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August 11, 2012

Blast from the past: Here’s what we said about Ryan in May 2011.

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The Christian Science Monitor’s comparison of the Paul Ryan and Obama deficit plans nails things with a single sentence: “As Obama himself noted today, this fiscal confrontation represents a profound disagreement about the nature of government.”

There’s more to it than that. But that one sentence says more about the differences between the philosophies of the two than anything we can put together. Maybe Paul Ryan should run for president in 2012. Because, clearly, Obama’s giving him more attention than any other member of Congress now, and he’s clearly looking at an ideological fight that the American people should answer to. What direction do we want for our country in the long term: Paul Ryan’s or Obama’s? Or is it somewhere in-between? That’s the real question here. By giving it so much attention — and such a tough rebuttal — that’s effectively what Obama just did. By putting the Ryan plan on a pedestal, then knocking it over, he raised Paul Ryan’s stature even further. Unlike any of the fights with Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann or Donald Trump, this is about actual real non-trivial stuff. If we were the GOP, we’d be poking at Paul Ryan to convince him to run, stat.

To put it simply, there was a period in the early part of the GOP primary race where the candidates were looking extremely boring or unserious — Donald Trump was a thing at this point — and (rather than paying attention to them) Obama responded by focusing heavily on Ryan’s budget plan, even if he disagreed with it. Even though Ryan didn’t run for president then, the point above is the fundamental conversation our country now gets to have on a national scale. Whether or not you like Ryan, he bumps up the “maturity” factor of the 2012 campaign significantly and could help Romney from getting sucked into another “Etch A Sketch" blender for a news cycle.

8:23 // 1 year ago
June 22, 2012
17:18 // 2 years ago
September 14, 2011
Countries must first put their own houses in order. Developed countries must take responsible fiscal and monetary policies. What is most important now is to prevent the further spread of the sovereign debt crisis in Europe.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao • Telling all the deadbeat European nations to bump up their national credit scores before looking for a bailout from China. Wen previously said the country would lend a helping hand to Europe, which is suffering a crippling debt crisis. So, in case you were thinking of going to China for a little cash, you’re out of luck … unless you’ve proven yourself fiscally responsible (or China has a huge vested interest in seeing you succeed). Then China would be happy to let you into its deep coffers. source (viafollow)
0:15 // 2 years ago
July 27, 2011

Laptop broken? Enroll in an Owensboro, KY public school

  • FREE Macbooks for kids in Kentucky! source

» We were generally supportive of the 2009 stimulus package, but aspects of it are starting to seem a bit questionable, to say the least. Case in point: 2,200 students and staff in the town of Owensboro, Kentucky will soon be enjoying a free Macbook Air, courtesy of the Recovery and Reinvestment Act. While we’re all for providing students with the technical competency needed to compete in the 21st-century global economy, you don’t really need to give everyone a Macbook Air to do that. The cheapest Air is $999; if we assume, for the sake of argument, that Apple gave Owensboro a 50% bulk discount, that’s still over a million dollars of federal money being spent so kids can have free laptops. Opponents of “wasteful government spending,” your Exhibit A is right here.

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21:57 // 2 years ago
July 19, 2011
Responsibility without conviction is weak, but it is sane. Conviction without responsibility, in the current incarnation of the Republican Party, is raving mad.
George Packer • On how each party is handling the (possible) debt ceiling increase. source (viafollow)
1:50 // 3 years ago
July 18, 2011
Basically, most Senators in this body are nothing but two-bit pawns…to lay out the groundwork, if you will, for 2012 election.
GOP Senator Bob Corker • Saying what everyone knows but rarely acknowledges: If a presidential election wasn’t lurking around the corner, this whole debt ceiling debate would be playing out much differently. This is really harsh language for a senator, especially when used in reference to his colleagues. Last week, Corker accepted blame, on behalf of the Republican party, for bringing our country to the brink of another economic collapse. source (viafollow)
23:38 // 3 years ago
April 14, 2011
11:03 // 3 years ago
April 6, 2011

Paul Ryan: Tax the rich? Nah, just cut services for the poor

  • 67% of Paul Ryan’s spending cuts hit poor Americans source

» But don’t worry, not everyone gets the shaft under Ryan’s proposal. Although 2/3 of the savings derived from his plan come by cutting services for poor people, his budget does firmly protect—surprise!—George Bush’s tax cuts for the rich. In all fairness, letting those cuts expire would increase tax rates for the highest earners by an appalling 4%, but it would also save the country an additional $1 trillion over the next ten years. So let’s get this straight: Ryan wants to cut services for the poor and retain absurdly-low tax rates for billionaires. Wasn’t this guy supposed to be the new face of the Republican party?

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23:26 // 3 years ago
April 2, 2011
Every single Senate Republican has endorsed a constitutional amendment that would’ve made Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy unconstitutional. That’s how far to the right the modern GOP has swung.
Ezra Klein • Analyzing (demolishing is more like it) the merits of the Balanced Budget Amendment, which all 47 Senate Republicans have endorsed. The amendment would require 2/3 majorities in both chambers of Congress in order to enact any tax increases, and wouldn’t allow total spending per year to exceed 18% of GDP. Bruce Bartlett, former domestic policy advisor to Reagan, has said that the proposed amendment is “quite possibly the stupidest constitutional amendment I think I have ever seen,” and that it “looks like it was drafted by a couple of interns on the back of a napkin.” Ouch. source (viafollow)
21:26 // 3 years ago
April 1, 2011
A wholesale reduction in spending, without considering economic, cultural, and social impacts is simply irresponsible. We must also be mindful that many of the proposed spending reductions would disproportionately affect the neediest among us.
Sen. Scott Brown • In a letter to Senate Republicans. This is notable primarily due to how rare it is for a Republican legislator to speak so bluntly on behalf of the poor. He also voiced flat opposition to a government shutdown. Only time will tell what these words translate into policy-wise. Still, Brown is looking more and more like a true moderate Republican, a rare site in Congress these days. source (viafollow)
13:48 // 3 years ago