Archive for ryan budget

Calling Robin Hood -- Nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham Has Just Returned

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Robin Hood

As a boy growing up outside Boston, I had a wild imagination and a lot of heroes. There was cowboy favorite Roy Rogers, future space adventurer, Buck Rogers, but most fun was the legendary outlaw, archer Robin Hood. He and his men (plus Maid Marion) were a band of outlaws who found ways to disrupt the mad rantings and oppressive actions of the evil and despotic Sheriff of Notttingham. Let's face it. Without a really awful foe, there's just not a great hero or heroes. And the meanest of the mean was the Sheriff raiding Sherwood Forest.

Paul RyanPAUL RYAN AKA SHERIFF OF NOTTINGHAM

With the good king Richard away fighting religious wars on behalf of  his people, the royal brother and evil, calculating Prince John took the reins of England and trampled justice wherever he found it. His pleasure was in sticking it to the masses and stripping them of all of their earthly possessions. And his did it with his man, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

The results were catastrophic for all but the rich. That select few thrived while the Sheriff demonstrated villainy at the highest level. This guy stopped at nothing as he represented the top 1% of the richest royals out there.

So much for folklore. Whether there really was a Robin Hood or a Sheriff of Nottingham is debatable. The same could be said for Superman, Mighty Mouse, even Underdog.

Mighty Mouse vs Underdog

To get a taste of what's going on in real life, we have to look at the real Sheriff of Nottingham who comes to us straight out of the the Sherwood forest of Wisconsin . The kings of the rich, the Koch Brothers, have deigned him with the powers of the purse-strings. The Sheriff is merely a puppet and he's doing their bidding. With the new Ryan budget, the GOP kings have unleashed the Sheriff on the US masses.

To provide more riches and power for the super rich, they want to destroy every and all of the people's programs of survival. They wish to cut Medicare, education funding and loans, Social Security, women's rights, Food assistance, and Health Care. In return the rich get tax relief and the poor get worse living conditions. It must sound fair if you're a royal, but most of us aren't.

There is a Robin Hood who is trying to once again split an arrow down the middle to show up the mad and unconscionable Sheriff Paul Ryan. He's Bernie Sanders. And if you want to see his proclamation of war against the evil doers and their merry band of morons, check this out:

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VIDEO: DCCC ad campaign slams GOP supporters of Paul Ryan budget. Happy April Republicans' Day!

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ryan budget benefits richryan budget hurt a littleryan budget plan gop fail

“Help the rich get richer. Soak the middle class and seniors."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is launching online ads that slam 17 GOP lawmakers for supporting and voting for Paul Ryan’s insane budget. How insane? Via the wonderful Heather at C and L:

Rep. Alan Grayson: Paul Ryan wants sick poor people to die. This is why Grayson was elected... again. He sticks up for the 99% and has no qualms about being blunt about it.

Via The Hill:

Republicans say this budget is the best way to communicate their ‘governing philosophy,’ so we’re telling the people what that means: more for millionaires and corporate special interests, less for the middle class and seniors,” DCCC spokesperson Emily Bittner said in a statement. “That might be the Republican Congress’ governing philosophy – but it certainly isn’t the right philosophy for America’s middle class.

Catering to their wealthy corporate buddies and trying to kill Medicare are what sank the GOP previously, so of course, they're repeating the effort, and then some. All those claims of an Extreme Makeover (extremist makeover?) and showing how much they "care" about us are just words on paper that they have been ordered to read. They say 'em but they sure don't believe 'em. They need votes.

Maybe it was all one big April Fools joke, like the party itself.

How’s that reachy-outy thing workin’ for ya, GOP?

extreme makeover my assKudos to the DCCC for drawing attention to the 2014 elections rather than speculating about a Hillary Clinton presidential run. Happy April Republicans' Day!

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Shorter GOP: "We're not gonna help the poor, ever."

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gop screw the people me me me

Today's column by David Lazarus in the Los Angeles Times reminds us what the Affordable Care Act has done to date:

• Created a system to extend coverage to about 30 million of the roughly 50 million people in this country now without insurance.

• Provided coverage to about 2.5 million young people who are able to remain on their parents' insurance policies until age 26.

• Laid the groundwork for preventing insurers from denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions or from canceling people's policies after they get sick.

• Set in motion an overhaul of insurance reimbursements to reward doctors for keeping people healthy rather than profiting only when people require costly tests or hospitalization.

Wow, that sucks, doesn't it? And by sucks, I mean improves our health care access and coverage. Of course, single payer would be way more preferable, but unfortunately, that's not going to happen any time soon. But we should keep pushing for it, hard.

Of course, Paul Ryan's Kill Medicare Plan calls for vouchers, which "would create an incentive for private insurers to cherry pick healthier people by offering them cheaper insurance."

Then government-run plans would see costs drastically increase because of the "greater risk posed by remaining beneficiaries." Vouchers wouldn't cover rising premium costs, and the sick and elderly wouldn't be able to afford proper care.

Those compassionate Republicans and their fresh, new, innovative ways, always looking out for the little guy.

golden rule comic stick figures

Lazarus:

Not only would the Republican budget plan take away all these advances, but it would also drastically cut spending for Medicaid, the insurance program for low-income people. The Urban Institute estimated last year that the GOP's approach could reduce Medicaid enrollment by half. [...]

Republican lawmakers should think about expanding the Medicare system, not shrinking it. Or do they think it's just a quirk of being French or British or Swedish that allows these people to spend less on healthcare but to enjoy longer life spans than average Americans?

tweet anomaly Nikki HaleyLink

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VIDEO: The "breathaking dishonesty" of Paul Ryan and his "LaLaLand fantasy budget"

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ryan budget ridic

I would like to thank the Nation's Katrina vandenHeuvel for making the following excellent point and doing so in about a minute:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Katrina:

Paul Ryan is no apostle of fiscal rectitude.

With all due respect to Ezra, you're hearing Paul Ryan, who is cruel and clueless, and this is LaLaLand fantasy budget proposal, being treated seriously by someone like Ezra Klein, who is treated seriously inside the Beltway. For too long... inside the Beltway has had a a fixation, an obsession, with the deficit. We now see the deficits dwindling...

The danger is that Paul Ryan, bringing this out, is gonna shift the playing field so it moves even further to the right.

Ezra Klein then says Ryan deserves to be taken seriously because he's the House Budget Chairman. Well, newsflash, Ezra, per my November 2012 post "Global warming skeptic set to chair House Science Committee"(the following was true as of then):

Marco Rubio is unsure how old the Earth is. He is a member of the Senate’s Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee.

Michele “Man-Made Climate Change is ‘Manufactured Science” Bachmann sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The soon-to-be forgotten moron on climate change, Todd “legitimate rape” Akin, sits on the Science Committee, as does Paul Evolution, Embryology and Big Bang Theory are “lies straight from the pit of hell, Climate Change is a Hoax” Broun.

And via Amanda Terkel at HuffPo:

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), a skeptic of man-made global warming, is set to take over the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology in the 113th Congress.

Should we take those people seriously too?

Here is the entire segment, all of it worth watching:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yes, Paul Ryan is proposing that Congress make the very same cuts to Medicare that he previously ranted and raved about during the 2012 elections. No hypocrite, he!

Ezra Klein:

Keep two numbers in mind... 59 and zero. 59% of Paul Ryan's cuts, 59%, so almost 6 out of 10 dollars that he cuts... come from health care mostly for the poor [Medicaid, Obamacare, some Medicare cuts affecting the working class and the poor].

The "zero" is taxes. He doesn't raise a dollar in taxes.

The experts I've spoken to don't think that is mathematically possible.

Joy Ann Reid:

He doesn't mind spending federal money, as long as it's on the rich.

Ari Melber:

Just 'cause it has numbers in it doesn't make it a budget. Right? My lottery ticket is not a budget just 'cause it's a bunch of numbers on the page.

He's not a deficit hawk, he's a health care hawk.

This was a terrific segment. Please watch it all the way through.

lala land

NOTE: Apologies for the mistake on Katrina vandenHeuvel's name, which I clearly do know. I'm, literally half asleep and let my fingers do the walking for me. It's been corrected.

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Hey America, guess what! Paul Ryan still wants to kill Medicare!

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medicare poster paul ryan, eric cantor, boehner

privatization

Austerity does not work. Just ask Europe. Privatization doesn't either, it just widens the wealth gap and creates more inequality. In fact, because of budget cuts, “even police protection is more accessible to those with cash.”

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog:

The unemployment rate was effectively unchanged at 7.9%, and as is often the case, austerity measures undermined the employment landscape — while America’s private sector added 166,000 jobs in December, the public sector lost 9,000 jobs. Indeed, over the last three months, the nation’s private sector added 624,000 jobs, while 24,000 government jobs were lost.

It’d be easy for Washington to improve the latter number and lower the unemployment rate, but congressional Republicans won’t allow it.

By the way, GOP, you can scratch more talking points off your list, because three-quarters of deficit reduction has been via spending cuts, and we have the slowest spending in decades.

The L.A. Times:

Fired up as once-unimaginable spending cuts start to slice the federal budget, Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaignresurrecting the party's cost-cutting plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future seniors.

Read that first part again. Republicans are "fired up" over the nation going down the sequester toidy, and they actually believe they have momentum. And by momentum, they mean every poll showing disagreement with their policies:

poll cuts taxes ed showpoll sequester ed show

In fact, GOP Sen. Rob Portman was protested at panel discussion for supporting Medicare, Social Security cuts.

And Michael Hiltzik wisely asks: Cut Medicare and Social Security? What’s the rush?  There's a good reason why Republicans refuse to provide details.

Did I mention that those "future seniors" who Republicans speak of so dismissively may not realize it yet, but they won't like what's coming down the ol' voucher pike?

So what do they do with their imaginary momentum? Clearly, something constructive to get us out of the ditch their party created, right?

Ryan's approach would transform the benefits program into one that would provide a fixed amount of money in a voucher that future seniors could apply to the cost of buying private health insurance or to buying coverage through traditional Medicare.

Again, that "fixed amount of money" is a drop in the bucket compared to the costs of even one medical procedure... which would be covered by Medicare. And how many seniors can or want to switch from Medicare-- a program that works so well and has a proven track record-- to spending a fortune on premiums to Big Insurance which cares nothing about them but cares a whole lot for their damned bottom line?

What part of "This plan has never gotten American support" doesn't Ryan get? Read our lips, Paul: That would shift healthcare costs from the government to seniors.

Ryan's budget proposal is expected to lock in $1.2 trillion in sequestration-linked cuts over the next decade, while also reducing growth in the costs of Medicare and Medicaid — the health program for the poor, disabled and seniors in nursing homes. Other safety net programs, including food stamps and school lunches, also would be targeted.

See how the GOP is changing their ways in order to appeal to more voters? Me neither.

Oh, and to anyone out there who still thinks Chris Christie is worthy of praise and would make a swell Dem, think again. Chris Christie supports the Ryan Budget.

Finally, just for good measure, a couple of L.A. Times letters to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re “Seniors vs. kids claim is a sham,” Business, Feb. 27

As a senior, I am concerned about my Social Security and Medicare benefits. However, I am also concerned about the future prosperity of my children and grandchildren.

Your writer correctly points out that the chatter about “generational theft” in the debate over national fiscal policy is an intentional distraction. This false proposition that we must choose between spending on seniors' benefits or spending on our children's futures diverts attention from the national economic policies of the last 30 years, which have damaged the economic security of most Americans. These flawed policies caused an immense transfer of wealth to the top 1% while most Americans' incomes stagnated.

We don't need excessive wealth languishing in private hands and corporate slush funds. Our country has enough wealth to serve the needs of all our seniors, our families and our children. We need more of this wealth redirected to serve all Americans.

John D. Kelley
Santa Barbara

***

The argument that Social Security is causing a generational rift is just as false as the use of the term “entitlements” to describe both Social Security and Medicare.

The generational theft is a scam created by those who are trying to kill these programs. The truth is that the benefits from these programs may be greater for young people than they are to the old.

Consider this: When Social Security and Medicare pay for the cost of caring for your parents and grandparents (and that is who the old people are), it relieves the young of that obligation. The point is, if those programs do not pick up those costs, who do you think will have to? The children and grandchildren.

Sanford Thier
Marina Del Rey

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It’s official: Austerity economics doesn’t work

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John Cassidy at the New Yorker wrote an article that had me at "Austerity economic doesn't work." It's more than a little frustrating to watch and listen to Republicans insist on austerity measures which, as we've witnessed and is painfully evident overseas, do. Not. Work.

Nor would they work here in the U.S. no matter how many times the GOP repeat their Cut Cut Cut mantra... and you know how reliable their judgment has been, up to and including the 2012 elections and beyond.

And don't get me started on raising the Medicare eligibility age. Besides, what’s the rush?

Cassidy:

With Republicans in Congress still intent on pursuing a strategy similar to the failed one adopted by the Brits, this is a story that needs trumpeting. Austerity policies are self-defeating: they cripple growth and reduce tax revenues. The only way to bring down the U.S. government’s deficit in a sustainable manner, and put the nation’s finances on a firmer footing, is to keep the economy growing. Spending cuts and tax increases can also play a role, but they need to be introduced gradually. [...]

That austerity has led to recession is undeniable. ... consumer and investment spending have remained depressed. [...]

In adopting a fiscal stimulus of gradually declining magnitude over the past four years, the Obama Administration has administered what was, until recently, the standard medicine for a sick economy. As one would have expected on the basis of the textbooks, the American economy, while hardly racing ahead, has fared considerably better than its British counterpart. [...]

Having adopted the policies of Keynes in response to a calamitous recession, the United States has grown more than twice as fast during the past three years as Britain, which adopted the economics of Hoover (and Paul Ryan). 

Clear? Clear.

By the way, why aren’t we talking about a Wall St. transaction tax and much, much more? Hmm?

More of Cassidy's article at the link.

H/t: @42bkdodgr

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Paul Ryan would play "leading role" if Romney wins. Then why won't he answer any questions?

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I got this email alert today. Since I'm not a subscriber, my access is limited, but here's the tease:

Paul Ryan Is Said to be Planning an Active Role: Representative Paul D. Ryan expects to play a leading role in a Romney administration’s drive to enact a budget-shrinking government and overhauling programs like Medicare.

Two things: One is the obvious concern over their agenda. They want to turn Medicare into a voucher system that will cost more out of pocket, and they'd love to cut things like, oh, let's see... FEMA. And that's just for starters.

But the other thing is this: Romney-Ryan’s shunning the press. Both of these cowards are refusing to answer questions, neither will be interviewed and haven't been for weeks. So what we got (or didn't get) during their campaign was a conspicuous lack of details about their policies and plans, a press blackout, and a whole lot of lies.

Yet if-- and that's a big if-- they win on Tuesday, Paul Ryan would suddenly become very visible and is already previewing the horror story that will become the United States of America should they gain the powers they crave so much. He aspires to be the next Dick Cheney, and we all know how that turned out.

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