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Last week, when I talked about ideological bubbles and how to tell if you're in one, I should have mentioned the best single technique for staying out of bubbles in the first place: Expose yourself to as many original sources as you can, especially the ones you know you're going to hate.

With that in mind, I read Paul Ryan's budget yesterday. In telling you about it, I'm going to try to keep my commentary as close to the text as possible, with quotes and page references as appropriate. (I wish I had the time to do an end-to-end annotation, but I've got some big deadlines looming.)

If you think you can stand it, follow me past the squiggle.

General impressions. Before I get into specifics, I want to say a few things about the overall impression the document makes

As many people have already observed, Ryan's proposal is not an attempt to reach a workable compromise with the White House or the Democratic majority in the Senate, both of which would have to agree before his plan could become law. Instead, it's an aspirational document for conservatives: This is what they fantasize about doing if and when they get complete control of the government.

There's nothing wrong with that, but there's also no reason to take it any more seriously than an aspirational budgets from the Left, like People's Budget put out by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Both are shots across the bow, not plausible projections of what the country will do in FY2014 and beyond.

The write-up is a rallying cry for the troops of the conservative movement, not an attempt to convince or convert the non-believers. The summary (page 7) says "It invites President Obama and Senate Democrats to commit to the same common-sense goal [of a balanced budget in ten years]" but there is no spirit-of-invitation in Ryan's style. Any liberal who reads it will get pissed off, and I believe that's intentional. Conservatives couldn't fully enjoy their reading experience without visualizing pissed-off liberals.

Let me detail that: You've probably already heard that Ryan wants (once again) to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. ObamaCare). But after the first mention, he can't just call the law by name, or even nickname. It's "the President's onerous health care law" (page 33) or "the President's misguided health care law" (page 40) and so on, as if the ACA had been imposed on the country by imperial decree and Congress had nothing to say about it -- also as if the ACA hadn't been an issue in the 2012 election that Romney/Ryan lost by nearly five million votes.

Other partisan stuff is just silly. On page 24, President Reagan is given credit both for the economic expansion of his era, and of President Clinton's era as well. Clinton is mentioned exactly once, on page 33, when Ryan re-raises the universally debunked lie from campaign 2012 that Obama wants to rescind the work requirement of Clinton's welfare reform. The reader would never know that Ryan's stated goal -- a balanced budget -- was achieved by Clinton while Reagan ran up record deficits.

You will also hear echoes of 2009's Lie of the Year: death panels. The ACA sets up an Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) to make annual recommendations on keeping Medicare spending within specified limits. The law specifically bans the IPAB from recommending care-rationing, but the heading of the Ryan's section on it (page 40) is "Repeal the health-care rationing board".

Background assumptions. In the real world, if a program is important enough, the government could conceivably raise taxes or borrow to pay for it. OK, Ryan's balanced-budget goal won't let him advocate borrowing. But a fundamental assumption that runs through his whole budget -- usually without being stated explicitly -- is that taxes cannot be raised for any purpose. Nothing is important enough to raise taxes to pay for.

Also, defense spending is untouchable. "There is no foreseeable ‘peace dividend’ on our horizon." (page 61)

So if the domestic demands on government are growing -- the population is getting older, the infrastructure more decrepit, healthcare more expensive, weather-related disasters more extreme and more frequent, future economic growth more dependent basic research and an educated workforce etc. -- any money you want to spend to deal with one of those challenges has to be taken from the others.

The idea that over the long term our country could decide that it wants to do more of its consumption publicly -- that it wants to take economic growth in the form of Medicare and public education, say, rather than BMWs -- that's completely off the table.

Big Picture. The numbers don't appear until the Appendix (page 80). Atlantic's Derek Thompson put the ten-year cut totals into a bar graph and a pie chart.

Social Security: $0
Defense: $0
Medicare: $129 billion
Discretionary: $249 billion
Interest: $700 billion
Medicaid/other health: $756 billion
Mandatory spending: $962 billion
Obamacare: $1.837 trillion

Medicare and Social Security are usually considered "mandatory spending" (because benefits are defined by law rather than by appropriation), but I believe the additional $962 billion of 10-year savings is Food Stamps, Pell grants, and a variety of other people-helping programs.

So the cuts are almost entirely in healthcare, education, or anti-poverty spending.

Meanwhile, rich people get a big bonanza: The top tax rate drops from the current 39.6% to 25%. If you make $10 million some year (some CEOs do), that could save you nearly $1.5 million.

It's also worthwhile to consider what isn't in the budget document.

  • Any specifics about discretionary spending cuts. The cuts are just numbers on a spreadsheet. All the "tough choices" necessary to achieve those numbers are left to your imagination, so Ryan can deny any intention to cut anything in particular, as Mitt Romney did in his first debate with President Obama.
  • Any specifics about closing tax loopholes. Ryan claims his rich-guys-bonanza 25% tax rate wouldn't cut federal revenue, because it would be balanced by eliminating tax loopholes. As in the 2012 campaign, Ryan says nothing about what those loopholes might be. Again, he can deny wanting to cut any specific item, like the mortgage interest deduction. But he's got to raise that revenue somehow, and I seriously doubt it's all going to come from the super-rich who benefit most from the lower rate.
  • Any plan for Social Security. Page 37 charges: "In Social Security, government’s refusal to deal with demographic realities has endangered the solvency of this critical program." But rather than "deal with demographic realities" here and now, Ryan only "requires the President and Congress to work together to forge a solution."
We have always been at war with Eurasia. The background rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul assumption allows Ryan to construct some truly Orwellian statements. This is particularly true in the "Opportunity Extended" section, which is all about shrinking opportunity for poor and working-class young people.

For example, on page 20 Ryan identifies "tuition inflation" as a problem that "plung[es] students and their families into unaffordable levels of debt". And then he says:

Many economists, including Ohio University’s Richard Vedder*, argue that the structure of the federal government’s aid programs don’t simply chase higher tuition costs, but are in fact a key driver of those costs.
What could that possibly mean? Well, that federal aid is allowing too many people to go to college, creating a high-demand environment in which colleges can raise tuition. So the "solution" is to lower the maximum Pell grant (thereby "saving" the Pell grant program from spending at an "unsustainable" level, since we couldn't possibly raise taxes to pay for it). Also to "target aid to the truly needy" by making families report more of their income on financial aid forms. Also "reforming" student loans and "re-examining the data made available to students to make certain they are armed with information that will assist them in making their postsecondary decisions".

Presumably, when the facts of this harsher you're-on-your-own world are spelled out to students, fewer of them will decide to go to college, thereby saving both their money and the government's. So don't worry about student debt -- just don't go to college at all if you're not rich, and if you do go we'll "help" you avoid massive debts by refusing to loan you money.

Oh, and we'll also "encourage innovation" through "nontraditional models like online coursework". Never mind that's where the big scams are. Corporations profit from those scams, so that's not "waste".

Ditto for job training: Ryan promises to "extend opportunity" by spending less on it.

Ditto for the safety net. Since taxes can't possibly be raised, every person who is helped by the safety net is taking those dollars away from somebody else who might be helped. So Ryan's "A Safety Net Strengthened" section is all about spending less on the safety net. Mostly this is accomplished by block-granting programs like Medicaid to give "states more flexibility to tailor programs to their people’s needs."

So if, say, low-income Texans need to toughen up and stop seeing a doctor at all, Texas can tailor its program that way. That's what it's doing already with the "flexibility" the Supreme Court gave it last summer.

Energy. Climate change just isn't happening. Ryan doesn't say that in so many words, but there's a big empty spot where that idea would be.

He clumps energy together with a grab-bag of other issues in the "Fairness Restored" section. The "unfairness" in this case is the way that the Obama administration favors clean energy over dirty energy. Ryan will "end kickbacks to favored industries" like wind and solar in favor of "reliable, low-cost energy" like coal, oil, and gas. With climate change out of the picture, only corruption can explain Obama's favoritism. In his Introduction -- signed "Paul" -- Ryan says his budget "restores fair play to the marketplace by ending cronyism."

In current energy policy, fossil fuels and green energy are subsidized in different ways: Green energy gets grants and loans while established-and-profitable fossil energy gets tax breaks. Tax breaks are invisible to Ryan, so he can say on page 50:

on a dollar-per-unit-of-production basis, the level of subsidies received by the wind and solar industries were almost 100 times greater than those for conventional energy
Do it for the kids. So what's the purpose of all this? A better world for our children. "By living beyond our means, we're stealing from the next generation." (page 5)

Of course you know how that works, because all that debt America ran up during World War II was "stolen" from us, right?

Or maybe you didn't notice, because in the real America, the big deficits of World War II kicked off half a century of prosperity, during which the country achieved a level of equality that it hasn't equalled before or since. So no, deficits are not "stolen" from the future. We're not building landing crafts and putting them in time machines to send them back to D-Day.

But in order to save our children from the horrible maybe-sorta-problem of the national debt, we need to under-educate them; not do basic research that might create the next Internet; leave them crumbling roads, bridges, and electrical grids; not care for them when they get sick; move in with them when we get old; and leave them with a torched planet, where Iowa is a desert and Miami is underwater.

I'm sure they'll thank us for our foresight.


* As best I can tell, although Ryan identifies only their university affiliations, every economist Ryan mentions by name is inside the conservative bubble. Richard Vedder is with the American Enterprise Institute and John Taylor with the Hoover Institute.

Originally posted to Pericles on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM PDT.

Also republished by Social Security Defenders and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Thank you for reading it (16+ / 0-)

    so I don't have to.

    One question: Where Ryan says he would

    "encourage innovation" through "nontraditional models like online coursework"
    does this mean he'd direct any kind of funding to these "innovators"? And how would that square with his claimed free-market stance on energy? (Answer: It wouldn't, of course.)

    Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

    by Nowhere Man on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 01:01:09 PM PDT

  •  This budget is worse than I thought it could be. (11+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the summary.  Scary.

    •  Discretionary spending cut 70% by 2050 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      radarlady, MPociask

      From page 1 of the Congressional Budget Office analysis CBO Budget Analysis

      Other mandatory spending and all discretionary spending—from 12-1⁄2 percent of GDP in 2011 to 5-3⁄4 percent in 2030 and 3-3⁄4 percent in 2050.
      And what is discretionary spending? That is the funding that is building the future of our country--education, science, NASA, and just about everything that matters.

      The shared subtle essence of human consciousness and the unity of natural law: two sides, one coin.

      by greenkrete on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 12:57:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WOW! This is far worse than it is being reporte (12+ / 0-)

    How is it possible that a document like this even dares to be seen in the light of day in this country?  What.  A. Joke.  Yet, it is being taken seriously by the mainstream media, even being compared to the "extreme" budget proposal put forth by the Democrats.  Can you say false equivalence much?

    I wish the Democrats had delayed putting their budget out for at least another week.  Ryan's budget should stand in the glare of the media for a full week all on its own.  Without anything to compare it to, the media would be forced to delve into it more thoroughly.

    My question is where are the economists?  Why are they silent in the face of such an obvious deterrent to growth in the economy?

    Thank you for the excellent breakdown.  Great (but incredibly scary and sad) diary.  

  •  I disagree on one point. (4+ / 0-)

    There is not zero chance this will be enacted. There is zero chance this will be passed by Congress until the next Congressional elections and then there is some chance it will be passed. It could be enacted if they sit on their hands and refuse to find government until it is.  This is not just an idle exercise.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 04:34:55 PM PDT

  •  Surrealist Art (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MeToo, LeftyAce, aitchdee, radarlady

    The Community Spotlight reads:
    "I Read Paul Ryan's Budget"
    "Mental Illness and Violence."

    All that's missing is a colon after "budget."

    Everyone is innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 05:19:49 PM PDT

    •  For anyone offended... (0+ / 0-)

      The Surrealists had a "game" where one would read the newspaper columns across the page for found sentences and new sentences.

      The serious part of the game was Jung's theory of synchronicity. The play part of the game was the artist's own subconscious's ability to pick out the patterns of repurposed meaning in the print columns. One should never be so serious as to forbid the possibility of the cosmos (if Jung) or consciousness seeing recombinations.

      (I don't know if Le Minotaur is finally completely online or not. I hope one or more university/gallery efforts has succeeded.)

      Everyone is innocent of some crime.

      by The Geogre on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 03:32:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks; you read it so we don't have to. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, aitchdee

    Seems just as bad as I would have guessed from the zombie-eye'd granny-starver.

  •  Take off your wings and fly! (4+ / 0-)

    Ryan says he wants to balance the budget in 10 years, but he doesn't want to raise taxes to accomplish that feat. People who are serious about balancing the budget remember that taxes were a lot higher under President Clinton, and we achieved a post-Vietnam War record low unemployment rate.

    Ryan wants to pay for Republican fiscal irresponsibility by slashing Democratic programs.

    The furor over Friday's [10.5] job report revealed a political movement that is rooting for American failure, so obsessed with taking down Obama that good news drives its members into a blind rage. -Paul Krugman

    by Judge Moonbox on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 06:40:04 PM PDT

  •  Isn't Ryan Catholic? (5+ / 0-)

    Now that the Catholic Church has a new pope, one who is, in particular, embracing St. Francis of Assisi, do you think Ryan might consider thinking a little bit more about the needs of the poor, sick, and helpless, and a little less about the desires of the uber-wealthy?  Not that religion should get involved in government, mind you, but I thought Ryan considered himself to be a devout Catholic.

  •  It doesn't make sense (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, aitchdee

    Helping less is helping more?  That doesn't make sense.

    "Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die," - Buddha.

    by sujigu on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:20:02 PM PDT

  •  Interest? (4+ / 0-)

    Does he spell out how we save $700 billion on interest?  I am not sure that is something that is in our control. Is it another unicorn and confidence fairy sort of thing where when we we gut the budget the investors will come? Dana Milbank writing for the Washington Post came closer to what I read

    Here’s how: The former Republican vice presidential candidate’s budget eliminates  _ _ loopholes in the tax code, cutting the  _  and the  __  deductions. It reduces spending on the  __  program by  __  and the  __  program by  __ . Retirees would see  _ , students would experience  __  and the poor would be  ___ .

    There are so many blanks in Ryan’s budget that it could be a Mad Libs exercise. But this is not a game. It’s black-box budgeting — an expression of lofty aims, with binders full of magic asterisks in lieu of specific cuts to government benefits. If this were a fitness plan, Ryan, a former personal trainer, would be telling Americans that under his revolutionary program, they could lose 50 pounds in 10 weeks without dieting or working out.

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:33:49 PM PDT

  •  You forgot the quotes around "budget" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, MeToo, aitchdee, MPociask

    It is a plagiarized copy of the insane ideological ramblings of Ayn Rand, not anything resembling an actual budget.  

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:35:53 PM PDT

  •  the worshipper of Ayn Rand (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, MeToo, yoduuuh do or do not

    should be required to spend a year without privlidge, desperately trying to make ends meet and then see what they think of their bullshit

    In the time that I have been given,
    I am what I am

    by duhban on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:44:46 PM PDT

  •  So why isn't the people budget plausible? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, LeftyAce, MPociask

    If Ryan can get all this face time why can't the progressive caucus even get a hour with the President?  There is something very foul about locking your own party out of negotiations.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 07:57:02 PM PDT

    •  Ryan is a Very Serious Person, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js, Egalitare

      and thus must be listened to. Can't you tell by how seriously he takes the debt??

    •  And if it's not plausible (0+ / 0-)

      How come it still reads as very middle of the road stuff that wouldn't be controversial if the media and political spheres hadn't been hijacked by right wing lunatics?

      I mean, if they're going to draft a budget blueprint that going to be dismissed as leftist idealism, let's at least make some news by putting some real leftist idealism in there - I'm thinking a restoring of 90% marginal tax rates, universal healthcare (including dental and mental), cutting military spending in half, etc. etc.

  •  Just more Red Meat for the CPAC'ers (0+ / 0-)

    and other assorted loons & trolls.

  •  Paul Ryan, the anti-Pericles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, aitchdee

    80 pages? WOW... that must have taken him all weekend to hinge together! That's at least seventy-four pages longer than the R's plan to gift bankers TARP funds... I'm impressed... and I'd be depressed if this idiot had any sense at all about about the difference between a budget and an ideological screed based on not-real ya know, money.

    The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

    by MeToo on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:32:41 PM PDT

  •  Nice.... T & R'd! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, aitchdee

    "The sun is shining........"

    by LamontCranston on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 08:41:33 PM PDT

  •  Oh, You Are Such a Masochist! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yoduuuh do or do not, MPociask

    But, you really only need to know one thing to know it's not a serious proposal to balance the budget. It doesn't cut defense spending.

    We spend more than all other countries combined. We spend so much on war that we barely have room left over for peace. We are, in my humble estimation, about $350 billion a year over the top in military spending, and I consider that an objective total (based on 5X).

    Whatever other virtues it might have (accidental virtues, of course), it would need to be paired with serious cuts to military spending before anyone should actually read it.

    Oops! I didn't mean to insult you!

    •  Romney wanted defense spending to go up (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, Liberal Thinking

      to 4% of GDP. That is how out of touch he and Ryan are.

      Besides that, failing to specify how reducing tax rates will be counter-balanced by limitations on deductions is just dishonest. This proposal can't even be evaluated, because one of it's basic premises (on the tax side) is so vague. (On the other hand, there is no way to make to work, so non-specificity is kind of necessary for Ryan here).

  •  for the kids (5+ / 0-)

    It's interesting that Ryan does not want to "steal from the next generation" by passing on all this debt, and yet that's exactly what the previous congress did under Bush.  The most responsible thing we could do is to raise taxes to pay off the Bush debts asap.  

    I'm still mad about Nixon.

    by J Orygun on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 09:23:34 PM PDT

  •  End the Unified Budget (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, MPociask

    Take Social Security, Medicare etc. out of the budget, so the people can see that most of the general taxes are going towards funding the MIC - only then will we see an increase in taxes and a decrease in defense spending.  Most people,including Republicans, are amenable to taxing capital gains, dividends, etc. same as all other income.  Do it.  Now.  Game over.  

    And bring all the troops home - we aren't under attack at our borders, just 'our oil' - green energy would fix that, and make all those other countries pay for their own defense.  Problem solved.

    "There is no barrier of people's acceptance. The only barrier is the media. Remember what people cannot see or hear, they cannot think about." - liner notes of Soft Cell's 'The Art of Falling Apart'.

    by dugjxn on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:00:39 PM PDT

    •  why aren't the returns of spending considered? (0+ / 0-)

      I don't really know the figures, but I've heard that domestic societal spending of tax money benefits communities and actually produces healthy economies. However, our bloated defense spending seems more often to go up in smoke, with little return to taxpayers, and is used as a tax trough to the Representatives that spend our future on their own immediate wants or in getting re-elected.
      Unless we can make enough noise that the media has to allow our ideas to be heard, the MIC will continue to bleed this nation dry as it ruins the name and the charter of the USA.
      Cost benefit needs to be addressed, or we will never understand what hit us.

      •  There are communities that function solely because (0+ / 0-)

        of a military base.

        The military is a huge employer and that benefits many communities as much as a factory would.

        Otherwise, agree.

        "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

        by New Jersey Boy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:11:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  DOD gave us the internet -- (0+ / 0-)
        However, our bloated defense spending seems more often to go up in smoke, with little return to taxpayers
        I think the internet is of great value.  Cost benefit ratio shot to hell.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:59:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  A big chunk if the fed budget goes to Medicare (0+ / 0-)

      and all of Medicaid comes from it.

      Plus SSI, Supplementary Security Income,comes from general funds. Doing as you say would leave this hanging out to be attacked.

      I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

      by samddobermann on Sat Mar 16, 2013 at 03:55:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Trickle down" is not just ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee

    ... a joke about the best part of a Republican. How can people be taken serious by the "Serious People" when they put forward discredited theories like Trickle Down? Wasn't Mitt Romney, just recently, Exhibit "A" of how any money saved by the uber-wealthy ends up in Switzerland, the Caymans or Bermuda?

    I didn't see the word "voucher" in the diary. Is Ryan avoiding that term now? I would think so, but he still wants to lop off hundreds of billions in Medicare and Medicaid. I read one of Ryan's old budgets during the election cycle and got pissed off. I also got pissed off reading your summary. Thanks for the warning (and the diary)!

    paul ryan

    I would tip you, but the man took away my tips.

    by Tortmaster on Wed Mar 13, 2013 at 10:34:13 PM PDT

  •  Allow me to paraphrase (0+ / 0-)

    Our nation needs to give a super majority to progressives. Notice I didn't say Democrats, because there are some dirtbagsiamongst the Dems also.

    Let's face the facts so eloquently enunciated in this post:
    The Republican party serves the top one percent of Americans and/or their corporate master. The Republican party garners votes from the white trash of America. Yes the white trash of America.

    No-one has EVER proposed taking away the right to own a gun, yet Republicans and their lobbies (yes plural lobbies), using their frontman the NRA, use the threat of a lie to rouse the white trash rabble. Big oil, tobacco, big pharma, Wall Street, K Street and the "banks" all contribute directly or indirectly to the success of the NRA.

    Ignorant racists, bigots, xenophobes, homophobes and the kind of people that still can't speak english (or pretend not to be able to because they like Justified), despite a common language, will never change. They will always be the unwitting (or witting) lackeys of the Republican party.

    The only way forward is 61 Senators that tow the line and a solid Progressive majority in the House, end of story. Believing lying corporate backed scum like Harry Reid is no longer an option, let's weed 'em out once and for all.

    There is no "riposte", no arguement, if you, as a lay person or supposed representative of "the people", voted against the background check bill (all Republicans) it is not a political gambit, it has nothing to do with an ammedment, and it shows an ignorance and disdain for your fellow citizens.

    The M16 and Kalashnikov were designed with a caliber and muzzle velocity so as to wreak as much havoc as possible on the human body. Hunting, plinking and protecting one's home never entered into the equation.

    If you voted against gun control, if you don't believe in climate change and want to waste the country's time winging about gays and abortion then you are either corrupt or white trash.

    Let's get the super majority and stopped F'ing around.
     

    •  Reducing the marginal income tax rates from (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnB47, MPociask, Slightly Wobbly

      39.6%, 35%, 33% and 28% to a single rate of 25%, and also reducing rates from 25% and 15% to a single rate of 10% could have an effect on revenue.  Logic, reason, and Arithmetic say that the lower rates result in less revenue. Republicans say no, no, no, the lower rates make the economy boom, everyone gets rich and the increase in incomes means more revenue, not less.  That's the Repubican definition of "revenue neutral."  It was tried with the EGTRRA & JGTRRA passed in 2001 & 2003.
      The J in JGTRRA stands for Jobs which never materialized.

      There is no existence without doubt.

      by Mark Lippman on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 01:51:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Giving Reagan credit for the Clinton economy? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Domestic Elf, JohnB47

    Any legislation that contains provisions like that should not be taken seriously.

    Polls don't vote, statistics don't vote, history doesn't vote, yard signs don't vote...PEOPLE VOTE!!!

    by DownstateDemocrat on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 03:31:43 AM PDT

    •  Several Republicans I know firmly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MPociask

      hold this belief.  Their theory is the converse of what you and I might believe: the relative prosperity of any Democratic administration was the result of the previous Republican administration's wise economic policies taking hold and starting to work.  They just know that if we would just keep Republicans in office long enough, we'd see how over the long term "trickle down" economics really does work.  The fact that the economy trends downward during Republican administrations is the result of the bungling of the Democratic predecessor, and proof that Democratic economic policies do not work over the long term.

      “No, Governor Romney, corporations are not people.” ~ my new Senator Elizabeth Warren

      by Domestic Elf on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:16:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a fair bit of mental juggling (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Witgren, viral

        To keep from realizing the internal contradictions.  Because, as you point out, they'll credit Reagan for the 90's, but if anyone criticizes Bush for the current terrible economy, it's "WHY WON'T YOU LET GO?  WHY IS ALWAYS BLAME W?"

  •  Wow, 250 pounds of horseshit.... (0+ / 0-)

    in a blue-eyed 165 pound bag.  (Ryan, that is.  What, you thought I meant his "budget"?)

    Funny how the folks who want us to "balance our federal budget" (a ridiculous goal to actually want to achieve) are the ones who want us to run our government like a household.

    Imagine a household budget written this way.  Instead of groceries, you would describe the resources of energy available for purchase for the younger generation and the stewards of our household, which cannot be cut.  Sacrifices will have to be made, but these sources of energy must be consumed somehow by younger folks and household stewards.  This consumption is essential for both the short term and long term survival of the household.

    Ayn is the bane! Take the Antidote To Ayn Rand and call your doctor in the morning: You have health insurance now! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 07:49:47 AM PDT

  •  So, it includes lies? (0+ / 0-)

    And has oxymoronic headings? Editorializes unnecessarily?

    And it is not logical?

    If this were submitted for a grade, I'd give it an F.

    "Jersey_Boy" was taken.

    by New Jersey Boy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 at 08:16:51 AM PDT

  •  Why waste your time (0+ / 0-)

    The democrats in the house and senate will as they always do pass a budget that is fair to all, and protects the poor.  (Like me). What ever the democrats put up will begin to eliminate the massive debt that the republicans ran up with 8 years of war, and wasteful spending.  president Obama has Begun to bring down the debt and within 4 years will hand off to VP Biden or Hilary and Michele a surplus something we haven't seen since Clinton was in office.  

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