Archive for deficit plan

Paul Ryan's Plan to Put Poverty on a New Diet: Starvation


Your Daily Dose of BuzzFlash at Truthout, via my pal Mark Karlin:

On Thursday, Steve Benen, who edits the Maddow Blog, wrote a commentary on a Paul Ryan "deficit reduction" speech given Wednesday in Cleveland. [...]

Benen notes that the speech was laden with factual errors and rhetorical sleights of the hand, particularly that the deficit which so concerns Ryan and Romney would likely be considerably increased under their plan of maintaining tax cuts for the rich and expanding the military budget by two trillion dollars.

Of particular note is Ryan's plan for a new diet to reduce poverty: starvation.  As Benen writes:

In reality, Ryan's proposed budget plan, which was heartily endorsed by Mitt Romney, is simply brutal towards the poor and working families. The plan identifies $5.3 trillion in nondefense budget cuts over the next decade, and nearly two-thirds of the savings come from programs intended to help Americans of limited means. [...]

What Ryan implies in his speech is that by reducing support for the needy, it will force them to find work.  This view that somehow the poor, unemployed, and infirm can self-generate jobs is Ayn Rand at her essence.[...]

Expecting those that our society has left behind to create their own jobs is kind of like arguing that one can live on a diet of imaginary food.

Please read the entire post here.


President Obama: No more deficit deals without higher tax revenues from wealthiest Americans


A picture's worth...

Meanwhile, Grover Norquist is all over the Tee Vee machine lately:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Could this be why? Via the New York Times:

On Tuesday, the speaker reiterated what has become known as the Boehner Rule: House Republicans will not increase the debt ceiling again without spending cuts of a greater amount. Mr. Obama, on Wednesday, told him Congress must pass a “clean” debt-limit increase to cover the nation’s obligations; there will be no more deficit deals, he said, without higher tax revenues from the wealthiest Americans... [T]his time the Obama administration believes it has the greater leverage. [...]

Tax increases were part of nearly every significant deficit-reduction measure of the 1980s and 1990s, including the 1982, 1984 and 1987 packages signed by Ronald Reagan, the 1990 accord under George H.W. Bush and Mr. Clinton’s 1993 measure... Mr. Obama’s chief of staff, Mr. Lew, participated in most of those deals, as an aide to House Democratic leaders and then as Mr. Clinton’s budget director.

Let's hope the president gets his way. It's hard to imagine, though.

Norquist is neither an elected official, an authority on anything, nor even a credible person. He is so full of misinformation, lies, and bull pucky, why legitimize him by inviting him to be on any cable news shows, especially ones that refuse to challenge him?

And no, I don't count Fox shows as news.


Quickie: Lawmakers are secretly working on grand-bargain deficit deal


Today's Quickie:

Via The Hill:

A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate are secretly drafting deficit grand bargain legislation that cuts entitlements and raises new revenue.

Sources said that the task of actually writing the bills is well underway, but core participants in the regular meetings do not yet know when the bills can be unveiled. [...]

The talks are so sensitive that some members involved do not yet want to be identified.

And by "do not yet want to be identified" they mean they're ducking and covering.

Let's hope by "cuts entitlements" they mean only fraud and waste, and by "raises new revenue" they mean hitting up the top 1%ers.

That was today's Quickie. Will you still respect me in the morning?


“Santorum is definitely operating in fantasyland.”



President Obama's campaign made some tasty mince meat of Rick Santorum's deficit cutting brilliance. They maintain that Ricky's ideas would have to "essentially shut down the government or slash retiree benefits to match the president on deficit reduction," per The Hill.

They also attacked Willard Romney's strategy, saying he and Ricky both love them tax cuts and would spend even more money that nobody has on defense, which would add trillions to the deficit over the next 10 years:

"To match the president on deficit reduction, Santorum would have to eliminate all defense and non-defense discretionary spending," [campaign economist Jeffrey] Liebman said. Non-defense discretionary spending includes government "overhead" — salaries, office space, etc. Without it, the government would essentially shut down.

Lieberman said the only way to avoid that would be for Santorum to make deep cuts to retirement benefits for current seniors.

Santorum has vowed to cut spending by $5 trillion over five years, but these cuts do not make up for the tax cuts he proposes, according to the Obama campaign.

Santorum is definitely operating in fantasyland,” said Liebman, a former deputy director at the Office of Management and Budget. “By far, these are the most unrealistic budget plans I have ever seen.”

Cutting retirement benefits is exactly what they would do, as well as privatizing Medicare, essentially killing it. Just ask Paul Ryan.

Please read the rest here.


VIDEO: Subway shop patrons react to poor GOP Rep. Fleming who barely gets by on $400,000



John Fleming says that he only has $400k after he feeds and houses his family from his $1.6 million a year income. Voters react! It's hard living on $400k.

My post with the original video of Fleming is here.


Remarks from President Obama that were not in his speech


We posted the video of President Obama's entire speech here.

And the National Journal has posted the text of the president's remarks as delivered, as well as those he released in a Monday morning letter. What was not in the speech:

This continues to be a time of challenge for our country. We face an economic crisis that has left millions of our neighbors jobless, and a political crisis that has made things worse. Millions of Americans are looking for work. Across our country, families are doing their best just to scrape by -- giving up nights out with the family to save on gas or make the mortgage, or postponing retirement to send a child to college.

These men and women grew up with faith in an America where hard work and responsibility paid off. They believed in a country where everyone gets a fair shake and does their fair share; they believed that if you worked hard and played by the rules, you would be rewarded with a decent salary and good benefits. If you did the right thing, you could make it in America.

For decades now, Americans have watched that compact erode. They have seen the decks too often stacked against them. And they know that Washington has not always put their interests first. Too often, our Nation's capital has been consumed by partisanship. Too often, the needs of special interests or politics have been put ahead of what is best for the country.

That is what must change. The American people work hard to meet their responsibilities. Now, as the Nation faces an economy that is not growing and creating jobs as it should, so must its leaders. While the continued recovery of our economy will be driven by the businesses and workers across our land, policymakers in Washington can take steps to help Americans right now and set the most favorable conditions we can for growth and job creation for years to come. We can live within our means and invest for the future. [...]

After all, we are all connected. No single individual built America on his or her own. We built it together. We have been, and always will be, "one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." We have always been a people with responsibilities to ourselves and with responsibilities to one another. This means that as Americans work hard to find a job, keep their businesses afloat and grow, and provide for their kids, their representatives in Washington must meet their responsibilities and make the tough choices needed to get our economy back on track.

This plan lives up to a simple idea: as a Nation, we can live within our means while still making the investments we need to prosper. It follows a balanced approach: asking everyone to do their part, so no one has to bear all the burden. And it says that everyone -- including millionaires and billionaires -- has to pay their fair share.

These may be tough times for our country, but I have a deep faith in the American spirit, and we are tougher than the times we live in and bigger than the politics we have recently seen. If we all put partisanship aside and roll up our sleeves, I have no doubt that we can meet the challenges of the moment and show the world once again why the United States of America remains the greatest country on Earth.

H/t: Susie Madrak


VIDEO: Poor GOP Rep. Fleming! "By the time I feed my family, I have, you know, maybe $400,000 left over."


Chris Jansing: “If you have to pay more in taxes, you would get rid of some of those employees?”


That's right, he never answered her question. Instead, he offered up the same old tired right wing talking points.

As President Obama said, “It’s not class warfare, it’s math.”

Think Progress has more.