Saturday, April 09, 2011

Paul Ryan's Top-Down War for Plutonomy

Yeah, let's not mince words here. That's what's going on. Taibbi:

[David Brooks slobbers] over all of Ryan’s ostensibly daring proposals, from the Medicare block grants to the more obnoxious Medicare voucher program (replacing Medicare benefits with vouchers to buy overpriced private insurance, which Brooks calls the government “giving you a sum of money” to choose from “a regulated menu of insurance options”).

What he doesn’t mention is that Ryan’s proposal also includes dropping the top tax rate for rich people from 35 percent to 25 percent. All by itself, that one change means that the government would be collecting over $4 trillion less over the next ten years.

Since Brooks himself is talking about Ryan’s plan cutting $4 trillion over the next ten years (some say that number is higher), what we’re really talking about here is an ambitious program to cut taxes for people like… well, people like me and David Brooks, and paying for it by “consolidating job-training programs” and forcing old people to accept reduced Medicare benefits...

...The last ten years or so have seen the government send massive amounts of money to people in the top tax brackets, mainly through two methods: huge tax cuts, and financial bailouts. The government has spent trillions of our national treasure bailing out Wall Street, which has resulted directly in enormous, record profit numbers – nearly $100 billion in the last three years (and that doesn’t even count the tens of billions more in inflated compensation and bonuses that came more or less directly from government aid). Add to that the $700 billion or so the Obama tax cuts added to the national debt over the next two years, and we’re looking at a trillion dollars of lost revenue in just a few years.

You push a policy like that in the middle of a shaky economy, of course we’re going to have debt problems. But the issue is being presented as if the debt comes entirely from growth in entitlement spending. It’s bad enough that middle-class taxpayers have been forced in the last few years to subsidize the vacations and beach houses of the idiots who caused the financial crisis, and it’s doubly insulting that they’re now being blamed for the budget mess.

But the icing on the cake comes when a guy like David Brooks – like me a coddled, overcompensated media yuppie whose idea of sacrifice is raking one’s own leaves – comes out and calls Paul Ryan courageous for having the guts to ask seniors to cut back on their health care in order to pay for our tax breaks.
A FOUR TRILLION DOLLAR WEALTH TRANSFER. That's what we're talking about here. A forcible transfer (for what choice do Americans have?) of four TRILLION dollars from the poor, middle-class, destitute and aged to monied chucklefucks like David Brooks and Paul Ryan.

If this were happening anywhere else in the world, there would be people on the streets. Things would be burning. But in America, where everybody thinks he's gonna be a billionaire someday, there ain't a damned word said about it or thing done about it. Never mind that income mobility is pathetic and getting worse. Never mind that "equality of opportunity" is naught but a sick joke. Never mind that (as I said in my last post), the guys running the show don't even care if your water poisons you.

No, people aren't even realizing that they're in the middle of a one-sided war for plutonomy. Maybe they'll begin to realize it before they've been hung up and bled dry. Considering what just happened in Wisconsin, though...I wouldn't lay money on it.

Edit: Oh, and pardon my language here, but the very fact that that disingenuous dipshit David Brooks couldn't be bothered to even discuss the possibility of tax increases just shows how fucked up the American media truly is. There's no way that someone like that should be taken seriously, let alone given space in the Times. But there it is.


  1. libertarian socialist has a new found meaning for me after reviewing the budget outline in time magazine. i used to think that Defense was the greatest expenditure, but apparently SS is on par with it. The government takes in about 2 trillion dollars, and spends the rest helping people remain on its teat, whether it's dictators overseas or the unemployed and disabled here. Very little is spent on education or real jobs, unless it's administrative, or designing how to build the next best WMD.

    so, yeah, like Kennedy said, "ask not what your country can do for you..." and i will further add "because it's a tangled skein that will likely never get fixed without something dramatic (read, horrific) unfolding."

  2. In a twisted way Republicans are following another of Kennedy's famous quotes, "those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." The rub is they think they'll control the violent revolution when it comes, too.

  3. Anonymous2:08 AM

    Something to think about. "THEY" want to kill off social security. They use words in a funny way but that's what they want. Ok there is a $2.5 Trillion Dollars Social Security Trust Fund.. That's in IOUs to the general revenue fund. So if SS is killed what happens to the IOUs. Would not paying them back save the budget or pay for the tax cuts.

  4. Anonymous2:11 AM

    The GOP says about 20% of Federal spending goes to Social Security beneficiaries. But it comes from the $2.5 Trillion Dollars Social Security trust fund paid out of FICA payroll taxes. It is not a part of the Federal budit or deficit.
    They want to loot theTrust Fund money to cut rich guys taxes with. This is not talking about budget reductions; they want to reduce or eliminate Social Security system also targeting Medicare and Medicaid. Then can they use the trust fund money to cut Rich guys taxes and still collect FICA payroll taxes.