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  1. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    16 Aug '12 02:12
    David Stockman, Reagan's first head of the Office of Management and Budget, really lays into Romney and Ryan in a NY Times piece:

    Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan
    By DAVID A. STOCKMAN
    Published: August 13, 2012


    PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon.

    Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt. Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse.

    Mr. Ryan professes to be a defense hawk, though the true conservatives of modern times — Calvin Coolidge, Herbert C. Hoover, Robert A. Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, even Gerald R. Ford — would have had no use for the neoconconservative imperialism that the G.O.P. cobbled from policy salons run by Irving Kristol’s ex-Trotskyites three decades ago. These doctrines now saddle our bankrupt nation with a roughly $775 billion “defense” budget in a world where we have no advanced industrial state enemies and have been fired (appropriately) as the global policeman.

    Indeed, adjusted for inflation, today’s national security budget is nearly double Eisenhower’s when he left office in 1961 (about $400 billion in today’s dollars) — a level Ike deemed sufficient to contain the very real Soviet nuclear threat in the era just after Sputnik. By contrast, the Romney-Ryan version of shrinking Big Government is to increase our already outlandish warfare-state budget and risk even more spending by saber-rattling at a benighted but irrelevant Iran.

    Similarly, there can be no hope of a return to vibrant capitalism unless there is a sweeping housecleaning at the Federal Reserve and a thorough renunciation of its interest-rate fixing, bond buying and recurring bailouts of Wall Street speculators. The Greenspan-Bernanke campaigns to repress interest rates have crushed savers, mocked thrift and fueled enormous overconsumption and trade deficits.

    The greatest regulatory problem — far more urgent that the environmental marginalia Mitt Romney has fumed about — is that the giant Wall Street banks remain dangerous quasi-wards of the state and are inexorably prone to speculative abuse of taxpayer-insured deposits and the Fed’s cheap money. Forget about “too big to fail.” These banks are too big to exist — too big to manage internally and to regulate externally. They need to be broken up by regulatory decree. Instead, the Romney-Ryan ticket attacks the pointless Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul, when what’s needed is a restoration of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era legislation that separated commercial and investment banking.

    Mr. Ryan showed his conservative mettle in 2008 when he folded like a lawn chair on the auto bailout and the Wall Street bailout. But the greater hypocrisy is his phony “plan” to solve the entitlements mess by deferring changes to social insurance by at least a decade.

    A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.

    Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Shifting more Medicaid costs to the states will be mere make-believe if federal financing is drastically cut.

    Likewise, hacking away at the roughly $400 billion domestic discretionary budget (what’s left of the federal budget after defense, Social Security, health and safety-net spending and interest on the national debt) will yield only a rounding error’s worth of savings after popular programs (which Republicans heartily favor) like cancer research, national parks, veterans’ benefits, farm aid, highway subsidies, education grants and small-business loans are accommodated.

    Like his new boss, Mr. Ryan has no serious plan to create jobs. America has some of the highest labor costs in the world, and saddles workers and businesses with $1 trillion per year in job-destroying payroll taxes. We need a national sales tax — a consumption tax, like the dreaded but efficient value-added tax — but Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan don’t have the gumption to support it.

    The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.

    In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/14/opinion/paul-ryans-fairy-tale-budget-plan.html


    Lots on interesting stuff there, some I agree with, some I don't. Reactions?
  2. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Aug '12 02:15
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    David Stockman, Reagan's first head of the Office of Management and Budget, really lays into Romney and Ryan in a NY Times piece:

    Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan
    By DAVID A. STOCKMAN
    Published: August 13, 2012


    PAUL D. RYAN is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this e ...[text shortened]...

    Lots on interesting stuff there, some I agree with, some I don't. Reactions?
    My first reaction is to marvel at how absurd is the notion that cutting the top marginal tax bracket to 25% could possibly be a good idea.

    Unbelievable.
  3. 16 Aug '12 03:20
    It's simple - Ryan could care less about this country aside from the fact that he wants to make the super rich a lot richer.
  4. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Aug '12 04:27 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    It's simple - Ryan could care less about this country aside from the fact that he wants to make the super rich a lot richer.
    That's a childish take on it.

    To question someone's motives with zero actual evidence because you disagree with his judgment is intellectually lazy and extremely unpersuasive.

    Well, again, I believe John McCain, were he here -- and this is a dangerous thing to say in the middle of an election -- but he would acknowledge what I'm about to say.

    I have been able to work across the aisle on some of the most controversial issues and change my party's mind, as well as Republicans', because I learned a lesson from Mike Mansfield.

    Mike Mansfield, a former leader of the Senate, said to me one day -- he -- I made a criticism of Jesse Helms. He said, "What would you do if I told you Jesse Helms and Dot Helms had adopted a child who had braces and was in real need?" I said, "I'd feel like a jerk."

    He said, "Joe, understand one thing. Everyone's sent here for a reason, because there's something in them that their folks like. Don't question their motive."

    I have never since that moment in my first year questioned the motive of another member of the Congress or Senate with whom I've disagreed. I've questioned their judgment.

    I think that's why I have the respect I have and have been able to work as well as I've been able to have worked in the United States Senate. That's the fundamental change Barack Obama and I will be bring to this party, not questioning other people's motives.

    - Joe Biden

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/10/02/debate.transcript/
  5. 16 Aug '12 06:03
    Romney does have to somehow take the focus away from Ryan's budget. Ryan is proving likable, to counter the problem that Romney is viewed by many as a jerk. But he doesn't want to get bogged down in a debate over Ryan's budget.
  6. 16 Aug '12 11:29
    "That's a childish take on it."

    I could care less about trying to persued you or anyone who agrees with the current republican plan for the USA. Anyone who agrees with the republican leadership is intellectually lazy, ignorant or selfish.
  7. 16 Aug '12 12:37
    Originally posted by Kunsoo
    Romney does have to somehow take the focus away from Ryan's budget. Ryan is proving likable, to counter the problem that Romney is viewed by many as a jerk. But he doesn't want to get bogged down in a debate over Ryan's budget.
    Maybe Romney doesn't come across well on camera publicly, but some people that have met him and talked to him seem to think he is a nice guy.

    I think his stance on Iran and military spending is insane though. I also think lower taxes (for the upper class) make no sense since inflation is a tax and quantitative easing drives that tax. As long as government keeps spending more than we take in the fed reserve will keep increasing the money supply enough to tax us with inflation. The inflation tax also burdens the poor more than the upper class.

    Romney claims to want to reduce spending, but increasing military spending and wanting to follow Israel into war with Iran is not compatible with that goal. I don't see how Paul Ryan is going to help Romney get elected unless the American people overlook Romney and his big spending plans, but perhaps that is already happening.
  8. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    16 Aug '12 12:44 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    "That's a childish take on it."

    I could care less about trying to persued you or anyone who agrees with the current republican plan for the USA. Anyone who agrees with the republican leadership is intellectually lazy, ignorant or selfish.
    You obviously are unwilling or incapable of reading my posts on this or other threads if you think I'm a big fan of the Ryan budget. But in any case, your immediate turn to an irrelevant ad hominem is certainly telling.

    Attacking the motives of politicians because you don't like their plans is symptomatic of extremists nuts on both sides and is unbecoming for someone interested in serious discussion. If you don't like Ryan's plan, attack his ideas or his judgment. Saying that he doesn't care about the country is just plain daft.
  9. 17 Aug '12 00:36
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    "That's a childish take on it."

    I could care less about trying to persued you or anyone who agrees with the current republican plan for the USA. Anyone who agrees with the republican leadership is intellectually lazy, ignorant or selfish.
    and followed up with another lazy statement..
  10. 17 Aug '12 02:24
    Originally posted by sh76
    You obviously are unwilling or incapable of reading my posts on this or other threads if you think I'm a big fan of the Ryan budget. But in any case, your immediate turn to an irrelevant ad hominem is certainly telling.

    Attacking the motives of politicians because you don't like their plans is symptomatic of extremists nuts on both sides and is unbecoming fo ...[text shortened]... is ideas or his judgment. Saying that he doesn't care about the country is just plain daft.
    His plan is so ridiculous that it is not even worth debating. There are many news outlets that have already made that point. My references to Ryan/Romeny being unpatriotic are just ridiculous as the tirade of junk on the right wing talk shows blasting across the American airwaves against the president and his supporters - so it's only fair to use the same method.
  11. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    17 Aug '12 11:50
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    My references to Ryan/Romeny being unpatriotic are just ridiculous as the tirade of junk on the right wing talk shows blasting across the American airwaves against the president and his supporters
    Exactly!

    Thanks for conceding my entire point!
  12. 17 Aug '12 13:07
    Originally posted by kbear1k
    His plan is so ridiculous that it is not even worth debating. There are many news outlets that have already made that point. My references to Ryan/Romeny being unpatriotic are just ridiculous as the tirade of junk on the right wing talk shows blasting across the American airwaves against the president and his supporters - so it's only fair to use the same method.
    Indeed, just as ridiculous. I don't care if it's "fair" - Paul Ryan is an Ayn Rand fanboy, he probably genuinely thinks that cutting taxes for the John Galts of this world is good for the economy. That makes him incompetent and ignorant, but not evil.
  13. 17 Aug '12 23:01
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    Indeed, just as ridiculous. I don't care if it's "fair" - Paul Ryan is an Ayn Rand fanboy, he probably genuinely thinks that cutting taxes for the John Galts of this world is good for the economy. That makes him incompetent and ignorant, but not evil.
    Ok - I'l concede that point - Ryan and Romney may believe what they preach. In that case they are either ignorant or incompetent when it comes to their policies regarding the nation....unless they are doing it to increase theirs and their supporte'r's economic gains....then they would be evil.
  14. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    17 Aug '12 23:10
    I was hoping for some substantive discussion of Stockman's proposals in the piece. I see 5 basic ones:

    1) Large cuts in military spending;

    2) Ending the Fed's super low interest rate policy;

    3) Breaking up large banks;

    4) Income based eligibility test for all entitlements;

    5) a) Replacing the payroll tax with a b) national sales tax.


    I would wholeheartedly support 1, 3 and 5(a), support 2 and 4 depending on the specifics and oppose 5(b). Any other reactions to the proposals?
  15. 17 Aug '12 23:19
    1) Large cuts in military spending;
    >>> I would be in favor of some cuts (like pork barrel defence contracts). How these are decided would lead to one heck of a fight on capital hill. We should increase benefits for the rank and file.

    2) Ending the Fed's super low interest rate policy;
    >>>Yes, yes, yes, I think this is one of Obama's biggest mistakes - it hurts older folks living on fixed incomes who need safe places for their money andit has led to a ridiculous amount of speculation in the market which is headed for a crash.

    3) Breaking up large banks;
    Yes, yes, yes. Obama should have let them fail.

    4) Income based eligibility test for all entitlements;
    Yes - also if able have folks work for their monies.
    Also my mom would get governemnt cheese and hand-me-down clothes during the Great Depression - the government should do much of the same instead of handing out cash.

    5) a) Replacing the payroll tax with a b) national sales tax.
    I doubt a national sales tax would work. Many have proposed it without backing it up with real numbers.