Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ryan and Medicare

Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican’s lead man on the budget, released the Republican plan the other day.

David Leonhardt’s April 6 column calls it:

The Republican budget released on Tuesday is a daring one in many ways. Above all, it would replace the current Medicare

Yet there is at least one big way in which the plan isn’t daring at all.

He then goes on to trumpet the fact that create such problems for policy in D.C.: people think Medicare is an entitlement (that they’ve paid for) rather than a welfare program (that they haven’t).

I can make this personal. That last row is not far off the position of my wife and I: a professor earning an upper middle class income on his own, married to a lecturer providing a second income that by itself is not far off the median for a household in the U.S. We would probably be regarded as “rich” by most people in Cedar City. And yet that last row indicates that even for us, its unlikely that we pay in more than we’ll take out, making it welfare for us too.

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