GOP Budget Plan 'Ends Medicare,' Maddow Claims - Except for Vastly Expanding Its Funding, Liberal Guest Tells Her

April 25th, 2011 8:39 PM

Once again, a presumably simpatico guest on "The Rachel Maddow Show" undermined a claim she made on the same show.

This occurred twice in the same week back in March, as I described at the time. It happened again Friday night when Maddow talked about Republican congressmen facing constituents angered by the GOP budget plan. Maddow compared this to the contentious public forums on health reform in August 2009.

Here's what Maddow said about the Republican budget's effect on Medicare, followed by her guest claiming something altogether different (video after page break) --

MADDOW: Well now, a year and a half later, the same sort of thing is happening, minus the talking points and the vinyl-wrapped buses. This time, with Congress on recess, town hall events across the country are again lighting up with anger and frustration, but this time it is about the official Republican Party budget plan. The Paul Ryan budget plan, which drastically cuts taxes for the richest Americans back to what they were in the 1930s. It drastically cuts taxes for corporations. It gives billions of dollars in tax breaks to oil companies, those poor, orphaned, hard-luck oil companies. And it also, incidentally, ends Medicare, it repeals Medicare. It turns Medicare instead into a coupon system and it makes senior citizens buy private health insurance.

Which is hardly how the GOP plan for Medicare was described by Maddow's next guest, Center for American Progress senior fellow Matt Miller, a Washington Post online columnist and former Clinton administration economic adviser --

MILLER: Obama doesn't do enough, not only on the debt, but on reorienting enough of federal spending away from the elderly, which is where all the growth is in the budget. Even Paul Ryan is increasing Social Security and Medicare by something like 75 percent over the next 10 years. The entire federal budget today goes for consumption for the elderly on health care and pensions and there's less and less left for education, to recruit a new generation of teachers ...

Presumably Miller meant entire growth in the federal budget -- not the "entire federal budget" -- is spent on health care and pensions for the elderly, as he had already stated.

Miller's remarks came close to the end of a long segment, with Maddow not having time to respond. Will she address the disparity between her claim and Miller's in an upcoming show? One can only hope while also not holding one's breath.

Even though the GOP plan substantially increases funding to Medicare over the next decade -- as acknowledged by a liberal policy wonk -- the plan "ends Medicare" according to fringe leftists like Maddow because the federal government would no longer wield complete control over it.