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Loud, Bold and Wrong

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posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 11:39 AM
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laprogressive


There’s an entire industry (cable “news”) solely devoted to bold assertions as entertainment. This means we’re subjected to a colossal amount of failed predictions and prognostications. Yes, if both sides say they’re absolutely correct – at least one has to be wrong.

But as Americans we like the courage it takes to stand up and be inaccurate. We hate handwringing and pandering – it’s just not fun to watch. We still like that swagger of a sure-of-himself cowboy. We love to love them, and we love to hate them – which is why Republicans tout Congressman Paul Ryan’s budget plan as “brave” despite being unable to bring themselves to call it “pragmatic.”

Ryan, widely admitted Ayn Rand fanboy who seems unaware that she wrote libertarian-fantasy fiction while collecting social security and Medicare, is the new GOP “it” guy. After the State of the Union, Ryan gave the rebuttal (dubbed a Debbie Downer), and his name is what the GOP wants you to think of since they’ve been re-branded as the fiscally fretful Tea Party.

And, in homage to Republican titles meaning the opposite of what they’ll actually do (e.g., The Clean Skies Act), Ryan’s plan is titled, “The Path to Prosperity.”


When Ryan and the Republicans are touting the evils of "raising taxes" they neglect to say "only on the rich." They want the average American to be afraid that means everybody's taxes, including their own, when in reality it means about 2% of the population, who don't need them but would be happy to get them anyway. The GOP also wants to lower the taxes on the top 2%.from 35% to 25%, which would add trillions to the deficit they are supposedly trying to reduce. They want to create the illusion that the Republicans actually give a damn about the average American when Ryan's budget clearly shows that they don't.

I'm not surprised that Ryan is an Ayn Rand worshipper. Her fantasy of the ideal world is one in which a chosen few (very few) acquire all of the nation's wealth and there are no allowances at all that benefit the middle class and the poor. She considers these people (98% of the population) to be losers in the Darwinian struggle for survival and not worthy to survive. A country in which there is a tiny nobility while all the rest are serfs. Meanwhile she was collecting Social Security and Medicare!

When she died they put a wreath on her coffin that was in the shape of a dollar sign.

I believe that Rand was trying to portray the exact opposite of the philosophy of communist Russia. That's understandable, but her readers have to realize there is some good in most philosophies. I don't advocate communism for America for example, but I acknowledge that Marx was right about some things.

I think most worshippers of Ayn Rand believe that some day they will join the elect few. That's how they vote. They don't realize that 98% of us don't have a snowball's chance in hell of getting there. And in the meanwhile they are celebrating her complete lack of ethics and her portrayal of greed, avarice and unbridled egotism on steroids.

This is the GOP's real agenda, and now Ryan is showing his cards.




posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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reply to post by Sestias
 


Then there is obama's response that the MSM is calling dishonest. as documented on this thread.

Don't know about the rest of you, but IMO being dishonest is wrong every time.

And it's quite hilarious how progressives have (for some reason) now taken to demonizing Ayn Rand.

Doing so must have been in a talking points memo that wasn't leaked.


edit on 4/14/2011 by centurion1211 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 05:54 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211
reply to post by Sestias
 


Don't know about the rest of you, but IMO being dishonest is wrong every time.

And it's quite hilarious how progressives have (for some reason) now taken to demonizing Ayn Rand.

Doing so must have been in a talking points memo that wasn't leaked.


Drudge is hardly an impartial source. It's true that Republicans are quite up front about their greed, mean-spiritedness, avarice and total contempt for the average American. At any rate, they don't do a very good job of hiding it.

Ayn Rand has not suddenly become reprehensible. Thinking people have questioned her ideology for as long as her books have been out, which was in the 1930's, though her most famous books began being published in the 1940's. I remember being introduced to her by some starry-eyed worshippers when I was in college (I hate to say how long ago that was).

Slate biography

The reason I address her now is because I am responding to all the gaga Libertarian and sociopathic drivel on ATS and elsewhere that puts her on a pedestal and seems to believe she is saying something new.

Can you say "Robber Barons" or "Ebenezer Scrooge?" Come back, Charles Dickens, we need you again.
edit on 14-4-2011 by Sestias because: add source



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 08:42 PM
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Originally posted by Sestias
Drudge is hardly an impartial source.


Once again you fail to understand ...

Drudge is not the source, or even a source for the news.

He's only the messenger - a collector and reprinter of news from many sources on both the left and right.

You only think Drudge is from the right, because now it's getting harder and harder to find positive news about obama - from any source.




posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:26 PM
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Editing error. See my post below.
edit on 14-4-2011 by Sestias because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by centurion1211

You only think Drudge is from the right, because now it's getting harder and harder to find positive news about obama - from any source.


You probably missed it, but Obama hit it out of the ballpark in his speech yesterday (Wednesday). He is rallying the troops that supported him in 2012 and a great many other Americans who believe in his principles.

I personally felt he was too much of a wuss when he caved in so often on issues that affect a majority of Americans. He is a man who believes in the power of sweet reason, but trying to reason with the GOP is like trying to reason with a stampeding elephant. Yesterday he seemed to "get it." I guess it took the ridiculous Ryan budget plan to shake him out of being Mr. Nice Guy and get him to fight, which he is very good at when he wants to be.

He will be getting many kudos in the press and on TV now. The majority of Americans are on his side
edit on 14-4-2011 by Sestias because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 11:04 PM
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reply to post by centurion1211
 


Look,

All parties are at fault here. No one is getting off scot-free after the way this country has been wallowing in mud for the past 10 years.



posted on Apr, 15 2011 @ 10:46 PM
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Originally posted by Sestias

You probably missed it, but Obama hit it out of the ballpark in his speech yesterday (Wednesday). He is rallying the troops that supported him in 2012 and a great many other Americans who believe in his principles.


Whoops. I meant to say 2008 but it was too late to edit that post.



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 05:46 PM
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reply to post by Sestias
 


I posted some of this the otherday on another thread about the budget. As usual, no one who supported the Ryan plan on that thread bothered to reply to the evidence presented. But I got some stars, so some people appreciated it.

A WSJ/NBC survey shows that the majority are against these draconian cuts to social problems, and actually want the government to raise taxes on wealthy people and end corporate handout/welfare.
----
A) The majority of respondents, 51%, felt that "the government needs to do more". While 46% thought it should do less (the rest "unsure").

B) Only 29% of respondents considers themselves a "supporter" of the Tea Party Movement, while 61% do NOT support them (the rest "unsure"/"it depends").

C) When asked if it is necessary to cut Medicare in order to "significantly reduce the deficit". Only 18% of respondents said "yes", while a majority of 54% said "no". (the rest "unsure/no opinion"). Similarly for Social Security 49% said "no" and only 22% said "yes".

D) When given a list of various programs of which could be cut, respondents were asked to rate each as totally acceptable, mostly acceptable, mostly unacceptable, and totally unacceptable. Options such as Social Security, Education, Medicare, Medicaid, and Heating to Low income families, were all last on the list (in that order) as being "mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut spending from. A whopping 77% felt it was "mostly or totally unacceptable" to cut Social Security. Medicare, again a whopping 76% felt it was unacceptable to cut the program, with Medicaid being at 67% and Education 77%.

E) Among options that would be "most acceptable" of programs that could be "cut or eliminated" at the top of the list was "Surtax on millionaires" of which a whopping 80% felt would be "mostly or totally acceptable"...80%!!! (only 17% were against it). Next on the list was the "elimination of earmarks" which got 78% "mostly or totally acceptable". Eliminating necessary weapons systems from defense was next at 76% acceptable. "Eliminating tax credits for oil & gas companies" at 74% approval and "phasing out Bush tax cuts for those making over 250,000" was at 68% approval.

And for those who want to dismiss this study by saying something like "they probably asked a bunch of liberals"...well according to the participants. 36% identified as "somewhat or very conservative", 38% as "moderate", and only 24% as "somewhat or very liberal" (with the rest being "not sure").

(Source)

Now I want to talk about the deficit and economy.

One major thing that has bothered me, has been all these assertions that "unions" or "welfare queens" or "lazy unemployed americans" have been the ones to cause the big deficit. That is simply not true. The deficits are a result of the recent economic crisis, and partly a reduction in tax revenues. Spending is not as important as most are claiming it to be, because often times, spending money now, has the effect of saving money in the future. Sure it doesn't hurt to cut wasteful programs and being a "smart investor" are all good things, however any economist will tell you that it's just bad policy to cut government spending in times of economic downturns. You cut spending in times of economic prosperity. Government spending should increase, however, during recessions in order to pick up the slack lost by the private sector.

Two years ago, faced with soaring unemployment and large budget deficits -- both the consequences of a severe financial crisis -- most advanced-country leaders (Europe) seemingly understood that the problems had to be tackled in sequence, with an immediate focus on creating jobs combined with a long-run strategy of deficit reduction.

Why not slash deficits immediately? Because tax increases and cuts in government spending would depress economies further, worsening unemployment. And cutting spending in a deeply depressed economy is largely self-defeating even in purely fiscal terms: any savings achieved at the front end are partly offset by lower revenue, as the economy shrinks.

So jobs now, deficits later was and is the right strategy. Unfortunately, it's a strategy that has been abandoned in the face of phantom risks and delusional hopes.
(Source).
Now considering that all the greed and corruption on Wall Street was a major cause of this economic downturn, this is why people find it especially vexing, and just plain cruel, that draconian austerity measures are being applied to everyone else, except this class of wealthy elite money-grubbers that caused the tanking of the economy in the first place. As Paul Krugman put it:

"the poor must accept big cuts in Medicaid and food stamps; the middle class must accept big cuts in Medicare (actually a dismantling of the whole program); and corporations and the rich must accept big cuts in the taxes they have to pay. Shared sacrifice! "


Either way, it seems the entire washington beltway, has simply chosen to ignore the fact that these deficits are also a function of the recession, and perhaps better way would be to expand the economy first and create more jobs...and then go after certain wasteful spending after the economy returns to health. From the CBO:

Since last August, the outlook for the ten-year budget deficit has deteriorated by $1.4 trillion (see Table A-1 on pages 106-7). Note that more than 100% of the deterioration is due to revenue losses; projected federal revenues over the (fiscal years) 2011-20 period declined by $1.9 trillion–a net $713 billion due to recent legislation (the lame-duck deficit-financed tax cuts), but a larger $958 billion due to negative revisions to the economic forecast and the interaction of those economic changes with our less-than-adequately-robust-or-resilient income tax base.
Source Source
What baffles my mind, is that republicans are proposing yet even MORE tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy (and austerity for everyone else). The Ryan plan calls for cutting the top marginal rate to 25 percent — lower than it has been at any time in the past 80 years. Let's look at how those Bush tax cuts stack up against the deficit.

Contrary to what some believe, tax cuts are not "deficit neutral"...nor do they "pay for themselves". Here's another couple interesting charts. Here's a trend showing decreasing tax rates with increasing debt and an inverse relationship (again tax cuts = less revenue = increased debt)


the claim that lower taxes mean higher revenue — is still very much there. The Heritage Foundation projection has large tax cuts actually increasing revenue by almost $600 billion over the next 10 years.

A more sober assessment from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office tells a different story. It finds that a large part of the supposed savings from spending cuts would go, not to reduce the deficit, but to pay for tax cuts. In fact, the budget office finds that over the next decade the plan would lead to bigger deficits and more debt than current law.
Source

And where do these savings mostly come from in the "Ryan Plan":

Ah, Of course, the poor and working class. I can't help but think that this has nothing to do with the budget, and all about cutting programs that the new T-party Republicans don't like. Literally what we have is a transfer of wealth to the top...of course it's been happening for the past 30 years, since the implementation of all these "free trade deals", "NATFA", "regressive tax policy" and "neo-liberal economic policies" The vast middle class that made this country so great, is being decimated before our eyes. It's the coming Plutocracy.

While I can post plenty of charts, and show trends, and how corporations have highjacked our government and manipulated policies towards their own end, by the rich, for the rich...what I understand the least, is how some Americans, middle class Americans, can support this type of policy, against their own economic interest. How they can defend the decimation of the middle class. How they can defend the feckless corporate plutocracy. How can they hate the middle class so much? How can they call American workers "self-entitled, lazy, whiners" when American's have the longest work week of any country in the entire first world, along with least amount of vacation and fewest benefits (if they get benefits as all, since most don't). Of course the corporate class is, I'm sure, happy about this demonization of working Americans, as it plays towards their end goal, a race to the bottom for the rest of us.



posted on Apr, 16 2011 @ 10:12 PM
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reply to post by meeneecat
 

Amen, Brother or Sister.

Thank you for an insightful, well-reasearched and eloquent post. Needless to say, a star for your effort.



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