So Very Serious

Was checking out Sullivan’s new digs at Tina Brown’s expat wankathon, and came across this appraisal of the Ryan budget “plan”:

The president’s walking away from the deficit commission he set up was, to my mind, one of those moments when his caution was not about the substance of the issue but the politics. He knows we need to cut entitlements and defense or face fiscal collapse. And yet he has allowed Paul Ryan to move into the vacuum Obama created on the most important domestic issue of the day.

Ryan’s proposal, whatever you think of it, is serious. His proposal for Medicare looks to me like an extension of the Romney/Obama healthcare exchanges. His proposal for Medicaid – block grants to the states – will inevitably cut down on sky-rocketing healthcare spending. His tax reform is straight out of Bowles-Simpson.

Alas, his op-ed is needlessly partisan in its initial lashing out at Obama. That’s not the way to start a real dialogue, which is what we desperately need.

But the good news is that we finally have a political party being honest about what it takes to avoid falling off a fiscal cliff. It means sacrifice. And my objection to the Ryan plan really comes down to the injustice of imposing major sacrifices for the poor and elderly, while exempting the wealthy from any sacrifice at all.

It’s serious! Massive tax cuts for the rich, throwing the elderly and the poor under the bus, and it makes things worse than if the Republicans just did nothing:

In addition to acknowledging that seniors, disabled and elderly people would be hit with much higher out-of-pocket health care costs, the CBO finds that by the end of the 10-year budget window, public debt will actually be higher than it would be if the GOP just did nothing.

Under the so-called “extended baseline scenario” — a.k.a. projections based on current law — debt held by the public will grow to 67 percent of GDP by 2022. Under the GOP plan, public debt would reach 70 percent of GDP in the same window.

In other words, the spending cuts Republicans would realize in the first 10 years would be outpaced by deficit increasing tax-cuts, which Ryan also proposes. After that, debt projections under the plan improve decade-by-decade relative to current law. That’s because 2022 would mark the beginning of the Medicare privatization plan. That’s when, CBO finds, “most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system.”

If the current Medicare system were allowed to continue, CBO found that an average 65-year-old beneficiary’s costs would be only 25 percent of what it’d be in the individual private insurance market. Under the GOP plan, those costs would jump to 68 percent.

So basically, they are slashing taxes for the rich and trashing revenues, and in a decade or so, then the cuts will come, and they will all be at the expense of senior citizens. But it has numbers in it, so it is SERIOUS, Sullivan says.

Anyone who thinks this proposal is serious needs their damned head examined. This is little more than class warfare on a massive scale. And the best part is that a while back, Sully absolutely got the vapors over this quote from Alan Grayson:

Guess what, Andrew. Paul Ryan just released his very “serious” plan with massive tax cuts, huge cuts to medicare and medicaid, a repeal of the ACA with no replacement (throwing 30 million off insurance), and putting in place a system that will cost the most vulnerable more, do nothing to stem the cost of medical care, and still does nothing to help our long term financial condition. We’ve now seen the GOP plan, and Alan Grayson nailed it a couple years back. “Die quickly” is the Republican position.

I’m honestly starting to think that anything that has numbers that Sullivan can look at (he need not read them or understand them, they just have to be there) qualifies as “serious.” It doesn’t matter if those numbers came from the Heritage foundation, the same folks who told you the Bush tax cuts would bring on a decade of prosperity. When they released that ridiculous budget on April Fools in 2009, Sullivan didn’t fall for it, because it had no numbers. This time, though, Ryan has lots of numbers, even if they don’t add up, are ridiculous, and would destroy the lives of millions of people, but the numbers are there, so it is “serious.:

Christ on a crutch. Tell you what, Andrew- you can have Ryan’s plan. Can you get me NHS coverage?

And could someone rewrite the lyrics to Prince’s “Delirious” to “So Serious” for me?

129 replies
  1. 1
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    Sully is a free market boggart. They have created their own reality where the laws of physics, economics, and nature do not apply.

  2. 2
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    and its so cool that Tunch has reverted.
    Is he a nashqibandi or a deobandi?

  3. 3
    JPL says:

    Great rant but you forgot to mention that most people will be forced to use emergency rooms as primary care. That is the most expensive and inefficient approach to holding health care costs down. We’ll all pay more for his idiotic approach.

    EDIT.. now you get to pay medicare taxes so the Koch brothers can save more and your insurance rates will continue to rise. double whammy

  4. 4
    MobiusKlein says:

    I’m just not visiting his new site. I’ll make it a habit I think.

    See, I’m doing it again.

  5. 5
    Elizabelle says:

    glad you excerpted because i have given sully’s blog up for lent

    which might last until september in the belle household

    plz note also his proclamation of the deficit as

    the most important domestic issue of the day

    wanker

  6. 6
    Napoleon says:

    Sully is such a complete know nothing that it is amazing to me he has such a following. The sad thing is he will be with us 30 years from now spewing the same fact free crap because he is “serious”.

  7. 7
    Mandramas says:

    Funnier and funnier.

  8. 8
    Guster says:

    It’s not just that it has numbers. ‘Serious’ = massive tax cuts, huge cuts to medicare and medicaid, repeal of the ACA with no replacement, a system that will cost the most vulnerable more and does nothing to help our long term financial condition.

    That’s what serious is. If you’re not willing to kick the elderly and infirm in the teeth, by definition you’re not serious. You’re not courageous. You’re no better than ED ‘CareBare’ Kaine with his ‘return to the Clinton-era tax rates’ and ‘reduce the defense budget.’ That’s kindergarten stuff. Everyone who’s anyone knows that won’t work. Which leaves what? Boots, meet dentures.

  9. 9
    Lolis says:

    Most low-income people with HIV are on Medicare and/or Medicaid. All those drugs are insanely expensive. I don’t see how building in a layer of profit for insurance companies is going to keep those people healthy and provide them the best quality of care. Andrew never mentions the quality of care. It makes Andrew seem like a callous bastard.

  10. 10
    darkmatter says:

    Sully is a fool, tool, wanker and completely un-serious.

    But we knew this already.

  11. 11
    bkny says:

    jan schakowsky was on hardball discussing this and made the the rather valid point that the median income of retirees in this country is $19,000. not to mention that you really expect elderly, infirm people to negotiate with these motherfucking insurance companies — not to mention even getting to that point, because they’d have to have read thru god knows how many options to select from.

    yeah, that’s gonna work.

  12. 12
    General Stuck says:

    Sullivan is whistling past the grave yard that is filled with over reaching wingnut politicians, and a few dems. Ryan will be a hero amongst the unwashed and braintrust divisions of wingnuttopia, whilst Gramma is looking for her pitchfork.

  13. 13
    Citizen_X says:

    First off, fuck Bowles-Simpson. Does Sullivan confuse that stinkbomb with the deficit commission? (I ain’t clicking through to find out.) It wasn’t the deficit commission, it was an attempt to sabotage the deficit commission.

    And, in the depths of the worst recession in seventy years, the fucking deficit is “the most important domestic issue of the day?” Piss off, ya damn tory!

  14. 14
    eemom says:

    The fact that Sullivan’s head is so far up his ass that his bellybutton functions as a peephole has been readily apparent for some time to those of us who have long wondered WTF a sensible guy like you who hasn’t been a lawyer for 23 years SEES in that clown.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    @bkny: Yes, because 80 year-olds are the most astute population at not getting taken in by marketing scams, particularly when they’re laid up in a hospital bed with a broken hip.

  16. 16
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Tunch has the look of the (retired)dervish: so Halveti-Jerrahi. And now, for something completely different, a ghazal for HGW-chan:

    “…I was overtaken in these bonds of calamity,
    Remember the efforts of those who serve the truth.

    Although there are always a hundred rivers in my eye
    remember the Zindehrud, and those who plant gardens.

    After this, Hafez’s secrect will remain unspoken.
    Alas, remember those that keep the secrets.”

    And on this note: my winter sowing seeds are sprouting!!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/kath821/5589849678/

  17. 17
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Giving out vouchers for Medicare is just privatizing death panels to the individual.

  18. 18

    1) Sully wants everyone (but himself) to suffer a bit. It makes everyone so much more human and he can admire that indomitable spirit of humanity from afar.
    2) Numbers (pulled from any orifice) explain all his links to McMegan.
    3) What the hell does he think his insurance cost is going to be if he makes it to 65?!?!?
    4) We are so screwed.

  19. 19
    bkny says:

    ‘getting people, in their lives, on the way to self-suffiency’ – a rather curious statement by ryan from morning joe promoting his serious idea.

  20. 20
    Meg says:

    I have quit Sullivan for a few weeks now (this time for real)and I feel a lot happier. Oh, quitting HuffPo is also a good decision.

  21. 21
    JPL says:

    Something that has not been addressed is the economic impact. Supposedly out growth depends on spending and not saving. When you reduce the amount to be spent for 90 percent of the country, growth would seem to fall. How did Ryan come up with his magic pony numbers? I know he used the Heritage Foundation which also forecasted the great economic boom that we had under Bush, but really….

  22. 22
    Turgidson says:

    Atta boy, Cole.

    I’d say “Sullivan can eat a bag of dicks,” but…well….nevermind. Forget I said I’d say that at all.

    He’s irredeemably, pathetically misguided and uninformed on this topic though. And should really just shut the fuck up about it. For that matter, so should 90+% of the people offering opinions on the deficit. They should all stfu and let Krugman, Stiglitz, and Bernie figure out the way forward, in my view.

  23. 23
    eemom says:

    srsly, the more I read posts about this asshole the more I hate him. This isn’t his fucking COUNTRY. Who the fuck cares what he thinks?

  24. 24
    Turgidson says:

    @JPL:

    How did Ryan come up with his magic pony numbers?

    You sort of answered your own question. He just made shit up. Just like he did with his roadmap. Just like he does pretty much any time he speaks. He’s a charlatan.

  25. 25
    jl says:

    @bkny: In an unregulated health care market, it is impossible to even get a quote that a provider will guarantee.

    One could suppose that for non emergency situations, if more of the public would ask, more providers would be forced to comply in providing accurate and binding quotes for the price of a service.

    One could also suppose that there is reasonable level of competition in local markets that would allow such consumer sovereignty to work. But one would be wrong.

    One could also suppose that the forgone routine doctor visits would not increase future health care costs. but one would be wrong.

    One could suppose that this kind of consumer sovereignty would work for emergency care in ERs and hospitals, and that this kind of care is not expensive. But one would be wrong.

    Most of the hype over consumer choice in health care is nonsense, and will not work, at least in the unregulated, or loosely regulated markets that the reactionaries and money bags envision for the lesser people.

  26. 26
    GeneJockey says:

    I haven’t decided which metaphor is best for our current politics.

    In one, I’m trapped in a car being driven by a drunk, and when I point out that he’s drunk and driving all over the road, our drunken companions insist that I’m crazy to suggest he shouldn’t drive.

    In the other, I’m in a horror movie. We’ve found the mangled corpse, we’ve heard a noise, and despite my objections, gone off to investigate it. One of us says, “We should split up, so we can cover more ground”, and everyone else thinks this is a great idea.

  27. 27
    bkny says:

    @Martin: prefuckingcisely.

  28. 28
    The Dangerman says:

    I was watching some tele-debate today regarding Arizona’s proposal to tax people that smoke or are obese (unless there was a medical reason for that extra weight). Anyway, the gentleman supporting the proposal kept on saying that it was fair to make people that “engage in reckless behavior” pay more for their coverages. He never said smoking or eating; it was always “reckless behavior”.

    I wonder what Sullivan would say when that “reckless behavior” is altered by the Right to include homosexuality?

  29. 29
    David says:

    Sully loves him some conservative blather, that’s all there is to it. Doesn’t matter one whit that it doesn’t make sense, he can’t get enough of the entitlement reform and flatter tax rates.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    I look at vouchers as one of the many multi layers of bullshit the wingnuts throw out there as a tool to move toward the two class system they crave. It is in effect, using the federal government as a pay day loan company making temp loans to the peasant class with money, all of which that exists belongs to the rich class.

    So the government makes the loan at a certain rate to buy the products of the rich, thus repaying the loan.

    And in the meantime, giving the government levers to squeeze a little more cash out of the peasants by raising prices in a contrived non competitive econ model, and just enough to allow the peasants enough to eat, work and reproduce, and maybe some education in the also peasant class education system that is also voucher based and two tiered.

    But since education is not a profit based system, no vouchers for peasant junior that gets to attend a classroom in a Quonset hut with 500 other juniors.

    It is a pretty cool plan. The only problem is those pesky one man one vote fair elections that could allow marxist rabble in power to bring it all down. Something will need to be done about that.

  31. 31
    Loneoak says:

    I poked around the Daily Beast and there is some just awful writing there. Boring, stilted, and entirely uninspired. I don’t think I’ll be going back.

  32. 32
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: shukran jazeelan! and one for you, in the spirit! from the turjuman al ashwaq, which i know by qalb.

    I wish I knew if they knew
    whose heart they have taken
    __
    Or my heart knew
    which high-ridge track they follow.
    __
    Do you picture them safe
    or do you picture them perished?
    __
    The lords of love in love
    are ensnared, bewildered.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Citizen_X:

    First off, fuck Bowles-Simpson. Does Sullivan confuse that stinkbomb with the deficit commission? (I ain’t clicking through to find out.) It wasn’t the deficit commission, it was an attempt to sabotage the deficit commission.

    QFT. B&S held their little press conference to ensure that the media would act as though their fancy PowerPoint presentation was the report from the real commission and not something they pulled out of their asses to undermine the real commission.

    And, hey, the lapdog media barked on command for them. What a shock.

  34. 34
    Studly Pantload, Vibrant Trollbot for Obama says:

    This needs to be blasted and plastered everywhere:

    “If the current Medicare system were allowed to continue, CBO found that an average 65-year-old beneficiary’s costs would be only 25 percent of what it’d be in the individual private insurance market. Under the GOP plan, those costs would jump to 68 percent.”

    (Something tells me AARP won’t be getting on board this train.)

    Not because it has a chance of becoming law (under the current Senate and Executive office), but it lays bare what the Republicans are all about. Forget the birtherism and the “Don’t Tread on Me” t-shirt nonsense, that’s all just a sideshow. At it’s heart, the Republican party is, and has been for decades, about the Great American Screw Over.

    Oh, and Sully can go eat a bag of pickled vaginnies.

  35. 35
    Trentrunner says:

    Andrew Sullivan is a cunty git who can’t see past his own nose.

    Oh, and for extra bonus fun, Google his name and “milky loads.” He’s a morally disgusting human being.

  36. 36
    Kirk Spencer says:

    What’s actually saddest is that there’s so much crap in the proposal that’s being ignored. Let me see if I can give a fast summary.

    It recommends HR1 – you remember, defund planned parenthood and all Title X, cut 100 Billion, and all that – be adopted as a baseline. ON TOP OF THAT:

    Deregulate energy – oil, nukes, coal, etc.
    Weaken or remove the newly created financial regulations.
    Adopt the Bush Social Security plan.
    Everyone knows about medicaid and medicare, but again: reduce funding, set them as block grants, and run them by voucher.
    Cut budgets of all discretionary non-defense to less than 1998 levels.
    Cut 10% of the federal workforce by 2014.
    Open restricted drilling areas – offshore and national reserve.
    Cap the total budget to not more than 18% of the GDP of the year for which complete numbers are known – ie, for this one we’d use 2009’s GDP.
    Add most of the catfood commission leader’s recommendations.
    Add the Balanced Budget amendment (basically a TABOR plus California’s 2/3 requirement for a tax increase).

    Between it all, either in the bill or in the ancillary bills it recommends it’s every Republican agenda point except “make this a Christian nation.”

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    Does anyone have the intestinal fortitude to summarize how Ryan’s plan was handled by the network nightly news programs?

    The PBS Newshour has an interview with him.

    Headline on website: Rep. Ryan Reimagines U.S. Social Safety Net Via Budget Reform Proposal

    Do you think “Reimagines” is the best word here?

    Are they emphasizing his fascination with fantasy? Because “Eviscerates” would have been, well, informative.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/ru.....posal.html

    JUDY WOODRUFF: People – these are the most vulnerable of our population – the poor, the disabled. Where else do they turn?

    REP. PAUL RYAN: Right, so the key is to fix our social safety nets. What we’re trying to do here is couple Medicaid reforms with food stamp reforms, housing-assistance reforms, education reforms or job training. We’re trying to couple these things by sending them back to the states in block grants. Those states can combine these dollars to reform the tattered social safety net. The problem we have, Judy, is the social safety net is tearing apart by the seams and we need to modernize the safety net for the 21st century, because these programs haven’t really been reformed since the 1960s.

    Aren’t they sending it to the states because that’s how you put federal dollars in the hands of Jan Brewer and Rick Scott and that fool in Wisconsin whose name (happily) escapes me?

  38. 38
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    If Sullivan was a poor American, rather than an upper middle class British ex-pat, he’d have been dead a long time ago.

  39. 39
    Sko Hayes says:

    Ezra wrote a quick piece about this earlier:

    As the CBO recognizes, a lot of what Ryan is doing isn’t saving money so much as shifting costs. Poor people and seniors don’t need less health care because Medicare and Medicaid are providing less health care. They just have to pay for more of it on their own. And as the CBO says, it’s hard to imagine Congress simply ignoring their pleas for help:
    “Under the proposal analyzed here, debt would eventually shrink relative to the size of the economy — but the gradually increasing number of Medicare beneficiaries participating in the new premium support program would bear a much larger share of their health care costs than they would under the current program; payments to physicians and other providers for services provided under the traditional Medicare program would be restrained (as under the two scenarios); states would have to pay substantially more for their Medicaid programs or tightly constrain spending for those programs; and spending for federal programs other than Social Security and the major health care programs would be reduced far below historical levels relative to GDP. It is unclear whether and how future lawmakers would address the pressures resulting from the long-term scenarios or the proposal analyzed here.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/....._blog.html

    And I find avoiding Sully and all of his “serious” crap a lot easier on my nerves.

  40. 40
    Elizabelle says:

    @Trentrunner:

    I don’t care for your first sentence. We can do without that language, in all honesty.

    Elizabelle the Victorian prude and Miss Manners wannabe

  41. 41
    jl says:

    @Mnemosyne: Unserious and immature bad faith publicity stunts are taken very seriously by media if done by Very Serious People who say what other Very Serious People want to hear.

    But as far as I remember, factwise (which these days will get you a cup you a cheap cup coffee if you shell out eight bits) you are 100 percent correct.

  42. 42
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: but I think Tunch is an Abbasid and a Sunni Salafi.
    He is a tyrant.

  43. 43
    Wannabe Speechwriter says:

    Want to mention Sully is siding with the lady he claims to hate so much, Sarah Palin-

    http://cloudfront.mediamatters.....budget.jpg

    Bound to happen, still funny that it has though…

  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    Some more lowlights of the “Path to perdition prosperity”:

    The bottom 80% of earners will see their effective tax rate jump from 2%-12.3%, with the tax hike getting higher w/ each quintile you go down.

    OTOH, the top 1% will see a 15% tax break.

  45. 45
    Darkrose says:

    @GeneJockey:

    In the other, I’m in a horror movie. We’ve found the mangled corpse, we’ve heard a noise, and despite my objections, gone off to investigate it. One of us says, “We should split up, so we can cover more ground”, and everyone else thinks this is a great idea.

    I like the horror movie idea, although for me, it’s a D&D game, and the party’s just entered the Massive Dungeon of Killing Shit and Taking Things, and someone has suggested splitting the party so we can get it all explored and looted faster. Everyone in the party thinks that’ll work, and I’m pointing at the DM, sitting there smirking, and saying, “Don’t split the party!” but no one’s listening.

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    @Kirk Spencer:

    There would have been a groove for a GOP proposal in this current climate of money and spending faux fears the GOP did sell somewhat successfully to the public, that is anxious over lack of jobs and blaming federal spending nonsense.

    But they not only overshot the mark of such a politically viable groove or niche to move forward some the wingnut agenda of soaking the poor for the rich, they landed on the Rings of Saturn. It is laughably insane, and there really is no way they can sell it as rational, let along responsible over time, nor can the media put lipstick on it to do the same. I am pleased as punch right now.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @GeneJockey:

    another metaphor, particularly for big media:

    Your opinion leaders and pundits are pod people, and you can see that, but no one else wants to.

    You can almost see the the antennae on Meet the Press and This Week.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle: What’s wrong with “git” ?

  49. 49

    @Elizabelle:
    Exactly. The absolute fucking *worst* thing we can do with the social safety net is cast it out to at least 30 little hitlers to parcel out to their cronies in whatever screw-the-poor “industry” they happen to be involved in.

    And the only possible good news from Sully going over to the Daily Brown is that his career might just DIAF along with Tina Brown and Newsweek, although I doubt it the way the Village works.

  50. 50
    AkaDad says:

    Path to Prosperity

    Is Prosperity the name of a homeless shelter?

  51. 51
    freelancer says:

    @GeneJockey:

    In one, I’m trapped in a car being driven by a drunk, and when I point out that he’s drunk and driving all over the road, our drunken companions insist that I’m crazy to suggest he shouldn’t drive.
    __
    In the other, I’m in a horror movie. We’ve found the mangled corpse, we’ve heard a noise, and despite my objections, gone off to investigate it. One of us says, “We should split up, so we can cover more ground”, and everyone else thinks this is a great idea.

    So basically, we’re innocent bystanders in Grindhouse. Got it.

  52. 52
    Moses2317 says:

    May I suggest that folks write letters to their local newspapers to help make sure that the public realizes just how horrible the GOP’s budget proposal is?

    http://www.winningprogressive......g-medicare

  53. 53
    Elizabelle says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Yeah. Wondering here, myself, about my double standard.

    Have been avidly following posts about bagfuls of dicks (salted or not), and myself called Mr. Sullivan a wanker, upthread, but somehow the C word is a bridge too far.

    It is a double standard, for sure. That said, still don’t like seeing the C word on blogs.

  54. 54
    Mike in NC says:

    But the good news is that we finally have a political party being honest about what it takes to avoid falling off a fiscal cliff. It means sacrifice. And my objection to the Ryan plan really comes down to the injustice of imposing major sacrifices for the poor and elderly, while exempting the wealthy from any sacrifice at all.

    What’s he taking about? It’s a simple shared sacrifice: 50% for the poor to suck up, and 50% for the middle class. Serious numbers.

  55. 55
    Calouste says:

    @General Stuck:

    Not a two class system, a three class system. Upper class, serf class and under class. There must be some people that the serfs must feel they are above otherwise they might realize the ruse. Under class must be preferably easily recognized by skin color or other physical characteristics.

  56. 56
    dave says:

    HOOOO-wee. I love this stuff, DougJ. Can’t get enough lambasting of Sullivan, because he’s the barometer of idiot seriousness.

  57. 57
    4jkb4ia says:

    I am so serious
    We have to cut
    The country’s future is under grave threat
    The safety net is shot
    Give freedom to the weak
    Our Galtian overlords have given us the numbers that are true
    I am so serious
    Yes, yes, yes, I am so serious

    It scans anyway. Posted to see if I could do it.

  58. 58
    marcopolo says:

    Has anyone here noted that if the Rethuglicans repeal the ACA then insurance companies will no longer be required to insure everyone. Under the Ryan plan, without Medicare, won’t the insurance companies just refuse to cover the sickest, oldest, most expensive Americans. Or did I miss something?

  59. 59
    General Stuck says:

    @Calouste:

    You are correct. And they are going to need a security class to build moats and stuff, maybe recruited from the serf class with some bennies.

  60. 60
  61. 61
    gex says:

    As I mentioned on another thread, the free-market paradise Andrew desires so much was more or less implemented in Hong Kong until 1997. It was notable for the elderly, handicapped, and children to live on the streets and beg for a “living”. That is what you deserve if you can’t be bothered to pull yourselves up by the bootstraps.

    ETA: Why didn’t they deport him for that drug charge? /wishfulthinking

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    Here in Arizona, we’ve already seen what Ryan’s plan for Medicaid will look like in real time.

    Jan Brewer and the State GOP have already decided that saving $1.4 million is worth the lives of 100 would be organ transplant recipients.

    2 have died already.

  63. 63
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    This may have been mentioned before (I have not read all the comments) but under this plan it would require a 65 year old person to purchase a health insurance plan (let us not even go into the pre-existing conditions) on the open market for $15,000.00 a year. Yeah right. Good f**king luck with that. My 61 year old boss is already paying that for his health insurance that he has had for 14 years, and he is probably about to lose it cause it is damn almost impossible to come up with $1,100.00 a month just for health insurance when you have to keep the damn lights on and the mortgage paid.

  64. 64
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: I guess Tunch could be a Hanafi. But the reason I thought deobandi is that the Taliban are deobandi.
    Tunch is a terrorist.

  65. 65
    Keith G says:

    @Napoleon:

    Sully is such a complete know nothing that it is amazing to me he has such a following. The sad thing is he will be with us 30 years from now

    Probably not.

  66. 66
    gex says:

    @Comrade Javamanphil: He’s a Catholic, and joyful about it. Suffering makes him feel closer to God.

  67. 67
    JPL says:

    @Elizabelle: Wow..we need to modernize the safety net for the 21st century WTF.. Maybe we should send him a dictionary. Normally you think of modernizing as updating and improving. Raising health care costs is not what I think of when I use that term.

  68. 68
    Corner Stone says:

    @Elizabelle:

    That said, still don’t like seeing the C word on blogs.

    “Sullivan” starts with an S. And I agree, I don’t like to see it on this either.

  69. 69
    MattR says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I have not been paying close attention to the details, but I thought Ryan’s plan provided vouchers worth $15,000 to the elderly which they would use to purchase private health insurance (and they would be responsible for anything over that 15K)

    @Turgidson:

    Just fucking say it, asshole.

    I hope I am not the only one who immediately thought of Sam Kinnison in Back to School.

  70. 70
    Turgidson says:

    @Elizabelle:

    REP. PAUL RYAN: Right, so the key is to fix our social safety nets. What we’re trying to do here is couple Medicaid reforms with food stamp reforms, housing-assistance reforms, education reforms or job training. We’re trying to couple these things by sending them back to the states in block grants. Those states can combine these dollars to reform the tattered social safety net. The problem we have, Judy, is the social safety net is tearing apart by the seams and we need to modernize the safety net for the 21st century, because these programs haven’t really been reformed since the 1960s.

    I don’t have a thesaurus handy, but when did “modernize” become a synonym for “destroy”?

    Paul Ryan is truly, utterly awful. Just. awful.

    Just come out and say it, you twat. You want to kill the safety net. Just come out and say it: you don’t give two shits what happens to the people who rely on them because they’re not you or your donors or rich friends.

    Just fucking say it, asshole.

  71. 71
    bkny says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: i noted upthread that jan schakowsky was on hardball and made the point that the median annual income for 65+yo is $19000. but they’ll have vouchers! — that will only cover a fraction of what the bill is; not to mention digging out from all of the policies that had to be reviewed before selecting one. but, then, now that i think about it, there’s unlikely to be a pile of insurance materials to dig out from — none of them are gonna be interested in covering your old, withering ass.

  72. 72
    trollhattan says:

    My (un)official Sully test is whether he links or heh-indeedys McMegan from his new penthouse. First time he does he’s off the island forever (clearly already off his nut).

    One of his many annoyances is his chronic innumeracy and his inability to acknowledge same. Considering his fondness for navel-gazing it’s a major bug.

  73. 73
    Keith G says:

    @Elizabelle:

    I don’t care for your first sentence….

    This blog does have an off button. Feel free to use it.

  74. 74
    zach says:

    “In other words, the spending cuts Republicans would realize in the first 10 years would be outpaced by deficit increasing tax-cuts, which Ryan also proposes.”

    This is very wrong. The CBO score doesn’t include Ryan’s tax cuts; it just assumes that taxes will be 19% of GDP as Ryan ordains. The actual tax cuts he proposes will not achieve this.

  75. 75
    zach says:

    “In other words, the spending cuts Republicans would realize in the first 10 years would be outpaced by deficit increasing tax-cuts, which Ryan also proposes.”

    This is very wrong. The CBO score doesn’t include Ryan’s tax cuts; it just assumes that taxes will be 19% of GDP as Ryan ordains. The actual tax cuts he proposes will not achieve this.

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    Please read David Leonhardt’s NYTimes piece on the idiocy that is Ryan’s plan.

    It’s short and shrill and worth every word.

    Yet there is at least one big way in which the plan isn’t daring at all. It asks for a whole lot of sacrifice from everyone under the age of 55 and little from everyone 55 and over. Representative Paul Ryan, the Wisconsin Republican who wrote the plan, calls the budget deficit an “existential threat” to the United States. Then he absolves more than one-third of all adults from responsibility in dealing with that threat.

    ….Beside violating basic notions of fairness, the grandfather clause has the potential to slow economic growth. Many of today’s 55- and 60-year-olds are going to be on Medicare for a long time [running up] trillions of dollars in medical bills. That money won’t be available for education, early child care, scientific research or high-tech infrastructure — all of which can lift growth. …In the years ahead, spending on the elderly has the potential to rise higher still and to crowd out spending on the young.

    Who are these future taxpayers who will kindly cover Medicare’s shortfall? The same ones who, under the Ryan plan, won’t have Medicare for themselves.

    A fairer, more fiscally conservative plan would not postpone dealing with Medicare. It would leave in place the cost control measures in the health reform bill and go even further to reward the quality of care rather than the volume. ….

    Next, the federal government would raise taxes. As countries have grown richer over time, they have historically paid higher taxes — to cover the costs of a strong military, good schools, comfortable retirements and other luxuries that the free market doesn’t provide.

    Affluent Americans, in particular, can afford higher taxes. They have received far larger raises in recent decades than any other income group and their tax rates have fallen far more. Yet Mr. Ryan would reduce them further.

    “A Medicare Plan that Exempts Too Many”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04.....=1&hp

    Bravo. Understandable even to Tea Party Patriots.

  77. 77
    Calouste says:

    @Elizabelle:

    because these programs haven’t really been reformed since the 1960s.

    That “1960s” isn’t in there for nothing. Hippies, desgregation, voting rights act, etc, etc. Just triggering a few reptile brain responses.

  78. 78
    4jkb4ia says:

    He is so serious
    Whenever he’s near
    All for self-control,
    The market’s hand to steer
    Revenues locked in place
    To fall at a steady pace
    It comes to Medicare, Mr. Chairman,
    The young are losing the race
    He is so serious, etc.

  79. 79
    Elia Isquire says:

    Does anyone else remember when, in response to the last absolute gem of a take-down from Cole, Sullivan responded that all he wanted from his Austerity jihad was to see Medicare pay-outs decreased for those who were already relatively wealthy and needed it the least? Remember how he said he knows someone Austerity will impact; he sees him every morning in the mirror?

    Flash forward to today, and Paul Ryan releases a budget that lowers taxes for the wealthy while placing the resulting burden ENTIRELY upon the very people–the poor, the sick, and the elderly–who Andrew Sullivan promised us he did not wish to see harmed. His cherished “shared sacrifice” is revealed to be shared exclusively between the Have Nots and the Have Even Less.

    And what does Andrew have to say about Ryan’s budget? It’s Oh. So. Serious.

  80. 80
    cokane says:

    seriously? that shit is in paul ryan’s plan, to cut the top tax rates even further? what the fuck. these guys wont be happy until the top tax rate in the us is 0% or perhaps even negative.

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    That News Hour clip, and its headline, are positively Orwellian.

    On the West Coast, so haven’t seen the whole segment.

    But how hard could it be to point out some of the plan’s glaring flaws and inconsistencies?

  82. 82
    lllphd says:

    oh lawdy.

    first off, the reason sully continues to miss these points wrt healthcare in any and all its variously republican proposed delivery systems is that NONE of them impose ANY regulations on healthcare COSTS. hence the big gap between sully/ryan and cbo/reality.

    and then there’s that huge gap between sully’s rather overblown head and his under-developed heart, which he persists in claiming is oooh sooo big because he talks about suffering and religion so much. and, also too, he’s catholic, you know. yes, he does want you to know that.

    which leads to my second point. since around WI specifically and the repug devolution into deeper levels of hell generally, i decided to quit sully. i had defended him here many times because – for some reason i can now no longer fathom – he seemed redeemable somehow. in a lost kid kinda way, i guess. or something.

    but i took him right off my menu bar (oh yeah, this coincided with learning – agreed, very belated, that arianna had been in bed with breitbart from the get-go; so huffpo was also trashed), and have not visited him since. and, my suspicions were confirmed. the guy was just continually pissing me off. and tho i tried to justify reading him as the need for a balanced perspective, i was also realizing increasingly that he did not offer balance but very strained ideology and kind of disturbing psychological issues at times.

    well, it was bending me out of shape completely, i now realize. i spent inordinate hours penning him these damning emails, and early on he did respond on occasion. but some of the treacle he has produced just astound me in their blinkered myopia. which – to my mind – is the disease du jour, every day, of those of the conservative persuasion. in fact, i think it is related to the very definition of conservative.

    meanwhile, the length of this comment has yet again proven my suspicions; the guy gives me a serious case of gas that translates into logorrhea. my apologies, folks. but, had to get it out of my system.

  83. 83
    HRA says:

    Make no mistake about old very rich people. They cling to their millions. They take advantage of Medicare and Social Security just like the less fortunate.

  84. 84
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Sheikh al Akbar… thank you for this. The path of the mind, not so much for me; my work is primarily on the path of the persian adepts. Now though I shall go dig up ibn arabi and take another look.

    So you are not orthodox in your approach then? Who else sings in your heart?

  85. 85
    GeneJockey says:

    @cokane:

    these guys wont be happy until the top tax rate in the us is 0% or perhaps even negative.

    Yes, that’s right! They believe that not only is the Estate Tax immoral, but so are Capital Gains taxes. Considering that most of the income of the top 1% is in Capital Gains (IIRC), that translates to an income tax rate of 0%

  86. 86
    Sly says:

    Guess what, Andrew. Paul Ryan just released his very “serious” plan with massive tax cuts, huge cuts to medicare and medicaid, a repeal of the ACA with no replacement (throwing 30 million off insurance), and putting in place a system that will cost the most vulnerable more, do nothing to stem the cost of medical care, and still does nothing to help our long term financial condition.

    None of which Sullivan cares about because…. He. Is. A. Fucking. Tory.

    All he needed was a little breather to regain his sense of Absolute Toriness. David Brooks, who only two years ago remarked that proposing a spending freeze in the middle of a recession was INSANE, needed the same process. They needed intellectual cover to fall back on their basic character flaws. “Seriousness” gives them that.

    That’s the entire point of this exercise. It’s their fucking pathology.

    It was all a simple misunderstanding, you see. Now they’re back home where they belong. As if they never left. Back in the loving arms of their Serious Masters, who continually demonstrate their unrelenting graciousness by forgiving those rascally “moderates” of their sins.

  87. 87
    mistersnrub says:

    Paul Ryan’s plan provides for options: Old people can live in the sewers, the gutters, or under the country’s innumerable crumbling bridges.

  88. 88
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    @Keith G:

    Hopefully not.

    woo, I win a Moore Award!!!

  89. 89
    Breezeblock says:

    Why do we need to cut entitlements? Why can’t we just let the bushtaxcuts expire, cut defense by 25%, end farm subsidies, and NO MOE FUCKING WARS!

    You’re welcome.

  90. 90
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: lolol, Tunch does sometimes have the look of the hashasin, eh? I can see him as a familiar to the rulers of Alamut… daring the Mongols to come any closer… “I will tear your heart out with my sharp claws, beloved, I will feast on your entrails, and together we will meet God.”

  91. 91
    lllphd says:

    @Meg:

    wow; me too! (see #82 here).

    i was infinitely more longwinded about it tho.

    does feel good to be free of them, eh? like ditching a drunk and abusive husband and then a lying friend who turns out to be married to the devil himself.

  92. 92
    Elizabelle says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    You got talent.

  93. 93
    Kathryn says:

    @Kathryn: HGW: So maybe Ni’matullāhī? Of course, the whole Alamut thing did not end well…

  94. 94
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: wow the hashassin. We are working on that chapter at the mongoliad.
    do I know you?

    Who else sings in your heart?

    al-Ghazali of course, for rigor and purity. much harder than Arabi.
    And the Fourth naturallement. ;)
    But the Muhyiddin is First Shayyk.
    I’m a mystic and a mevlevi.

    what does your heart hold?

  95. 95
    Mnemosyne says:

    @gex:

    Other people’s Suffering makes him feel closer to God.

    Fix’d. If he just wanted to sit in a monastery and scourge himself all day, I’d tell him to go for it, but he wants everyone else to suffer on his behalf.

    @HRA:

    Make no mistake about old very rich people. They cling to their millions. They take advantage of Medicare and Social Security just like the less fortunate.

    Yep. They are not going to be nearly as pleased as Ryan seems to think at the prospect of paying for their own health care out of pocket. They won’t care that it screws the little people, but doesn’t Ryan know it’s going to affect them?

    I see screaming oldsters on scooters in Ryan’s immediate future.

  96. 96
    danimal says:

    I don’t buy Sullivan’s schtick anymore. He’s a purposeful ‘useful idiot’ when it comes to budgets. He’s not stupid, he’s evil. He supported the Bush tax cuts and has admitted his dishonesty about his analysis. He knew they would blow a hole in the budget, but thought it was a good policy for whatever reason.

    He wants fiscal responsibility and is willing accomplish the task on the backs of the poor. He will not take revenue raisers as seriously as budget cuts because shut up, that’s why. I hope he winds up in an uninsured hellhole as an old man. Perhaps then he will take the medical needs of the elderly and the poor more seriously.

  97. 97
    Socraticsilence says:

    Isn’t it a bit hard to argue that Ryan’s plan is an “extension” of the Obama/Romney model when it actually repeals the ACA? I mean you could (though you’d be wrong) make that argument if it left the ACA intact but it doesn’t so obviously that’s not the plans intent in any way shape or form (you can’t argue that its an extension even with the ACA being preserved if you actually look at intent in any way shape or form).

  98. 98
    Mark S. says:

    @cokane:

    seriously? that shit is in paul ryan’s plan, to cut the top tax rates even further?

    You betcha

  99. 99
    Socraticsilence says:

    I want someone to get quotes from major health insurance as to the current per year premium cost for a mid-level plan akin to Medicare.

  100. 100
    Splitting Image says:

    @eemom:

    srsly, the more I read posts about this asshole the more I hate him. This isn’t his fucking COUNTRY. Who the fuck cares what he thinks?

    Well, the US isn’t my fucking country either, but it’s still extremely important to me what happens there. If the Republicans are able to present a scheme like Ryan’s without any blowback, there is a real chance the Republicans’ branch plant operation up here will get a majority in the election next month.

    Then it’s bye-bye Medicare up here and there ain’t no Senate here to block it. The people in your country who keep saying “Fuck it. I’m moving to Canada” whenever the Republicans win a political fight don’t always seem to realize that the Republicans in other countries are paying very close attention to how well the head office is doing. If it works down there, they will try it up here.

    (But having said that: yeah, Sullivan can keep his trap shut about this.)

  101. 101
    Triassic Sands says:

    …putting in place a system that will cost the most vulnerable more…

    It won’t cost the most vulnerable more for the simple reason the most vulnerable don’t have any more they can pay. Plans like Ryan’s depend in large part on everyone pretending that it will just be a little harder on the most vulnerable. But when you reach the point where you’re one of the “most vulnerable” there is no cushion left. It’s not even a question of food or health care, because the food is being paid for by Food Stamps and there isn’t any money for health care.

    Unless the people who discuss this publicly stop pretending that Ryan-don’t-Care will simply make it a bit harder for the poor and disabled, the plan will be taken much more seriously than it deserves to be.

    Ryan wants to eliminate the reforms of the ACA. If that is done, then won’t private insurers be permitted to refuse coverage to those with pre-existing conditions? Even if they are forced to provide coverage, if they are allowed to price their policies based on pre-existing conditions, then no amount of money that a Ryan plan will provide will be enough for, say, a disabled person to buy adequate coverage.

  102. 102
    gex says:

    @Keith G: Not your problem that insulting Sullivan requires insulting women. I mean, the whole point to the “c” word is that it is worse than the normal range of name calling. I suppose you don’t understand why women might be upset by that. Obviously, you can tell how bad something is by how similar it is to a woman.

    The worst oppression this country has ever seen since the Civil Rights era is that white straight men are asked not to call people n—-r, fag, or cunt. Poor thing. And just think, blacks, women, and gays think they know oppression!

  103. 103
    gex says:

    @gex: If women don’t like misogynistic words like that, they should just stay off the internet. And stay out of public. Hey, you don’t have to be subjected to this shit if you just avoid public exposure entirely.

    Because it is fucking pissing people off to be asked not to add to the negative messaging about women in our culture.

  104. 104
    Mark S. says:

    @Triassic Sands:

    That’s a good point. I saw someone argue that this is ObamaCare for seniors, and goopers are supposed to hate ObamaCare, but it isn’t even that. Ryan, in wanting to repeal ObamaCare, would strip out all the protections of the ACA.

  105. 105
    4jkb4ia says:

    Second verse:

    He is so serious
    The math is grand
    Alternatives are so weak they can hardly stand
    The temperature’s getting hot
    Ezra pleads, yelling “Stop”
    Sullivan cries, “Entitlements must be cut
    The figures are a lot”
    He is so serious

    End of goofing around. Wasn’t going to bother with the third verse.

    @elizabelle: Thanks.

  106. 106
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    do I know you?

    It would seem so? It took me a while to hear you through the yelling, for which I apologize.

    For me, Ahmed Ghazzali first, Buyazid Bustami, Hujwiri, Rumi (the Mathnavi mostly), Attar, Qushayri, Muhasibi.

    You know, I think you should change your handle. I think it should be Rabi’a. Who else to carry fire to heaven and water to hell?

  107. 107
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    But the Muhyiddin is First Shayyk.
    I’m a mystic and a mevlevi.

    I also am a mystic, although I have no order. My work is in the world. Due to extended dis-employment I have been working on a project you might recognize the base of. See Prologue I:
    http://cometocapernaum.com/?page_id=233

    For now I work with novices out of all traditions, and this is the Seeker’s path in Christianity. Next is Jewish tradition, the Islam, then Hinduism.

    Oddly I did not have you pegged as a mevlevi. But good to hear.

  108. 108
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: A gift for you:

    Tinariwen; Assouf.

    I quite like the guitar work as well as the message.

  109. 109
    Corner Stone says:

    @gex:

    If women don’t like misogynistic words like that, they should just stay off the internet. And stay out of public. Hey, you don’t have to be subjected to this shit if you just avoid public exposure entirely.

    Thank you.

  110. 110
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn:

    Oddly I did not have you pegged as a mevlevi.

    The Muhyiddin founded no school. Rumi is as close as i can get.

    You do know, your statement about the Ummah leading was both wrong and somewhat offensive. That is why there is sunnah and hadith, to keep memetic hygiene so there is no mutation.

  111. 111
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley:

    was both wrong and somewhat offensive

    Do you think so? I would contend that there is always mutation, that the Mind of God is always in the now, never past or future — and so each point of now is ever changing. Each individual can within themselves hear the voice of God, and so each is also invested with the responsibility for adhering to the principles of Love. This is how I see the umma. Of course, I see all of humanity as the community. And some are held in the contraints of religious structure, and some have emerged into the larger consciousness that desires tawhid and even fana. So it is always the human being, as equal and infinite, that is important, which is why I understand the umma to be correct. There is difficulty with sunnah and hadith — they are interpretations, and silsilah are questionable and many daif. Each should be tested with Love, do you not think?

  112. 112
    moops says:

    It is kinda crappy that you can’t leave comments at the Daily Beast. and no link to the author email.

    @Breezeblock:

    my email to andrew@thedailybeast.com

    I’m submitting my budget proposal for you to comment on in your next article. It has the advantage over Ryan’s in that it actually adds up, actually reduces the debt, and doesn’t leave people in even more dire straits.

    -Let Bush Tax cuts expire: They didn’t create any jobs as they were promised and Warren Buffet laid this one out clearly.

    -End farm subsidies: all of them. Trust me, as a former family farmer I know they did nothing to help matters.

    -Lay off 1/3 of all military. Welfare for all of them, as long as they want it. Sell all excess hardware to any NATO nation at auction. They can take up maintenance and police roles with the gear and we can go back to coalitions under NATO. You can have your friend that’s good with numbers work this one through for you.

    -Congress decides any and all wars. This element of foreign policy no longer at the WH discretion. It is part of the budget. ANY war action bill requires an across the board tax increase automatically. Wars are pain and we all share it the moment it is enacted.

    The last one can be done retroactively if we are “serious”.

    So, am I serious ? can you blog about me now ? Can I go on the TV ?

    no ? Am I serious when I make up numbers next to these four bullets ?

  113. 113
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: did you get what Mandramas and Spock and I were discussing about memetic mutation in modern form christianity?
    The hadith and sunnah exist to prevent that.
    The uncreated revealed Quran exists outside of spacetime, and contains every form…umm…pattern of righteous behavior there can be.
    We speak of something being in mutawatir, in continuous transmission, sending, if it is still valid.
    Jurists and scholars have to determine that…something that was …sending in a particular frame of spacetime may no longer be transmitting. The Muhyiddin says a particular “chest” of time in his treatise on Time and Cosmology.
    ;)

  114. 114
    pattonbt says:

    @mistersnrub: Or die. That would actually be more convenient.

  115. 115
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: I did watch your memetic mutation conversation. I reject this as largely invalid because it holds the meme as primary over the individual ability to change, the meme contrains by its nature. Seekers by definition work to overturn the meme. The meme is held up largely by fear and so mystics in particular, who work with very little fear, can always step out of the meme. Moreover, I’d say that seekers and mystics (theistic or non-theistic) can create new memes as polarities to that which is dominant in any “chest” of time. The issue is that the religious of any persuasion, who hold the memes constant have generally constituted the largest part of cultures. When anti-structural components are present in large enough numbers the meme transforms rapidly.

    The problem with mutawir is that it is seen as transmitting across linear time and because the Mind of God exists in the all-time, it is only the “now” that is real. The “continuous transmission” is the presence of the divine in the individual, now.

    I rarely see mevlevis as invested in scripture as you seem to be. What school are you?

  116. 116
    wetcasements says:

    Mr. Cole, when oh when will you stop treating Sullivan as somebody worthy of your attention rather than the half-assed libertarian crank that he is?

    Fool me once, etc.

    Although I am guessing that he won’t do very well at the Daily Beast. I mean, he’ll get paid and all but that’s a sinking ship (Tina Brown? Newsweek? Really?) if there ever was one.

  117. 117
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Kathryn: /sniff sniff
    you smell funnie.
    are you another aspect of morzer?

  118. 118
    Kathryn says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: LOL and I am sitting here wondering if you are a mevlevi or in yet another one of the those sects co-opting mystics into law. Yes, a funny smell… ;) But for now I am going to have to say goodnight.

  119. 119
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hermione Granger-Weasley: Stop playing silly buggers.
    Mandramas is your sockpuppet and Kathryn belongs to someone else. She/it has been copy/pasting all godsdamned week.

  120. 120
    Kathryn says:

    @Corner Stone: Say what?

  121. 121
    Hermione Granger-Weasley says:

    @Corner Stone: mandramas is not my sockpuppet.
    i got no clue.

    kathryn gets a lot of stuff wrong. smells bad.

  122. 122
    Kathryn says:

    @Corner Stone: what are you, the fucking hall monitor?

  123. 123
    Mandramas says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m being promoted to MGW’s sockpuppet! That was fast. I just discovered the blog three days ago.

  124. 124
    Kathryn says:

    @Mandramas: Congratulations. I’ve been here a few months and apparently have always been someone’s copy and paste puppet. Welcome to BJ.

  125. 125
    Chris says:

    Yes, this is is quite serious. In the same way that a diagnosis of cancer is quite serious.

  126. 126
    rickstersherpa says:

    1. What Sullivan is to lazy to understand or doctrinaire to want to understand is that the problem of Medical costs and inflation in the U.S. is not Medicare or Medicaid, since private sector insurance costs have been rising faster than the Medicare and Medicaid programs. He does not think about or query why the U.S. is paying 17% of its GDP for Health Care costs when the average among all other developed nations is 11%. See CEPR for the articles: http://www.cepr.net/.

    2. Also, as Dean Baker has pointed out the Welfare State not being affordable because of the alleged aging of the population is a false meme. Again, see the CEPR web site. I also note that Paul Ryan’s and the Heritage Foundation’s pony fantasy about the wonderfule economic effects of income tax reduction on rich people was actually tried as an experiement in the Oughts by Dubya and Cheney (the guy who said “no one cares about deficits), and of course that decade correlated with the worse U.S. economic performance since the early 1930s. But the Village, dominated by corporate media and high-income media entrepreneurs (day jobs lead to $25,000 dollar speeches before all those chamber of commerce groups), really don’t want to see their taxes increase. After all, they have health care plans. Maybe doctors will spend more time on them with all the hoi polloi down in the Emergency Room.

    3. And yes, I would tell Andrew that I would raise Income taxes back to the levels of the Clinton administration, with a special surcharge of 10% on those making more than 1,000,000 dollars as Dr. Evil would say, rather than tell most Americans that they have to go back to the 19th century as modern medicine is just to expensive for them.

    4. Finally, I guess it does not trouble Andrew or the Village pundits in general about what a huge transfer of income this is to these private companies, a half trillion dollars in 2010, and of course even under Ryan that will still be increasing. This is money collected by force of law from us taxpayers, and it will be going to insure that the CEOs of these six or seven companies will have fortunes that would make Croesus blush.

    P.S. Sullivan is a talented, but often lazy writer. He will change his mind on occasion, but basically he still the same Margaret Thatcher loving, union hating, Tory who came of age in 1970s England, a special case where the Welfare State did get to be excessive while old industries that sustained the north of England declined.

  127. 127
    rickstersherpa says:

    Dean Baker on Paul Ryan’s real service. And I think he means David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan in particular.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/.....le-service

    I want to join those in commending Representative Paul Ryan, but for a slightly different reason. Representative Ryan has provided a valuable service to the country by tossing out a piece of warmed-over dreck that calls for a massive upward redistribution from the nation’s workers to the rich. This is clear to anyone who reads it.

    For example, the 73-page outline makes no reference to the recession caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. Is it possible that Representative Ryan has not noticed all the people in his district in Wisconsin and elsewhere who have lost their jobs or did he just choose not to mention the recession for political reasons? Certainly anyone who was really concerned about deficits would note that the large deficits of 2008 forward were caused by this collapse.

    Ryan also proposes major cuts to Medicaid that will likely make it far more difficult for Medicaid recipients to get care. Then he promises that his plan will remove the stigma Medicaid beneficiaries face (page 41). This may be true in the sense that under the Ryan plan fewer Medicaid beneficiaries are likely to get care, so they won’t have to worry about any stigma associated with their treatment.

    Ryan also touts the great success of the welfare reform passed in 1996 (page 41). He apparently has not noticed the large rise in child poverty rates in this recession as well as the limited response of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families spending to the large rise in unemployment due to the recession.

    Ryan cuts the baseline $7.8 trillion in defense spending projected for the next decade by just 1.0 percent. Apparently the Congressman believes in a strong safety net for defense contractors.

    Ryan replaces Medicare with a voucher program for those under age 55. (My brother wants to know what happens to people who turn age 55 this year.) He apparently didn’t notice that the private health care system has not been successful in controlling costs for the non-Medicare population.

    And best of all, Representative Ryan proposes some help for the really needy. He wants to lower the top tax rate from the 39.6 percent in current law (after 2012) to 25 percent. This will means millions of dollars a year in additional spending money for Wall Street bankers, CEOs of major corporations and other major campaign contributors.

    The reason why this is so useful is that there is nothing in the Ryan plan that has not been circulated in policy circles for decades. Almost everything in the plan has been tried and failed. The plan ignores obvious economic realities, such as the bubble-induced recession that has left 25 million people unemployed or underemployed. It doesn’t lay a glove on the rich and powerful, while threatening to undermine the limited economic security enjoyed by tens of millions of middle class families.

    Yet many pundits will applaud the plan as brave, innovative and creative. In making these pronouncements these pundits will immediately reveal themselves as worthless hacks who either lack the ability or desire to do their own thinking. Their endorsement of the Ryan plan will be like a scarlet letter permanently marking them as someone who has no place in a serious policy discussion. For this reason we owe Mr. Ryan a real debt of gratitude.

  128. 128
    rickstersherpa says:

    Dean Baker on Paul Ryan’s real service. And I think he means David Brooks and Andrew Sullivan in particular.

    http://www.cepr.net/index.php/.....le-service

    I want to join those in commending Representative Paul Ryan, but for a slightly different reason. Representative Ryan has provided a valuable service to the country by tossing out a piece of warmed-over dreck that calls for a massive upward redistribution from the nation’s workers to the rich. This is clear to anyone who reads it.

    For example, the 73-page outline makes no reference to the recession caused by the collapse of the housing bubble. Is it possible that Representative Ryan has not noticed all the people in his district in Wisconsin and elsewhere who have lost their jobs or did he just choose not to mention the recession for political reasons? Certainly anyone who was really concerned about deficits would note that the large deficits of 2008 forward were caused by this collapse.

    Ryan also proposes major cuts to Medicaid that will likely make it far more difficult for Medicaid recipients to get care. Then he promises that his plan will remove the stigma Medicaid beneficiaries face (page 41). This may be true in the sense that under the Ryan plan fewer Medicaid beneficiaries are likely to get care, so they won’t have to worry about any stigma associated with their treatment.

    Ryan also touts the great success of the welfare reform passed in 1996 (page 41). He apparently has not noticed the large rise in child poverty rates in this recession as well as the limited response of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families spending to the large rise in unemployment due to the recession.

    Ryan cuts the baseline $7.8 trillion in defense spending projected for the next decade by just 1.0 percent. Apparently the Congressman believes in a strong safety net for defense contractors.

    Ryan replaces Medicare with a voucher program for those under age 55. (My brother wants to know what happens to people who turn age 55 this year.) He apparently didn’t notice that the private health care system has not been successful in controlling costs for the non-Medicare population.

    And best of all, Representative Ryan proposes some help for the really needy. He wants to lower the top tax rate from the 39.6 percent in current law (after 2012) to 25 percent. This will means millions of dollars a year in additional spending money for Wall Street bankers, CEOs of major corporations and other major campaign contributors.

    The reason why this is so useful is that there is nothing in the Ryan plan that has not been circulated in policy circles for decades. Almost everything in the plan has been tried and failed. The plan ignores obvious economic realities, such as the bubble-induced recession that has left 25 million people unemployed or underemployed. It doesn’t lay a glove on the rich and powerful, while threatening to undermine the limited economic security enjoyed by tens of millions of middle class families.

    Yet many pundits will applaud the plan as brave, innovative and creative. In making these pronouncements these pundits will immediately reveal themselves as worthless hacks who either lack the ability or desire to do their own thinking. Their endorsement of the Ryan plan will be like a scarlet letter permanently marking them as someone who has no place in a serious policy discussion. For this reason we owe Mr. Ryan a real debt of gratitude.

  129. 129

    Your family must be eating dog food if this is a demonstration of your economic analysis. When you’re in debt, you cut expenses, and your defense of unending and continually increasing spending is disgusting, and your desire to take the wealth from the rich just because they have money is also pretty gross. The federal government needs to cut spending until it was back to its massively bloated limits that we saw under the awful George W Bush, who mismanaged the budget a lot better than it is being mismanaged under your Savior, Obama.

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