America’s Future: Crony Social Darwinism versus Crony Socialism

August 12, 2012
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Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential running mate signals an  escalation of the political debate between crony social Darwinism and crony Socialism — both certain prescriptions for disaster and both largely benefiting plutocrats.
Stephen Hayes of The Weekly Standard said Romney would enact Ryan’s plan within his first 100 days in office. Last year, a consortium of nonpartisan anti-deficit groups created an award for “promoting fiscal responsibility and government accountability,” called The Fiscy Award, and bestowed it upon Ryan.

Upon closer examination of Ryan’s budget plan, one finds that in reality Ryan is a facade. His plan is about everything but deficit reduction and would lead to a complete collapse of revenue and offers few spending cuts other than out year smoke and mirrors.

Matt Taibbi describes it well in Tax cuts for the Rich, Paul Ryan has Balls.

The Republicans, quite smartly, recognize that there is great political hay to be made in the appearance of deficit reduction, and that white middle class voters will respond with overwhelming enthusiasm to any call for reductions in the “welfare state,” a term which said voters will instantly associate with black welfare moms and Mexicans sneaking over the border to visit American emergency rooms.

The problem, of course, is that to actually make significant cuts in what is left of the “welfare state,” one has to cut Medicare and Medicaid, programs overwhelmingly patronized by white people, and particularly white seniors. So when the time comes to actually pull the trigger on the proposed reductions, the whippersnappers are quietly removed from the stage and life goes on as usual, i.e. with massive deficit spending on defense, upper-class tax cuts, bailouts, corporate subsidies, and big handouts to Pharma and the insurance industries.

Ryan’s tax-cut proposals are evasive and sneaky. He proposes two tax brackets of 10 and 25 percent that are quite non-progressive, without taking into account “closing loopholes.” Ryan plan, as calculated by the Tax Policy Center, found that relative to today’s tax system, those making $1 million or more would enjoy an average tax cut of $265,000 and see their after-tax income increase by 12.5 percent. By contrast, half of those making between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no tax cut at all. Nearly all middle-income households (those making between $50,000 and $75,000) would see their taxes fall, by an average of roughly $1,000.

Ryan argues that eliminating or scaling back on tax deductions, credits and exclusions should be to be part of the GOP fiscal plan — but when asked any details on where or how, he verbally dances around like a paper tiger on a stick in a Chinese New Year parade. Last fall, such a performance was played out when Al Hunt  interviewed Ryan and asked him detailed questions on how, under his plan, loopholes would be eliminated. If his loophole plan was anything more than another kleptocratic scam, then why did he act so evasive?

On the spending side, Ryan has a so called radical Medicare reform, that is nothing but a red herring, a ruse. His proposed Medicare changes would not apply to current beneficiaries or to those within 10 years of eligibility.  So once again, you get a kick-the-can plan – a game both parties like to play

His voting record is fascist,  like Obama he supports lots of security initiatives and  stripping of civil liberties. He hasn’t meet a foreign military adventure he doesn’t like.

source: Ryan on the issues

Ryan’s “Blueprint for America,” per the New York Times, shows spending reductions that would be felt most and soonest in so-called discretionary (non-security) domestic programs – such as agriculture, education, transportation and science — which account for roughly 15 percent of the overall fiscal budget. He does not propose cutting military spending, which totals roughly 20 percent of the current budget.

Ryan’s budget is blatantly pro-plutocrat and weighs heavily on America’s increasingly large poor and middle class. Unfortunately, voters have no other alternative to Obama’s sycophantic lack of leadership and out-of-control fiscal regime. The President is asleep at the wheel. He is making huge gaffes, such as this one: Just to give you a perspective here, our entire defense budget is about $500, it’s over $500 billion, but it is less than $600.” Actually, the “entire defense budget” has grown in each of the last four fiscal years and is conservatively estimated to be $900 billion in 2012 and for 2013,

The Ryan plan from last year:

And here’s some perspective on the difficulty of cutting entitlements: Let’s pretend some reasonable political approach was crafted to return entitlement spending to the 40-year average of 42 percent rather than the 44 percent it is now. Such a cut would only total $80 billion a year, and would have to sling political dung every step along the way to enact it.

source: Pimco

Paul Ryan’s approach, which was criticized for “killing seniors,” will actually increase entitlement spending by $14 billion in FY 2012, mostly because he doesn’t deal with social security. Perhaps believing in some kind of trickle down economics and forgetting the tax cuts, I would add that Ryan is excessively optimistic on tax revenues. He, like Banana Republic Presidente Hopium,  used  $2.533 trillion for FY 2012. With only about a month and half left, the Treasury has only collected $1.867 trillion in FY 2012.

In sum, I characterize Ryan’s paper tiger-get- plutocrat- tax- breaks- approach as little more than just a last-ditch, modest, year-over-year spending rollback of $97 billion (just for effect), coupled with faith in  miracles. Most of the action is in the far out years, but the lights will be turned off by then. It’s a hard to fathom who is the most undeserving to administer our government under that scenario.

 

 

 

 

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