Senate Republicans have been misbehaving, the president finally calls them out on it, and what do they do? They whine. Pardon me while I refuse to give a damn.
Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:15 am
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:54 pm
Pretty much every single professional journalist in Washington, and a lot of regular Americans, think there are virtues to be had in balance, moderation and centrism. Perhaps as an extension of that belief — for it certainly is not on the basis of even moderately complicated economics, or, for that matter, mathematics — they believe that both the rich and the poor must give something up to address the nation’s budget issues.
(I refuse to call them budget problems, let alone crises; they are issues in the way that we say that sociopaths have issues in that they are the perfectly predictable, and pretty well predicted, results of predictably sociopathic decisions made by known sociopaths.)
So a lot of people who either ought to know better, or who do know better but stand to profit from pretending otherwise, are out there arguing that we need to screw the rich a tiny bit and the middle class and poor a lot to “fix” the deficit (which is fixing itself pretty nicely at the moment, plunging dramatically as a percentage of GDP, but never mind that) and that if both sides are angry, as they are about the nonexistent Simpson-Bowles “report,” then we must be doing the right thing. The problem, of course, is that not all anger is justified, valid, moral or even sane, as Charlie Pierce reminds us:
Can we please have an honest assessment of credibility here? If billionaires are angry because they might have to chip in some boutonniere money on April 15, and a middle-class family is angry because their 82-year old grandmother with Alzheimer’s is lying in her own filth in a substandard nursing home because of Medicare “reforms,” are we honestly saying that the anger of both sides is equally justified? Has anyone even asked that question?
To the best of my knowledge, no one in the DC media has asked this question, and my friend Doug Clark at the N&R, who’s usually much more sensible, doesn’t seem to be concerned with it, and, hey, I’ve got a blog, so I thought I’d raise it here.
Saturday, August 18, 2012 12:02 am
Wednesday, May 30, 2012 8:00 pm
Paul Ryan, who gets way more credit than he deserves for even being able to count, let alone devise a deficit-reduction plan that actually, you know, reduces the deficit, says something remarkably ahistorical here:
We wonder if we will be the first generation in American history to leave our children with fewer opportunities and a less prosperous nation than the one we inherited.
Paul, son, never leave a curve ball hanging out over the plate like that, because if you do, Charlie Pierce is going to take you downtown:
Can this possibly be true? Didn’t parents in the depth of the Depression wonder the same thing? Didn’t the mothers and fathers who worked in the coal mines in the early years of the 20th century see pretty much the same future for their children and grandchildren? Didn’t the farmers ground up in the Panics of 1873 and 1837 — to name only two major events that occurred while the country pursued the policies that Ryan’s “budget” so deeply flattered — feel pretty damned hopeless of what would happen to their kids? Didn’t we ship kids west from the cities on orphan trains? Wasn’t this the normal state of affairs for generation after generation of African Americans?
You know when people began to feel that they could leave their children with more opportunities than they had? When government got involved, that’s when, and when common people began to feel that the government was on their side, and not the wholly owned subsidiary of the wealthy and the privileged. The farmers started to feel it when the Morrill Act established land grant colleges. The miners began to feel it when unionization fought to make their jobs slightly less hellish and when government got behind that effort. The farmers began to feel it when the Progressives began to force change at the beginning of the last century. Everybody felt it with the election of Franklin Roosevelt and the defeat of Hooverian economics, for which Paul Ryan seems overly nostalgic. And that feeling really took off in the 1950′s, when government passed the GI Bill and built the interstate highways, and made college affordable generally to the children and grandchildren of the people who won World War II like, say, me. And when we recognized that the death of a parent need not blight the hopes and dreams of his children, who would be allowed the opportunity of an education through the survivor benefits provided by Social Security, like, say, Paul Ryan was. The notion that we will leave a brighter day for our kids is a relatively recent phenomenon, and it is one that was not possible without the intervention of the government, and it is one from which Paul Ryan profited so handsomely that he is now in a position to claim a “moral obligation” to deny it to everyone else. What a country.
Man, that felt almost as good as hearing about bin Laden.
Monday, April 9, 2012 8:03 pm
Dean Baker eviscerates both James B. Stewart of The New York Times and Rep. Paul Ryan’s massive tax cuts for rich folks disguised as a federal budget:
What Stewart tells us is reasonable is that the budget calls for cuts in entitlements and tax reform. He then asks who could disagree with this.
One has to wonder whether Stewart has looked at the Ryan budget. First, on taxes the only specifics are cuts in the tax rates paid by rich people and corporations. None of the offsetting tax increases are specified.
If this sounds like a sensible opening gambit, let’s imagine the equivalent on the opposite side. Suppose that we proposed to increase Social Security benefits for the bottom two income quintiles of retirees. Suppose that we also proposed increased spending on infrastructure, research and development, and education.
Suppose the left-wing Ryan budget wrote down that these spending increases would be offset by unspecified reductions in government waste. We then told CBO to score it accordingly. Is this a good starting point for further discussion? …
Even more to the point: Is there anyone who has been paying attention for the past 20 years who believes that if some leftist proposed such a budget as Baker hypothesizes, the mainstream media (forget Fox) wouldn’t go utterly batshit calling out the many problems, miscalculations and flawed assumptions contained therein, including but not limited to some that were not flawed or miscalculated at all (Politifact and Factcheck, I’m looking at you)?
The Ryan budget is proving to be a wonderful Rorschach test. We have people who want to be part of the inside Washington conversation who praise the budget’s courage and integrity. Then we have people who believe in arithmetic who call it what it is: a piece of trash.
Why does this matter? Because people who ought to know better are running round calling Paul Ryan a serious thinker, when in fact he is either unable or unwilling to do fifth-grade math, and because there’s a nontrivial chance he will be Mitt Romney’s running mate.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011 8:18 pm
Hostage-taking is an act of terrorism. If you don’t want to be called a terrorist, don’t farking act like one.
Thus endeth the lesson.
Monday, July 5, 2010 11:13 am
Jane Hamsher offers “22 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Pelosi’s Fake Budget ‘n’ Bombs Bill.” My personal favorite: “… if you’re in the majority and you can’t even pass a friggin’ budget you look like an irresponsible douchebag.”
Only I’d fix that by changing “look like” to “are.”