On Monday, former vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, suggesting that Republicans drop all Obamacare demands in their push for a deal on the debt ceiling and a continuing resolution to fund the government. Instead, he suggested that Republicans look for a bargain on entitlement reform, a pet project of his, as well as tax reform. “This isn’t a grand bargain. For that, we need a complete rethinking of government’s approach to helping the most vulnerable, and a complete rethinking of government’s approach to health care. But right now, we need to find common ground. We need to open the federal government. We need to pay our bills today–and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let’s negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code,” Ryan wrote.
Ryan did rip into President Obama’s intransigence, rightly pointing out that he had negotiated on the debt ceiling in the past, as had other presidents. Then he gave “a few ideas to get the conversation started,” including means-tested Medicare premiums, Medigap plan reform, and federal employees contributing more to their own retirement.
All good ideas. None of them have anything to do with the implementation of Obamacare, which is the concern at the heart of Republican resistance to current Obama spending – and the sticking point for Obama.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).