Ryan Round Up

March 21st, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Great editorial in NYT—they start out where I ended up last night:

As he rolled out his 2013 budget on Tuesday, Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, correctly said that he and his fellow Republicans were offering the country a choice of two very clear futures. The one he outlined in his plan could hardly be more bleak.

I thought the ed board made a strong point here regarding vagaries vs specificity:

[The budget] vows to balance tax cuts for corporations and the rich by closing loopholes, but never lists the loopholes. It is, however, quite specific about cutting Medicaid by about 45 percent, leaving 19 million people without care, and eliminating plans to provide health insurance for 33 million who lack coverage now.

Mitt Miller—always worth reading, btw—hits on the simple, undeniable intersection of demographics—aging boomers—and the role of government in retirement security.  You can’t get there from the R’s budget.

Dana Milbank and the WaPo ed board also weigh in.

Milbank quotes Rep Ryan on how safety net programs “drain the will” of the poor and “demean” them.

To protect poor Americans from being demeaned, Ryan is cutting their anti-poverty programs and using the proceeds to give the wealthiest Americans a six-figure tax cut.

Apparently, spending programs demean the poor, but tax cuts strengthen the moral fiber of the rich.

The WaPo ed board tends to be a lot more hawkish on budget matters than I am, but they hit hard on the Ryan budget, opening their editorial with an assertion that should be very familiar to OTEers:

THERE IS NO credible path to deficit reduction without a combination of spending cuts and revenue increases.

True dat.

OK—enough for now with this budget.  It’s not going anywhere, but it will remain an influential guidepost in the forthcoming debate about the role of government in our lives.  This is YOYO on steroids, and given that, like it or not, we’re actually in this together, the R’s budget must remain a strong marker of what not to do.


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8 comments in reply to "Ryan Round Up"

  1. Michael says:


    Stop reinforcing right wing framing!

    The best path to “deficit reduction” is a massive spending INCREASE to get the economy on track, followed by a massive spending INCREASE to get our infrastructure and educational system back up to First World standards.

    This can be funded through tax increases on our citizens who will benefit most from these investments — the upper middle class and wealthy.

    No spending cuts are required. In fact, they are counterproductive and borderline sociopathic.

  2. Fred Donaldson says:

    Always struck with GOP budget talk about the “family budget” and borrowing money. It’s nice to be rich, but what about families who borrow tens of thousands to send their children to college, and pay back the money in their 50s. Would a good GOP “family budget” say no to college for THEIR children, no to housing for their elderly parents, no to clean clothing?

    The “family budget” for many Americans is driven by credit cards, some at 30% interest, and unemployment insurance, which can end at the whim of Congress.

  3. Bud Meyers says:

    Why all Major U.S. Corporations Should Move to China


  4. Tyler says:

    I support ending oil subsidies. Other than that, I can’t think of any spending cuts that would help us win the future.

  5. Tony P. says:

    A bit off-topic, but will somebody important EVER call BS on the perennial GOP talking point about “small businesses pay taxes at individual rates”?

    Is there not a single reporter, pundit, or Democratic spokesman who knows that “small businesses” like sole props and partnerships DO NOT PAY TAXES? That’s why they’re called “pass-throughs”. It’s the sole proprietor or the partners who pay taxes — on their PERSONAL income from the business.

    Now why in hell should the sole-prop owner of a couple of restaurants and a laundromat who makes $300K in PERSONAL income from his “small” business be taxed differently from a senior manager who gets a $300K salary from a “big” business?

    Somebody has to call Ryan out on this flim-flammery.