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Choices?
March 24, 2012 10:20 AM   Subscribe

The GOP has released their sunnily-named Path to Prosperity Budget (PDF), offering it as a stark choice in the upcoming 2012 elections. Paul Ryan makes their case in their new video "The Path to Prosperity Budget: Your Country. Your Future. Your Choice." Conservatives argue for it. Liberals argue this is the death-knell for the middle class. Has the end-game arrived?
posted by Benny Andajetz (42 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
In a statement from his campaign, Romney lauded the House Budget Committee chairman "for taking a bold step toward putting our nation back on the track to fiscal sanity." He said he and Ryan were of the same mind on cutting taxes and overhauling the tax code.

"As president, I look forward to working with Chairman Ryan and his House Republican colleagues to pass bold reforms that restore America's promise," he said.

posted by Trurl at 10:32 AM on March 24, 2012


i wasn't aware that anyone was doing anything to make the american people prosperous - oh, they TALK about it - but they're not doing anything and the things they propose aren't going to do anything, either
posted by pyramid termite at 10:36 AM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


The end game hasn't just arrived, it's close to over.
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 10:38 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's possible to not see Obama as living up to the high-flown rhetoric of his campaign, but if you believe even one word the Republicans say you've got to be crazy. Bush wasn't all that long ago.
posted by JHarris at 10:41 AM on March 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


2012 Department of Defense spending: $707,500,000,000
posted by Trurl at 10:45 AM on March 24, 2012 [19 favorites]


"Years of empty promises from both political parties got us in this mess..."

But you can count on these promises.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:51 AM on March 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I keep thinking of the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 10:52 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


i love how they always claim to have new, bold, radical, different, etc. ideas about how to make things better, but when you look at the details it's the same thing they've always been advocating: cut (non-military) government spending, lower taxes, less regulation.

all they do is put a new label on the same old shit.
posted by cupcake1337 at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Paul Krugman doesn't like Paul Ryan.

"Truly, it is amazing how our political landscape continues to be dominated by people who have been wrong about everything for years."
posted by klanawa at 10:58 AM on March 24, 2012 [14 favorites]


Wonderful political ad resource material: "Mitt Romney wants to restore America's promise by giving himself a gazillion dollar tax break?"
posted by R. Mutt at 11:00 AM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


klanawa, my favourite Occupy Wall Street poster, by a country mile was:

Paul Krugman's Blog for President.
posted by Trochanter at 11:04 AM on March 24, 2012 [17 favorites]


2012 Department of Defense spending: $707,500,000,000

More than NASA in its entire existence.
posted by stbalbach at 11:08 AM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


The only American prosperity they care about is for the wealthiest. Yet, they will get some of the poorest, and in need of help Americans to vote for their party.
posted by UseyurBrain at 11:14 AM on March 24, 2012 [5 favorites]


The plan itself is just another budget proposal (no matter which side of the aisle it's from) that has phantom cuts, vague and simplistic language that make inattentive Americans squeak with joy ('get the economy growing again' 'lower taxes for economic growth' 'create a million jobs'), and likely inaccurate predictions and models.

However, after having watched Ryan make his case in the linked interview about his budget plan, the thing that popped out to me the most was how casually he said "Globalization is here," almost in passing. THAT, in my opinion, is the end game because it makes his and any other budget plan obsolete. If there is a significant Dollar event, be prepared to ACTUALLY scrap the tax code, and every other financial code for that matter, because the monetary authority will likely have shifted to the IMF, or a global financial assembly like it.

Not even to mention the social scene that would transpire...
posted by mkwest07 at 11:14 AM on March 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


At least we're seeing across-the-aisle agreement about the need to destroy the middle class.
posted by planet at 11:20 AM on March 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


Yeah, the end-game began during Clinton's second term and peetered out with a whimper just prior to our great recession/depression/clusterfuck.

If Obama can pull things out of the fire for the next four years like he has for the past four, awesome.

If the GOP makes any gains whatsoever, we're toast.

Lets cut government spending to a percent of GDP that I can count with both hands! Fuckers
posted by Slackermagee at 11:26 AM on March 24, 2012


It is early in the process and I am already exhausted by it! So, I've decided to just make this one statement about the republican candidates, Obama, anyone running for office (incumbent or otherwise)' and the entire US government....."Fuck 'em all!"

Now I'm going fishing.
posted by HuronBob at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why the hell does Paul Ryan, a newbie to the Senate, suck up so much fucking airtime with faux credibility on budgetary matters.

In the line of people I'd like to kick in the ass Ryan is somewhere in the top twenty, not necessarily because of his inane ideas, but his continuing presence as someone we are forced to take seriously despite all evidence to the contrary that we actually should.
posted by edgeways at 11:30 AM on March 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Why the hell does Paul Ryan, a newbie to the Senate, suck up so much fucking airtime ...

He does have Ronald Reagan like hair. All he needs is a little Brylcreem.
posted by R. Mutt at 11:59 AM on March 24, 2012


I think this footnote is missing from the proposal:

*By "strengthening" the social safety net, of course we mean "cutting" it.
posted by MoonOrb at 12:04 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Endgame? The Paul Ryan budget is unpopular with the Teagbaggers because it doesn't take things far enough.

There is no endgame as long as you keep moving the goalposts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:10 PM on March 24, 2012


Joey Michaels: you can move the goalposts as far as you want, but if the field catches fire, the game is ruined.

My metaphor is a little tortured. I'm trying to say that if you cut taxes far enough, the whole system collapses and you have to start over.
posted by I've a Horse Outside at 12:18 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why the hell does Paul Ryan, a newbie to the Senate, suck up so much fucking airtime

Ryan is chair of the House Budget Committee (not a senator) and has been in Congress for more than 10 years. Are you thinking of Rand Paul?
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 12:31 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


So is this produced by the same guy as last year? The one who had seemingly unending trouble with basic arithmetic?
posted by wierdo at 12:40 PM on March 24, 2012


Slackermagee: "Lets cut government spending to a percent of GDP that I can count with both hands!"

That has got to be the stupidest statement I have ever heard. First off, what the fuck do the number of digits on my hand have to do with the amount of money we need to spend on public works/services/whatever? Secondly, can't I just assign each finger a value of 10% and easily count up all the way to 100%?
posted by wierdo at 12:43 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


My favorite part of Ryan's budget is he says that he'll pay for the tax cuts by closing loopholes but fails to mention a single one that he'd eliminate.
posted by octothorpe at 12:52 PM on March 24, 2012


That has got to be the stupidest statement I have ever heard. First off, what the fuck do the number of digits on my hand have to do with the amount of money we need to spend on public works/services/whatever? Secondly, can't I just assign each finger a value of 10% and easily count up all the way to 100%?

If you use binary, you can count up to 1023%.
posted by kafziel at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2012 [7 favorites]


Has the end-game arrived?

The most precious thing about discussing American Politics is how very little historical perspective is present in the debate.

Spain was ruled for 30 years by a dude who was more inbred than the children of ordinary siblings would be.

30 years! People were born, raised kids, and died within this one ruler's reign.

And that was 300 years ago! And Spain still exists!

So, endgame ? What does that even mean ?
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:00 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ryan is chair of the House Budget Committee (not a senator) and has been in Congress for more than 10 years. Are you thinking of Rand Paul?

Yeah I must be, too much attention to one thing, not enough on another, bleh
posted by edgeways at 1:24 PM on March 24, 2012


So, endgame ? What does that even mean ?

I think you're reading too much into the question. I was alluding to the logical conclusion to the conservation cut-and-slash-and-privatize philosophy of the last 40 or so years. Are we really going to consider ending any kind of government-centric social program?

Historically, it's a first-world problem - but it's an important contemporary issue.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:25 PM on March 24, 2012


conservation conservative
posted by Benny Andajetz at 1:29 PM on March 24, 2012


2012 Department of Defense spending: $707,500,000,000

More than NASA in its entire existence.


And so when Paul Fucking Ryan (I think that's his given name, isn't it?) says we're not going to touch defense spending but OMG TEH SOZIAL SPENDING IS IN A CRISIS!!!, it's like - fuck you dude, there is nothing "serious" about this proposal in the least, an honest proposal would/must propose trimming both social and military spending.

Ryan is a hack, and that point needs to be made at every possible juncture. As a liberal I could, theoretically, support a plan that cut both guns and butter. But I'll fight tooth and nail against any plan, anyone who says we don't have money for the butter - but we've got plenty for the guns.

Spend American money in America on Americans. For a change.
posted by kgasmart at 2:00 PM on March 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


Now I'm going fishing.
posted by HuronBob at 2:29 PM on March 24



Sorry, Bob, the lake is on federal land, and it's been shut down by the GOP.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:48 PM on March 24, 2012


However, after having watched Ryan make his case in the linked interview about his budget plan, the thing that popped out to me the most was how casually he said "Globalization is here," almost in passing. THAT, in my opinion, is the end game because it makes his and any other budget plan obsolete. If there is a significant Dollar event, be prepared to ACTUALLY scrap the tax code, and every other financial code for that matter, because the monetary authority will likely have shifted to the IMF, or a global financial assembly like it.
What is this paranoid nonsense? In the context of ryan's quote 'globalization' simply meant international trade, outsourcing, etc. Not some kind of global government. The IFM isn't like the Fed or ECB, they can only lend money people give them. How would they 'take over'.

(Also "Dollar Event"? What is a "Dollar Event"?)

Crazynomics.
posted by delmoi at 3:24 PM on March 24, 2012


Sorry, Bob, the lake is on federal land....

Not MY lake......
posted by HuronBob at 5:10 PM on March 24, 2012


Secondly, can't I just assign each finger a value of 10% and easily count up all the way to 100%?

If you use binary, you can count up to 1023%.


While I may be mistaken, I feel like it might be even more than that.
posted by box at 5:20 PM on March 24, 2012


Has the end-game arrived?

Arrived? I thought the Blue position was the end game arrived in 2000 when Bush was put in charge.
posted by rough ashlar at 7:59 PM on March 24, 2012


The "new" plan is to spend $692,500,000,000 in one year for "Defense". That's about $2000 for each and every person in the US.

If you limit it to persons between 18 and 45... that's about $6000. I'd spend it arming every citizen in the militia. Get them a year of MREs, a rifle, pistol, and 1000 rounds to practice with... and everyone in the country would immediately become much more polite. Nobody would ever try to invade, the numbers would be insane against anyone who tried, even with nuclear weapons working against us.

If you take that same money and piss it away on things like obsolete nuclear powered aircraft carriers deployed in shallow water as bait, you might not get the same deterrence value for your money.
posted by MikeWarot at 8:26 PM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


The aircraft carriers are out there to guarantee our supply of hydrocarbons, without which the US economy will crash. They are not for "defense".
posted by benito.strauss at 8:38 PM on March 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


This seemed apropos
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some 50 miles of concrete highway. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

This, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road. the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower
posted by ob1quixote at 10:55 PM on March 24, 2012 [6 favorites]


What is this paranoid nonsense? In the context of ryan's quote 'globalization' simply meant international trade, outsourcing, etc. Not some kind of global government. The IFM isn't like the Fed or ECB, they can only lend money people give them. How would they 'take over'.

(Also "Dollar Event"? What is a "Dollar Event"?)
I think we see it a bit differently. Why would he say "globalization is here" if he, as you suggest, simply meant international trade, outsourcing, etc? These concepts are never referred to by such a strong term like "globalization." None of these are even remotely new concepts and would offer no new justification for his plan.

To answer the question "How would they take over?" would require, at absolute least, a brief history of who they are and how they started. The IMF is made up of agents of the richest countries on the planet, significantly the US and UK.

Initially established after WWII to commit a global effort to rebuilding severely wounded European countries, they eventually began to make loans to smaller, more impoverished countries as long as they privatized their economies and gave the western corporations access to their raw natural resources. They have built up quite a list of countries that are seemingly in perpetual debt to them. Here are the countries straight from the IMF themselves that they refer to as "Heavily Indebted Poor Countries" to the IMF. There is a lot out there in terms of information regarding HIPC, much of which you can attain straight from the IMF and World Bank. This is no paranoid secret.

Since the US Dollar is essentially THE reserve currency of the world, as nearly every nation holds US Dollars as a significant chunk of reserves to its own respective currency (largely due to that nation's debt to the IMF which is made up of primarily US Dollars), the sovereignty of each nation's economy involved is incredibly leveraged on the success of the dollar. A vicious cycle for an impoverished nation. This is where a "Dollar event" and IMF takeover meet at a crossroads.

Since the US Dollar is a currency that has no inherent value (there is no definition of what a dollar actually is), it is entirely subject to whatever controls are put on it. Since we as a country keep endlessly printing printing printing these baseless dollars, economic law says that they're plummeting in value. Drastically rising prices in everything that the government sticks its hands in (medicine, education, energy, etc.) provides resounding support for that statement. If a rejection of the US Dollar were to occur (one example of a "dollar event"), as it relates to the IMF, it would falsely put the IMF in the position directly above any nation's currency which has no inherent value (which would be most nations...commodity-based money is not a common thing in this time). An extremely powerful position, indeed. Economic control over any country with a paper currency. Likely the most powerful position any single entity has every experienced.

As this all relates back to Paul Ryan's saying "Globalization is here," there has been a dramatic increase in the out-front ignoring of our nation's sovereignty. Less than a month ago, our secretary of defense flatly told a member of congress that they would seek international permission FIRST to administer a US military operation, then tell congress what the international community decided, THEN would consider asking the US congress for permission.

The whole point of all of this is to suggest that it's not an insignificant statement when someone, especially who the media pushes on us so strongly for no apparent reason, as edgeways suggests, says that globalization is here. In my eyes, very dangerous words in this time.

All-in-all, this Ryan plan is just smoke and mirrors, just like the plan that Bush put forward; just like Obama or McCain put forward.

(sincerest apologies for the long read...I feel the explanation directly relates to the topic though)



posted by mkwest07 at 12:46 AM on March 25, 2012


I am fully prepared to accept the loss of "the American way of life". I'm 27 and I have no intention of owning a home. I fully expect the social security system to collapse before I am able to cash in on it. I will never have a pension, and all my retirement savings will come only from my own investments.

The GOP appeals to people with a narrow sense of history. These are the people who prospered (or imagined they prospered), ironically during the greatest era of state-expansion in American history, the period immediately following the second world war, when there was a booming manufacturing economy driven by a well-oiled war machine. The U.S. dollar was on the rise, and generous state-funded pensions were provided for all government employees, and many private entities did the same. This was the supposed "age of prosperity" that conservatives want to harken back to, because it was the time when the United States' cultural pride was at an all-time high, before the unrest of the 1960s and 70s, when the culture collapsed under the weight of its own hypocrisy.

And yet today they still have the same things to say. The same tired lines, re-appropriated for the modern condition. Use the war machine to fuel the economy – "protect American interests abroad". Appeal to touted "traditional values", a code word for narrow views on religion, sexuality and race. The conservatives today know they can't win the struggle by saying they will drive the nation to war and profit from the bloodshed while limiting personal freedom. It's all smoke and mirrors, sure, but that gives them more credit than is due. It's lies. Old-fashioned lies, expressed in tax code.
posted by deathpanels at 8:00 AM on March 25, 2012 [4 favorites]


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