President Barack Obama and Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan speak at their respective conventions in 2012. (AP Photo)
The House Republicans recently came out with a budget that repeals Obamacare. There have been numerous interviews with budget committee chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) about the budget he has presented. All of the reporting seems to be focused on the political angles, or the practicality of the proposal. Asking about who this will help politically or how this would ever happen while the president is in office must be more interesting. Ryan has stated that the elimination of Obamacare, and the tax increases that were to pay for it, will save over $700 billion in the next ten years. How can that be true, since the president promised that his healthcare law would not add a dime to the deficit?
No one has challenged Mr. Ryan’s conclusions. They have simply questioned the prudence of the document politically. The media loves the politics of this issue so much, that they have completely overlooked a big story. In his September 9, 2009 address to a joint session of Congress, the president said the following…
“And here's what you need to know. First, I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future. (Applause.) I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period. And to prove that I'm serious, there will be a provision in this plan that requires us to come forward with more spending cuts if the savings we promised don't materialize.” (Applause.)
The costs are obviously higher than estimated. Where are the calls from the media for the president to come up with additional spending cuts as promised? This, in a nutshell, is what is wrong with our press. They should be questioning either the numbers that Mr. Ryan is presenting, or the president’s promise that Obamacare will not add “one thin dime” to the deficit. The law was passed only three years ago, and it hasn’t even been implemented yet. If it does not add one dime to the deficit, then how can repealing it save $700 billion?
The press is certainly biased, and that may be the case here. If someone were to show that the Republican budget and the president’s promise don’t jive, it may lead to some tough questions for Obama. It’s much more fun to talk about the next election, or ask some more poll questions. Even a biased media that paid attention to facts, or had a memory beyond last weekend, would have challenged Ryan’s numbers in order to keep the president’s promise intact. This issue seems to point out more of a laziness in the media than bias. Keeping score of how one side is doing over the other, just leaves all those hoping for solutions as the losers.