats the other party who did not put their paper in at all. Nor have they participated in class.

Cain’s Chilean personal funding example (via one of the Chicago economic academic powerhouses) was well worth a look. I was impressed because Chile does not have many blondes .

aguyfromjersey | December 15, 2011 at 6:26 am

I was not pleased with Newt’s original statement, but over time have taken it as a waring not to use reform as social engineering. Mr. Ryan Plan was bold, maybe too bold, and now is working on a compromise. But, I don’t remember anybody else drawing a line in the sand and saying this is where it ends. The Beltway GOP were not ready to make this a do or die issue. There are more things to beat Newt up with then this.

Y’all are missing the point. There is nothing wrong with making constructive criticisms. But here is the problem”

Newt criticized Ryan’s plan in a rhetorical manner worthy of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. The problem isn’t that Newt went after Romney, but that he went after Romney in the way Obama or a OWSer would.

Given that Newt attacks Republicans in the same manner as liberals, that he sits on the couch with Pelosi, and was in favor of a federal healthcare mandate, are y’all really that far gone as to think this guy is a true conservative?!

    herm2416 in reply to Astroman. | December 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Nailed it!

    Newt is no conservative (sorry, Professor). I will not vote for Newt.

    Conrad in reply to Astroman. | December 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I agree: you nailed it. Newt has an annoying tendency to (at least implicitly) undermine the conservative position on something in order to demonstrate how advanced and enlightened his own judgment is. Hence, the Ryan plan really IS right-wing social engineering, venture capitalists really DO ream the little guy, global warming really DOES require urgent action. It seems like he’s willing to cast public doubt on the conservative message in order to demonstrate to moderates and liberals that he’s in fact a serious, independent thinker and not the big Republican meanie he was caricatured as in the 90’s.

    I think Newt is a talented guy and I could even potentially support him over Romney. However, even though I don’t think Romney is much of a genuine conservative himself, at least he seems more respectful of genuine conservatism than Gingrich is. Stated another way, Romney at least has the courtesy to pander to CONSERVATIVES, not to pander to libs at the expense of conservatives. Here’s the difference: Romney will take a liberal position on something and, if you don’t like it, try to tell you why it’s really a conservative position. Gingrich will take a liberal position on something and, if you don’t like it, tell you why the conservative position is stupid.

    It’s a shame these are our two choices. Reagan, of course, would take the conservative position and explain why IT was the advanced, enlightened position.

“Newt criticized Ryan’s plan in a rhetorical manner worthy of Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama. The problem isn’t that Newt went after Romney, but that he went after Romney in the way Obama or a OWSer would.”


It doesn’t matter how conservative the eventual nominee is, even if Republican becomes President. The Democrats are at war with the Republican party.

Until the Republican nominee/president understands the war and fights back it will not matter much.

I’m a member of the Anybody but Obama group … and I do mean anybody. I liked Cain for his directness, and having been a “fed” myself, his lack of conceit on foreign policy issues was almost refreshing.

Now, at the moment, literally, we have a Congress & Administration that still cannot seem to pass a “make do” Omnibus Spending Bill, in place of a normal budget, which we have not had for three years. Last time Newt was in office, we had budgets … simple as that. At times with a struggle, but we had budgets in the end.

I guarantee you that if you are not part of the federal monster you just have no idea how damaging “no real budget” is to operations, and how easy it makes miscellaneous spending bills with tons of pork (theft IMO) to sneak through with little accountability. The Omnibus Spending fiasco is rife with self serving attachments that are not needed … as all non-budget appropriations always are in fact. That is what is holding it up.

So I give Newt credit for at least having served when budgets were important.

    Aridog in reply to Aridog. | December 15, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Let me add that I am a fan of Paul Ryan. His plan might be detrimental to me financially in some areas, but it is best for the nation as a whole. I can live with it.

Herein lies the biggest problem. In the current era of politics, we are forced to abide by bread and circuses based legislation. Obviously the people want bread and circues, and so to stay elected politicians have to give these to them. Ryan is just now starting to realize this I suppose.
Having said that there is a tightrope to walk. If (conservatives) enact what they believe is bet for the country against want the voters want (even stipulating that the voters are stupid) we (conservatives) are opent to the same charge that if often thrown at liberals: It is merely the “educated elite” making decisions for the “plebes.” Sadly I fear this is inescapable.
Now if this were a case of offering new forms of “bread and Circuses” (as a distraction) a more convincing argument could likely be made, but since it requires changing the status quo, it would seem an unsolvable problem unless we (conservatives) are willing to take upon us the same charge we throw at liberals.

From what I can gather, Newt’s approach is to not force anything huge down America’s throat, but to offer a choice. Like with his tax plan (which I think is also Perry’s approach, but I don’t remember at the moment). You can either continue paying like you do now or go with the new system. Whichever works best for you. That kind of thing is much more palatable, puts people much more at ease.

People are making such mountains out of molehills. Newt’s Bain comments were not “communist” for crying out loud. Give me a break. What right had Romney to demand that Newt give back the money he earned? Newt responded in kind. It was tit for tat. And people have gone nuts over it. “Newt is anti-capitalist!” Give me a flippin’ break.

Ryan: Leaders change the polls.

That’s all well and good, but I live in Wisconsin. I’ve watched Scott Walker do exactly what he said he would do. And how people just absolutely hate his guts for it. No hearts and minds have been won. People are stupid, they listen to their unions and the bleeding heart media. Walker may win this recall election, but unless he can win some kind of PR war, our next governor will be a Democrat who will just put things back the way they were before.

And to think, no American has ever had a gun pointed at their head forced to vote for their Statist misery.

Both The New Deal and The Great Society are failures, why do American citizens keep voting for this unsustainable status quo?

And how ‘fair’ is it the one generation after another is entitled to destory the next generation?

Medicare, Social Security have brought a curse upon our land.

It’s the money. They’ll tell you it is about “qualification” (Sarah Palin) and about “electability” (Gingrich, et al.) but it really is about the money.

The really popular candidates are all from somewhere besides the East Coast, and they have support from somebody besides the very clubby Ivy League. It’s about preserving their personal connections (money).

“Newt has been proven right, and is owed a huge apology,…”

I’m sorry Newt for saying that you (inadvertently or otherwise) helped legitimized and further reinforced the Liberal Media’s use of ‘Right Wing’ as a pejorative for Republicans and conservative ideas.

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to get a word in consequently with friends and coworkers about the need to reform Medicare and the merits of Paul Ryan’s solution because they now have a habit of reciting your thoughtless phrase from ‘Meet the Press’.


Paul Ryan wrote a bill that had no chance of passing the senate much less surviving a veto from obama. There’s no reason to chastise Newt for calling it like it is. Republicans can write bills all day long in the conservative way and it will get them nothing. Ryan has admitted this and has written another bill. Dollars to doughnuts the new bill won’t pass the senate either even if it gets to the floor. Dims are dedicated not to the status quo but to increased taxation and increased spending. Face it, they hate our guts because we want to stop them. We are at war and to deny this is fruitless.

You people act like Ryan’s bill was written in stone. The end all and be all for saving this country. It was just another bill. Why do you put such confidence in Ryan’s ability? He’s pretty young to think he is superman or something.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to BarbaraS. | December 15, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    Americans expectations in life are just too high & already heavy on the generational credit card.

    They will never agree to scaling back but it will happen by default.

    Things will be yanked away .

    First thing to go is the college system – outrageously expensive. Just why do kids need to hog it up domeciling themselves exotically across the land being fed heated & pandered (even illegals ). Why not just go to the closest college /prove yourself at Community College first?

    Even before that -ditch those mortar board high school graduations -heck it is just high school.

    You gotta put the hammer down before they get these messiah ideas about thmselves. 60 is too late. They will be expecting every medical breakthrough to keep them hanging on the earth.

    Look around
    Leaves are brown
    There is a patch of snow on the ground.