On Nov 6, California voters put a stake through the heart of the Republican Party. Really! Not to take away from the landmark victories in the rest of the country, which are momentous and deserve every bit of attention they're getting, but, in the words of Robert Cruikshank at Calitics:
...the California Republican Party, and the California conservative movement, are as dead as Monty Python's parrot.
[YES!] emphasis and editorial comment added] Read more about Now THIS is a Big Deal!
Mine is a simple, and very serious, if, perhaps, modest, proposition. But let me stipulate, first, that even though this post is about the Republican Party, it in no way indicates support for, or a positive evaluation of the Democratic Party over the past 35 years. I've recorded my opinion of the Democratic Party's behavior and of the present Administration's reprehensible performance for years now, and feel no need to repeat my frequent and very angry evaluations in this post. Read more about Republicans Should Destroy Their Own Party, Nationwide!
More on liberty from Ryan's reply to the President's 2011 SOTU. These are about that old Republican hypocritical favorite, “small government.”
”The President and the Democratic Leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power.”
What planet does Congressman Ryan live on? The Democrats have done very little to increase the size of Government. The measure of that is that the average annual growth in Federal Government spending is the lowest it's been in the period since Dwight Eisenhower became President. In addition, Federal spending as a percent of GDP is still extremely low compared to National Government expenditures by the nations mentioned in my last post, and has only risen about 5 percentage points from Bush Administration levels, in response to the economic crisis, which, remember, was caused by policies avidly supported by Paul Ryan and conservative Republicans.
In addition, the President, much to his discredit, has done all he could to keep Government expenditures revenue neutral or revenue positive, beyond expenditures for defense, the stimulus, and increases in social safety net expenditures resulting from the recession. His health care reform bill is a disgraceful attempt to bailout the insurance companies without taking them over, because he would not entertain Medicare for All, since it wasn't “revenue neutral.” Never mind that enhanced Medicare for All would have saved the private sector $900 Billion per year in Medical Costs, and that the stimulus involved in an additional $800 Billion of Federal deficit spending would probably have created an addition 2 million jobs, at least. Read more about Ryan's Follies: Back to Liberty
More Ryan's follies from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU. These are about that old Republican hypocritical favorite, “small government.”
”So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.
They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government. . . .
We believe, as our founders did, that “the pursuit of happiness” depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.”
Here's the next group of Ryan's follies from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU.
On bureaucracy and innovation:
”Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked – and it won’t work now.”
That may be. But depending on the big banks and big US corporations to either get lending going again, or to bring innovation and jobs to the United States also won't work. What will work is for the Government to increase aggregate demand by deficit spending in areas of the economy we want to grow.
“Bureaucracy” is just a scare term. The big corporations that Ryan, the Republicans, and many Democratic Congresspeople serve are all just as bureaucratic, and in the case of the health insurance companies, even more bureaucratic than the Government. The dirty little secret of the social sciences is that bureaucracy comes with large size whether we're talking about private or public organizations. So, unless Ryan has plans to break up the large banks, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, telecommunications companies, and exporters he loves so much, he really ought to shut up about “bureaucracy,” because his precious private sector has absolutely nothing to crow about when it comes to that feature of large organizations.
If we don't like bureaucracy, then what we need is regulation that will break up large organizations, making them illegal beyond a certain size. Then perhaps we might create functioning markets and be able to shrink the Federal government too. But this kind of solution is off the table for Ryan and Romney since regulation is a no-no from the standpoint of their ideology. Read more about Ryan's Follies: Bureaucracy, Austerity, and Depression
Still more Ryan's follies from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU.
On the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
”Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.
“What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.”
More on Ryan's follies and the overall quality of thinking we find in this young “guru”! Here's more from his answer to the President's 2011 SOTU.
”On this current path, when my three children – who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old – are raising their own children, the Federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay.”
It will be roughly 19 years until Ryan's children are raising their own children, and guess what? GDP will be between two and three times what it is now, and, as we've already seen there's no reason why taxes should be any higher as a percentage of income for most people, unless of course, people like Ryan keep lowering taxes for the rich and raising them for everyone else in order to achieve a damaging budgetary surplus.
Hopefully, the tax rates for the top 2% of the population will be far higher than they are now, and estate taxes will return to their levels in the 1950s, so that gentlemen like Congressman Ryan can begin to pay their fair share again, and the United States can once again have a wealth distribution that is more equal than the likes of Russia, China, Turkey, and Jordan. Read more about Ryan's Follies: Oy! Taxes, Decline, and Austerity
In celebration of Paul Ryan's nomination, and in consideration of his reputation among Washington, DC villagers as a fiscal guru, I thought it might be fun to do a series of posts, of which this is the first, critiquing examples of Ryan's past wisdom. Here's the first example:
”We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.”
The debt referred to here by the Congressman is the accounting construct of the national debt subject to the limit, or the face value of the debt instruments the Government has yet to redeem. But just why the “burden of debt” is so crushing, or even a burden at all to you and I really needs to be explained carefully by Ryan and the other deficit hawks to the rest of us.
I don't see any public debt burden on myself or any American people at all either at present or in the future. Why? Because a burdensome debt is one that you and I will personally have to pay back, and we just won't ever have to pay the public debt of the US back from taxes that we are asked to pay to the Government. That is, we won't unless Congress and people who believe the things Mr. Ryan believes, decide to pay the debt by levying taxes, cutting Government spending, and running Government surpluses until it is paid. Read more about Ryan's Follies: A Crushing Burden of Public Debt
In my last two posts I reviewed the deficit reduction aspects of Paul Ryan's Republican response to the SOTU. But Ryan also placed considerable emphasis on the idea of “limited government” in his response. In this post, I want to evaluate what he had to say on this theme.
So I’d like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.
They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government. . . .
Here's Part Two of my textual analysis of the deficit reduction portion of Paul Ryan's Republican response to the SOTU.
Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.
What we already know about the President’s health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.
Many of my recent posts have focused on fairy tales I thought the President would tell in the SOTU and also those that he did tell. The reason for this is that I think people on the left have a greater need to be informed about Obama's fairy tales, then they do about Republican fairy tales, since they are automatically skeptical about what Republicans say given their 40 year history of systematically lying about reality every chance they get. Read more about Paul Ryan's Deficit Reduction Fairy Tales: Part One
It's been nearly 35 years since we've had a “tax and spend” political party. During the 1970s, the Democrats gave up fighting the Republicans about the “tax and spend” label, and the Carter Administration tried to escape from that charge by making very serious attempts to balance the budget. During the 1980s, more and more Democrats emphasized their concern for reducing deficits and balancing budgets as a way of distinguishing themselves from the Reagan Administration's unprecedented peacetime deficits. Read more about We Need A Tax and Spend Party Again
2012: How U.S. Voters Can Wrest Control of Congress from Special Interests -- Part I: The US Electorate versus the US Congress
The electorate's dissatisfaction with the nation's lawmakers has reached a critical stage. A majority of U.S. voters want to see most elected representatives in Congress defeated because they favor special interests over voters' interests. Unfortunately, legal obstacles erected by the two major parties prevent voters from replacing most of these representatives unless they use the revolutionary self-organizing tools described in this series to work around them.
These obstacles range from federal and state election laws to campaign finance laws and Supreme Court decisions that favor private over public funding of elections. Voters can't change these laws within the foreseeable future. But they can circumvent them at the Congressional election district level. The web savvy 125 million voters who use the Internet to influence the outcome of the 2008 elections can use new web technologies to leverage the collective action power of the Internet and elect a majority of Congressional representatives untainted by special interests in 2012. Read more about 2012: How U.S. Voters Can Wrest Control of Congress from Special Interests: A Series
Hint: it’s not Republicans.
Social Security remains one of the greatest achievements of the Democratic Party since its creation 75 years ago. Although Republicans have historically fulminated against the program (Ronald Reagan once
onald Reagan">likenedRead more about Which Party Poses the Real Risk to Social Security’s Future?