“Paul Ryan: Cruel, not courageous
“By Katrina Vanden Heuvel, Published: August 14
…”“Ryan’s budget isn’t courageous — it’s just cruel. Three-fifths of the cuts he wants would hit those with low incomes, while those who have the most would continue getting more. It’s no wonder the former altar boy has had his knuckles rapped by a group of nuns for peddling a budget that “rejects church teaching about solidarity, inequality, the choice for the poor, and the common good.”
“Ryan’s claim to courage — beating up on the poor notwithstanding — lies in his supposed willingness to tackle tough fiscal issues without obfuscation or sugar-coating. This would be admirable – if it were not utter nonsense. He preaches the need for austerity while refusing to touch defense spending. He doesn’t specify which tax loopholes would be eliminated to pay for massive tax cuts. He voted against stimulus to help the whole country, but for the auto bailout to help his own congressional district.
“Still, it’s true that on pages 44-47 of Ryan’s so-called “Path to Prosperity” plan, you can read exactly what he intends to do with Medicare. Pages 50-54 explain his plans for tax reform. There are giant gimmicks and plenty is left unsaid, of course. But, yes, technically it is a plan, outlined in black and white and illustrated with colorful graphs and charts.
“Is that courageous? Not on the level of, say, our returning veterans, for whom Ryan’s budget would slash support by 13 percent. No, he is remarkable only because — unlike the man at the top of the ticket, who is a shameless cipher — Ryan isn’t hiding the ball. Instead, he’s hitting struggling Americans in the face with it.
“But however courageous you consider a congressman for actually revealing his policy preferences, Ryan’s blueprint — now the blueprint for the entire Republican Party — is profoundly uncourageous in its implications for the vast majority of the country.
“Under Ryan’s plan, the wealthiest 1 percent would get a massive tax break. Meanwhile, Medicare would be privatized, leaving seniors with vouchers that could never keep up with rising health-care costs. It would slash programs helping struggling families stay afloat, such as food stamps and housing assistance, by nearly a trillion dollars over the next decade. Education and employment training — vital to our nation’s future — would be cut by a third. Ryan, whose great-grandfather founded a large road construction company, would spend 25 percent less than President Obama rebuilding our deteriorating infrastructure. And since gutting Medicaid and Medicare isn’t enough, he would also repeal the president’s health-care law, leaving tens of millions of people uninsured.
“Recently, voters in focus groups refused to believe anyone would propose such a vicious plan. Back when the GOP retained a modicum of humanity, even many Republicans were shocked by how far Ryan went. In polls, people of both parties recoil from his proposal to end Medicare as we know it.
“It is a plan, as the recently departed Gore Vidal said of Ayn Rand’s philosophy that so influenced Ryan, “nearly perfect in its immorality.” Ryan’s extremism bleeds into social issues. He saluted the troops on the deck of the USS Wisconsin, but voted against repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” He has repeatedly voted for defunding Planned Parenthood and letting hospitals refuse emergency abortion care, even when a mother’s life is in danger. The right to love whom you want or to make decisions about your own body are not, apparently, among the rights that Ryan believes “nature and God” gave us…”
Cassi Creek: There it is the plan of attack for the Teavangelists to polish off the former middle class. The 1%, the super wealthy, will receive yet another tax cut which will be paid for by levying a tax increase on the former working class and former middle class. The insult will be made all the greater by privatizing Social Security and Medicare; increasing costs to those citizens depending upon our social safety nets while funneling the profits from privatization into the already well-lined pockets of Wall Street investment bankers and financiers who maintain their personal accounts in secret offshore banks.
Ryan voted to undertake two un-funded foreign wars, Afghanistan and Iraq. The cost to our armed forces in injuries and lives lost, WIA and KIA, seem to have evaded his thoughts then or now. He’s quite eager to cut veterans benefits by 13%, leaving an already under-funded Veterans Affairs agency to try to clean up the mess that these wars have created for veterans.
He’s never worn the uniform of our armed forces but is willing to send the troops out to be chewed up and discarded. He’s well off financially and has excellent health care provisions. To make certain he keeps that policy, he’s willing to shove vouchers for insurance policies into the hands of retirees and the working poor, knowing that the vouchers will buy little or nothing when inflation and greed have rendered them of no value.
He speaks about the sanctity of life while condemning women to die rather than allow them to have a medically necessary abortion. He plays the same evil game with women’s lives by trying to outlaw contraception. He preaches about religious freedom while doing his best to shove his brand of Roman Catholicism down our throats and into civil law.
There’s nothing brave about Congressman Ryan. He has other people to suffer in his place, to fight in his place, and to die in his place while he hides behind an economic policy gleaned from a work of fiction written by an author who collected the Social Security payments and Medicare benefits that she so viciously decried. Be careful which mob you stir up, Congressman.