Media comprises a lot of 20 and 30 somethings, so it came as no surprise to me when a Washington Post blogger (better known for the nefarious collusion called Journolist) and Fact Check at the Annenberg Public Policy Center erred on a point Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) made about former President Bill Clinton and Medicare reform.
Ryan has been attacked by liberals using legacy media as proxy because Ryan actually offered a tangible plan for heading off what will be a Medicare disaster as baby boomers retire.
The WaPo blogger wrote: “So let’s review: President Clinton did not convene a bipartisan commission on Medicare…”
FactCheck wrote: “But any attempt to cast the 1999 report as bipartisan or suggest it was Clinton's commission is misleading.”
I am certain neither the liberal blogger nor Fact Check intended to call the politically rehabilitated Clinton a liar although that’s basically the consequence of their statements.
The official US government Social Security Online website archived a number of Clinton’s speeches and roundtables on matters like social security and Medicare.
On Jan. 27, 1999, Clinton spoke during a roundtable on social security and Medicare. Here’s what he said: “THE PRESIDENT: Well, I would like to begin by asking a question of Laura Tyson, who is, as has been said, on this bipartisan Medicare Commission.” [I added the bold font.]
The roundtable is an excellent backgrounder on non-actions on Medicare in the 1990s that in part led to the crisis we face today.
I would also quibble with simplistic explanations of Clinton’s bipartisan Medicare Commission recommendations.
If you read the whole roundtable, everyone present referred to the commission as bipartisan and many ideas for reform were put forth because as everyone knew the program was (and is) headed for disaster.
Ryan was correct in calling the commission bipartisan. I emailed the WaPo blogger; it is unlikely he will correct his error. I didn’t bother with Fact Check.
I would add that Rep. Paul Ryan is a rare bird—a congressman who decided to put the best interests of our Republic ahead of his own. He should be commended and that is one reason I filed this column. (Filed by Kay B. Day/June 2, 2011)