Paul Ryan

Starve ‘em to death…

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April 11, 2012
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Pretty picture.

Republicans plan to make it worse.

Ezra Klein:

The Republicans have a problem: Their budget promises don’t add up. They’ve committed to new tax cuts. They’ve proposed spending more on defense. They’ve promised they won’t change retirement programs for the current generation of seniors. But they’ve also promised to cut the deficit, and fast.

That’s left them with one option: deep cuts to programs for the poor. That’s what you see in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget. It’s the basis for the Romney budget. It’s what Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have proposed. But there’s a problem with that, too. Cutting programs for the poor isn’t popular. So Republicans have come up with a solution: Don’t call them “cuts.” Sell them as “reforms,” “repairs,” or “fixes.”

The Ryan budget’s section on these cuts is titled “Repairing the Social Safety Net.” It explains that “the welfare reforms of the 1990s, despite their success, were never extended beyond cash welfare to other means-tested programs.” It proposes to extend the welfare reform model to Medicaid, food stamps and other unnamed “low-income assistance programs.”

Continued…

Yarmuth Fits Ryan/Rogers Budget on a Napkin; Poor kids, old people won’t need napkins if Ryan Budget passes

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March 22, 2012
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via Joe, here’s Congressman Awesome blasting the Republicans’ 2012 Paul Ryan / Hal Rogers Budget:

For all the detail they provide in this budget of where they’ll get their revenue, they might as well have written their budget on a cocktail napkin.

But I saved them the trouble. I did it for them. [holds up napkin] Here’s their budget plan.

  • Tax Cuts for the Rich
  • Slash Spending
  • Shift Health Care Costs to Seniors
  • And Pray for Incredible Growth.

Mr. Chairman I would ask that this be inserted in the record but it provide too much detail for the document.

It’s a funny performance, and the shot of Ryan looking on unamused is poignant.

Also poignant, Ryan’s plan to strip the food stamp program of funding, leaving the poor children and the elderly to starve:

  • The overwhelming majority of SNAP households are families with children, seniors, or people with disabilities. Almost three-quarters of SNAP participants are in families with children; more than one-quarter are in households that include senior citizens or people with disabilities.
  • SNAP households have very low incomes. Eighty-five percent of SNAP households have incomes below the poverty line (about $23,050 for a family of four in 2012).  Such households receive 93 percent of SNAP benefits.  Two of every five SNAP households have incomes below half of the poverty line.  Such individuals and families have little flexibility in their monthly budgets to cope with deep reductions in food assistance.

Let them eat imaginary cake!

Mitch McConnell Makes Bleeding Heart Argument Against Ryan/Rogers GOP Budget

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March 22, 2012
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Mitch McConnell went on the floor of the Senate and made a little speech about Obama’s health care plan, but all he really did was make an argument against the House GOP’s Budget Plan:

Let’s assume for a moment that McConnell’s telling the truth in all what he says — this requires a suspension of disbelief because anyone willing to believe Mitch McConnell, willing to take him at his word, is necessarily self-deceiving, even if he may occasionally speak truth to his own power.

He says 387,000 more people will be “forced” into Medicaid in Kentucky, resulting in 29% of the population.

Mitch McConnell says:

“It hurts the most vulnerable the most.”

And yet…

McConnell’s 5th District Congressman, Hal Rogers, the head of the House Appropriations Committee, just endorsed Paul Ryan’s GOP budget.

The House GOP’s Ryan/Rogers budget attacks Medicaid with a machete.

The Congressional Budget Office, at Ryan’s own request, examined this Republican budget and found draconian cuts to the Medicaid program which currently covers over 400,000 children in Kentucky:

CBO finds that the Ryan plan would cut programs to help low- and middle-income people afford health insurance — Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies to help near-poor and moderate-income families afford insurance — by more than 75 percent by 2050, with the bulk of the cuts coming from Medicaid.  Spending on these programs would be slashed from between 4¼ and 4½ percent of GDP in 2050 under current policies to just 1 percent of GDP.

Regardless of Obamacare’s impact on Medicaid, Mitch McConnell has just made a stark argument against his own party’s budget plan.

Mitch McConnell stands firmly opposed to the Paul Ryan and Hal Rogers plan to “hurt the most vulnerable.”

Hal Rogers endorses Paul Ryan’s Austerity Budget Plan

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March 21, 2012
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Paul Ryan, the reckless Republican budgeteer from Wisconsin, put out an austerity budget and Hal Rogers thinks it’s just dandy:

The Republican chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday endorsed the spending level in the House GOP budget even though he said he wanted it to be higher.

“It’s a workable number. We’ll make it work,” the chairman, Rep. Hal Rogers (Ky.), told The Hill.

The GOP unveiled a budget resolution on Tuesday that calls for a discretionary spending level of $1.028 trillion in fiscal 2013. That is $19 billion less than the $1.047 trillion spending cap that Republicans and Democrats agreed to as part of the debt-ceiling law known as the Budget Control Act last year.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, at Ryan’s own request, ran his budget through their fancy computers and found the Ryan budget, which Hal Rogers is advocating, would defund most of the federal government by 2050:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget plan specifies a long-term spending path under which, by 2050, most of the federal government aside from Social Security, health care, and defense would cease to exist, according to figures in a Congressional Budget Office analysis released today.

The CBO report, prepared at Chairman Ryan’s request, shows that Ryan’s budget path would shrink federal expenditures for everything other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and interest payments to just 3¾ percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050.

But don’t read that as good news for the health care programs. The Ryan/Rogers budget would raise Medicare’s enrollment age to 67, leaving 65 and 66 year old Americans without health coverage. And what’s more:

Equally stunning are CBO’s findings about the impacts of the Ryan plan on programs to enable Americans to secure health-care coverage.  CBO finds that the Ryan plan would cut programs to help low- and middle-income people afford health insurance — Medicaid, CHIP, and the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies to help near-poor and moderate-income families afford insurance — by more than 75 percent by 2050, with the bulk of the cuts coming from Medicaid.  Spending on these programs would be slashed from between 4¼ and 4½ percent of GDP in 2050 under current policies to just 1 percent of GDP.

Over 700,000 Kentuckians are currently on Medicaid.

Most of them, 422,100, are children. Which is good for Hal Rogers, because children can’t vote.

Yet.

Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan, P90X and "Empowering Grandma"

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June 16, 2011
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I’ve had a little trouble connecting the dots on what the GOP is up to with their ridiculous plan to end Medicare. Here’s a stab at it:

A.) Paul Ryan’s budget proposes to end Medicare and replace it with insufficient coupons. The GOP overwhelmingly support it.

B.) Mitch McConnell votes for the Ryan plan, saying that it will “empower grandma on the private market”.

C.) As this segment from Rachel Maddow on Tuesday shows, Paul Ryan’s obsession with the P90X “fat-blasting” workout is matched only by the serious journalists at Politico:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I’m not 100% sure about this theory, but I’m just saying that those “coupons” to “empower grandma” might very well be for P90X, leading to leaner and tighter budgets, and leaner and tighter grandmas:

Oddly enough, this is slightly less nauseating than most of what the national GOP comes up with on a daily basis.

The “X”!

Senate rejects Ryan plan to kill Medicare

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May 25, 2011
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Paul Ryan’s budget plan to end Medicare (and end the Republican electoral revival of 2010) was rejected by the Senate in a 40-57 vote this afternoon. Five Republicans broke rank and smartly voted against it (Snowe, Collins, Murkowski, Brown and Paul… because the radical bill wasn’t radical enough)

Mitch McConnell just voted to end Medicare. Top tier Democrats in Kentucky are officially no longer shaking in their boots, fearing the unbeatable Mitch. 2014 is on.

Roger Wicker of Mississippi just voted to end Medicare. He won by 10 points in 2008, and he’s up for election next year. That race is officially in play.

Richard Lugar of Indiana just voted to end Medicare. He’s actually in more danger of a primary from the right next year, but if he makes it through? In play.

Jon Kyl of Arizona just voted to end Medicare. He won by 9 points in 2006, and he’s up for reelection next year. That race is officially in play.

Dean Heller of Nevada just voted to end Medicare. He was appointed this month to fill the seat of John Ensign’s zipper, and is running next year. Nevada is a purple state. Very much in play.

Bob Corker of Tennessee just voted to end Medicare. He won by 3 points in 2006, and he’s up for reelection next year. In play.

Mitch McConnell was supremely confident that he was going to be Senate Majority Leader in 2013.

Think again, Mitch.

Let’s see if McConnell wants to "empower grandma in the private market" today

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May 25, 2011
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Last night, for the first time ever, a Democratic candidate won the congressional seat from the deeply conservative 26th District of New York. Congrats to Team Hochul.

But there’s only one reason this happened (well, two counting Craigslist): Paul Ryan’s Horrifically Awful Politically Poison Plan to Kill Medicare.

What’s great about the Paul Ryan budget that kills Medicare is two-fold. First, any Republican that comes out in favor of it becomes vulnerable in the general election. The ones in danger become toast, and the ones safe become in danger. Secondly, the Paul Ryan budget is the New Republican litmus test. As Newt Gingrich’s implosion last week showed, if you don’t want to kill Medicare, you’re now persona non grata among the Republican base. So Republicans are damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

And that’s what Republicans know for sure after last night’s election. Well, at least the smart ones do. And speaking of smart Republicans, how about the (tactically) smartest one in the entire country, Mitch McConnell?

Remember, this is the jaw-dropping statement of Mitch McConnell on Sunday, defending the Ryan plan to kill the most popular government program in America:

“What Paul Ryan would do is to empower grandma in the private market, to shop and get the best possible deal.”

Yes, that’s right, our 80-year old grandma (or mother by that time, or you) will just surf the free market and pick out her reasonably priced private insurance plan with the help of that voucher that isn’t even remotely close to enough to pay for it.

Feel the power of your bootstraps, Grandma!

So here’s where we all need to grab the popcorn: Mitch McConnell will be asked by everyone under the sun today about if he’s still going to vote for the Ryan plan, and if he still enthusiastically supports it.

Does Mitch see the writing on the wall and bail? Or does he not want to face the same wrath as Newt Gingrich? Is Mitch more afraid of losing in 2014 to a Democrat (like one already calling out the Ryan plan), or to the tea party who wants to gut commie pinko programs like Medicare?

Well, this has always been my rule of thumb when it comes to Mitch McConnell: the man has zero ideology, and only looks out for his own power.

Based on this, I think we might see some marvelously entertaining backtracking today. Mitch McConnell knows that the only way to save his party and himself is to abandon ship on the plan to end Medicare as fast as possible. Though this is not an easy option, as everyone in the Republican base would take fire at him, pointing out that he’s one of the big spending Republicans that got us into debt in the first place. The only thing that could possibly cushion the blow, if handled properly, is the fact that Rand Paul will likely vote against the budget (for completely different reasons). The KY tea party revolt against McConnell in 2014 would be a little more difficult if Mitch voted against it, or at least criticized it.

Or, Mitch McConnell could take option B, which is an old standard for him. Simply make up a new reality. Argue forcefully that the Paul Ryan plan actually doesn’t end Medicare, that black is white, and 2+2=5. It’s worked many times before, and he very well might think that it’s going to work again.

But it won’t. When it comes to the Ryan plan ending Medicare, these aren’t shades of gray. This is black and white.

So, Mitch…. your move.

P.S.- Don’t hold your breath for the KDP to even make the minimal effort of putting out a press release slamming McConnell on killing Medicare. They didn’t back when the opportunity was best, and they certainly won’t know. I guess they can’t spare that hour of man time.

John Yarmuth on MSNBC this morning

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May 6, 2011
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Pulling out of Afghanistan, the Medicare-ending Paul Ryan budget, and The Awesome:

Mitch McConnell will get to vote to kill Medicare

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April 28, 2011
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As we and others have mentioned many times, the House Republicans recently voted to end Medicare so that they can give a huge tax cut to millionaires. This move will most likely haunt them next year, if not for the next decade.

And now some more wonderful news. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will bring the Ryan budget to a vote in the Senate. That’s right, all of those fiscally conservative Republican Senators will finally have their chance to vote for a bill that kills Medicare and gives Trump a tax cut, all so can get out of debt in… 30 years or so. It will be their shining moment in the long fight against socialized medicine.

Step right this way, Mitch McConnell. Pay no attention to that 2014 re-election campaign, though. Just listen to Reagan and do the right thing.

Rand Paul tells Paul Ryan his extremist budget plan isn’t extreme enough

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April 22, 2011
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Paul Ryan’s recent budget plan (to kill Medicare while giving millionaires a giant tax cut) was voted for by all but 4 Republicans in the House. Which means that 2012 should be a good year for Democrats. But at a private meeting between Ryan and GOP Senators, Rand Paul told him that his political poison needs a little more arsenic. It got a little heated, as Ryan gave it back to him.

Oh to be a fly on the wall:

WASHINGTON — Before releasing his budget publicly, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) gave Senate Republicans a private briefing about the plan in early April. During that meeting, Sen. Rand Paul, a Tea Party-backed freshman from Kentucky, challenged Ryan in front of the rest of their party, according to two GOP aides briefed on the meeting.

Sen. Paul said Rep. Ryan’s plan did not do enough to cut spending and relied on too much deficit spending for too long, according to the aides.

Ryan gave it right back to him. The budget committee chairman went directly after Sen. Paul’s five-year budget plan, which he had clearly studied closely. Ryan’s criticism went roughly like this: yes, he said, you slash the Department of Education and make fast, dramatic cuts, but you don’t deal with entitlement spending. In the out years the deficit would sky-rocket, he said, making an air chart with his hand moving through the air and pointing sharply upward.

A GOP aide sympathetic to Sen. Paul said that Rep. Ryan’s criticism unfairly isolated a single part of his plan and treated as if it represented Paul’s global approach to deficit reduction. Paul does plan to announce a proposal for cutting entitlement spending, the aide said, but wanted to put the domestic spending plan out first.

Lex Vegas odds that Rand got his WATB victim voice on when Ryan started challenging him are currently at 1:30.

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