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Paul Ryan’s Own Actions Make Paul Ryan’s Budget A Joke

Paul Ryan

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan first rose to national prominence as the author of a series of plans to grow the economy and balance the budget. 

When first released in 2009 and 2010 Ryan’s “Roadmap for America's Future” and “Path to Prosperity” budget plans sounded good and looked good in the slick online videos Ryan’s staff produced to sell them, but there was a problem with the Ryan plans right from the start.

They took not just years, but decades to implement.

What’s more, unlike Cut, Cap and Balance, the Ryan plans were merely legislation and rules changes; they could be undone by a future Congress with a simple majority vote.

While the Republican establishment sang the praises of the various Ryan plans and promoted Paul Ryan as a visionary, conservatives were skeptical.

We pointed out that any plan that would be implemented over the course of five to ten congressional election cycles and did not have a constitutional basis, such as a strong balanced budget amendment to support it, was bound to fail because Congress, even with a Republican majority, was unlikely to stop spending other people’s money and engaging in legalized corruption to get itself reelected.

These concerns were more than confirmed when after just one congressional election cycle the House Republican majority – urged on by the big spending Republicans on the House Appropriations and Armed Services Committees – broke the spending caps mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011, the so-called sequester.

The sequester had been advertised by Republican congressional leaders as “cutting” discretionary spending over a ten year period by $995 billion. 

However, as Paul Roderick Gregory observed in an article for Forbes, after inflation adjustments and exempting more than a trillion dollars of defense and non-defense discretionary spending from the sequester, the CBO projected discretionary spending to increase by $110 billion over the decade. There was no actual $995 billion cut after the CBO applied its magic adjustments. Rather there is a $110 billion increase.

But $110 billion over ten years certainly wasn’t enough for the Senate Democratic majority and President Obama, nor was it enough for the big spending, big government Republican establishment.

Guess who the lead negotiator with the Senate was? 

Paul Ryan.

The Ryan – Murray budget, as it became known, broke the sequester caps and added billions to what had been a very modest 2.4% reduction in the projected federal budget. 

Breitbart’s Jonathan Strong calculates Ryan’s 2014 budget will spend $3.498 trillion in 2015, while this year's budget spends $3.664 trillion, an increase of $166 billion. The 2014 budget spent $3.660 trillion in 2016, while this year's budget spends $3.676, an increase of $26 billion, according to Strong’s analysis of a report outlining the budget. 

The spending in years further out is actually lower than last year's budget, but the overall 10-year spending is $1.166 trillion higher than last year's budget.

Got that? We didn’t think so.

In simple terms Ryan’s budget goes up before it goes down and over the course of ten years increases federal spending by a total of $1.116 trillion.

After Paul Ryan’s abandonment of the sequester caps does anyone seriously believe that Congress, when led by establishment Republican Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan is actually going to stick to plan to reduce spending ten years from now?

Back in 2009 and 2010 Paul Ryan’s “Roadmap for America's Future” and “Path to Prosperity” were useful intellectual exercises. However, as we saw in Paul Ryan’s abandonment of the sequester caps in the negotiations that led to the Ryan – Murray budget, any plan to balance the budget that depends on Paul Ryan to implement it over the course of ten years and five congressional election cycles is nothing but a bad joke on America’s taxpayers.

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Ryanomics

Webster's dictionary:
Ryanomics - a clever ruse for deceiving American Conservatives, Libertarians and Patriots into emptying their pockets of money and committing their children and grandchildren to indentured servitude.

Congress Paul Ryan is a Social Darwinian !!

"They're not conservatives. They're Rino-Regressives. And the America they seek is the one we had in the Gilded Age of the late nineteenth century.

It was an era when the nation was mesmerized by the doctrine of free enterprise and did not understand what Corporatism or Pure Capitalism was. It was a time of monopoly capitalism where the government was just figuring out that its job was to insure a level playing field and that the proper role of government was to referee all participants to insure they played fairly. But few Americans actually enjoyed much freedom. Robber barons like the financier Jay Gould, the railroad magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, controlled much of American industry; the gap between rich and poor had turned into a chasm; urban slums festered; children worked long hours in factories; women couldn't vote and black Americans were subject to Jim Crow; and the lackeys of rich literally deposited sacks of money on desks of pliant legislators.

Most tellingly, it was a time when the ideas of William Graham Sumner, a professor of political and social science at Yale, dominated American social thought. Sumner brought Charles Darwin to America and twisted him into a theory to fit the times.

Few Americans living today have read any of Sumner's writings but they had an electrifying effect on America during the last three decades of the 19th century.

To Sumner and his followers, life was a competitive struggle in which only the fittest could survive - and through this struggle societies became stronger over time. A correlate of this principle was that government should do little or nothing to help those in need because that would interfere with natural selection.

Listen to today's Republican debates and you hear a continuous regurgitation of Sumner. "Civilization has a simple choice," Sumner wrote in the 1880s. It's either "liberty, inequality, survival of the fittest," or "not-liberty, equality, survival of the unfittest. The former carries society forward and favors all its best members; the latter carries society downwards and favors all its worst members."

Sound familiar?

Newt Gingrich not only echoes Sumner's thoughts but mimics Sumner's reputed arrogance. Gingrich says we must reward "entrepreneurs" (by which he means anyone who has made a pile of money) and warns us not to "coddle" people in need. He calls laws against child labor "truly stupid," and says poor kids should serve as janitors in their schools. He opposes extending unemployment insurance because, he says, "I'm opposed to giving people money for doing nothing."

Sumner, likewise, warned against handouts to people he termed "negligent, shiftless, inefficient, silly, and imprudent."

Mitt Romney doesn't want the government to do much of anything about unemployment. And he's dead set against raising taxes on millionaires, relying on the standard Republican rationale millionaires create jobs.

Here's Sumner, more than a century ago: "Millionaires are the product of natural selection, acting on the whole body of men to pick out those who can meet the requirement of certain work to be done... It is because they are thus selected that wealth aggregates under their hands - both their own and that intrusted to them ... They may fairly be regarded as the naturally selected agents of society." Although they live in luxury, "the bargain is a good one for society."

Social Darwinism offered a moral justification for the wild inequities and social cruelties of the late nineteenth century. It allowed John D. Rockefeller, for example, to claim the fortune he accumulated through his giant Standard Oil Trust was "merely a survival of the fittest." It was, he insisted "the working out of a law of nature and of God."

Social Darwinism also undermined all efforts at the time to build a nation of broadly-based prosperity and rescue our democracy from the tight grip of a very few at the top. It was used by the privileged and powerful to convince everyone else that government shouldn't do much of anything.

Not until the twentieth century did America reject Social Darwinism. We created the large middle class that became the core of our economy and democracy. We built safety nets to catch Americans who fell downward through no fault of their own. We designed regulations to protect against the inevitable excesses of free-market greed. We taxed the rich and invested in public goods -- public schools, public universities, public transportation, public parks, public health -- that made us all better off.

In short, we rejected the notion that each of us is on his or her own in a competitive contest for survival.

But make no mistake: If one of the current crop of Republican hopefuls becomes president, and if regressive Republicans take over the House or Senate, or both, Social Darwinism is back." RR