I despair of how few prominent people stand up for working men and women in this country. Every week, on shows like Press the Meat, we see a bunch of millionaire elites tsk-tsking that we need deep budget cuts. Yet you never hear them talk about the “enormous burden of debt handed to our children and grandchildren” by the Bush tax cuts, or their latest war of empire. Then we have bubble-brained bobbleheads like David Brooks – a man who lives in a $ 4 million mansion – looking down his nose at AARP members? A man who’s been caught more than once just pulling “facts” out of his ass? And he’s considered a public intellectual? Oy.
GREGORY: We’re back with the roundtable. David, we’ve been talking about the need for Governor Romney to win some of the policy debates. You talked about entitlements. Paul Ryan appeared before the AARP convention talking about Medicare. Not exactly a great reception. Watch.
I had a feeling there would be mixed reaction, so let me get into it. Paul Ryan doesn’t shrink from the fight. He’ll go in front of any audience and talk about entitlements. He did it there. The promise was we’re going to take on medicare and win this fight. Is it working?
BROOKS: Well, every time I get sick of the Republicans, then I hear the AARP and I’m glad I’m not a Democrat. [ laughter ]
HAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Isn’t that crazy, how those AARP members get in the way of what sensible millionaires think is best? Boy, if ever there was a way that David Brooks made it more obvious we’re in a class war, I’d like to hear it.
BROOKS: You know, the basic formula here which Ryan is laying out is the average Medicare recipient over the course of their life pays in about $ 150,000. They get out somewhere between $ 300,000 and $ 350,000. So that gap is being put on the next generation. That’s the essential problem he’s trying to lay out. so that’s embedded in his plan. And I think it’s a pretty good plan. But they are not making the argument for that plan for reasons which I guess I understand politically. But if you’re going to embrace Ryan, if you’re going to take Vienna, take Vienna. Argue for the plan. And the Democrats are running against a false Ryan plan from 2011, not the one they are running on now. So I think it’s crucial to solve this problem, and they have a plan which unfortunately Romney and Ryan are not talking about.
SCARBOROUGH: And let’s tip our hat to Paul Ryan, because you hear that he got booed at AARP, but he went through the demographics. He went through the numbers. He explained. It was not about ideology. It was about math, about how Medicare was going bankrupt. If the AARP audience wanted to boo him, it wasn’t Paul Ryan’s problem. That’s a problem of people whose heads continue to get stuck in the sand. I wish Mitt Romney would show that courage. Maybe he will.
Or maybe they’re just people who are old enough to recognize Eddie Haskell when they see him.
DEE DEE WALLACE: that’s one of the complaints you hear from Republicans, is that people — the base looks at the choice of Ryan and said, OK, great. Now the Romney campaign is going to take it on. Instead of Romney becoming more like Ryan and getting into the details and being willing to fight for it, the opposite has happened. You saw Ryan in that clip talking about the details, but that’s not something we’re seeing the campaign do on a regular basis. They’d be better off if they did.
KASIM REED: This is more about Paul Ryan being booed at AARP. This is about the American people not wanting to privatize Medicare after they’ve been paying into it. It’s not about Paul Ryan. He can make all the presentations he wants and lay out the facts, but the president did extend by Medicare eight years. And more importantly, folks aren’t buying, ‘I’m going to take care of the people currently on the system. We’re going to change it forever for everybody else’. So the people who are –
SCARBOROUGH: But we have to do that. You know we have to do that.
REED: We have to do it as part of an overall budget deal, a $ 4 trillion deal, where we put everything on the table. If we want to get a deal, let’s get an overall deal that puts $ 4 trillion on the table, that includes revenue raising.
“Everything” on the table. That’s coming from the black Democratic mayor of Atlanta, who knows if he ever wants to be taken seriously, he’d better get on that Grand Bargain Bus with the rest of the Very Serious People.
And once again, there’s no one at the table who represents our interests. Just sayin.’