Axelrod: Ryan plan is a ‘prescription for economic catastrophe’

By David Edwards
Sunday, August 12, 2012 12:51 EDT
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David Axelrod speaks to NBC News
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Obama campaign senior adviser David Axelrod on Sunday warned that the budget plan authored by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), was a “prescription for economic catastrophe.”

During an interview on NBC, host David Gregory predicted that Romney and his VP pick would claim that President Barack Obama was trying “scare seniors” by claiming Ryan’s budget would end Medicare as it exists today, turning it into a voucher system.

“There’s no doubt, David, that we’ve got to do more [to make Medicare solvent],” Axelrod explained. “But the question is are you going to do it in a way that preserves the program and the basic integrity of the program and the access to care that seniors need, or are you going to turn it into a voucher program with ever-decreasing value of the vouchers relative to health care costs and throw seniors onto the tender mercies of the private insurance market?”

The senior adviser said he agreed with an assertion made by former Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, that Ryan’s budget was “right-wing social engineering.”

“In terms of debt, I heard Congressman Ryan talking about debt — as you pointed out, this was a guy who rubber stamped every aspect of the Bush economic policy, including not paying for two wars, a Medicare prescription plan, two big tax cuts,” Axelrod charged. “And now he wants trillions of dollars of more budget-busting tax cuts skewed to the wealthy.”

He added: “We have more to do, not just to deal with unemployment, but to rebuild the middle class in this country. And the way to do it is not to give trillions of dollars in new tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans, raise taxes on the middle class and cut things like college loans, research and technology, infrastructure, energy. This is prescription for economic catastrophe.”

Speaking to ABC’s George Stephanopolous on Sunday, Axelrod went even farther, claiming that Romney and Ryan “do not believe” in Medicare.

“He’s the guy who’s the architect of a plan to end Medicare as we know it and turn it into a voucher program and ship thousands of dollars of costs onto senior citizens. He’s someone who was the architect of a Social Security privatization scheme that was so out there that even George Bush called it irresponsible, and he believes that we should ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest,” Axelrod said.

Watch this video from NBC’s Meet the Press, broadcast Aug. 12, 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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