If you do nothing but read the first paragraph here, you will get an idea of Taibbi’s electrifying writing and research.
Having balls is not the same as having courage…
Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s latest entrant in the seemingly endless series of young, prickish, over-coiffed, anal-retentive deficit Robespierres they’ve sent to the political center stage in the last decade or so, has come out with his new budget plan. All of these smug little jerks look alike to me – from Ralph Reed to Eric Cantor to Jeb Hensarling to Rand Paul and now to Ryan, they all look like overgrown kids who got nipple-twisted in the halls in high school, worked as Applebee’s shift managers in college, and are now taking revenge on the world as grownups by defunding hospice care and student loans and Sesame Street. They all look like they sleep with their ties on, and keep their feet in dress socks when doing their bi-monthly duty with their wives.
Every few years or so, the Republicans trot out one of these little whippersnappers, who offer proposals to hack away at the federal budget. Each successive whippersnapper inevitably tries, rhetorically, to out-mean the previous one, and their proposals are inevitably couched as the boldest and most ambitious deficit-reduction plans ever seen. Each time, we are told that these plans mark the end of the budgetary reign of terror long ago imposed by the entitlement system begun by FDR and furthered by LBJ.
Never mind that each time the Republicans actually come into power, federal deficit spending explodes and these whippersnappers somehow never get around to touching Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The key is that for the many years before that moment of truth, before these buffoons actually get a chance to put their money where their lipless little mouths are, they will stomp their feet and scream about how entitlements are bringing us to the edge of apocalypse.
The reason for this is always the same: the Republicans, quite smartly, recognize that there is great political hay to be made in the appearance of deficit reduction, and that white middle class voters will respond with overwhelming enthusiasm to any call for reductions in the “welfare state,” a term which said voters will instantly associate with black welfare moms and Mexicans sneaking over the border to visit American emergency rooms.
- Taibbi on Paul Ryan’s budget: ‘Having balls is not the same as having courage’ (americablog.com)
- Andrew C: Tax Cuts for the Rich on the Backs of the Middle Class; or, Paul Ryan Has Balls | Rolling Stone Politics | Taibblog | Matt Taibbi on Politics and the Economy (rollingstone.com)
- Matt Taibbi doesn’t care for Paul Ryan (somersplace.wordpress.com)
- Obama seeks $4 trillion cut to deficit, higher taxes for rich (boston.com)
- Jim Wallis: Woe to You, Legislators! (huffingtonpost.com)
- Obama vs. Paul Ryan: five ways their debt plans differ – Christian Science Monitor (news.google.com)