Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, and the Budget

Dear Madame L,

I don't know why you dismiss Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's co-candidate. He has proposed a cost-cutting plan for the federal budget that would get our country back to being debt free. And even though he has said one of his influences is the philosophy of Ayn Rand, he has since gone back to citing his Roman Catholic upbringing as the major influence on his own philosophy.

So, what do you say about that?

Sincerely,

Still On the Fence


Dear Fence-Sitter:

Madame L thinks you should get off that fence before it jumps up and bites you on your you-know-what.

Paul Ryan's budget is a joke, and so is his so-called philosophy. It has nothing to do with the virtue of Christian compassion he should have learned as a child in the Catholic church, nothing to do with the virtue of looking out for his fellow humans he should have learned as a college student who could afford to go to college because of the Social Security payments his family received after his father died, and in fact nothing to do with anything except the usual politician's incredible narcissism and self-regard.

Madame L thinks you may want to read what a real economist says about Paul Ryan's budget, and so she provides you with this link to an article by Paul Krugman in which he dissects Ryan's so-called policies.

Here are three paragraphs from the article:

    "On the spending side, Mr. Ryan proposes huge cuts in Medicaid, turning it over to the states while sharply reducing funding relative to projections under current policy. That saves around $800 billion. He proposes similar harsh cuts in food stamps, saving a further $130 billion or so, plus a grab-bag of other cuts, such as reduced aid to college students. Let’s be generous and say that all these cuts would save $1 trillion. 

    "On top of this, Mr. Ryan includes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that are part of Obamacare, even though he wants to scrap everything else in that act. Despite this, Mr. Ryan has now joined Mr. Romney in denouncing President Obama for “cutting Medicare”; more on that in a minute. 

    "So if we add up Mr. Ryan’s specific proposals, we have $4.3 trillion in tax cuts, partially offset by around $1.7 trillion in spending cuts — with the tax cuts, surprise, disproportionately benefiting the top 1 percent, while the spending cuts would primarily come at the expense of low-income families. Over all, the effect would be to increase the deficit by around two and a half trillion dollars."

Madame L recaps here: Paul Ryan's proposals would 

INCREASE THE DEFICIT by $2,500,000,000 while 

CUTTING TAXES FOR THE TOP 1 PERCENT.

How can anyone even begin to think Paul Ryan is serious about these proposals?

Again, quoting Mr. Krugman:

    "If this sounds like a joke, that’s because it is. Yet Mr. Ryan’s “plan” has been treated with great respect in Washington. He even received an award for fiscal responsibility from three of the leading deficit-scold pressure groups. What’s going on? 

    "The answer, basically, is a triumph of style over substance. Over the longer term, the Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it — and in Washington, “fiscal responsibility” is often equated with willingness to slash Medicare and Social Security, even if the purported savings would be used to cut taxes on the rich rather than to reduce deficits. Also, self-proclaimed centrists are always looking for conservatives they can praise to showcase their centrism, and Mr. Ryan has skillfully played into that weakness, talking a good game even if his numbers don’t add up."

Are you paying attention? Please start paying attention to the real facts of the various proposals and policies being floated by Mr. Ryan and Mr. Romney, not their TV coverage.

These things will make a difference for our future and the future of our children. If someone is just playing grownup, as Paul Ryan seems to be doing, then they're to be dismissed.

Pay attention, please,

Madame L, Still Dismissing Ryan

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Concur. Even the non-partisan groups disparage the Ryan "plan" is smoke and mirrors - something designed only to benefit the hidden conservatives like the Koch brothers and Sheldon Adelman, who want to get richer at the expense of the middle class.

"Job Creators" indeed. They are NOT job creators, but voracious parasites determined to buy this election for the huge payout to themselve that is will lead to.

Actually, Adelman is mainly angling to get a Republicvan attorney general who won't go after him for breaking the lay by paying huge bribes in China.

The self-serving hypocrisy is astounding.
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