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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Since Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate over the weekend, attention has shifted to the Romney-Ryan plan.

Today, a former North Carolina Congressman came to Wilmington to say Ryan and his budget are not right for America.

Rep. Bob Etheridge says he is surprised Romney adopted Ryan’s budget plan so easily.

“I’m surprised he endorsed it” Etheridge said. “What he’s saying is he wants to take the $700 billion, give that to tax breaks, to the wealthiest people in this country, then say to the seniors, ‘You’re on your own.'”

Etheridge, a Democrat, who served with Ryan in the US House, including on the Budget Committee, says under the Ryan plan, Medicare will be cut and seniors will have to pay.

Ryan says that’s not the case.

“Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because the government made promises that they organized their retirements around,” Ryan said in an interview with CBS “60 Minutes” over the weekend. “In order to make sure we can do that, we have to reform it for those of us who are younger.”

Etheridge says there’s more to the story.

“He’s not being totally candid and honest,” Etheridge said during his rally with Democratic voters. “The truth is he is not a conservative. He is a radical, because if you’re conservative, you pay for what you do. He’s not talking about paying for it. He’s talking about adding trillions of dollars to the national debt.”

Ryan says he is ready for the scrutiny that comes along with the race to the White House. He says now is the time to stand firm in his plan.

“This is not the time to go wobbly,” Ryan said earlier this week. “They are going to run these attack ads at us regardless. This is the time for leaders to be leaders.”

Etheridge says voters should learn more about Ryan’s plan and really look at the details behind the ideas. He says the details define what the Romney-Ryan White House would look like.

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21 Comments on "Fmr. Rep. Etheridge says Ryan ‘not a conservative, a radical’"

2015 years 10 months ago

member of the House of Representatives. Your political views were not compatible with the views of us. Hence…you lost. Frankly, we’re not interested in what you have to say.

2015 years 10 months ago

Excellent comment.

2015 years 10 months ago

The headline of this story is so misleading! Etheridge is a democrat so he is saying what all democrats do when trying to misleading the uniformed voters. Etheridge is trying to scare the elderly while us young folks are are paying into a broken system. We need radical reform of a very old broken system.

Peyton Garrett
2015 years 10 months ago

Apparently Obama’s budgets have not worked very well either. Hard decisions are going to have to be made. Entitlements are going to have to be cut or done away with completely in some cases. I am 58 years old and for the last 20 years I have not planned on receiving any Social Security or Medicare. I have planned accordingly. While I have contributed, I look at it as a cost of living here. Do I agree with all of Ryan’s proposals? No. But come to think of it, I don’t remember anything significant that Bob Etheridge contributed to right the sinking ship by the name of “Budget Deficit”. Again, perhaps that is why he is not serving in Washington any longer.

2015 years 10 months ago

The most recent AARP magazine had a handy graphic showing a multitude of changes that COULD be made in social security, based on our priorities. I have friends that told me 30 years ago there would be no SS for us, that it was doomed. In the 1980’s congress made necessary adjustments to keep it on a sound footing for several more decades. More adjustments will do the same. We are truly all in this together, and if we say SS will only be there for those 55 or older we ARE doomed. Because in 20 years those people will be 75 and NO money will be going in. Younger folks who are allowed to create their own buffet savings plan will be victims of any stock market whims, just as those with too much in 401k are now trying to recoup their losses. Not many could live on the 401k savings– huge market profits were assumed. Social Security is not a get rich quick scheme. It is a highly successful safety net, and with savings and pension plans (for the fortunate) it can provide a continuing middle class lifestyle without fear of the poorhouse.

2015 years 10 months ago

Who cares what this guy thinks. Ryan brings a fresh and honest approach to politics, and creates much needed attention to issues critical to our nation.

2015 years 10 months ago


What is “fresh and honest about….”

– Overturning ROE v. Wade and outlawing obortion?
– Cutting taxes for the highest earning people in the country?
– Outlawing IUD’s?

There is a hidden religious agenda from both these right wing nutjobs. Mitt Romney is a puppet and Ryan is a paranoid conservative that is afraid of anything different then the way things were in the 1800’s.

I’m all for fiscal conservatives, reduction of the size of government and certain breaks to companies who create new jobs in America. However, I am not interested in voting for anyone who is hiding a relgious agenda.

If they could somehow balance the social issues with fiscal conservatism, I would be happy to vote otherwise. Until then, I cannot align with a paranoid relgious nutjob and a Mormon poltician flip-flopper.

Robert Green
2015 years 10 months ago

Is wrong ! Get lost Etheridge.The radical label that has been placed on Ryan are closely aligned with those of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson. Mr Ryan’s values mirror mine. I guess I am a radical too for wanting a disciplined government. If we are going to talk about radicalism , let’s talk about the Saul Alinsky influence on Obama’s Presidency. The is not our grandparent’s Democratic Party , this is the New American Socialist Movement that had a perfect alignment of the liberal stars , when Pelosi , Dingy Harry and Obama forced the Hope and Change agenda. An agenda that continues to expand the dependency culture , which leads to control.

2015 years 10 months ago

I’m sick of the Socialist argument. People are unaware about what true Socialism is. Look at France, they want to start charging high salaried citizens 75% income tax rates. Now that is socialism!

Please stop with the liberal “agenda” bullsh** as well. The agenda is for social equality. This is the same quote un quote “liberal movement” that gave us Roe v. wade, ended segregation, gave women the power to vote, allowed a minimum wage law.

All of those things are positive outcomes for the American society. Sure, there are those who will continue to bring forth a closet-based, bubble enclosed, religious paranoid social agenda. That is what you have coming from a portion (notice I did not say all) of the far right.

Not all of us who believe in social equality are out there hugging every tree, stopping you from drilling for oil and decrying capitalism. There are those of us who believe in a free-market society with limited government and a balanced social policy that allows women to choose and people to have the freedom that the far right cries the left has taken away. All false.

2015 years 10 months ago

Who cares what he has to say about anything. He is just another spend and tax Demotard who has almost ruined this State along with Purdue and Easley who both have had investigations into their finances. This State needs leadership, you have the Highway Patrol out of control with allegations against members regularly. You have Demotards in prison for their corruption and others under investigation. Back to Etheridge, just another mouth in a party of crooks!

Monkey Junction
2015 years 10 months ago

Is that you Brian Berger?

2015 years 10 months ago

Yes, and Larry Kissell, you’re next.

2015 years 10 months ago

The voters in his district cared so much for what he had to say that they decided to give him a long term vacation.

2015 years 10 months ago

Ryan’s plan is fiscally responsible, preserves Medicare as it exists for anyone over 55, and addresses the unsustainable drain Medicare is causing while still providing care for seniors in the future.

The Democrats are once again resorting to blatant lies in an attempt to scare seniors.

Of course, if they continue to turn to old, drunken screwballs to spread the lies, it thankfully won’t work.

2015 years 10 months ago

73% of all Americans, including a majority of Republicans are against changes to Medicare- Medicaid and Social Security. Most registered Republicans polled since Sat. feel Rayan was no better than Palin as a VP choice. You, Rush and Beck are the only happy Repubs I know? The I have mine and you get yours the best way you can attitude will not prevail. My fathers generation never abandon his family and friends neither will I. The Romney/Ryan ticket might be good for a few, which I doubt you qualify but they are not good for America!!!!

2015 years 10 months ago

Ok. The dems lie.
But what this written by Ronald Reagan’s first budget director and Republican U.S. Representative
Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan

Published: August 13, 2012
Greenwich, Conn.
PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.

Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.

Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.

2015 years 10 months ago

in keeping Social Security and Medicare alive and well for our children as well as ourselves. We don’t want to privatize Social Security or give health-care vouchers to seniors. We care about the 99% more than the 1%.

2015 years 10 months ago

Social Security will not be there for my generation. I understand that. I’d rather they come up with solutions to cover current obligations made people who have no time left to plan for the future and stop lying to those of us that do.

Hard-working Taxpayer
2015 years 10 months ago

What polls are you referring to?

2015 years 10 months ago

Second, if that fantastic figure you quote is accurate, then 73% of Americans are DENYING REALITY. We cannot continue to make promises without the ability to pay them. You could tax any income over $250k at 100% and you can’t make the numbers match.

It’s important to note that when people discuss our $15 trillion debt they are conveniently failing to mention the $40 trillion in unfunded entitlements that we are also on the hook for.

Our house of cards is about to collapse. Failing to radically alter Social Security and Medicare will simply speed up the process….and then, no one gets ANYTHING.

2015 years 10 months ago

There are many, MANY things wrong with our government, but we were discussing Medicare, and Ryan is 100% spot on regarding the need to modify it.

The simple fact is that Ryan’s plan will retain some semblance of Medicare for future recipients. The math is on his side. If we retain the current plan, everything collapses. EVERYTHING.


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