Immediately upon Ryan’s selection, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina released a statement that recalled author Mary McCarthy’s put-down of left-wing playwright Lillian Hellman: “Every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.’ ”
Messina scored Ryan for his “budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy” (except that there aren’t tax cuts, budget-busting or otherwise), for bringing to an “end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system” (except there’s no voucher, and Medicare benefits would stay exactly the same), and for “shifting thousands of dollars in health-care costs to seniors” (except the Ryan plan doesn’t apply to today’s seniors, nor will it shift costs onto the seniors of the future).
The Democrats never want to admit three things about Ryan’s Medicare plan. First, that it doesn’t affect anyone over age 55 and won’t kick in for another 10 years. Conceding this makes the job of frightening elderly voters trickier, so it is best ignored.