Sunset Railroad wallpaper – Republicans Vote to Cut Own Throats

Sunset Railroad wallpaper

The Ryan budget is now officially a catastrophe for the GOP. Was this the White House plan all along?

When a mainstream news outlet like Politico publishes a major news story quoting multiple (unnamed) Republicans asserting that the House GOP ignored internal criticism of Paul Ryan’s plan to privatize Medicare, we can be sure of at least one thing: The Ryan budget proposal has moved beyond dead-on-arrival status to pure political poison.

[  ]…When the Obama administration released its 2012 budget, critics immediately pounded on the White House for failing to include a plan to deal with long-term entitlement costs. At the time, some of us thought this was unfair, since the Affordable Care Act incorporated concrete steps to rein in rising healthcare costs, which, practically speaking, is significantly more than any other recent administration has achieved in terms of grappling with long-term entitlement spending trends. But our voices were drowned out by the deficit hawks, and the clamor grew even louder when Paul Ryan seemed to steal a march on Democrats by releasing his own, much more far-reaching budget.

Only then did Obama release a plan of his own, in his April speech on the deficit, while simultaneously landing some lethal blows on Ryan’s Medicare plan. Grumpy conservatives immediately labeled Obama’s speech as “hyperpartisan” and the House GOP rallied en masse to vote for the Ryan budget, but the GOP has only itself to blame for inviting such a harsh reaction — especially if the Politico reports on the negative internal polling numbers generated by the plan are true.

[   ]…It’s also tempting to compare the Republican misadventures on Medicare with the Democratic healthcare saga, which also generated town hall anger and a huge electoral backlash. But there’s one momentous difference. Obama got his healthcare bill passed into law. The Ryan budget is never even going to get a vote in the Senate. If you’re going to place your entire party in political jeopardy, you might want to make sure you’re getting something out of the bargain.

Andrew Leonard is right about Republican miscalculation and getting a lot of feedback from very upset constituents. A case of once again Republicans letting the most radical elements of their party ( the House tea bags in this case) guide their agenda. President Obama, an experienced debater has probably seen these rare moments before in the Senate and the Illinois legislature where you have all your talking points lined up to face the toughest of his opponents arguments. Than your opponents become so unhinged all you have to do to win the debate is repeat your opponents agenda. He should send Ryan and the tea bags a note thinking them for exposing the deep contempt for which they hold America’s seniors. And the current generation of workers too for that matter. Good news kids, if things do not go as planned – yet another recession, more unpaid for wars – and you work hard, do your best, the only safety net you’ll have waiting for you is this stingy little voucher from the rabid Right. Frequently what happens when conservatives lose is that they – at least with their base – capitalize on that loss. House Leader John Boehner(R-OH) would come out and say this was a big opportunity to strengthen Medicare or an opportunity to really do something about the deficit. Only the Ryan plan did neither. The Right-wing blogs and pundits still think Ryan walks on water, but the polls show that not even mom and pop Republicans on Main Str are buying it. That is also one of the problems everyone should be having with the Politico story that Leonard is commenting on. The debate has been somewhat hijacked. The media is talking about the Ryan plan as part of a spending slash budget crisis. It is not. It is the fact that Republicans are committed to unjustifiably low taxes for the top 5%. Which is the Siamese twin of their  willingness to gut Medicare and Medicaid, and by doing so are engaging in a full on back door assault on Social Security. Steve Bennen gets it,

It’s worth noting that the Politico article reports, simply as a matter of fact, that that the House Republican leaders intended to “boldly position their party as a beacon of fiscal responsibility.” What the article doesn’t note is that this is absurd—there’s nothing fiscally responsible about the House GOP plan. The numbers don’t add up; the finances are fraudulent; and even the Medicare “savings” would be applied to tax cuts, not deficit reduction. The media really needs to start understanding this.

We could do away with Medicare tomorrow and doing so would make a big dent in the deficit but we would still have one. The basic spending required to maintain our thread bare social program like Medicare, the military, education and infrastructure will, for the foreseeable future, outpace the current revenue structure. Republicans would gladly let the grandparents live out their last years in misery than increase, say the capital gains tax. That will never been a sign of being fiscally responsible, rather it is a sign of the worse kind of moral decadence.

“Let them eat their own Goodwill Store bootstraps!”

Republicans proposed cutting $832 million – or 12 percent – from this year’s budget for the federal nutrition program that provides food for low-income mothers and children…Two analysts from the liberal research and advocacy group Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Zoe Neuberger and Robert Greenstein, said Monday that the cuts could mean turning away as many as 475,000 people from the Women, Infants and Children program if food prices continue to rise.

Nope, there is no way that Republicans are engaged in any kind of class warfare what so ever. Just as tax cuts create jobs these cuts will motivate those babies to get off their lazy cribs and start looking for work. Conservatism has no historical base – the Magna Carta, Tom Paine’s Common Sense, the U.S. Constitution, the theories of John Maynard Keynes, the political theories of John Locke, the political philosophies of John Stuart Mill, Charles de Montesquieu, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Thomas Jefferson were all great minds and events of liberalism ( I’m not counting Edmund Burke as a conservative, even though conservatives frequently cite him as an influence. Because he was a kind of hybrid between liberalism and the kind of conservatism Northern Republicans practiced back in the 1960s). So without any foundation to be found throughout the progress of western civilization ( except maybe monarchies and authoritarian despots), conservatism just pulls wacky stuff out of its ass. With all the problems that need solving the only solutions Republicans can come up with is the Ryan boondoggle and taking food from the poor. So when conservative presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty says this in between spinning like a top,

“Someone has to finally stand up and level with the American people,” Pawlenty said at a rally in Des Moines. “Someone has to lead…. Leadership in a time of crisis isn’t about telling people what you think they want to hear; it’s about telling the truth.”

Americans who are tired of being conned know its time to get the shovel and the wheel barrel.

But even impartial observers of Pawlenty’s record as Minnesota governor say that he exaggerates his fiscal accomplishments and glosses over the $5 billion deficit he left his successor, one of the biggest shortfalls in the country.

And that is after he used Obama’s federal stimulus money to pay the state’s bills.

More Solid Proof That Obamacare Is Working

Recent data provided by the nation’s largest health insurance companies reveals that a provision of the Affordable Care Act – or Obamacare – is bringing big numbers of the uninsured into the health care insurance system.

And they are precisely the uninsured that we want– the young people who tend not to get sick.

The provision of the law that permits young adults under 26, long the largest uninsured demographic in the country, to remain on their parents’ health insurance program resulted in at least 600,000 newly insured Americans during the first quarter of 2011.

More at the link. Easy prediction, ObamaCare will be as popular as Medicare in five years. A lot of the usual suspects did not like Medicare when it was first passed in the 1960s.

Figures, Glenn Beck Fails Bible Study.

Niall Ferguson and the brain-dead American right The British historian owes his celebrity here to the absence of authentic American conservative intellectuals

The right-wing British historian Niall Ferguson seems to have conquered America: pushing his latest perishable book, “Civilization,” this one based on the trendy and quickly dated conceit of the six (or is it seven?) “killer apps” of Western civilization; writing cover stories for Newsweek; debating foreign policy on TV with Zbigniew Brzezinski; and pouting and snarling his way through a debate about economics with Paul Krugman, Jeff Madrick and Bill Bradley. If you missed his Chicago lecture on the imminent decline of America, then at least on YouTube you can still catch him warning before the 2008 presidential election that “Islamic jihadists” and “Europeans” were hoping that John McCain would lose. Recently, it was announced that Henry Kissinger has made him his official biographer, perhaps in the hope that Ferguson, who thinks that the Kaiser should have been allowed to crush Europe, will be equally kind to Kissinger’s reputation. Time magazine in 2004 named Ferguson one of the 100 most influential people in the world, which might help to explain the condition of the world.

“The Elite Turns Against Obama,” screamed a recent headline in the Daily Beast.

According to former New York Daily News gossip columnist Lloyd Grove, the evidence that “the intelligentsia” was turning against Obama consisted of a panel at the Aspen Institute, where the right-wing New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman agreed with Ferguson that the Democrats are hurting America. Ferguson, described as a “dashing Brit” by gossip columnist Grove, praised Republican congressman Paul Ryan’s scheme for abolishing Social Security and Medicare, a plan so callous and unpopular that other Republicans have scrambled to distance themselves from it. The Dashing Brit then told the assembled plutocrats that unemployed Americans are lazy: “The curse of long term unemployment is that if you pay people to do nothing, they’ll find themselves doing nothing for long periods of time.” On an earlier occasion he created a stir when he compared Barack Obama to the lascivious cartoon character Fritz the Cat, because, he said, both are “black and lucky.”

Niall Ferguson is probably a pretty obscure figure to most Americans. It is one of those Brits the Right like to use on their web magazines and blogs to supposedly add some intellectual weight to their latest screed. That phenomenon itself is strange considering the Ferguson’s lazy approach to scholarly research and his racism. The latter would not seem to fit in with the Right’s attempt to cast itself as the new improved conservatism that will not indulge racism anymore. Ferguson has nothing but very selective memories of western colonialism. Since many US conservatives do as well, one can see part of the mutual attraction.