London Twilight Skyline wallpaper and a Republinut News Round-up

city skylines

London Twilight Skyline wallpaper

The CBPP takes a look at the new and improved voodoo economics of Paul Ryan(R-WI) -  The Ryan Budget’s Radical Priorities, Provides Largest Tax Cuts in History for Wealthy, Raises Middle Class Taxes, Ends Guaranteed Medicare, Privatizes Social Security, Erodes Health Care

Ryan Plan’s Claims of Fiscal Responsibility Are Unfounded, Tax Policy Center’s Howard Gleckman Explains

“Word is getting around that CBO has blessed a major budget reform plan proposed by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) as, in the words of National Review Online, ‘a roadmap to solvency.’ It isn’t true.

“…. All this confusion is due to a letter written on Jan. 27 from CBO director Doug Elmendorf to Ryan. In that 50-page document, CBO suggests the plan could eliminate the deficit in 50 years and, even more impressively, eliminate the debt by 2080.

“But, and this caveat is a whopper, CBO assumed this wonderful outcome would occur only if the revenue portion of Ryan’s plan generated 19 percent of GDP in taxes. And there is not the slightest evidence that would happen. …. Rather than estimate the true revenue effects of the Ryan plan, CBO simply assumed, as the lawmaker requested, that it would generate revenues of 19 percent of GDP .”

The whole concept of having the CBO is non-partisan evaluation. We all know liberal is a dirty word in Wingnuttia, but non-partisan gets their knickers in a twist just as well. So for Republicans getting around the around non-partisan is a pickle unless you ask CBO to use your projections and then conveniently forget to mention CBO’s caveats when you get your projections back. It has been the case that as many working class Americans have gotten older they cross their fingers hoping they make it to Medicare eligibility age. This phenomenon is especially acute with a persistent recession. Ryan would undermine that hope – with a yet another huge tax break for the super wealthy,

People who become eligible for Medicare after 2020 would no longer have access to a defined set of benefits from any participating health care provider. Instead, they would receive a voucher worth $11,000 (on average) to be used to purchase private health insurance. Beneficiaries with incomes over $80,000 ($160,000 for a couple) would receive a voucher for half that amount or less. For those with incomes below 150 percent of the poverty line, Medicare also would contribute up to $6,600 to a Medical Savings Account. The proposal would also gradually increase the age of eligibility for Medicare from 65 years to 69 years and 6 months over the period from 2022 to 2086.[15]

Insurers would be allowed to charge sicker Medicare beneficiaries higher premiums. Medicare would endeavor to adjust each person’s voucher annually to reflect his or her health status (which is difficult to do fully and accurately), with those in poorer health receiving a larger voucher and those in better health getting a smaller voucher. Since premiums would not be regulated, however, the adjustments to the voucher could well be insufficient to cover the higher premiums that insurers would charge to sicker people.

Moreover, the Ryan plan imposes no requirement that private insurers actually offer health coverage to Medicare beneficiaries at an affordable price, or at all. Some beneficiaries, particularly the frail elderly, people with disabilities, and those with very modest incomes, could end up uninsured or heavily underinsured.

The Ryan plan also establishes no specific standards for Medicare benefits. Seniors and people with disabilities would receive only whatever benefits they were able to buy in the private market with their voucher.[16] The private insurance plans that would be available to Medicare beneficiaries likely would vary widely. They would present a potentially bewildering set of choices to many people who are very old or frail.

As with the tax credit that would replace the tax exclusion for employer-based coverage, the value of the Medicare voucher would not keep pace with increases in the cost of health care and would grow increasingly inadequate over time.

Apparently Ryan, like every other conservative, believes you can keep putting new layers of lipstick on that old voodoo economics pig and no one will recognize it.

There is an old pop song called “Windmills Of Your Mind” that goes Round, like a circle in a spiral Like a wheel within a wheel. Never ending or beginning, On an ever spinning wheel. That wasn’t just poetic imaginary for Nevada far Right senatorial candidate Sharron Angle. It’s her state of mind: Here, There And Back Again: Sharron Angle’s Circular Journey On Phasing Out Social Security

Most have heard of the novel or movie based on the novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being. In Conservative guru’s Bill Kristol’s case that would be the unbearable lightness of never feeling shame over being a war mongering liar, Bill Kristol Is Invited to Eat A Bag Of Salted Dicks

I’d just add one comment…

For Obama, 9/11 was a “deeply traumatic event for our country.” Traumatic events invite characteristic reactions and over-reactions–fearfulness, anger, even hysteria. That’s how Obama understands the source of objections to the Ground Zero mosque. It’s all emotional. The arguments don’t have to be taken seriously. The criticisms of the mosque are the emotional reactions of a traumatized people.

But Americans aren’t traumatized. 9/11 was an attack on America, to which Americans have responded firmly, maturely, and appropriately.

Kristol does deserve some credit for trying to write the narrative of everything that happens to or in the United States as a narrative which reads like a children’s book from the planet Zoldar. In another writer, from another planet who writes interstellar children’s books, that might be quite the accomplishment. Alas we’re here on earth with real people and real events, TBogg responds:

We’ll stop right here and point out that, no, America did not act “firmly, maturely, and appropriately” in the wake of 9/11. But, a traumatized America that, up until that time, thought it was “all that” was easily manipulated into being the blunt instrument of war that Bill Kristol and his chickenhawk buddies at PNAC had their hearts set on since the late 90’s. To them, the attack on 9/11 was the greatest fucking day of their lives because it gave them the causus belli fantasy that they had been masturbating to for years. Where we saw smoke and ash, death and destruction, they saw great  opportunity and heavenly providence. And a mere nine days after the destruction of the twin towers, while America was still digging through the rubble and tallying up the dead, PNAC presented a blueprint to President Bush that, surprisingly enough, looked an awful  lot like their Christmas wish list.

Peter King (R-NY) voted against the bill to give health care coverage to the 9/11 responders. But resorts to soap operaish histrionics to use them and their families to argue we should honor the 1st amendment when we fell like. Nadler Dismantles Right-Wing Arguments Against Mosque: ‘We Do Not Put The Bill Of Rights…Up To A Vote’. After Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, both conservative Republican Christians, bombed Oklahoma City we did not decide as a nation that Christianity was at fault and no  more churches should be built.

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