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How Are the Kids?

9:29 AM, Aug 29, 2012 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
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But the most interesting part of the event is the discussion of Paul Ryan. As Byron York notes, Ryan is the first post-Boomer to appear on a national ticket. He is also devoted to squaring the circle of entitlement reform, which is probably the single most critical issue for younger Americans. Whether they are for the Ryan plan or against it, a group like Young Invincibles is designed specifically to engage it. Instead, they ignore it.

Midway through the event, the moderator asks the panel about Ryan’s Medicare reform plan. Everyone at the table answers that they are vaguely aware of Medicare’s problems and that it is important to preserve the system. Darden Rice, who is president of the St. Petersburg League of Women Voters, says, “I’m hoping Medicare will be there for me in 23 years. . . . I’m very interested in aspects of the ACA that strengthen Medicare.” All eleven panelists talk vaguely about Medicare. Paul Ryan is mentioned exactly once, by Tim Heberlein, who says, “The Ryan plan has introduced the role of economic ideology in healthcare.” There ends the discussion of Paul Ryan.

During the question and answer session, an incredulous reporter explicitly asks the group what they think about Ryan’s proposed Medicare reforms. Again, everyone on the panel avers save Heberlein, who says that it’s really “an ideological question.” And that’s that.

It would be easy to complain about the deep unseriousness of the Young Invincibles. But I wouldn’t be so hard on them. Like everything else that’s gone wrong in America for the last 40 years, it’s probably their parents’ fault.

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