Tag Archives: austerity

Ryan’s Hope

RyanBudgetPaul Ryan’s budget, according to Andy Borowitz, gets an endorsement from Ayn Rand and Marie Antionette from Hell. With this budget proposal, Paul Ryan is clearly saying, “let them eat cake”. The budget pits Medicare recipients against Medicaid recipients. It benefits the rich and the military industrial complex on the backs of the poor and middle class. Ultimately, it paints a future of austerity for America for years to come. The best way to discern whether or not a plan is concocted by the GOP is to observe what kind of division it creates. GOP stratagem is always to divide and conquer.

If Romney/Ryan had won the White House, the United States of America would have been well on its way to becoming a third world economy. By the way, that is the plan of the GOP, and their right-wing supporters are too ignorant to get it. Ryan’s budget confirms what I have been saying all along. The GOP only wants the wealthy elite to prosper, and the poor and vulnerable can simply struggle or die. There is something morally reprehensible about the GOP’s vision for America vis-à-vis the Ryan budget.

Ryan’s budget is a rerun of his prior budgets with tweaks here and there. It is noted that Ryan’s budget hypocritically appropriates from Mr. Obama. He has no original ideas of his own, apparently. The budget hits on the three majors for the GOP, 1) spending cuts; 2) lower taxes for the rich and 3) rejection of ObamaCare. With this budget, the GOP government haters continue their attempt to “starve the beast”.

Ryan’s attempt at balancing the budget is based on many assumptions but does not detail when his proposals go into effect which leaves us to guess when deficits actually get cut and by how much. His budget calls for discretionary spending levels that are lower than what Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assumes. Discretionary spending is defined as spending done by Congressional appropriation on a yearly basis. This basically means he wants to cut spending for things like education, veterans, EPA, etc. His budget reduces transportation spending and extends the lowering of discretionary spending caps set by the 2011 Budget Control Act to 2023. Basically, Ryan’s budget relies on deep cuts to discretionary spending with the exception of defense spending (defense spending is also part of discretionary spending).

Ryan’s budget, again, proposes Medicare reform by reintroducing the creation of a premium support plan by 2024 otherwise known as a Medicare voucher plan. The voucher plan offers seniors a fixed amount to buy private health insurance. Anyone 55 or over is supposedly not impacted, but future seniors would have a choice between traditional Medicare (fee-for-service) and the premium support (voucher) system. The voucher plan would also limit what the government pays. Notably, Ryan maintains the $716 billion savings that President Obama made to Medicare within his budget. How hypocritical. Slam the President for this Medicare savings during the campaign, and then add the savings into your own budget proposals not once, but twice.

What a surprise. Ryan proposes to do away with parts of ObamaCare by repealing subsidies for Americans who buy health insurance via the exchanges and also by repealing the expansion of Medicaid. Ryan’s budget simply put kills Medicare and Medicaid as we know it today. His budget proposes Medicaid block grants where states would assume a greater level of autonomy relating to how the program is set up, who is eligible or how much participants must pay. Ryan’s budget also proposes Food Stamp block grants impacting eligibility by imposing time limits and work requirements. Federal employees would also be required to contribute more money to their own pension plans.

As it pertains to revenues, Ryan’s budget collects the same amount of revenue as projected by CBO over the next 10 years. Ryan’s budget repeals ObamaCare tax revenues that pay for insurance subsidies, but it still relies on its revenue for his budget. How is this possible? Ryan indicates that tax reform will replace this revenue. The budget relies heavily on the hope that Congress will complete tax reform by 2014. Tax reform GOP style proposes two tax rates at 10% and 25%, repeal of the alternative minimum tax, lowering of the top corporate rate to 25% and changes the rules for international taxation. Fantasy!

Let’s sum it all up. The CBO will not analyze the Ryan budget since it is only a proposal, and it is not backed by any legislation for achieving its dubious goals. This budget is basically dead on arrival in the Senate. Of course, the White House has rejected Ryan’s budget and rightly defines the budget as a “wrong course for America”. Let’s hope that come the 2014 elections, this budget is placed securely about the neck and shoulders of the GOP.

Mr. Obama aka Mr. Fantastic

Mr Fantastic

I am a Marvel fan, go figure. Iron Man, X-Men, The Avengers, The Fantastic Four… If I had to liken Mr. Obama to any superhero it would be Reed Richards, Mr. Fantastic. Mr. Fantastic’s powers include amazing elasticity and superior intellect. In my view Mr. Obama qualifies in both areas and should be deemed a superhero as the first black man to win the presidency twice, and for demonstrating great flexibility in enduring the shenanigans of the Republicans and the Tea Party.

Tonight (Wednesday), Mr. Obama met with select Senate Republicans as a result of Sequestration. Is this Mr. Fantastic’s attempt to quell his foes and disarm them of their bogus arguments that he does not reach across the aisle? This meeting with members of the GOP, hand-picked by Senator Lindsey Graham, is a clever move by Mr. Obama, I mean Mr. Fantastic. Early feedback from GOP members who attended tonight’s dinner with the President are relatively positive. By the way, it is reported that Mr Obama picked up the tab for the dinner out of his own pocket.

Mitch McConnell did not attend the President’s dinner with Republican Senators this evening. Not a surprise. I am convinced that Senator McConnell will never socialize with Mr. Obama, publicly or privately, especially now since he is up for re-election in 2014. Strangely enough, it is being reported that the President’s willingness to compromise has not been effectively communicated to GOP membership from its leadership. Wow! Really? Regardless, I think these Republicans just wanted their egos stroked. I did note that President Obama was not photographed with the Republican Senators who went to dinner. Republicans still can’t be seen as playing nice with Mr. Obama.

I contend that no one can say that Mr. Fantastic has not repeatedly bent over backward and reached, and reached, and stretched, and stretched across the aisle. Not only has the President reached and stretched, but he has even twisted and contorted as it pertains to what spending cuts he has offered. Maybe tonight’s dinner between Mr. Obama and the GOP is a first step toward curbing the impact of the infamous Sequestration. We’ll see.

Tea Party Terrorism?

TPRobert Reich, former Secretary of Labor during the Clinton Administration has nailed it in his recent article The Sequester and the Tea Party Plot by revealing the full intent and purpose of Tea Party Republicans.

Tea Partiers use fear and anger in their war against the government – blaming the anemic recovery on government deficits and the government’s size, and selling a poisonous snake-oil of austerity economics and trickle-down economics as the remedy.

I hear pundits talk of the demise of the Tea Party, and they say that the Tea Party has lost its power and is on the decline. But, even though Tea Party candidates cost Republicans the White House and Senate seats during the 2012 election, the Tea Party, unfortunately, is not going away. In fact, as long as there exists a constituency of bigoted, backward-minded people who hate government and any kind of leadership other than white male leadership, the Tea Party will continue. In my view, the Tea Party has effectively co-opted the Republican Party, and the sequester is proof positive of this.

Tea Party hatred for President Obama is clearly demonstrated by obstinate, recalcitrant  and bigoted Republican behavior. Reich’s article supports the assertion that Tea Party influenced Republicans will do anything to accomplish their hate-filled, propaganda-laden goal of “taking the country back”  including destroying the government of the United States of America and our economy in the process.

It’s Not About the Deficit…

Deficit by 2019

What I have decided to do is just keep posting about how bogus the Republican party is in their propaganda campaign regarding the deficit. Republicans run up deficits, but they rail against the deficit when Democrats are in the power seat. Here are a few good pieces regarding the deficit, austerity, sequestration, blah, blah, blah…you get the point.

What’s driving the deficits from The Maddow Blog

How Premature Austerity Caused A Recession And The Market Crash Of 1937 from Business Insider

The Sequester Begins to Fester from Jared Bernstein’s blog On The Economy

Boehner on sequester: ‘I don’t know whether it’s going to hurt the economy’ from Politico

We’ve reduced the deficit and hurt the short-term economy from Wonkblog

The White House: A Balanced Plan to Avert the Sequester and Reduce the Deficit

White House

I thought I would post President Barack Obama’s plan to avert the sequester cuts, because I am tired of listening to lying Republicans like Boehner and McConnell who say that they are waiting on a plan from the White House. The GOP is still the Party of “NO”; no conscience, no sense and no help for the American people. Republicans are raging because of the results of the re-election of President Barack Obama, the results of the fiscal cliff and their hatred for the first black President. Republicans are clearly looking to score points with their bigoted, extreme right-wing fringe by simply refusing to cooperate with the President. The GOP are willing to tank the American economy with their irresponsible and seditious behavior.

Kudos to President Obama for traveling to key areas in the country that will be affected by the sequester. He is telling the truth about the impact of these cuts, and the GOP can’t bear the truth.

Only Congress can avoid this self-inflicted wound to our economy and middle class families, and the only thing standing in the way of a solution today is Congressional Republicans’ refusal to even consider closing tax loopholes that benefit wealthy Americans and well-connected corporations.

On The Economy: Sequester, Revenues, and Timing

Lets Make a Deal

Jared Bernstein’s blog On The Economy breaks down how the Republicans could have had a much better deal on spending cuts a few months ago. A combination of timing and GOP sedition are bringing the country to the economic brink, yet again. Republicans refuse to govern with the first black President. How many more scenarios like this do we need to draw this conclusion?

The GOP Deficit Game

The GOP are lying about deficits and they’ve got a lot of their right-wingers duped. They didn’t care one bit about deficit spending for eight years during the George W. Bush administration. In fact, Republican administrations have a pattern of deficit spending. As you  can see from the graphic below, Republicans ran up deficits under Reagan and both Bush administrations, and at a higher rate than either Clinton or Obama. Wasn’t it Dick Cheney who said, “deficits don’t matter”?


The GOP claims that President Obama’s 2009 stimulus spending increased the deficit, but it was actually the recession, the free fall in the economy and the loss of tax revenue due to massive jobs lost that contributed to the deficit between 2008 and 2009. During 2010 and 2011, as the economy began to show signs of recovery the deficit began to shrink. But, Republicans don’t want you to know that.

Paul Krugman, Op-Ed Columnist for The New York Times, explains why deficit hawks should not be taken seriously. They cry austerity, but their real objective is to “starve the beast”. The GOP long-standing strategy is to cut taxes, run deficits that would require spending cuts to entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare, which they hate. Bottom line is the Republicans have thrown up the smoke screen of the deficit. Republicans don’t hate the deficit, they love it. They will leverage it as a tool to gain political points in their quest to oppose President Obama on just about everything, and in an attempt to shrink, what they call, “big” government.