Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"To Paul Ryan, Faith is Fact"

An article from the Huffington Post.

Let's look at it, shall we?  

My comments are in bold.

To Paul Ryan, Faith is Fact
by Jeff Madrick

Mitt Romney's choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a vice presidential candidate has raised the decibel level of the anti-government movement dramatically. We started Rediscovering Government at the Roosevelt Institute to balance such ahistorical and destructive views, and Ryan's is among the most extreme. If we are to think the best of Ryan, it is this: He believes in what he says. But what he says is a matter of faith, not of evidence.

Fall of most communist and socialist governments (plus tens of mllions of deaths within) = not evidence

Free America inventing, electricity, tv, radio, assembly line, etc. rest of world's inventions since 1776 minimal = not evidence

2011 budget $2.3 trillion in revenue, $3.6 trillion in spending = not evidence

Ryan's budget proposal, which propelled him to the headlines a couple of years ago, would return government spending to 16 percent of GDP, the same the size it was in 1950, before Medicare or Medicaid were created or Social Security expanded enough to lift the majority of the elderly out of poverty. He would basically privatize Medicare, providing an inadequate subsidy to enable the elderly to purchase plans on the open market. He once proposed to change change Social Security in a similar way, but that is now apparently on the back burner. He will deeply gut Medicaid and would almost entirely cut out all other government spending in coming decades, except for defense, which he seems to adore. This includes students loans, veteran programs, infrastructure spending, R&D, and so on.

Remember how Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid completely eliminated poverty in this country?

Keep in mind that the younger, and poorer, among us need to pay for the health of those among us who have had years to accumulate wealth and knew that they'd get old.  Rob from the poor to give to the, comparatively, rich!

Why is trying to change programs that will not be financially viable in the future such a bad things?

Despite all this, he would not balance the budget, because the tax cuts he proposes are so extreme that even his social spending cuts won't pay for them for a generation. Indeed, the size of his tax cuts seems to get lost in some analyses. They are bigger than Romney's, really whoppers. There was a casual promise that they would be partly financed by closing tax loopholes, but as with Romney, we have yet to see details.

At least he has proposed a budget which has gotten some support from congressmen.  You can't say the same for Obama.

Anyway, its better to add about $1,300,000,000,000 to the federal debt every year, rather than try any attempt to change that number.

Romney hasn't shown us his budget?  Maybe "we'll need to pass it to see what's in it."

Most Democrats seem to be rejoicing. They are probably right. Romney's choice shows just how lost he really is. Unable to ignite his campaign merely by citing the unemployment numbers against Obama while hiding all kinds of secrets about his own life, he threw up his hands and chose Ryan, who one presumes he thinks will energize the base. Now that the race is about Medicare and tax cuts--and not jobs so much anymore--the Democrats believe they've got Romney.

46% to 46% (7 day rolling average at the right of the page) Romney is lost indeed.  He should probably just give up now.

But it's worth thinking about why Ryan is so popular with many Republicans. He is thought of as honest, willing to tell difficult truths, and courageous. These are qualities few politicians exhibit today. He is genial. He promises major change, not just incremental change. Could this perception create a groundswell of support? I think there is reason to be wary of overconfidence.

I think that there is reason to be wary of deficit spending.  and raising taxes. and increasing the size of government....

But there's reason to question Ryan's supposed honesty. Sharply lower tax rates will not create renewed prosperity and jobs.

Raising taxes and the number of rules and regulations = more jobs, why can't republicans understand this?

Under George W. Bush, America experienced the slowest rate of job creation in the postwar period.[...until Obama came along.]

Under Ronald Reagan, whom the conservatives revere as a great success, unemployment and deficits remained high, and wages stopped growing for the next 20 years.

The '80s and 90s were terrible with all of the low unemployment, high wages, high rates of home ownership..

George H.W. Bush had to live with Reagan's broken promises for his difficult four years in office. Republicans are promoting a myth, and Ryan pretends with the best of them.

Democrat's political beliefs, on the other hand, are always correct, not myths, and there is no evidence to dispute them.

His honesty is suspect for other reasons than that it is so destructively naive. Ryan has to know how easy it is rile up some people by playing to their prejudices. His tax cuts, which will help the rich more than the rest, will be paid for by the poor through cuts to such programs as food stamps and Medicaid. These are Ronald Reagan's famous takers, not givers. It is code for people of color, for lazy good-for-nothings, for the welfare recipients who supposedly almost singlehandedly brought down America in the 1980s and much of the 1990s. Ryan appeals to the angry, the bitter, and the vindictive. Is this honest?

Remember: higher taxes = bad, lower taxes = good Do I get my "I supported taxing the rich" award now?

Republicans, you know, the party that was founded to be opposed to slavery, well, they're racists because they don't want to give the poor "free" stuff.

This is me be "angry, bitter, and the vindictive": Argh! Tax cuts for the rich and their little dogs too!

Finally, he is taking the easy road, not the hard road.

Attempting to change Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid ("the third rail of politics") is the "easy road. [actual] lol

Is it courageous to give huge tax cuts to the well-off? Is it honest to claim that tax cuts will reignite prosperity in America? He is promising painless growth. Sound familiar? Shades of the 1980s and Reagonomics? He is a no pain, no gain guy.

 Don't you see: We should vote for democrats because they take the courageous path of taxing other people and giving "benefits" to the poor.

He leaves the tough stuff for the gym, where he apparently works out religiously.

That's the kind of hard-hitting political reporting that I was looking for.

Like Ayn Rand, his philosophical idol who believed in the individualist superman, Ryan believes faith is fact. Philosophy is easier when it doesn't come down to earth and stays among the fictitious supermen. Ryan isn't even close to earth. He cites Jefferson, of course, but Jefferson was an arch regulator of land sales by the government, a guarantor of education, a violator of the Constitution when he (thankfully) bought the Louisiana Territories, and a skeptic of manufacturing. He used government to end the British leftovers of primogeniture, which entailed that estates could not be broken up and the eldest heir would inherit all. His party members at the state level built the canals and developed free primary education, all before 1850. Jefferson believed in ordinary people, which is why he wanted them to have their own parcel of land at affordable prices. Land for Jefferon is Amartya Sen's capability guarantee in our modern world. Today that means education, a minimum wage, and a minimum amount of health care.

I just don't understand how republicans can look at the poor and not exclaim, "We must tax the rich!  That will make the lives of the poor better!"

Just think: if the poor countries in Africa installed a minimum wage, they'd all become prosperous!

If a minimum wage makes people wealthier, why don't we make the minimum wage $100 an hour! We'd all be rich!

(I know that there is more in that paragraph, but my eyes glazed over while reading it.)

Not so for Ryan. He wants to let the poor fend for themselves, trusting that the rich will create jobs for them. Forced responsibility will save the day. Can such nasty over-simplification work? I don't think so, but I worry. How does one effectively respond to airy promises based on bitter feelings and easy scapegoats? He is promising faith, not facts. Let's as a people at least demand some evidence and expose that fantasy as a lie.

The world is complex and difficult, says this article's author, lets make sure that the smart and honest people in government get to decide how people should run their lives; weather we: get gay married, build a house over a protected puddle, or drink sodas that are too big for us.

In summary: we should dislike Paul Ryan because he has well thought out political beliefs that are fantasy.  Whereas, the democrats political beliefs are not fantasy at all, and are backed up by 100% of the evidence.

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