For the last two years, Republicans have tried to defend the prerogatives of the elderly and near-elderly—opposing health care reform and anything else that would redistribute income to young people—for the sake of preserving their political coalition and providing benefits for the wealthy. The “makers” aren’t just rich people—it also includes the elderly people who feel entitled to the benefits they receive.If you forget how this is quite blatantly dividing the country, the obvious problem with this is that old people tend to die, and young people like myself will be mighty pissed if Ryan's cut-the-rope, devil-take-the-hindmost plan comes to pass. Relying on the forgetfulness of the voting public has seldom caused electoral problems, but I sense real anger if the Tea Party actually succeeds in gutting the welfare state.
UPDATE: Yglesias slices up Ryan's blather about strengthening the safety net. If you have even a passing familiarity with Ayn Rand, you know any kind of safety net at all would be absolutely abhorrent to her.