Sunday, January 10, 2016

Paul Ryan Is Campaigning For President


Marco Rubio can't cut it. He's 2016's awkwardly fully-scripted candidate, an imperfect vessel for the Republican Establishment. His focus-tested, sanitized message is confusing and sometimes incoherent, and he is hopelessly torn between his original Tea Party backers and the billionaires and party establishment types who hope he can save them and their racket from the clutches of fascist-oriented Trumpf and/or Cruz. He's a crabby old fossil trapped in the body of an out-of-his-depth younger man. And now the other Republicans are implying he's a maricón. Not only does Rubio come across as the least authentic of any of the Republican candidates, ironically he comes across as the most similar to Hillary in the way he relates to voters. And that's not a good thing.

As of this week's Fox polling, Rubio's support has grown in Iowa-- from 13% to 15% and he's now 3rd after Cruz (27%) and Herr Trumpf (23%, ominously down 3 points) and far ahead of the other establishment lane candidates, Jeb (7%), Christie (4%), Kasich (1%). New Hampshire looks even rosier-- relatively speaking-- for Rubio. Fox's polling shows him up two points with 15%, running behind Herr Trumpf (33%, up an astonishing 6 points), but ahead of Cruz with 12% (up 1 point) and Jeb, steady at 9%. Kasich is in 5th place with 7% and says he'll quit the race if he doesn't win New Hampshire. Meanwhile, Christie as the great-white-whale hope seems to have fizzled as he clocks in with 5% (down 1 point) in 6th place. It's worth noting that a new NH1 News poll shows pretty different results in that state. Trumpf still leads with 31.7% but Rubio is out of contention, down in 6th place with 8.9% and the other establishment lane candidates are all beating him, Jeb with 11.9%, Kasich with 11.8% and Christie with 11.0%.

The billionaire-funded SuperPACs were still cautious about who to bet the big bucks on as of the Oct. 16 filing but their 5 big picks-- indicating which potential president they would most likely be able to control-- were not a surprise:
Jeb- $103,222,384
Cruz- $38,655,257
Clinton- $20,291,679
Rubio- $17,315,782
Christie- $14,315,782
Those figures are SuperPAC money only, not campaign money and, the figures don't include tens of millions of dollars that have come into Cruz's, Jeb's and Rubio's campaigns since Oct. 16. There is still a lot of GOP money on the sidelines-- most of it--and it is earmarked for Paul Ryan in the hopes that a deadlocked convention-- none of the candidates with enough votes to win-- results in the Ryan nomination GOP insiders are now pushing for.

Meanwhile, Ryan was rolled out at yesterday's Republican "poverty summit" in South Carolina as the new Jack Kemp, trying to imply that despite his draconian, now infamous Ryan austerity budget, he really, really, really cares about all you poor folk and he's oh, so optimistic.
Seven Republican presidential candidates are detouring from their other campaign business to attend the event. That turnout is testimony to both the ongoing power of the Kemp name, and to the current power of the Paul Ryan one. But it also raises the question of whether there is anyone in the party, other than Mr. Ryan himself, capable of carrying to a national audience the sunny Kemp message of what he called bleeding-heart conservatism.
Oh, it's a presidential year; we'd better role out another version of "comapssionate conservatism." Trumpf, smart enough to see this was a set-up for Ryan, didn't bother showing up. And Cruz knew the whole context would be absurdly inauthentic for him. But the rest of the boobs were eager to find an audience, even just as props in the Paul Ryan Show. As Jodi Jacobson pointed out at RH Reality Check over the weekend, "no summit can fix what ails the GOP when it comes to concern for people struggling to make ends meet, or who no longer have any means whatsoever... The rhetoric and the summit feel reminiscent of Ryan’s 2012 staged photo op, when as a vice presidential candidate he 'ramrodded' his way into an empty soup kitchen to wash clean dishes for the cameras but stayed far away from the actual people being served." One of the highlights yesterday was Lindsey Graham calling for cuts to Social Security. Even many Republican voters will probably be able to figure out that's not the way to end poverty.

Did the summit address the Republican Party's stand not just on refusing to allow an increase in the minimum wage, but their intent to abolish it altogether? How about the role of medical debt in creating abject poverty and the GOP role in blocking health insurance for poor people? Educational debt? Family leave? Bob Greenstein, president of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, noted that Ryan's proposals are more likely to increase poverty than reduce it. "History shows," he wrote, "that when federal policymakers merge programs into a broad block grant, federal funding typically declines over time, often dramatically. Our analysis of all 13 of the major housing, health, and social services block grant programs created in recent decades found that all but one have shrunk in inflation-adjusted terms since their inception. Between 2000 and 2015, combined funding for the 13 block grants fell by 27 percent, or $14 billion in 2015 dollars. When a broad array of programs is merged into a block grant, policymakers generally find it nearly impossible to identify a specific level of federal funding that’s needed-- or, for that matter, to identify the likely human impact of cutting funding. As a result, broad block grants have been easy to squeeze in the competition for federal dollars."

Ryan wants to be president and he's sweet-talking voters with his line of polished bullshit but remember, this is the guy whining about how terrible it is that we treat the symptoms of poverty and not the root causes, while he's writing a budget that cuts $145 billion from education. His proposed budget would have given $10 trillion in tax cuts to the wealthiest people in America, while slashing funds for Medicare, Medicaid, Food Assistance, and Pell Grants. After his 2014 "poverty tour," he also proposed cutting between $135 billion and $150 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the food stamps program. In 2012, our friends at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities dubbed Ryan's budget "Robin Hood in reverse-- on steroids... Despite warning that the nation faces the ‘perils of debt,’ House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan introduced a budget on March 20 whose tax proposals would be extremely costly and would disproportionately favor the nation’s highest-income households and large corporations. His budget would cut the top marginal income tax rate, now 35 percent but scheduled to rise next year to 39.6 percent, to 25 percent. It would cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and eliminate taxes on the foreign profits of U.S.-based multinationals. It would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), designed to ensure that high-income people pay at least a minimum level of tax. And it would eliminate health reform’s increase in the Medicare tax for high-income individuals." And, since getting into Congress, Ryan has voted against raising the minimum wage 10 times. But he wants to be seen talking about ideas that will alleviate the suffering of the poor... as long as they don't cost the political campaign donor class anything.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home