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SPOTLIGHT
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Turning Medicare into WeDon'tCare

Published on -3/24/2013, 3:27 PM

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Apparently, Rep. Paul Ryan missed the outcome of last November's presidential election. Oh, wait -- wasn't he on the ballot in that election as Mitt Romney's running mate?

Well, yes, but less than five months later, the Wisconsin Republican seems to have forgotten that he and the Mittster were soundly rejected.

Maybe the trauma of losing big -- including failing to win a majority of the votes cast in his own hometown of Janesville, Wis. -- has his memory slipping.

Whatever the cause, it's embarrassing to see him now trotting out the very same Republican budget proposal that he wrote last year and put at the center of the Romney-Ryan presidential campaign -- the same nauseating budget extremism that induced the great majority of Americans to throw up their hands.

Ryan recently headlined a Washington media event for the re-release of this bucket of right-wing hash. It includes turning Medicare into a "WeDon'tCare" privatized voucher scheme that would deliver seniors into the tender clutches of giant insurance corporations, forcing the elderly to pay more for less.

Also, to save the super-rich from even the slightest tax increase, Ryan again served up a mess of cuts to food stamps, Medicaid and other vital programs for the poor, while simultaneously jacking up the tax burden on both the working and middle classes.

Then, to make his package even more odious to the general public, he cluelessly reissued the far right's cry to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Hello, Paul, it's reality calling: Obama thoroughly thumped you and Willard on this issue last year. Remember?

And since the election, Obama's signature health care reform has grown in popularity. Several Republican governors are now seeing the political light and embracing it.

Maybe it's time for his family and friends to pull the gentleman from Janesville out of the rabbit hole where he's gotten stuck.

OtherWords columnist Jim Hightower is a radio commentator, writer and public speaker. He's also editor of the populist newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown.

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