Archive for June 2nd, 2011

Just a friendly reminder…

Jun 02, 2011 in Politics

Debt ceiling, schmedt sheeling, you’re supposed to be talking about Anthony Weiner’s weiner.

-hw

UPDATE: Weiner confesses! What the hell was he thinking denying? Who knew he was so ripped? Anyway, one seriously boneheaded maneuver that damaged the brand of one of Congress’ best and boldest voices. At least he doesn’t blame the gays for screwing up his marriage…

It’s not privatization!

Jun 02, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

Republicans always have a difficult dilemma in front of them. Since they serve the rich and no one else, they have to devote extra time and attention to message control so that people who aren’t rich will vote for them. And since they serve the rich and no one else, their plans inevitably involve privatizing government social services and directing that money towards the rich while giving Americans the shaft. They start out talking about privatization with each other because to them privatization is a great word. Unfortunately, when their plan to privatize Social Security was unveiled by George W. Bush in 2005, the public hated the idea of privatization. The Republican solution? Demand people stop calling it privatization. Why? Who knows! It wasn’t polling well, that’s what mattered.

The Post: Will you talk to Senate Democrats about your privatization plan?

THE PRESIDENT: You mean, the personal savings accounts?

The Post: Yes, exactly. Scott has been —

THE PRESIDENT: We don’t want to be editorializing, at least in the questions.

The Post: You used partial privatization yourself last year, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Yes?

The Post: Yes, three times in one sentence. We had to figure this out, because we’re in an argument with the RNC [Republican National Committee] about how we should actually word this. [Post staff writer] Mike Allen, the industrious Mike Allen, found it.

THE PRESIDENT: Allen did what now?

The Post: You used partial privatization.

THE PRESIDENT: I did, personally?

The Post: Right.

THE PRESIDENT: When?

The Post: To describe it.

THE PRESIDENT: When, when was it?

The Post: Mike said it was right around the election.

THE PRESIDENT: Seriously?

The Post: It was right around the election. We’ll send it over.

THE PRESIDENT: I’m surprised. Maybe I did. It’s amazing what happens when you’re tired. Anyway, your question was? I’m sorry for interrupting.

Ah, gosh, if only we could have that guy back, right?

And now here we are with Paul Ryan’s plan to kill Medicare and give seniors vouchers that they must use to buy private insurance, if anybody will have them. The public is already strongly rejecting the plan, which actually only polls around fifty percent among Republians. Solution? Ryan, quickly turning into the whiningest whiny-baby in a party of whiny-babies, is demanding President Obama and the Democrats stop calling his voucher plan a voucher plan. Why? Who cares? The plan isn’t going well, and when things aren’t going well for Republicans, they call things different names. See the “Tea Party” for further evidence.

Here’s Ryan admitting that the only reason he doesn’t think it should be called a voucher is because the check is sent directly to the insurer, so you can’t go sell it or something. Because that’s why people oppose a voucher program, right? Of course not. The point is you get a lump sum, that lump sum is for buying insurance only, and it won’t work at delivering good care or even guaranteeing care.

Did I mention the worst part of Ryan’s plan? Yeah, the whole thing isn’t even designed to reduce the deficit, it’s designed to offset the costs of even more tax cuts which will, this time they SWEAR, send the economy through the roof. Just like those Bush tax cuts did…

-hw

Every day is a good day to point out that Mitch McConnell is the sleaziest Senator.

Jun 02, 2011 in Clueless Conservatives

If you’ve ever listened to Mitch McConnell speak and thought you were hearing a single true word, you got your pancake flipped.

McConnell benefits from the lingering good feeling that still permeates the institution in which he serves—because people insist on presuming that the leader of the minority party speaks in good faith. But there’s no good faith here…Raising the ceiling is extremely unpopular in polls (of course it always has been, but that fact that didn’t prevent a certain M. McConnell from voting to raise it seven times during George W. Bush’s presidency).

McConnell has said one true thing, actually, confessing that his sole purpose from 2010 to 2012 was doing everything he could to making sure Obama had a one-term presidency. Likely futile, sure, but the damage he’s doing to the country will endure.

-hw

Taxes are low.

Jun 02, 2011 in Taxes

You’d think after ten years of the Bush tax cuts we wouldn’t have to argue with people claiming taxes are still high, but we are. You’d also think after the past ten years that we wouldn’t have to argue with people claiming tax cuts are a magic cure-all for the economy, but, yes, we’re doing that too. Sensible conservative (i.e. liberal) Bruce Bartlett is a stickler for reality. There are plenty of numbers in the piece, but this analysis of Republican dishonesty sticks out:

If taxes are low historically and in comparison with our global competitors, how are Republicans able to maintain that taxes are excessively high? They do so by ignoring the effective tax rate and concentrating solely on the statutory tax rate, which is often manipulated to make it appear that rates are much higher than they really are.

For example, Stephen Moore of The Wall Street Journal recently asserted that Democrats were trying to raise the top income tax rate to 62 percent from 35 percent. But most of the difference between these two rates is the payroll tax and state taxes that are already in existence. The rest consists largely of assuming tax increases that no one has formally proposed and that would be politically impossible to enact at the present time.

Ryan Chittum, in Columbia Journalism Review, responded with a commentary that called the Moore analysis “deeply disingenuous.”

In my experience, just about all Stephen Moore analysis is deeply disingenuous. If you’ve ever seen him on Bill Maher, he’s always giggling at his own words, like even he doesn’t believe what he’s saying, ala William Kristol anywhere outside the Fox bubble. Most of the recent debt ceiling conundrum is a product of cynical elites and the people they gladly deceive in order to make sure the rich people they service have a few extra million to brag about at the country club. And by service I mean dick-sucking, obviously.

Yes, our taxes were slashed by GWB, and in the meantime health care costs for families doubled, infrastructure crumbled, college tuition hyperinflated, and, oh yeah, our debt exploded. So no middle class or poor person has had a net gain because of any tax cuts. And now the jackasses responsible are unrepentant and demanding more. As always, they’re willing to say anything, unrestricted by shame or even basic math, to get more money in the hands of bankers and other financial swindlers while ordinary Americans are told to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. No new taxes can ever be discussed, yet Americans are expected to see Medicare dismantled and retirement ages raised.

If you can’t tell you’re being conned by this point, you’re in on the con.

-hw