Bill Clinton fears that the Democrats are going to stand pat on Medicare, and implicitly admits that they are using the issue to fear-monger for short-term political gain. Bill Clinton.
When the two met backstage at a debate on the debt held by the Pete Peterson Foundation, Clinton told Paul Ryan that he hopes Democrats don’t use the win in NY-26 “as an excuse to do nothing” on Medicare.
Ryan told Clinton he fears that now nothing will get done in Washington.
“My guess is it’s going to sink into paralysis is what’s going to happen. And you know the math. It’s just, I mean, we knew we were putting ourselves out there. You gotta start this. You gotta get out there. You gotta get this thing moving,” Ryan said.
Clinton then told Ryan that if he ever wanted to talk about it, he should give him a call. (A word of advice, congressman: if you do call Clinton, stick with name, rank, and service number.)
But the best WJC quote came near the end of the forum, when Clinton urged Democrats in Congress to quit fear-mongering and cut a deal with Republicans on entitlements:
Mr. Clinton, with some passion, returned to the topic at the end of an hour-long interview. “I think the Democrats are going to have to be willing to give up, maybe, some short-term political gain by whipping up fears on some of these things — if it’s a reasonable Social Security proposal, a reasonable Medicare proposal. We’ve got to deal with these things. You cannot have health care devour the economy.”
Well said, Mr. President.