“A Ponzi Scheme That Would Make Bernie Madoff Proud”

One of the highlights today, and there were quite a few, was Paul Ryan’s rebuttal to Sheriff Joe Biden’s pointless discussion on the deficit. Ryan made clear any “savings” from the Democratic health care agenda were a result of “smoke and mirrors,” specifically included to game the CBO. Ed Morrissey has video of Paul Ryan’s highlight from the morning session, including the takeaway quote:

The difference is this. We don’t think all the answers lie in Washington.

By federalizing the regulation of insurance, and by mandating exactly how it’ll work, you make it more expensive and you reduce the competition among insurers for peoples business. We want to decentralize the system, give more power to small businesses, more power to individuals, and make insurance compete more. But if you federalize it, you standardize it and mandate it, you do not achieve that. And that’s the big difference.

While I certainly had my doubts about this summit, and it may be clear that nothing substantive was accomplished, this worked very well for Republicans. As Ed Morrissey noted after listing those fabulous reviews of the morning session, “Maybe the GOP sandbagged Obama the first time around?” This was definitely not a replay of the House Republican retreat, the “A Team” showed up ready to play.

THE HILL’S A.B. STODDARD: “I think we need to start out by acknowledging Republicans brought their ‘A Team.’ They had doctors knowledgeable about the system, they brought substance to the table, and they, I thought, expressed interest in the reform. I thought in the lecture from Senator John McCain and on the issue of transparency, I thought today the Democrats were pretty much on their knees.” (Fox News’ “Live,” 2/25/10)

Cross posted at Ruby Slippers