Former DPVA chair Richard “Dickie” Cranwell and council members Sherman Lea and Bill Bestpitch gave the Democratic rebuttal to VP Republican Paul Ryan’s remarks on Wednesday.
Cranwell said that he welcomed the dialogue with the presumptive nominee. He said that they do not agree with the Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan philosophies to privatize social security. “We also do not agree with your policies to take Medicare, one of the two successes of the federal government and turn it into a voucher system which is essentially rationed healthcare.”
They also did not agree with the cuts that the Romney/Ryan team proposed for cuts to the Veterans Administration budget at a time that there are thousands of soldiers still in war zones. “Your policies are not good for seniors, not good for the middle class and certainly not good for our soldiers in the military,” said Cranwell.
Bestpitch’s main concern was that the Republican ticket would take away the guarantee of Medicare and instead hand out vouchers letting seniors fend for themselves. “Ryan has proposed a plan that Romney has said he will sign to privatize Medicare – in spite of what a lot of people think Medicare’s administrative costs are less then private insurance companies.” Overhead cost will go up and the profit insurance companies promise to their stockholders will cost every senior $6400 a year. “Even Newt Gingrich has called it right wing social engineering.”
Bestpitch continued saying they want to repeal cancer screenings and the closed Medicare prescription donut hole would be scrapped. Seniors are spending less on prescription medication and are getting free preventive care. “All that would go away under Romney and Ryan,” said Bestpitch.
President Obama is committed to strengthening Medicare said Bestpitch. “The AARP has endorsed his plan because it will extend the life of Medicare for a full eight years without cutting benefits,” he said.
Lea said, “let me be clear – What was said back there – when it is put to the test it is not true.” President Obama cut taxes for small businesses eighteen times said Lea. “When Wall Street banks refused to lend money to small businesses … President Obama passed lending reform to make it easier for small businesses to get the money they need to create jobs.”
Under Obama said Lea the country has had 29 straight months of private sector job growth for a total of 4.5 million new jobs. “That’s a fact,” said Lea.
While Romney was the governor of Massachusetts his state was 47 out of 50 in job creation. “The reality is they support giving tax breaks to the wealthiest individuals in this country,” said Lea.
“All of a sudden amnesia comes,” he said. Ryan criticizes the stimulus and he forgot about the letter that he wrote asking for stimulus money for the state of Wisconsin.
“We tried this top-down theory and it crashed our economy and devastated the middle class,” said Lea. “We’ve been there – it failed – that’s a fact.” With Obama he said everyone gets a fair shot.
Lea said he was confident that President Obama and Vice President Biden would be reelected.