Ever since Captain Capitalist selected the private-sector boy wonder to unite the conservative base, it has ignited, re-ignited and re-reignited the debate on the future of Social Security. Although Romney has distanced himself from Paul Ryan’s radical budget plans like they were his tax returns, it’s painfully clear that the multi-millionaire mannequin with no core appears willing to blindly take a chainsaw to the entire edifice of the New Deal without so much as poking a stick at defense and deficit reduction. Paul Ryan may have dreamy eyes, but the thoughts behind them bode disaster for America’s seniors and struggling middle class. The MSM so quickly fell for this 1950s prom king and his so-called gallantry in putting some of our most sacred cows on a chopping block it’s kind of embarassing. However, in doing so they so blatantly overlook Ryan’s decidedly partisan fiscal austerity (his 2011 budget plan allowed for bloated defense spending and he voted for huge entitlement expansions under George W. Bush), his lack of specifics on how he plans to pay for continued tax cuts for the very wealthy, and the truly sinister nature behind the cuts to Social Security and Medicare.
The knee-jerk, expedient selection of Ryan may have given Republicans a temporary crus on Romney since the Wally Cleaver (acts more like the sniveling Eddie Haskel) of politics has produced a field day for Democrats, who would love nothing more than to put Ryan’s notorious plans to turn Medicare into a voucher, and force the most vulnerable — the elderly, the disabled, and seriously ill — to pay thousands more for health care out-of-pocket. The nonpartisan CBO put the estimate at about $6500 per person. All of which has led to President Obama and Vice-President Biden to become even more vociferous in their support for these new deal programs that millions of Americans pay into with every paycheck.
Everybody’s kooky but lovable uncle, Joe Biden, recently announced that the Obama ticket would guarantee no changes in Social Security.
“I guarantee you, flat guarantee you, there will be no changes in Social Security,” Biden told patrons of the Coffee Break Café in Stuart, Virginia, “I flat guarantee you.” (Politico)
Let’s face it: it’s an election year so lying to the American public and kissing its ass is a true art form. Using such bold and definitive language as “guaranteeing” voters that something will not happen is a risky gamble but hopefully a smart one. We’ve all witnessed the harsh, cold realities of divided government not matching up to the lofty campaign rhetoric of 2008 Obama ad nauseam. Obviously the President has faced a most obstreperous, obstructive and mentally deranged Republican opposition, who would sooner, say, declare an Obama pledge to cure cancer as being “bad for small-business.” Brinksmanship, grandstanding, and gamesmanship are the only things the Republicans have done ever since assuming control of the House–all of which has forced President Obama to capitulate (or “triangulate) on many key economic issues.
So Vice-President Biden, a man who clearly has the ear of President Obama (especially on middle-class and senior issues), guaranteeing that no changes will be made to Social Security really ups the ante on Social Security not only during the election, but what may come of it afterwards. Moreover, Biden’s pledge vigorously defies the wishful thinking of Washington’s punditry that desires a “grand bargain” and that “everything being on the table.” So it’s crucial that we keep the pressure on the Democrats to not compromise this pledge.
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Michael is a comedian/VO artist/Columnist extraordinaire, who co-wrote an award-nominated comedy, produces a chapter of Laughing Liberally, wrote for NY Times Laugh Lines, guest-blogged for Joe Biden, and writes a column for MSNBC.com affiliated Cagle Media. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and like NJ Laughing Liberally Lab if you love political humor from a progressive point-of-view. Seriously, follow him or he’ll send you a photo of Rush Limbaugh bending over in a thong.