The ‘Young Guns’ Plan for Economic Insecurity

( – promoted by ClubTwitty)

For months, Cory Gardner has been touting on his campaign website his membership in the NRCC ‘Young Guns’ program, an organization that helps top Republican challengers across the country win highly coveted congressional contests like the seat held by CD-4’s Betsy Markey.  Now, it also provides an ideological blueprint for America’s future-one that Gardner must address.

The Republican National Congressional Committee announced earlier this week that the three GOP rising stars behind the Young Guns program-Eric Cantor, Paul Ryan, and Kevin McCarthy-are publishing a book, which will be released later this month, offering a vision for the new Republican Party.  

Included in the new book, titled “Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders,” is Paul Ryan’s controversial “Roadmap for America’s Future,” a plan the New York Times described as “an unusually austere proposal to vanquish the federal debt by, among other things, partly dismantling Social Security and Medicare as they currently exist.”  

Inclusion of Ryan’s roadmap in the ‘young guns’ manifesto makes it incredibly difficult for the national GOP in general and ‘young guns’ like Gardner in particular to separate themselves from Ryan’s policy prescriptions.

It is a roadmap that masks right-wing political ideology for a pragmatic approach to solve this country’s debt crisis. The roadmap would drastically cut entitlement spending on Social Security and Medicare by raising the retirement age, cutting benefits, and radically altering the federal tax code, pushing the country closer to a regressive consumption tax. These actions would leave families and the elderly at the mercy of rising living costs and an unregulated market without the effective social safety net that has been a fundamental part of this country’s social compact nearly four generations.  It is a roadmap for economic insecurity.

More specifically, the roadmap includes an across the board cut in Social Security benefits for everyone under 55-years old, which will be indexed to income-i.e. less affluent seniors will have smaller reductions in benefits.  The plan would also call for the option to partially privatize of Social Security for everyone under 55, beginning in 2012, and it raises the eligibility age by indexing it to life expectancy.  

With respect to health care, the roadmap also raises the eligibility age for Medicare from 65 to 69 1/2, and it cuts benefits. All eligible people in 2020 will remain within the current Medicare system, albeit some higher income enrollees will face higher premiums and some reductions in program payments. After 2021, however, newly eligible Medicare recipients will not be given traditional Medicare coverage; rather, they will be given vouchers to buy health care coverage.  

As the CBO observes, “the average amount for the Medicare voucher would grow over time at a rate equal to the average of the growth of the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) and the growth of the price index for medical care (CPI-M).”  The problem, though, is that the rate of growth for CPI-M far outpaces the CPI-U.  Over time, the cost of medical care would far outpace the value of the Medicare voucher, which includes the slower growing CPI-U, thus leaving seniors vulnerable to rationed health care.

Moreover, the plan would push everyone away from group health insurance coverage through employers and would instead entice people through tax credits-$2,300 for an individual and $5,700 for families-to buy their own private insurance policies.  The problem, of course, is that the average health insurance policy for a family of four is $13,000, which would put each family on the hook for the remaining balance of the policy.

Lastly, the roadmap simplifies the tax code by excising nearly all tax deductions and credits; it collapses all income taxes into two brackets-10% and 25%-and abolishes the corporate tax structure and replaces it with a regressive value-added tax. It would also require that federal spending not exceed 19% of GDP. Capping maximum expenditures to a percentage of GDP may work well during times of economic prosperity, but during recessions, the federal government would struggle to meet its spending commitments, which are unaffected by fluctuations in the economy.  

This would inevitably lead to its own fiscal problems during economic downturns, just like the restrictions in California under Proposition 13 or in Colorado under TABOR.  


As a member of the elite “Young Guns,” is this the kind of blueprint for the future that Cory Gardner supports? If not, does he have a responsibility to distance himself from the organization that carried him through the GOP primary earlier this year and to return the money he’s raised through it?  After all, if Gardner beats Betsy Markey it would no doubt be in large part because of Ryan and Canter’s recruiting.  

According to the Federal Election Committee, those men’s PACs alone have donated $15,000 to Gardner’s campaign, which says nothing of the tens of thousands Gardner has acquired through fundraising networks he was introduced to through the ‘Young Guns’ program, and in the enormous contribution from the RNCC in campaign ads, staff support and strategic advice.  

That level of support from the ‘young guns’ campaign naturally begs the question: Doesn’t his continued membership in this organization represent a tacit endorsement of the ideas espoused by the program, especially when it is an organization of which Gardner actively applied for to be a member?  

(For appropriate links, please see original post at http://ryanpolitics.blogspot.c…

20 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. H-man says:

    Apparantly that list of Dems whose funding was about to be cut-off by the DCCC has leaked out. Your own Betsey Markey has made the cut.  She is one of “The 10 most endangered House Dems”. I kid you not.  Here is a link to the article in The Hill.

  2. H-man says:

    Defending your support for Nancy Pelosi’s agenda which you voted for in Greeley?


    Cap and trade?

    In a wave year?

    With the Northern Colorado TeaParty energized.

    Senate candidate from other party who is running from your district?

    A rather steep incline to that uphill battle.

    I can’t imagine a harder district to keep.

    • ajb says:

      Will Cory support these measures to kick granny to the curb? Will he vote to gut SS and medicare? Will he tell the farmers in the 4th that in a downturn there won’t be money for ag subsidies?

  3. Helen says:

    Thank you for posting about something of substance rather than simply tactics.

  4. onebigrepublican says:

    if she is readying her call script to Cory at his victory party?  I mean, Betsy was really upset when Marilyn didn’t call her to tell her how happy she was that Betsy had won.

  5. dlof says:

    Betsy by 8 when the counting is over.  I’m so sure of this that I’ll offer H-man a bet:  Dinner of Steak and Wine at Kenny’s, on the loser, and I’ll take Betsy + 2.

    BTW, that means if Betsy wins by less than 2%, then I still pay up like I lost.

    Now, the floor is open for you to tell me how stupid I am.

  6. bud says:

    which has a big hold on the Colorado Republican Party.

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