Of course Jon Perr of Daily Kos was not seriously implying that Rep. Paul Ryan is “dropping acid” but was simply using the dramatic title to attract readers to his very serious post:
Back in the 1990s, the CEO of my former company had a simple way of questioning the wisdom of some of our more dubious business strategies. “Are we,” he would ask, “smoking the drapes?” By that standard, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan must be dropping acid. Because as a quick glance at his job-killing, Medicare-rationing, health care-gutting, tax cut windfall for the wealthy-giving and hopelessly unbalanced budget shows, Ryan was apparently hallucinating when he wrote it.
Here are 10 signs that suggest Paul Ryan is now following Timothy Leary as well as Ayn Rand.
- Two Million Jobs Lost in 2014 Alone
- $5.7 Trillion Tax Cut, Mostly for the Wealthy
- Zero Tax Breaks Ended
- Tax Hikes for the Middle Class
- Medicare Rationing Boosts Annual Premiums for Seniors by $2,200 in 2030
- 38 Million More Uninsured
- Slashing Medicare and Medicaid Benefits, But Keeping the Tax Revenue
- Non-Defense Discretionary Spending at Lowest Level in Decades
- Two Trillion Dollar Flip-Flop on Defense Spending
- Cutting Historically Small Federal Workforce by 10 Percent
Rep. Paul Ryan trotted out yet another budget that looks like more of the same. At this point I’m reminded of the old George W. Bush “admonition“…
Oh Lord. I almost forgot that today is Paul Ryan Day, even though I wrote about it just yesterday. So what’s in the 2014 version of the Ryan budget? Let’s see:
- Repeal of Obamacare (though we keep Obamacare’s cuts to Medicare, as well as its new taxes).
- Medicare would be converted into a voucher system.
- Big cuts to Medicaid.
- Big cuts to other domestic programs.
- Repeal of the sequester cuts in the Pentagon budget.
- A “simplified” income tax system with only two brackets, 10 percent and 25 percent.
- A reduction in the corporate tax from 35 percent to 25 percent.
I’ll dive into the details later. Maybe. But basically this is the same old same old. Big tax cuts on the rich, big tax cuts for corporations, and big spending increases for the military. For the poor, the middle class, and the elderly, we have big spending cuts and—though Ryan doesn’t admit it—the almost mathematical certainty of big tax increases.
At this point, I honestly have only one wish for all this: that the press finally wises up and refuses to call this a “deficit reduction” plan. It’s not. It’s a plan to dramatically cut domestic spending, full stop, mostly on the poor, the middle class, and the elderly. Every other component of the plan increases the deficit.
This is better…
After House Republicans imploded over their own Plan B, President Obama took away much of his previous proposal by calling for Republicans to get their act together and cut taxes on the 98% right now.
Obama said he met them on taxes and he met them more than halfway on spending, The president said he is still committed to working towards the goal of making a deal, but in 10 days we are facing a deadline. The president then reiterated his call for Congress to immediately extend the Bush tax cuts for the 98%. He said he spoke to both Boehner and Reid, and he is asking them to extend the tax cuts for the 98% and extend unemployment benefits. Obama said, “Governing is a shared responsibility between both parties…everybody’s got to give a little bit in a sensible way. We move forward together, or we don’t move forward at all.”
The president turned up the heat by asking members of Congress to think about their obligations to the people that they serve over Christmas. President Obama said, “We’re going to have find some common ground.” He said the challenge is that the American people are much more sensible, responsible, and willing to compromise than the people they elected.
Underneath all the nice language about compromise, President Obama pulled back any sort of cuts that he had offered in his previous proposal by urging Republicans and Democrats to pass a tax cut extension for the 98%. In other words, that $400,000 income cutoff for the tax cut extension is gone, and we are back to $250,000. In fact, the President appeared to take all spending cuts off the table.
Obama’s call for congressional leadership to put spending cuts on the shelf and cut taxes for the 98% is exactly what he has wanted all along. Republicans blew their once chance at a deal, and now it looks like they can kiss any immediate entitlement cuts goodbye. It would surprise no one if Republicans reject what the president put on the table today, but the president is making House Republicans pay a price for their incompetence by cutting his offer.
It looks like Republicans will either have to go off the cliff, or give President Obama everything he wants right now.
No surprise there. In my opinion, Mitt Romney has proven himself to be the most lying, shape shifting presidential nominee in our country’s history.
President Clinton explains that Mitt Romney’s $5 trillion tax cut for the rich will lower taxes by $250,000 for the wealthy, while increasing taxes $2,000 for the middle class.
I’ll try to put the Mitt Romney tape fiasco into perspective:
Mitt Romney had to call an impromptu news conference late this evening to explain his remarks in the following video:
Here is a portion of the press conference video in which he makes no apologies for his remarks:
Is it true, as Mitt Romney says, that 47% of Americans don’t pay federal income tax? Yes! That’s mostly because they’re either poor, elderly, or take advantage of tax credits for low-income workers. Details here. But why do these people pay no income tax? Ezra Klein breaks it down into Twitter-sized chunks:
- Rs have spent years cutting income taxes and increasing things like the Child Tax Credit. This means fewer people pay income taxes.
- So whenever you hear a stat like “47% don’t pay income taxes,” remember: Reagan and Bush helped build that.
- These tax cuts for the poor were partly in order to make further tax cuts for the rich political palatable.
- But now that fewer people pay income taxes as a result of GOP policies, they’re being called lazy and dependent.
- And thus the GOP’s tax cuts are being used to make a case that the rich are overtaxed and that the less-rich are becoming dependent.
- Which thus leads to a policy agenda of tax cuts for the rich and cuts to social services for the non-rich.
Yep, that’s about it. Also worth noting: the poor often pay higher state tax rates than the rich. Add in payroll taxes and excise taxes, instead of cherry picking only a single tax, and it turns out that the poor and the working class end up paying a fair chunk of their income in taxes. Not as big a chunk as the rich, it’s true, but then, it strikes most of us as perfectly fair that the poor should pay lower tax rates than the rich. I wonder if this strikes Romney as fair too?
The “rich” seem to be thoroughly uninformed about “the rest of us” and that includes Mitt Romney…
Today, Mitt Romney is holding a series of fundraisers in the Hamptons, culminating with a huge event at the home of billionaire David Koch. The LA Times in on the scene and reporter Maeve Reston caught up with a donor on her way into one of the events.
The woman, who wouldn’t reveal her name, said the following:
I don’t think the common person is getting it…my college kid, the baby sitters, the nails ladies —everybody who’s got the right to vote — they don’t understand what’s going on. I just think if you’re lower income — one, you’re not as educated, two, they don’t understand how it works, they don’t understand how the systems work, they don’t understand the impact.
The recommended contribution for the event she was attending was $25,000.
Earlier in the campaign Romney recieved criticism for saying, “I’m not concerned with the very poor.” He later said he misspoke.
Romney’s tax plan would give the richest 0.1% of Americans an average tax cut of $264,000.
The amazing hypocrisy of the remaining GOP candidates is astonishing.
They all tout their tax plans as being better than Obama’s and each praises their tax plans as being fiscally responsible and will save money in the long run…NOT!
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget – not my favorite people, but they can do their arithmetic – has put together evaluations of the four remaining GOP candidates’ tax and spending plans. Annoyingly, however, they compare these plans to a so-called “realistic baseline” that assumes, among other things, that all the Bush tax cuts are made permanent. So for all the talk of the urgency of deficit control, the need to cut basic social insurance programs, the CRFB is in effect willing to accept as a fait accompli the biggest, most gratuitous budget-busting action of the past couple of decades.
How to fix this? One way would be a current-law comparison, which would involve allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire. But it also seems to me useful to compare the Republican plans with the Obama administration’s plan, which would at least allow the high-end tax cuts to expire. How does debt under this plan compare with the four Republicans?
Well, here’s debt as a percentage of GDP in 2021 (using the OMB numbers(pdf) for Obama and CRFB for the others):
Yep: as Republicans yell about Obama’s deficits and cry that we’re turning into Greece, Greece I tell you, all of them, all of them, propose making the deficit bigger.
And for what? For reverse Robin-Hoodism, taking from the poor and the middle class to lavish huge tax cuts on the rich.
And I believe that all of them know this, too. It’s pure hypocrisy – and it’s all in the service of class warfare waged on behalf of the top 0.1 or 0.01 percent of the income distribution.
Edit: Emphasis are mine
I beg to differ Senator McCain, Republicans are dumb and stupid!
In the face of Republicans reluctantly ending their opposition and allowing the payroll tax cuts measure to pass through Congress, Senator John McCain described his political party in this way:
“We’re dumb, but we’re not stupid. We did not want to repeat the debacle of last December. It’s not that complicated.”
While there’s not much difference in parsing dumb and stupid (they pretty much have the same meaning), I think most of us can agree on what it is McCain was admitting. Basically, he’s saying that Republicans never do anything because it’s the right thing to do. Never. It’s always about politics for them.
Did anyone believe for a second that Republicans backed down from their obstructionist ways this one time because they honestly cared about the tens of millions of middle class workers who would benefit from a two percentage point increase in their paychecks? Or because they care a damn about the millions of jobless who will see their benefits extended in a time of economic crisis? I hope not for you would have to either be a complete moron or a blind partisan fool to believe that Republicans are anything other than self-serving, heartless bastards who finally understood that opposing a tax cut at this time was detrimental to their chances of winning in November.
Essentially, if an individual is not part of the one percent of society who fill their election coffers, Republicans don’t care much for them or about them. While trying to steal their vote in any way they can, the vast majority of Americans are little more than political pawns in the eyes of the modern GOP. Pawns who for whatever reason cannot see the manner in which they are being manipulated in the worst of ways. Republican policy which favors health insurers’ profits over the millions who cannot afford any health insurance. Policy which favors big oil’s record profits over the safeguarding of the environment and a fragile warming planet. And policy which favors the taking down of a president over the basic needs and welfare of Americans.
The Republican party is dumb but not stupid? Yeah, most rational thinking people get it.