Paul Ryan laid down the gauntlet today. He delivered his budget to the people. There is one thing I have always “admired” about this new sect of extreme Right Wing Tea Party Republicans, they have no problem looking into the eye of a reporter, looking into the eye of a camera, looking into the eye of Americans, and lying even with the evidence next to them or in the public domain. '
Most of them voted against the Violence Against Women Act, yet some took credit for its passage. Ryan and most of this sect voted for the sequester, yet they attempt to blame others for its passage. Now, Paul Ryan uses the revenues from the President’s ‘balanced approach’, $716 billion dollars in Medicare Savings via Obamacare and the tax cut repeal on the wealthy on the 2012 cliff deal.
Ryan’s press conference announcing his budget was informative on Republican ideology, dishonesty, and braggadocio.
Reporter: You spent months on the campaign trail arguing against raising taxes…. In this budget you say that you balance in ten years in part by using six hundred billion dollars in new taxes that you opposed. Isn’t that disingenuous?
Ryan: Not at all…. We are not going to refight the past. Law is law. We know that that is not going to change, especially with respect to these issues.
So he is using the tax increases that President Obama got through Congress because law is law and he has no intentions of fighting past battles. The next reporter then takes him to task.
Reporter: You’ve said you are not going to fight the past. Yet a key tenet of your budget is the of the Affordable Care Act…. The second part of the question is did you feel you had to include repeal of the Affordable Care Act because otherwise it wouldn’t pass the House of Representatives.
Ryan: It was never a doubt in our minds. Let me go back, point one point two. The fiscal cliff occurred. But we don’t like the tax code it has produced. Therefore we are proposing a new tax code that is more of a pro growth tax code. Let’s take Obamacare for example, the Affordable Care Act; we don’t like this law. This is why we are proposing to repeal this law in our budget.
In other words, he will use the dirty work of the President he opposed, the tax increases and Medicare savings, because it makes his budgeting that much easier. But he will re-litigate the past he earlier stated would not be re-litigates; ignore laws when he does not like it.
Reporter: So if the seven hundred and sixteen billion from the President’s healthcare plan is deficit reduction, so if the six hundred billion from the fiscal cliff plan is very much his, is deficit reduction and it brings you closer to a balanced budget, isn’t that sort of go against everything your conference stands for, that two of your primary areas of deficit reduction are birthed out of the Whitehouse?
Ryan: We believe on the revenue side, that we can still have a pro-growth tax code that lowers rates and broaden the base at the current line we have.
In other words, yes he is using the revenues demanded by the Whitehouse as two major components in balancing his budget.
The most telling part of the news conference was Ryan’s response to a reporter. It is the mode under which this sect of Republicans has been operating under for the last few decades. It is an adeptness to ignore what most people want even as their words seem to give many the belief that somehow they care.
Reporter: People outside this process might be watching today and saying, well Ryan did this last year…. He was on the ticket. Ran on this… President Obama ran on what he calls the balanced approach, raising some taxes on the wealthy, you know and his Medicare and Social Security position. He won that election. House Republicans lost seats in the House. Got a million fewer votes than Democrats. Senate Republicans lost seats in the Senate. And people outside this process might wonder if elections have consequences on the budgeting process. Do they?
Ryan: So the question is, the election didn’t go our way. Believe me, I know what that feels like. That means we surrender our principles? That means we stop believing in what we believe in?
Obviously in Ryan’s mind, obviously with Ryan’s and the Right Wing Republicans’ actions at paralyzing government, it does not. His budget is best described as more continued pilfering of the middle class and the poor.
Soon after his press conference on MSNBC’s NOW, Ezra Klein and Joy Reid summarized Paul Ryan’s budget and impact quite accurately and concisely.
When people think about this budget they should keep two numbers in mind. And I think they explain most of what you need to know; fifty nine and zero... Fifty nine percent, so almost six out of ten dollars that he cuts, of his new cuts, and these are his numbers I am using by the way, I’ve not done this myself, come from healthcare mostly for the poor. Comes from either cutting Medicaid, or cutting Obamacare…. Zero is taxes. He doesn’t raise a dollar in taxes. Instead he has a genuinely very implausible tax reform plan which would bring the entire tax code down to two brackets, ten percent and 25 percent. And he says it wouldn’t cost any money and they somehow would be able to do it without hugely taxing the poor and the middle class. I don’t, the experts I have spoken to don’t think that is mathematically possible.
I think his op-ed could have been a lot shorter if he had just written, are there no work houses? are there no prisons? Because it seems to me that this is his approach to everything. Go after the poor. Keeps all the cuts in Obamacare that you claimed you hated…. And then he wants to make just these draconian, really cruel cuts to programs for the poor. He has got an obsession. Every time Paul Ryan puts out proposals, they go after the most vulnerable. They go after the elderly poor or they go after the non-elderly poor. And that seems to be his only big idea. But I don’t believe for on instance that it is about deficit reduction. I don’t believe for one instance its about saving, about government spending. This is a guy who voted for TARP. And by the way when he voted to bail out the banks and spend federal money to bail out Wall Street, he was only one of twenty Republicans to do it. He bucked the vast majority of his own party to vote for TARP. So he does not mind spending federal money as long as it is on the rich.
Paul Ryan’s budgets that are generally an attack on the poor and middle class should never be a surprise. He stated Ayn Rand was required reading for his staff, a fact that never got the exposure it should have gotten during the 2012 Presidential election. There is no doubt that if Paul Ryan’s budget were to be magically implemented, it would destroy the middle class.