Sunday, April 08, 2018

Destroying America's Social Contract-- Will Paul Ryan's Dream Come True?


Ryan learned everything he knows about economics from an adolescent Ayn Rand book

It looks likely that Paul Ryan will announce his retirement from Congress close to Wisconsin’s June 1 filing deadline. There are rumors circulating that he’s selected Tom Hillman, his former aide and now an investment banker in Madison, as the sacrificial lamb. A last minute announcement will make sure that no other mainstream conservative candidates will have time to get into the primary between Hillman and neo-Nazi Paul Nehlen. Ryan is worried that if a bunch of mainstreamish candidates jump into the race, Nehlen could win. Ryan himself could be headed for Trump’s cabinet, possibly to HUD or the EPA. Or maybe he really does just want to stay home with his sons and teach them to master the bow and arrow before they leave for school.

Besides, Ryan is on the verge of accomplishing his longtime goal of rolling back the New Deal. Wrecking social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare and the V.A. has always been his top priority. Now that he’s passed the first step-- tax cuts that will “bankrupt” the country, the second part of the plot is to pass a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, something the House will deal with starting this week. Ryan and his cronies want to pass something that treats the U.S. government like a family budget-- mandating that Congress not spend more than it brings in.

Reactionary Virginia Judiciary Chair, who is also retiring, has written an amendment that would require three-fifths majorities in both the House and Senate to pass tax increases or increase the debt limit. The amendment can’t pass but the far right wants it as a purity test for Republican members. (It is also a purity test for Democrats. Any Republican who votes against it will be vulnerable to a primary from the right and any Democrat who votes for it will be vulnerable, at least in theory, to a primary from a progressive.

Goodlatte’s statement: "A constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget would finally bring discipline to federal spending and would benefit generations to come. I have demonstrated my commitment to fiscal responsibility by introducing constitutional amendments to mandate a balanced budget every Congress since 2007… I commend the decision made by House leadership to bring H.J.Res. 2 to the floor for a vote. I challenge my colleagues in the House and Senate to do what is morally right and responsible by passing this amendment and sending it on to the states for ratification.”

Ro Khanna is the congressman from Silicon Valley. More than a view observers of Congress say he's the most progressive member of that body. Here's what he told us about Ryan yesterday: "Paul Ryan sought to operationalize the Ayn Rand and Hayek world view. Basically, his goal is the reconstruction of the administrative state. Democrats need a counter vision that affirms the role of the state in giving people a fair chance at the American Dream. We need to be for a jobs guarantee, a $15 minimum wage, debt free college, a massive expansion of the EITC, investments in tech jobs and apprenticeships. We won’t beat a conservative ideology with platitudes. Rather we need to build our platform based on the framework on Stiglitz and Kelton and Reich and stand for something bold!"

Randy Bryce, AKA, @IronStache, is the progressive Democrat who has turned Ryan's world upside down. He speaks plainly and gets to the point quickly, as he did yesterday: "Paul Ryan got to where he is today using the same programs he is going to take away from the rest of us. A perfect illustration of someone kicking the ladder once he gets to the top so no one else can raise themselves up."

Goal ThermometerProgressives understand the danger and are ready to stand firm against it. Sam Jammal is the progressive candidate running in CA-39, mostly located in northeast Orange County. "There are a lot of reasons why this is an important election," he told us. "One of the defining issues-- thanks to Paul Ryan and Trump's reckless tax reform-- is preserving Social Security and Medicare. Trump severely undermined our budget by creating a $1.5 trillion hole in our budget. Now, Ryan is going to use that to advocate for deep cuts. Democrats are going to need to stand firm and hold the line against cuts. Our seniors earned this, but Ryan just looks at things from an ideological perspective. What is even more dangerous is that Republicans are going to use the deficit to undermine every investment we have traditionally made to build our country. Democrats must be prepared to replace Trump's tax reform and fight for critical investments in education, infrastructure and health care. This is Ryan's last stand to dismantle our government."

UPDATE From Pavlina Tcherneva

"The political establishment has convinced the American public that a balanced budget is the fiscally responsible thing to do. Nothing can be further from the truth. Every dollar that the government taxes (i.e., takes away from US families and firms) and that is not returned back to the economy via government spending is a lost dollar to the economy. In other words, surpluses drain money from the private sector while deficits add dollars to it. Now Republicans understand this very well. The large tax cuts will produce deficits which will in turn fill someone's coffers, but they prefer to fill the coffers of the wealthiest families. Once they've done that, they demand that the budget be balanced on the backs of middle income families, by cutting programs and entitlements, that benefit the majority of households. It is perfectly sensible to demand greater government deficit spending. But the responsible thing to do is to demand that this kind of government spending is done for the public purpose and in a way that supports the incomes of the vast majority of families, not the select few."

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At 6:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that amendment passes, the world will stop lending us/US money immediately and our current $18 trillion in debt will instantly become worthless.
Why? Because our constitution will forbid either keeping people fed and healthy OR forbid paying interest on the debt.
If the people get stomped, it'll mean civil war. If interest isn't paid, our paper is worth less than charmin. either way, the dollar will tank. Nobody invests in Somalia and that's what we'd become.
With that amendment, the last option for DC would be to raise taxes unless they did so on the people.

If that passes, I would hope that the first head on a pike would be ryan's. But in this shithole, he'll probably end up on currency before he is dead and beatified.

Interesting that Rho did NOT mention Keynes in his list. I wonder if he knows anything at all about economics.

At 6:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting series of images. Some pertain to how the rest of the world is way ahead of us/US... or how this is among the worst shitholes on earth... depending on your perspective:

ryan, republicans, democraps and colossally evil voters... that's why this is such a shithole.


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