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PAGE 18A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, AUGUST 24, 2012 Sudoku solution from page 7 2148 7931 8562 1.856 9423 637.5 5619 3784 4297. 63957 54862 97413 72349 81576 491.28 28734 16295 35681 Ryan " From page 1A GOP presidential candi- date, announced his pick. Ryan and his defenders argue that his proposals will drive down costs by spurring competitive pricing and save popular entitlement, programs from eventual bank- ruptcy. "Paul Ryan has chal- lenged both party leader- ships in Washingto to face up to growing fiscal problems that threaten to blight our nation's future," the Republican Jewish Coalition said in its statement welcoming Romney's announcement Weddings Bar-Mitsva's Conferences Kosher Events Bat-Mitsva's Kosher Restaurant !-866-705-76761407-396-1400 YopldGat HOTEL 8 CONFERENCE CENTER I :::i:::ii:i:i:iifi!ifi!!~iii!:~Si::ii!iiiiiiiii:ii!!ii:iii~ Publication Date: September 7, 2012 Advertising Deadline: August 29, 2012 o,n Aug. 11. "And while congressional Republi- cans have responded to the challenge, Democrats have ducked responsibil- ity Outside of his leader- ship on budget issues, Ryan, 42, has not been preeminent in many of the areas that tradition- ally have attracted Jewish organizational interest. Elected in 1998, he visited Israel in 2005 on a trip organized by the American Israel Educa- tion Foundation, an af- filiate of the American Israel Public Affairs Com- mittee. Along with Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R=Calif.), he has joined Rep. Eric Can- tor (R-Va.), the House majority leader, as the "young guns" heralding a more robustly conser- vative RepubliCan Party, one that aj)peals more to the Tea Party insurgents who fueled the Republi- can takeover of the House in 2010. Cantor has often point- ed out the diversity, em- bodied by the trio--Can- tor is a Southeastern observant Jew, Ryan is a Midwestern Roman Catholic and McCarthy is a Western Protestant. "Having worked closely with Paul, I've seen first- hand the energy and commitment he brings to pursuing the kind of pro- growth economic policies we need to create jobs and reduce Our massive debt," Cantor saidin a statement. "Quite simply, Mitt Romney could not have made a finer choice for the future direction of our country." Ryan has followed Can- tor's lead on foreign policy, co-sponsoring signature pieces of legis- lation that the majority leader initiated, most, re- cently one that enhances security cooperation be- tween the United States and Israel. "America has no better friend in the Middle East than the nation of Israel. Not only is Israel the region's only fully func- tioning democracy, with a government based on popular consent and the rule of law, but it is also a valuable ally against Islamic extremism and terrorism," Ryan says on his congressional page William Kristol, the leading neoconservative thinker, was among those touting Ryan, although Politico reported that the campaign's respoRse was "sarcastic" when a reporter asked whether Kristol's advocacy was a factor in the pick. Politico also reported that Dan Se- nor, Romney's top Middle East adviser known for his closeties to the pro- Israel community, will be advising Ryan ahead of his convention speech in late August and his debate with Vice President Joe Biden, which is scheduled for Oct. 11 at Centre Col- lege in Ke'ntucky. Ryan has not interacted extensively with the small Jewish community in Wisconsin, but those who have met him say he's an eager student of the Middle East. "He's thought a lot about those issues, al- though he might not be an expert like he is on the nitty gritty of the budget," said Nat Sattler, who has been active in Wisconsin Republican politics and has met Ryan at Republican and pro- Israel events. "Knowing his ability to suck up information, I'm sure he is becoming an expert." Ryan still lives in his hometown, Janesville, in the southern part of Wisconsin. Its Jewish community is tiny but has two notable children: for- mer Sen. Russ Feingold and his sister, Dena, the state's first female rabbi. Ryan has backed cuts to the overall foreign assistance budget, al- though he favors fund- ing at current levels for Israel. AIPAC and other pro-Israel groups gener- ally are committed to maintaining foreign as- sistance funding overall, and not just for Israel. It is in the area of do- mestic spending that the clashes between Ryan and the Jewish organizational community have been evident. On the record, however, organizational criticism often does not often name Ryan because such groups do not want to make enemies or to seem partisan. But even absent names and party affilia- tion it can be scathing. In 2011, the Jewish Fed- erations of North America and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs--the two leading policy umbrel- las addressing economic issues--were blunt in a joint letter to Congress members slamming plans that originated with Ryan that woul'd transition parts of Medicare, the medical program for the elderly, to a Medicare Ex- change in which a variety ()f private plans would be made available, The plan also would convey funds for Medic- aid, government-funded insurance for the poor, in block grants to the states. JFNA and JCPA objected to the loosening of federal controls over how such money is spent. "We recognize that this country's very significant budget deficit threatens the long-term prosperity of our nation," it said. "We also believe that the major entitlement pro- grams protect the health and economic security of our most vulnerable citizens." It continued: "Within the current framework of Medicaid and Medicare, we believe that it is pos- sible to restrain growth and rein in costs," read the April 2011 letter. "We are capable of sLrength- ening their long-term viability without a fun- damental restructuring that turns Medicaid into a block grant or Medicare into a voucher program." As the budget debate has become more ran- corous this year, the JFNA has opted out, although among other Jewish groups the criti- cism has become more pointed. Also featuring in the Jewish criticism of Ryan's plans are his proposals to slash spending on as- sistance for the poor, in- cluding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Pro- gram, or SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. The Reform move- ment's Religious Action Center has taken to nam- ing Ryan in its broadsides against his budget. "By ending the entitle- ment status of Medicaid and Medicare, funda- mentally altering the tax system, and slashing spending for the Supple- mental Nutrition Assis- tance Program, Tempo- rary Assistance for Needy Families, and education programs, the Ryan plan would turn our backs on our obligation to care for all Americans," said a statement in March from the RAC. "We are commanded in Deuter- onomy, 'Do not harden your heart and shut your hand against your needy kinsman.' " Ryan's defenders note that much of his plan was shaped in coordination with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who happens to be Jewish--al- though Wyden now disavows much of the claim. Wyden notes that he joined Ryan in shaping the plan in part based on the understanding that it would keep intact President Obama's Afford- able Care Act, which Rom- ney and Ryan have pledged to repeal. "If you repeal the Af- fordable Care Act, what Mr. Romney is saying is, he just wishes for the best," Wyden t01"d the Oregonian. Jewish community offi- cials say thatprivatizing entitlement programs is more likely to drive up costs for individuals than it is to keep overall costs down. "A competition ap- proach is not appropri- ate for people who are higher risk," said Rachel Goldberg, the director of senior advocacy for B'nai B'rith Interna- tional. Ryan's plan, she said, would lure younger and healthier Medicare- eligible Americans into cheaper plans, which in turn would drive up costs for older and less healthy citizens. Ryan's defenders note that Obama's plan also in- corporates cuts to Medi- care. They argue that Ryan's plan, broadening options for recipients, is the more efficient and the likelier to prevent further cuts. "Everyone acknowl- edges the program is the foremost driver of our long-term debt," Lowry wrote in National Review Online. "Both Ryan and the president use the same formula of roughly GDP growth plus inflation for set- ting Medicare's global budget. The difference is that the president wants a bureaucratic board to get the savings through arbitrary limits on prices that ultimately will limit access to care, while Ryan wants to get the savings through competition and choice."