Republicans have a twofold answer. First, hammer home that their plan affects no one over 55, let alone 65. Second, go on offense. Point out that President Obama cut Medicare by $700 billion to finance Obamacare.
It’s a sweet judo throw: Want to bring up Medicare, supposedly our weakness? Fine. But now you’ve got to debate Obamacare, your weakness — and explain why you are robbing Granny’s health care to pay for your pet project.
If Romney/Ryan can successfully counterattack Mediscare, the Ryan effect becomes a major plus. Because:
(a) Ryan nationalizes the election and makes it ideological, reprising the 2010 dynamic that delivered a “shellacking” to the Democrats.
(b) If the conversation is about big issues, Obama cannot hide from his dismal economic record and complete failure of vision. In Obama’s own on-camera commercial — “the choice . . . couldn’t be bigger” — what’s his big idea? A 4.6-point increase in the marginal tax rate of 2 percent of the population.
That’s it? That’s his program? For a country with stagnant growth, ruinous debt, and structural problems crying out for major entitlement and tax reform? Obama’s “plan” would cut the deficit from $1.20 trillion to $1.12 trillion. It’s a joke.