|That’s right, dear. Your father and I have decided to
nail you to the wall on this Medicare thing.
As Daily Kos pointed out a couple of days ago, Mitt Romney might have gotten the far right off his back by picking Paul Ryan the Medicare privatizer as his running mate, but at what cost? Well, here’s the cost:
New polling from Quinnipiac University/New York Times/CBS News in three swing states — Florida, Ohio and Wisconsin — show that Medicare has become one of the three key issues in this election, and President Obama has a strong advantage there.
In all of the states, strong majorities want to keep Medicare as it is, rejecting the voucher system entirely: Florida (62-28), Ohio (64-27) and Wisconsin (59-32). In addition, when asked who would do a better job on Medicare, Floridians give Obama the edge, 50-42; in Ohio the margin is 51-41; and in Wisconsin it’s 51-42.
Importantly, it seems that Romney and Ryan’s promise to protect current retirees doesn’t seem to be working as a selling point with seniors.
Daily Kos cites Jim Ryan, a 75-year-old retired executive from Bradenton, Florida, who is an independent, with a comment I suspect characterizes the way a lot of seniors feel:
We’re enjoying the benefits now, and the Paul Ryan program of making it into a voucher system would change things. I know it’s not intended to apply to people in our age group, but I’m concerned about the future. I think it’s a wonderful program, and I’ve got middle-aged children and I don’t want to see the program destroyed. It’s probably one of the best programs sponsored by the federal government that we’ve ever had. It does have to be made fiscally sound, but there are ways to do that without destroying the whole concept or the substance of it.
One of the things that is not being said nearly enough is that Romney and Ryan are in fact cynically counting on generational warfare when it comes to Medicare. Great. They don’t like class warfare, but they’re okay with generational warfare.
I’m not quite a senior citizen, but if there is one thing I’ve noticed it’s that older people spend a lot of time thinking about and worrying about how their children are doing, even if it’s a matter of worrying about how middle-aged children will do when they retire.
The Romney-Ryan approach of “don’t worry, we’re not going to screw you, we’re going to screw your kids,” doesn’t exactly appear to be well thought out, to say the least.
(Cross-posted at Lippmann’s Ghost.)