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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Republicans are selling snake oil again

Budgets are political statements as much as financial plans -- and a budget that calls for trillions in cuts without looking at defense or corporate welfare is as ideological as they get.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (what's in the water there?) unveiled the broad outlines of the GOP spending plan and what's noticeable is what is not included amid the massive changes proposed to Medicare and Medicaid.

No mention of cutting off funds for military hardware that became obsolete with the fall of the Soviet Union. Not a word about ending subsidies for corporate agriculture and oil companies already raking in windfall profits generated by oil prices hovering around $100 a barrel and strangling worldwide growth.

Instead, the Sunday talk shows were full of discussions about taking a meat ax to the health care programs that insure millions of the most vulnerable Americans, the elderly and the poor.

Do those federal programs need to be reformed? Yes, as does Pentagon procurement, and the vast web of tax avoidance schemes that allow corporations to save billions in taxes, a burden that is instead placed on us, our children and grandchildren.

The Ryan plan talks broadly about broadening the tax base and lowering rates. No details were offered yesterday, probably because previous plans would raise taxes on 90 percent of Americans. Certainly no discussion of ending those loopholes that enable tax avoidance.

The key thing to keep in mind in analyzing the Ryan plan is the last 30 years of American history, since the birth of "supply side economics" where Ronald Reagan promised massive tax cuts for the rich and corporations would spur for explosive economic growth.

All they triggered were massive budget deficits, a reality that happened again when George W. Bush and a Republican Congress made the same faulty argument.

Snake oil in new packaging remains snake oil. We need to make changes in how we pay for health care, an effort begun by the Democratic Congress last year to the unanimous opposition of Republicans who lied and mischaracterized the law.

Now they are at it again, offering "solutions" targeted at the most vulnerable while sparing their corporate cronies who spend their savings on $6,000 shower curtains.

The Ryan plan is very bad medicine. Shame on us if we get fooled again.

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3 Comments:

OpenID wellbasically said...

"All they triggered were massive budget deficits"

This is just wrong and contradicted by all evidence. Reagan won for a reason. Carter was a disaster economically and say what you will, Reagan had a better plan and he got results.

April 04, 2011 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Massive deficits

April 04, 2011 9:50 AM  
Anonymous Atlanta Roofing said...

So they want to take Medicare and give all the funds to the insurers and then expect them to pay those funds out to the elderly? HA yea right, they're going to give all this money to the insurers and then because there's no oversight those companies will just deny every claim = PROFIT.

April 05, 2011 10:46 PM  

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