Tim Pawlenty proposes Medicare changes?
Medicare is emerging as a defining issue of the 2012 campaign. Tim Pawlenty has a proposal of system overhaul that offers more choices?
“My plan will include a series of options that people can choose from, one of which will be to stay in the current program,” the former Minnesota governor told reporters after a speech at the Cato Institute on Wednesday. “We’re going to have some other attractive options that I think are going to make a big difference.”
Pawlenty did not go into specifics. He refused to answer questions about the the Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s senior voucher idea. Pawlentys campaign will roll out a series of proposals on the Medicare issue in the near future.
“It’ll be different from Congressman Ryan’s proposal,” Pawlenty said.
House speaker Newt Gingrich was put under the microscope last week for calling Ryan’s plan “radicall” and “right-wing social engineering.” He has since said that the comments were misconstrued and apologized to Ryan.
He carefully chose his words in his Cato Institute speech on Wednesday. Pawlenty frequently praised Ryan’s courage and leadership in this matter.
“In general,” he said, “I think the direction of it is positive, but I’m going to have my own plan.”
Pawlenty has been on a hard truth tour since formally announcing Monday in Iowa with a critique of ethanol subsidies. Tuesday, he was in Florida Social Security, later arriving in Washington to take on government spending.
Pawlenty wants to shrink the federal workforce as people retire. His idea is to replace one employee for every two that retire. He also proposed freezing the pay of federal workers. He did not include military workers in this freeze.
“That’s just not fair,” he said. “We can’t have the people who are getting paid by the taxpayers getting a better deal than the taxpayers themselves. These things have to be reconciled.”
After the speech concluded, Pawlenty touched on the attach against Obamas involvment on the bailout of General Motors and Chrysler for favoring unions at the expense of equity holders.
“They would have restructured anyhow through the existing process of bankruptcy,” he said. “And what they got was a President Obama-guided, sweetheart, pre-arranged bankruptcy.”
Pawlenty added, “It is yet another example of crony capitalism.”
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