August 31, 2010
'YOUNG GUNS' EMBRACE RYAN ROADMAP?.... The House Republican leadership has been reluctant to embrace, at least formally, Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) "Roadmap for America's Future." That's not surprising -- Ryan's plan is both radical and ridiculous, and GOP leaders don't necessarily want to spend the next two months talking about it.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.), in particular, has been especially reluctant to say whether he's on board with the Ryan proposal. But it's about to get considerably more difficult to separate the GOP leadership from the radical plan.
In a new book to be released next month, three House Republican leaders include many of the policies and ideas that some in their party have promoted over the last year, as well as a controversial plan to drastically cut the country's entitlement spending.
The proposed entitlement overhaul by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), known as the Roadmap for America's Future, is featured with many GOP solutions for the debt, national security and health care in "Young Guns," according to an early edition of the book obtained by Roll Call. Ryan, Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Chief Deputy Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) wrote the book.
The three divided the majority of the writing into separately authored sections, but the inclusion of the entitlement plan indicates an implied endorsement by at least some of the GOP leadership. [...]
"It's time we stop deferring tough decisions and promising fiscal fantasies," Ryan wrote in the book. "It's time we tell Americans the truth, offer them a choice, and count on them to do what's right."
Works for me. The truth is, Paul Ryan's "roadmap" is a right-wing fantasy, slashing taxes on the rich while raising taxes for everyone else. The plan calls for privatizing Social Security and gutting Medicare, and fails miserably in its intended goal -- cutting the deficit. As Paul Krugman recently explained, the Ryan plan "is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America's fiscal future."
When Republican candidates embrace this plan to radically transform governmental institutions and Americans' way of life, they're endorsing a Republican vision of governing more extreme than anything we've seen in the modern political era.
Yesterday, Ryan reminded reporters that his roadmap is not the official position of the House Republican Conference, but how long is this shell-game going to last? Can Eric Cantor, whose political action committee is chiefly responsible for this "Young Guns" book, credibly argue that he only agrees with certain chapters of his own book?
The House Republican leadership's Whip and Deputy Whip are publishing a book touting a specific plan. Must we maintain the pretense that the right-wing roadmap belongs solely to Paul Ryan?
On a related note, the book, "Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders," was mocked rather relentlessly on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" earlier, and for good reason.
If you want to see the original, self-aggrandizing video that Cantor's production team put together, it's online here. It's as obnoxiously over the top as anything I've seen from Republicans in quite a while.
—Steve Benen 3:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (11)
>As Paul Krugman recently explained, the Ryan plan "is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America's fiscal future."
I rarely disagree with Krug, but he's wrong. It is the best contribution there is to the debate -- it spells out the Rs priorities. If the Ds could play the game, they'd crush the Rs with this. Too bad the Ds are so pathetic.
Posted by: R on August 31, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK
Wow, 3:48 of totally vacuous babble on Scarborough. Glad I never watch the show.
Posted by: martin on August 31, 2010 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK
"...a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America's fiscal future."
But does it make a useful contribution to the business of soliciting contributions?
Posted by: Davis X. Machina on August 31, 2010 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK
Here's something that I really, really just can't figure out. A sizable percentage (though hardly the majority) of the electorate claims to support this radical dismantling of our social safety net in the name of fiscal responsibility. No Obamacare! Social Security is bankrupt! Medicare is out of control! Phase them out! Slash! Slash! Slash! The thing is, only a very small percentage of those people have enough net worth to be truly "secure" in their later years, both in terms of income and providing medical care. These folks have assets in the millions and are going to retire comfortably, even after sending their kids to college, etc. Have the rest of these teabaggers taken a look at their 401ks lately, however? Do they know what it's going to cost to pay for housing and expenses once you stop working? Or what it costs to spend a few months (or years) in a long-term care facility or manage the chronic illnesses that come with age? Do these people seriously think that they're so awesome and patriotic that they simply don't have to think about how they'll make ends meet or pay for their health care when they're in their later years? Or that if they could just invest payroll taxes on their own in the stock market, they would magically get 10 times the returns? Are they planning to have their church support them through weekly collections and prayers? That if our deficit is gone, everyone will get a magic pony that provides a comfortable retirement? Seriously, what the hell are these people going to do without Social Security and Medicare?
If someone can explain this cognitive dissonance, I'd really like to hear it, because it's got me stumped.
Posted by: jonas on August 31, 2010 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK
I am with "R" in the first comment on this. The repubs have been careful up until now to not give specific alternatives to democratic policy. It helps real debate if there is an alternative to debate about rather than imaginary pie in the sky which which is harder to argue against. It is also why the repubs have avoided coming up with real policy statements except for "cut taxes".
This plan helps in the sense that theoretically the marketplace of ideas will deal with it and give the republican plan the respect it deserves.
Posted by: patrick on August 31, 2010 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK
The honest, effective theme for the Democrats to employ in these midterms is that Obama can't be trusted not to give away huge chunks of our system before the negotiations even begin. Many consider members of the hard right to be stupid or crazy. Which do you think those who don't believe Obama will do this are?
Posted by: Michael7843853 on August 31, 2010 at 4:17 PM | PERMALINK
Yeah, I guess if you're 47 years old and your colleagues' age average is 57, you could be considered "young."
By any other measure, Cantor is an overgrown juvenile delinquent who takes pride in destroying America.
Posted by: karen marie on August 31, 2010 at 4:25 PM | PERMALINK
jonas - Easy -- they're going to blame the liberals and the immigrants and the non-white people who have somehow taken all the stuff they rightfully deserve. I don't know exactly how they'll blame them, but they've spent a lifetime listening to right-wing hucksters who convince them that those are the people responsible for their woes, not Republican politicians and pundits who've changed laws and regulations to send their jobs overseas, allow Wall Street financiers to make a killing trashing their retirement savings, undermine union-supported living wages, and make it so that two earners are necessary to make a household income that one used to make (while preaching that we should return to stay-at-home moms and fathers in charge.) Why would they stop now?
They're already being told that Social Security has already been bankrupted by Democratic overspending, so they won't blame the Republicans who actually want to dismantle it, and that's just a start.
To be fair, there are some who will realize they've been screwed and turn on the wingnuts, but from the evidence thus far, I don't expect it to be a lot.
Posted by: Redshift on August 31, 2010 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK
jonas -- another point to remember -- most of the teabaggers (like most of the Fox News demographic) are old. A huge proportion of them are already on Social Security. That's why the current Republican plans for dismantling it are always carefully crafted not to change anything for current retirees. It's those who are already on board pulling up the ladder that got them there, another variation of "I got mine, screw you!"
Posted by: Redshift on August 31, 2010 at 4:32 PM | PERMALINK
... and increases taxes for everyone else..." How can the public be so stinkin dumb? It's atrocious. In any case Obama and Democrats must campaign directly against this coming, and not be timid. Go ahead, give them a class war and try to win instead of wimping around abouti t.
Posted by: neil b on August 31, 2010 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK
Cut taxes for the wealthy
Raise taxes for the rest of us
Gut social security and medicare
All so you can balance the budget.....In 75 years!
This is how they plan on taking back the house?!
My Words!! They are Freaking Nuts/loons/Sobs,and the American people do not want to embrace this~ Shoot Down all republicans!!!