Lacey Smith

Romney/Ryan, Wasserman Schultz and Entitlements

In Uncategorized on August 15, 2012 at 11:46 am

I’ve been a little disconnected from politics of late, especially when it comes to people. Frankly, on a lot of levels it’s business as usual and I’m tired of it. Utah’s Tea Party is sort of AWOL and in Salt Lake it’s hard to stay engaged locally the way I did in much smaller Idaho Falls.

I’ve stayed fairly invested in policies, but the politicians are driving me nuts.

However, the Romney VP pick of Paul Ryan actually has me a little excited about the election and I think it makes a Romney win more likely.

It also opens the election up to a change in narrative and provides an interesting challenge to the Romney campaign in controlling the narrative – something his campaign, and the Republicans in general, have not shown to be very good at.

However, Paul Ryan is a little bit better at delivering a message and connecting with people than Romney is and in everything I saw this weekend, Ryan makes Romney look good. The two really compliment each other.

While VPs typically have little influence on policy, etc. (and in some way I think show what the founders intended the role of president to be as well), Paul Ryan is a policy guy and his ‘nomination’ has opened up the Romney/Ryan camp to criticism on the Ryan plan.

Which brings me to Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Yesterday I was watching Fox News’ coverage of the Ryan pick and one of their guests was Debbie Wasserman Schultz. While I have to give her credit for showing up on Fox News, she didn’t answer a lot of the questions.

One thing she did keep saying in her criticism of Paul Ryan was that so many years ago we made a decision or a promise regarding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, this came across my Twitter feed:

That’s all well and good, but what about the promises made to me or my children? Actually, the promises are massive debt, nanny-stateism and continued loss of freedom.

It’s not just democrats, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz is among the worst when it comes to failed logical leaps.

The promises they have made to my generation and to my children are utterly unacceptable to me. Moreover, the logic that “we’ve done this for a million years, so we should keep doing it” is completely nonsensical.

It is completely flawed logic that we keep using to justify entitlements. After all, 225 years ago, we made a decision that “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

Since social security, medicare and medicaid are not delegated to the United States, and using Wasserman Schultz own argument, we never should’ve established these programs in the first place, right?

Unfortunately, whether the Constitution actually provides the federal government authority to do this is debatable. What isn’t debatable is that entitlement spending IS going to make us go broke.

That’s where Romney/Ryan need to control the narrative. Democrats always have the advantage when it comes to these arguments because emotional sound-bytes are more effective than logical arguments.

If the democrats can make the debate purely emotional and based on the idea that we want to throw granny off a cliff (remember that ad?) or break our promises to today’s seniors, conservatives lose.

If Romney/Ryan can connect entitlements to the economy, connect with voters on the issues and make it emotional on a level of preserving our country, our future and protecting our children, they might have a chance.

We are going to have to tackle entitlement spending. My vote is to phase out the programs so that by the time I get “there” they’ll be completely gone. However, if we’re not going to do that, we do have to find a way to make them solvent (and raising taxes will never be able to meet that requirement).

As we figure out how to do that, all sides need to be involved and all options should be on the table. People like Debbie Wasserman Schultz need to make positive suggestions or quit talking. Conservatives need to better control the narrative. Romney/Ryan need to go on the offensive. They need to connect entitlement spending to the economy and make both logical and emotional appeals. And Americans need to demand solutions.

I’m glad this debate is coming front and center. I hope it stays that way and we get real solutions. Because entitlements are part of our economic problems and we have to find a new way forward. They were a bad idea 77 years ago. They’re a worse idea today. The Romney/Ryan ticket gives us an opportunity to address them head on. The question is, will we?


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