Painted Into a Corner

Good analysis by Ezra:

don’t think Paul Ryan intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. Similarly, I don’t think Mitt Romney intended to write a budget that concentrated its cuts on the poorest Americans. But there’s a reason their budgets turned out so similar: The Republican Party has settled on four overlapping fiscal commitments that leave them with few other choices.

The Republican plans we’ve seen share a few basic premises. First, taxes are too high, and must be cut. Second, defense spending is too low, and should be raised. Third, major changes to entitlement programs should be passed now, but they shouldn’t affect the current generation of retirees. That would all be fine, except for the fourth premise, which is that short-term deficits are a serious threat to the country and they need to be swiftly cut.

The first three budget premises means that taxes and defense will contribute more to the deficit, and Medicare and Social Security aren’t available for quick savings. That leaves programs for the poor as the only major programs available to bear cuts. But now cuts to those programs have to pay for the deficit reduction, the increased defense spending, and the tax cuts. That means the cuts to those programs have to be really, really, really deep. The authors have no other choice.

My only quibble is that I think they had every intention of targeting the poor. The poor aren’t their targeted constituents.

But this is how it is with so much of the Republican party today. They have all these “deeply held” convictions, but are unable to explain why they believe what they believe. But they believe it, and anyone who strays from the doctrine is punished or shunned. Making things even more delicious is that many of their “deeply held convictions” are completely at odds with each other. You simply can not keep cutting taxes for ever while reducing the deficit. You can not keep spending trillions on defense while reducing the deficit. But each one of these issues- defense spending, tax cuts, deficit reduction are “deeply held” convictions for the nutters. Add to it that their current deepest conviction is that Obama is an illegitimate President who must be defeated at all cost, so even when he agrees to “grand bargains” that Democrats will hate, Republicans scurry away from their other convictions because they simply can not give Obama a “win” on anything.

Which is why anyone with an IQ over room temperature pays no attention to what the Republicans say, and which is why we mock people who run around pretending the Ryan plan is “serious.” It isn’t.






157 replies
  1. 1
    Surreal American says:

    Which is why anyone with an IQ over room temperature pays no attention to what the Republicans say,

    I see a flaw here.

  2. 2
    Veritas says:

    “Cuts to the poor”. Whatever.

    Don’t complain you can’t afford to live when you have three kids hanging off your hip all of which I am paying for along with your housing.

    The “poor” in this country have free housing, food stamps, cars, free medical care, and even pre-paid cell phones, all things the taxpayer has to pay for.

    Fuck them.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    @Veritas: Shouldn’t you be off masturbating to this morning’s Chicago Tribune or something?

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    Ahem. Don’t feed troll.

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    My only quibble is that I think they had every intention of targeting the poor. The poor aren’t their targeted constituents.

    Exactly. The now-time-honored GOP tradition of punishing non-GOP voters goes back to the Reagan administration. Ryan and Romney are just doing what Republicans do.

  6. 6
    Bruce S says:

    “Fuck the poor”

    An entire ideology made simple. Thanks for that.

  7. 7
    Veritas says:

    I’m for the taxpayer, not the “poor”.

  8. 8
    Provider_UNE says:

    @Veritas:

    Hey bub, if the poor have it so good in this country, why don’t you quit your day job and jump on that gravy train?

    .

  9. 9
    Veritas says:

    @Provider_UNE:

    Because I believe in working for a living and being self-sufficient, instead of being a parasite on the productive.

  10. 10
    Culture of Truth says:

    You simply can not keep cutting taxes for ever while reducing the deficit.

    Both sides do it

    You can not keep spending trillions on defense while reducing the deficit.

    Both sides are equally guilty!

    Add to it that their current deepest conviction is that Obama is an illegitimate President who must be defeated at all cost, so even when he agrees to “grand bargains” that Democrats will hate Republicans scurry away from their other convictions because they simply can not give Obama a “win” on anything.

    Both sides are responsible for this mess!

  11. 11
    Veritas says:

    BTW, real poverty doesn’t exist in this country with the possible exception of pockets of Appalachia. Want real poverty? Go to Africa or rural China.

  12. 12
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    @Veritas:

    Which is why you’re trolling a politics blog at 1:30 in the afternoon on a Wednesday. Does your boss know about this?

  13. 13
    Veritas says:

    80 percent of poor households have air conditioning. In 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.

    92 percent of poor households have a microwave.
    Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more cars or trucks.

    Nearly two-thirds have cable or satellite TV.

    Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.

    Half have a personal computer, and one in seven have two or more computers.

    More than half of poor families with children have a video game system, such as an Xbox or PlayStation.

    43 percent have Internet access.

    One-third have a wide-screen plasma or LCD TV.
    One-fourth have a digital video recorder system, such as a TiVo.

    96 percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry at any time during the year because they could not afford food.

    83 percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat.

    82 percent of poor adults reported never being hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.

    http://www.heritage.org/resear.....ricas-poor

  14. 14
    JimF says:

    Much as I hate to quote Barry Goldwater, “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.”

  15. 15
    Ash Can says:

    @dmsilev: The Chicago Tribune reads like Mao’s Little Red Book compared with this blather.

  16. 16
    Veritas says:

    Over the course of a year, 4 percent of poor persons become temporarily homeless.

    Only 9.5 percent of the poor live in mobile homes or trailers, 49.5 percent live in separate single-family houses or townhouses, and 40 percent live in apartments.

    42 percent of poor households actually own their own homes.
    Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
    The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France, or the United Kingdom.

    The vast majority of the homes or apartments of the poor are in good repair.

  17. 17
    MattF says:

    I suppose wingers also believe the country-club eugenics theories that killing off the poor will improve the gene pool…

  18. 18
    c u n d gulag says:

    @Veritas:
    Your Wingnut Grade:
    ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZzzzzzero!

    You’re boring, Dud (sic)!

    More better trolls, pleez?!?!

  19. 19
    meander says:

    Nice analysis by Ezra, but he missed an important “tell” from the Republicans: the Republican war on voting rights. Not coincidentally, the voting initiatives from the GOP all make it harder for the poor (and young) to vote.

  20. 20
    David Koch says:

    Ron Paul 2012

    On Paul has the courage to say “fuck the poor”.

  21. 21
    dmsilev says:

    @Ash Can: Of course it does. I was more referring to whatever variant of ‘Romney wins IL primary’ they have as a headline for this morning’s edition.

  22. 22
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Veritas: When we’re in hell together, I’ll let the Devil do anything he wants to me as long as I get to take a chainsaw to you.

  23. 23
    Jay B. says:

    83 percent of poor families reported having enough food to eat.

    It takes a truly bankrupt ideology to interpret this as a positive stat in the richest country in the world.

    Oh well, sociopathic motherfuckers helped build this country on the backs of slaves and they’ll help ruin it too on the bones of the poor.

  24. 24
    pragmatism says:

    first three are long term goals. last one is just opportunism.

  25. 25
    Emma says:

    Come on, guys. Stop dealing with Veritas. If he’s a troll he’s a piss-poor one. And if he’s for real, he’s barely a human being. Trying to shame him into evolution won’t work. He’s a Republican.

  26. 26
    Brian R. says:

    Is Veritas a DNC shill? I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone make a more effective case against the Republicans as thuis alleged friend of the GOP.

    Either way — keep up the great work, champ!

  27. 27
    scav says:

    chex_mix really has dropped the little black joyful VICTORY! schtick and is down to overtly scraping the dregs of the the “So long as someone is starving somewhere you’ve no cause to complain while we stomp on the poor in the name of the baby jebus” barrel.

  28. 28
    Ash Can says:

    @dmsilev: Ah, gotcha. I need a little booster shot of coffee; I’m running a little slow this afternoon.

  29. 29
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Veritas spelled backwards is Satire V. Satire V is a humor publication from the fine kids at Harvard. My hats off to such a long-running and successful spoof.

  30. 30
    Chyron HR says:

    I, for one, support the GOP’s new “Liquidate the Parasites” campaign platform. I’m sure it will pay electoral dividends come November.

  31. 31
    sal says:

    The Republican anthem was written over 30 years ago by Jello Biafra, when he pointed out how easy it would be to Kill, Kill, Kill The Poor, now that we have the neutron bomb.

  32. 32
    PTirebiter says:

    I agree with Ezra, the probably didn’t want to, but because it looks bad, not because it’s wrong. Believing there’s a direct link between your financial status and your character is an important part of their ideology(neurosis?) they’ve always known it doesn’t poll well.

  33. 33
    redshirt says:

    This dynamic is summed up in in bodily form perfectly with the Mittster. Somewhere in there there might be a competent, democratic politician.

    But because he’s chosen the R route, and the R’s have gone insane since he did so, he’s had to follow the insanity, such that now he has to deny everything he is and has done in the past in order to run with the Wingnut Daily Gospel, whatever it is that day.

    Poor Mitt!

  34. 34
    Provider_UNE says:

    @Veritas:

    Ha! you don’t even believe your own bullshit do you.

    Thanks for playing.
    .

  35. 35
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @Veritas: I love it when people talk numbers and don’t know what they mean. “The poor today live in fancier cardboard boxes than they did 100 years ago; how dare they show themselves in public.” Any condition where people are poor is a condition that we should not accept.

    “I’m for the taxpayer.” Really, so you’re for most Americans, except those that are too young to get a job, or too old to work?

  36. 36
    lacp says:

    @Veritas: “82 percent of poor adults reported never being hungry at any time in the prior year due to lack of money for food.” Binky, don’t quote the Heritage Foundation; they’re still trying to peddle that stale bullshit about how poor people have enough to eat, ’cause – look! – so many of them are obese.

    The USDA reported that for 2010 14.5% of households (ALL households, not poor households) in the country were ‘food insecure,’ i.e., they went hungry at some point due to lack of money to buy food.

  37. 37
    Ben Franklin says:

    Oops, a Veritas thread hj . see ya……

  38. 38
    Veritas says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    They don’t live in “cardboard boxes”. They have MORE LIVING SPACE than a non-poor person in Europe!

  39. 39
    Veritas says:

    And if you’re so poor, isn’t it kind of stupid to keep having children?

  40. 40
    feebog says:

    I really can’t understand why Democrats don’t challenge Republicans more forcefully on defense spending. For Dog’s sake, we spend more on -defense- warmaking than the next 9 or 10 countries combined. Those countires include Russia, China, France, Germany and the UK. How about we cut it down to say the next five countries? That would leave plenty for warmaking, and provide us a shitload of dollars for infrastructure, health and green energy.

  41. 41
    Provider_UNE says:

    @Spaghetti Lee:

    He is the Boss! he’s got underlings to earn him his “wealth” while he fights the culture wars on the internet.
    .

  42. 42
    Veritas says:

    @feebog:

    “Green energy”? You mean like Solyndra?

  43. 43
    Veritas says:

    @Provider_UNE:

    I’ve been absent here for weeks, morons.

  44. 44
    jl says:

    @redshirt: Who do you mean by “the Mittser”? Do you mean Etch Sketchny?

    Sketchny’s a fine man. A sound man, if ever there was one. Very sound. Has unshakeable principles. His principal principle is ‘whatever angle works right now’. There are others, numerous other principles, too many to name, but they are all governed by the first and foremost.

  45. 45
    Baud says:

    @feebog # 39:

    I really can’t understand why Democrats don’t challenge Republicans more forcefully on defense spending.

    It’s really hard to do. Putting aside the defense industry’s influence, any first step that is measured enough not to scare moderates who are influenced by GOP fear-mongering will be derided by left-wingers as not strong enough. (See health care reform as an example.)

  46. 46
    schrodinger's cat says:

    So far we have had these “ideas” from GOP frontrunners

    1. Bring back child labor (Newt)
    2. Go back to the gold standard (Paul)
    3. Against contraception and for criminalizing abortion
    (Santorum is the worst, but all the others are following close behind)

    Since they are so worried about deficits, the next idea is going to be debtors prisons. The Republican party is really Victorian. They also want an Empire (Iraq and Afghanistan) and a penal colonies (Gitmo)

  47. 47
    Djur says:

    Also, 43% of the poor have Internet access? I don’t know about you, but that says a lot to me. I don’t know anyone who would even consider going without Internet access, personally.

    Also, I like how plasma TVs (which tend to cost upwards of a grand) and LCD TVs (which can be had new for a hundo, much less used) are grouped into the same category.

    As far as games systems go, you can get a previous-generation game system and games on eBay/craigslist or at garage sales for a song. These are also frequently donated or sold very cheaply by richer families to poorer ones; I’ve seen that dynamic in my own extended family.

    Of course a lot of the poor have cars or trucks — you need them to work and live in much of the country. The cost of running and maintaining a car contributes a lot to keeping the poor poor — if your car breaks down, you can’t be frugal or save up to fix it. So it goes on the credit card.

    “Two-thirds have at least one DVD player, and 70 percent have a VCR.”

    A VCR? You could hardly pay most people to take a VCR today. It says a lot about the Heritage Foundation that they have the balls to put that in their report. And DVD players can be had new for $10-15 — and, again, much cheaper or free for used.

    Finally, I’ve seen the computers that poorer families have. They’re frequently elderly hand-me-downs with ancient software and malfunctioning hardware. And an acceptable new or used computer can be had for $100-500.

    I’ve been reading these kinds of stats for a long time. They frequently also sneer about how the poor have refrigerators, washing machines, and color TVs — always “color TVs” — which is a mark of their heritage in anti-welfare (and generally anti-black) screeds of the ’60s. I last saw “color TVs” in one of these in 2011. Twenty-fuckin’-eleven.

  48. 48
    Riilism says:

    And what a pleasant few weeks it was….

  49. 49
    chopper says:

    wow, Romney troll is out in full force trying to change the subject. he must think this new budget is pure electoral gold.

  50. 50
    Zach says:

    From now till November, Democratic messaging should be basically nothing other than: “Romney/Republicans in Congress want to take healthcare away from the poor and middle class to give tax cuts to the rich.”

    That’s it; it’s simple and it’s true — I’d like to see Politifact come up with a justification as to why it’s anything other than the truth. Ryan and Romney are free to explain exactly what tax expenditures they’d get rid of and what spending they’d cut if they feel like it… otherwise, it’s only fair to assume that their promises of budget neutrality are met solely by cutting Medicaid and other programs for the poor.

  51. 51
    Bob2 says:

    Veritas is probably a James O’Keefe lackey from Project Veritas.

    And the Heritage numbers were made fun of long ago anyway for being a poor representation of poverty. As if microwaves and refrigerators cost a lot of money now.

    Worse, they massaged the numbers by using figure pre-crisis in 2005 and ignore that more people live under the poverty line now than in the 70’s.

    Think tanks do not mean what they think they mean.

  52. 52
    jl says:

    For Hahvahd satire mag, Satire V’s work here is very uneven.

    Probably some affirmative money contribution action legacy student fills in for some comments. Probably some snobby dude who prefixes his name with some random initial. To be all classy and all.

  53. 53
    Provider_UNE says:

    I really can’t understand why Democrats don’t challenge Republicans more forcefully on defense spending.

    Because the architects of the Militarry Industrial Complex were very cagey in fitting a base, support structure, or manufacturing concern in every district in the country. And some of those Jobs represent the highest paying ones in said districts.

    Eisenhower warned us about this a bit over 50 years ago, and everything he warned us against has come to fruition. The seeds were sown when the 1947 National Security Act was signed into law.
    .

  54. 54
    Satanicpanic says:

    Again? Why?

  55. 55
    Bludger says:

    Thank god for the teatards who truly killed the grand bargain last year.

    I often wonder if the randian fetish of punishing the poor is just red meat for republican pols and the rubes they are trying to trick. They can’t truly believe this stuff? Can they?

  56. 56
  57. 57
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Paul and Romney would have shot Ol’ Yeller in the head to save a few cents on the dog food.

    Troll seems pissed. I would be too, if my chosen candidate were tying himself to Paul’s “fuck the poor old white people on Medicare” platform that is going to yield VICTORY, by which I mean Obama’s reelection.

  58. 58
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @feebog:

    I really can’t understand why Democrats don’t challenge Republicans more forcefully on defense spending.

    I think that the defense industry propping up the economies of so many states has something to do with it. If McCaskill for example, came out for reduced defense spending in Missouri, she’d lose by 20 points. Boeing is the third largest private employer in the state.

  59. 59
    jl says:

    Do the deluded libs here realize that 100 percent of the US poor have on average 20 acres of land, while 100 percent of even the richest Swiss only have on average only 3.4 acres?

    No, you didn’t.

    Etch Sketchny’s made a lot of money, and he is keeping every dime he can. That is inspirational devotion to what made this country great.

  60. 60
    Provider_UNE says:

    That’s it; it’s simple and it’s true—I’d like to see Politifact come up with a justification as to why it’s anything other than the truth.

    They won’t need to, they will simply claim that it is untrue, and put it on top of the pile as a candidate for lie of the year.

    Simple really, its how they roll.
    .

  61. 61
    John O says:

    @Provider_UNE:

    Eisenhower was a hippy liberal. Just ask the troll.

  62. 62

    Among other advantages of the tribal majority nature, the GOP holds the edge on simplistic messaging at the starting gate.

    Conservative = save

    liberal = waste

    The republicans have built their ideology around those premises. That makes it easy to paint themselves as virtuous, and liberals as slothy and gluttonous. Not that difficult for the richest country on earth with a healthy middle class, but when save turns to theft, and theft turns to wanton greed, they are faced with a dilemma, the conservatives.

    Unable to control their base urges to exploit for more and more wealth, they begin to devise mechanisms to justify the theft, usually under the banner of reform and rescue of the realm from the gluttonous liberals who want to give free stuff to the poor. It is a lie, and a lie that will work, until the taking bar moves up the middle class ladder.

    So they devise even more schemes to siphon the massive shared wealth that is the national treasury, redistributing middle class tax dollars to the mighty engines of commerce, that they and their plutocrat masters ultimately control. Accomplished by slick advertising of “investment” of hard earned tax dollars of the rubes, expecting to get those back with a comfortable retirement, and other social contract bennies.

    And to accomplish it all, they need to invent crisis like the Bushies unnecessary wars, and other unpaid for heists of the national treasury, and augmented by massive unpaid tax cuts for the wealthy. To run up a debt so large, no bleedy heart liberal dare spend a nickel on the slacker poor, nor pass a sweeping HCR. Obama wasn’t playing, and went ahead and did those things, with a middle finger to the wingnuts. And now is playing cat and mouse to maneuver wingers into the corner they thought they were painting for democrats.

    A high stake game of poker, with chips that are the Holy Grails for both parties. Cuts in defense versus cuts in the social safety net, putting up an offer that if wingers take it, they will cut their own throats with their voters and become that which they have made evil in the American mind, TAX RAISERS.

    I think Obama has the upper hand, right now, but the game is not up until November.

    Tally Fucking Ho$$

  63. 63
    xian says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: this. it’s the only sort of keynesian deficit spending allowed.

  64. 64
    Mino says:

    @feebog: Defense spending is the only genuine stimulative spending they can get Republicans to agree to fund. They are still propping up the economy. Remember, folks, it’s all too common to have a recession at the end of a war.

  65. 65

    please release my above comment from mod hell. thanx

  66. 66
    cmorenc says:

    @Veritas:

    Don’t complain you can’t afford to live when you have three kids hanging off your hip all of which I am paying for along with your housing.

    Interesting that so many of you GOOPers are effectively against contraception too because most of its conveniently usable, and most especially its most reliably effective forms, theoretically somehow might involve some nonzero chance of preventing a fertilized ovum from successfully implanting. Yet, you’re snidely scornful about women with “three kids hanging off (their) hip”.

    Fuck you and the horse you rode into town on, jackass.

  67. 67
    Raven says:

    @Djur: Shit head Neal Boortz rails about FLAT SCREENS and CELL phones daily.

  68. 68
    PeakVT says:

    Speaking of horrible budgets, I’m sure nobody is surprised that Florida’s latest is brutal for just about everyone but Rick Scott and Rush Limbaugh.

  69. 69
    Provider_UNE says:

    @John O:

    “Dissonance please, the Cognative, it Burrrnnnsss!”
    .

  70. 70

    […] To Bleed Whilst Vultures Glide Posted on March 21, 2012 by reflectionephemeral Via John Cole, Ezra Klein on why all Republican plans target the poor: The Republican plans we’ve seen share a […]

  71. 71
    Raven says:

    @cmorenc: You just HAVE to talk to it don’t you?

  72. 72
    jl says:

    @John O:

    The GOP has to live down the shame of the notorious communists in their past: Lincoln, Robert LaFollette, Hiram Johnson, Teddy Roosevelt, Hoover, Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller, George Romney.

    So, give them some slack, they have a certain unsavory history, they have to prove themselves real All Americans.

  73. 73
    Mino says:

    @jl: Meaningless number when you’re using average. That inscribes one person having one million acres(less 20) and 999,999 having none.

    Sorry, it appears snark meter was turned off.

  74. 74
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Djur: I don’t think they even make black-n-white TeeVees anymore. Yeah, back in the late 1950s it was SOMETHING for people to have a color TV. Not so much anymore. It’s been the standard for decades. Just shows how out of touch the Heritage Foundation it.

    ETA: Back in 2005 my old color Kenmore TV died after 25+ years of service. I couldn’t afford to buy a new one and the field was still in movement as to what the next standard would be. I went to Freecycle and founder an older Sony Trinitron for free. I just had to hire someone to help me pick it up — damn thing weighs 120 lbs.

  75. 75

    Among other advantages of the tribal majority nature, the GOP holds the edge on simplistic messaging at the starting gate.

    Conservative = save

    liberal = waste

    The republicans have built their ideology around those premises. That makes it easy to paint themselves as virtuous, and liberals as slothy and gluttonous. Not that difficult for the richest country on earth with a healthy middle class, but when save turns to theft, and theft turns to wanton greed, they are faced with a dilemma, the conservatives.

    Unable to control their base urges to exploit for more and more wealth, they begin to devise mechanisms to justify the theft, usually under the banner of reform and rescue of the realm from the gluttonous liberals who want to give free stuff to the poor. It is a lie, and a lie that will work, until the taking bar moves up the middle class ladder.

    So they devise even more schemes to siphon the massive shared wealth that is the national treasury, redistributing middle class tax dollars to the mighty engines of commerce, that they and their plutocrat masters ultimately control. Accomplished by slick advertising of “investment” of hard earned tax dollars of the rubes, expecting to get those back with a comfortable retirement, and other social contract bennies.

    And to accomplish it all, they need to invent crisis like the Bushies unnecessary wars, and other unpaid for heists of the national treasury, and augmented by massive unpaid tax cuts for the wealthy. To run up a debt so large, no bleedy heart liberal dare spend a nickel on the slacker poor, nor pass a sweeping HCR. Obama wasn’t playing, and went ahead and did those things, with a middle finger to the wingnuts. And now is playing cat and mouse to maneuver wingers into the corner they thought they were painting for democrats.

    A high stake game of po ker, with chips that are the Holy Grails for both parties. Cuts in defense versus cuts in the social safety net, putting up an offer that if wingers take it, they will cut their own throats with their voters and become that which they have made evil in the American mind, TAX RAISERS.

    I think Obama has the upper hand, right now, but the game is not up until November.

    Tally Fucking Ho$$

  76. 76

    @Veritas: First of all, Veritas, you are of the party trying to take contraception away from everybody, So much for that. Besides, many people have good years and good times, and others feel why wait if nothing is ever really going to change otherwise?

  77. 77
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    I often wonder if the randian fetish of punishing the poor is just red meat for republican pols. they can’t truly believe this stuff? Can they?

    @Bludger: They believe it. Their “base” believes it. And frankly most folks I know believe it, having never been poor.

    I was poor, twice. I have not forgotten the sneering hatred that most of the “nice people” love to unleash on those they see as being lower on the ladder than they are.

  78. 78
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Her “shtick” is to make government more accountable, eliminate waste, etc. She’s copying Truman in some effort to appear “responsible” to all the voters here. That’s her only way to kinda, and I mean weakly kinda, get some kind of cuts in defense spending.

    The thing is, all those non-union workers in Boeing are mostly Republicans, they’re not gonna vote for her no matter what.

    I don’t call her Blanche McCaskill for nothing because that’s where she’s heading…until I look at her potential crop of opponents. It’s staggering to me who lives in the second reddest county in Misery that the otherwise dominant Repub machine here came up with some real C-listers as possible opponents. She might squeak by only because of that. I still think she’s toast because she’s spent the last 5+ years pissing off her base. I know plenty of rurl Dems who voted for her and have thrown up their hands in frustration and they’re not exactly shriekingly librul like me.

    I’ll vote for her sorry ass only because I realize a House and Senate in Repup hands means Obama will get nothing done in his second term. Sigh, yet another Crawl-Over-Glass moment.

  79. 79
    Provider_UNE says:

    Just shows how out of touch the Heritage Foundation is.

    No it just shows how out of touch the people who swill the shit they are peddling are.

    Just sayin’.
    .

  80. 80
    jl says:

    @Mino:

    Shhhhhshhhhh. I’m feeding the troll. Be quiet or you’ll scare it away.

    If we are very still and quiet and it thinks there are others of its own kind around, we may observe it preening itself. A rarely observed behavior in the blog wilds.

  81. 81
    cmorenc says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Veritas spelled backwards is Satire V. Satire V is a humor publication from the fine kids at Harvard. My hats off to such a long-running and successful spoof.

    That would be a plausible theory if anything “Satire” aka “Veritas” ever said was the tiniest bit funny or clever, even in an abrasively sarcastic sense. His comments are instead pure bitterly spiteful assholery.

  82. 82
    Raven says:

    I have an idea, why don’t we all respond this this weasel shit and prove how fucking smart we are.

  83. 83
    Mino says:

    @comrade scott’s agenda of rage: I thought she was a pretty good tv interview for Dems in 2008, as a culture warrior. Policies, not so much, esp. economic policy.

  84. 84
    feebog says:

    @ -Veritas- Moron:

    “Green energy”? You mean like Solyndra

    No, I was thinking along the lines of the email I got today from Los Angeles DWP:

    “The LA Department of Water and Power’s Adelanto Solar Project marked a major construction milestone today as the final support pole was installed at the 10 megawatt utility-scale solar array currently being built in the Mojave Desert. The project construction is ahead of schedule and is expected to begin delivering clean, green renewable energy to Los Angeles this summer.

    Located 65 miles north of Los Angeles near the community of Adelanto, Calif., the Adelanto Solar Power Project is expected to produce an average of 20,000 megawatt hours annually for the next 25 years. That amount of energy produced is estimated to meet the needs of approximately 3,300 homes each year.”

    For those of you wondering just where Adelanto is, think Victorville north of San Bernardino. The only other thing out there is a federal prison complex. The great thing about this project is that it is expandable, and that the power will hook directly into existing DWP lines.

  85. 85
    Provider_UNE says:

    I have an idea, why don’t we all respond this this weasel shit aI have an idea, why don’t we all respond this this weasel shit and prove how fucking smart we are.nd prove how fucking smart we are.

    Ya know, there is troll baiting and then there is using the troll as a scratching post to sharpen ones claws…Plus one is always free to set their phasers on ignore.
    .

  86. 86

    Not that facts matter in our debate, to Republicans or to the media, but it’s worth noting that all those premises are false, as I point out in a series of charts. We’re a low-tax country, we spend perhaps as much as the rest of the world combined on defense, the long-term debt problem is health care costs rather than “entitlements”, and there’s no evidence that our current short-term deficits are that bad a thing.

  87. 87
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @cmorenc:

    That would be a plausible theory if anything “Satire” aka “Veritas” ever said was the tiniest bit funny or clever, even in an abrasively sarcastic sense. His comments are instead pure bitterly spiteful assholery.

    I think our spoof is going for anger-inducing performance art a la Andy Kaufman.

  88. 88
    Mino says:

    BTW, did you see that the US has slapped a tariff on Chinese solar panels.

    http://www.edn.com/article/521.....panels.php

    More like a “we see what you are doing”.

  89. 89

    @PurpleGirl: It is, PurpleGirl. I’m of the class/race/and even job status that Veritas despises, so I can tell you all first hand.

    I haven’t even seen a black and white tv in the last 10 years in any place other than maybe a pawn shop, and I doubt they’re even manufactured anymore. I know you can’t even give them away.

    I have a free cellphone. I found it handy as a backup, meaning I could take calls in an emergency away from home.

    Online access is a necessity now. Just about everything financial has migrated to the web-everything from paying utilities to applying for assistance. When I got on food stamps, the entire process was online. I remember when I had to take time off to go.

    That’s one thing that’s forgotten. These days benefits extend to the working poor, which I am because wages just haven’t kept up with inflation or because so many people work temporary or contract jobs. I’ve been fortunate, but there are still lull times for me. So many people have worked for those benefits already over and over again and a working for them today.

    Besides, with Republican support of offshoring millions of jobs and sending others away from urban environments, to decry people having benefits that keep them healthy and off the streets is callous at best and foolish at worst.

  90. 90

    I was going to come in here and agree that Ezra is off base for saying that they screw the poor unintentionally, but I see that Veritas has done that ably by himself.

    But they do really and truly believe that ending food stamps, welfare, medicaid, minimum wage, is helping the poor. Because, you know, the “self respect” gained by not being at the government teat* is worth starving for.

    *Note: Not applicable to people on Medicare, Social Security, or in the Military.

  91. 91
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    Reality Chuck is pie-filtered, but based on the responses, he seems to embrace an America where the luxuries are cheap and the essentials are expensive.

    At least we know that his $0.63/hr from the EtchySketch campign is budgeted after it’s done paying those millions in primary ads.

  92. 92
    liberal says:

    @Veritas:

    Because I believe in working for a living and being self-sufficient, instead of being a parasite on the productive.

    No, you don’t, actually.

  93. 93
    Bludger says:

    @Democratic Nihilist
    I get the average redneck thinking this way, but Paul Ryan? His plan, in its current form, is so cynical, it’s comical. Is it just a starting point of negotiation?

    It’s hard to wrap my mind around, someone I would consider intelligent, proposing something so ridiculous. He can’t possibly believe what he is saying.

  94. 94
    liberal says:

    @Veritas:

    The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France, or the United Kingdom.

    Though it’s very peculiar, isn’t it, that landlords charge not merely based on area, but also on a mysterious property of real estate called “location”?

    Stupid rightwing troll is stupid…

  95. 95
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @J.W. Hamner: They want to go back to the 50’s, 1850s that is.

  96. 96
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @feebog:

    The question is how do you transition from a war economy to a green economy without laying off millions of people? Literally millions of people are going to need to be retrained. That’s gonna cost trillions. We had to fight tooth and nail just to pass taxpayer-funded health insurance.

    If American history is any indicator, the only way the green economy will take off is if the military goes green first. Which still leaves us with out of control defense spending.

  97. 97
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Veritas:

    Because I believe in working for a living and being self-sufficient, instead of being a parasite on the productive.

    And that just pisses you off to no end that the American poor and suffering like they deserve.

    If only they were staving to death in the streets, eh Veritas?

    PS Humor is hard, leave it to the professional comedian.

  98. 98
    Provider_UNE says:

    The opposite in Latin for veritas is falsitas or mendacium.

    I like the latter.
    .

  99. 99
    Provider_UNE says:

    They want to go back to the 50’s, 1850s that is.

    I think the ’50’s, the 1150’s is closer to the truth, that way they can be there in time to smother the Magna Carta in its sleep and put all this “Rights” business to rest for all eternity.
    .

  100. 100
    liberal says:

    @Provider_UNE:
    Yeah, 1850 is way past the Enlightenment. Gotta be earlier than 1650.

  101. 101
    Barry says:

    John Cole: “My only quibble is that I think they had every intention of targeting the poor. The poor aren’t their targeted constituents.”

    My quibble is that Ezra’s lying here. It’s very clear what Ryan’s plan does; so clear that both Ryan and Ezra know what the plan will do. Ryan does mean to do what he’s blatantly trying to do.

  102. 102
    liberal says:

    @Bludger:

    I get the average redneck thinking this way, but Paul Ryan?

    Whatever would give you the idea that Ryan’s native intelligence or education would distinguish him from the average redneck?

    It’s hard to wrap my mind around, someone I would consider intelligent, proposing something so ridiculous. He can’t possibly believe what he is saying.

    Doesn’t matter if the Villagers have deemed you a Serious Person.

  103. 103
    Mino says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: They are running as fast as they can. So a lot of that out of control defense spending is R&D, since there is no other way to fund it. As I’ve said before, Obama is finding ways to do what needs to be done. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the few remaining sane Republicans are giving him cover.

    Don’t see the issue on Issa’s table, do you? And Issa isn’t even sane.

  104. 104
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Barry: Ezra is just taking precautions to ensure his future employment. He is a baby Villager after all.

  105. 105
    liberal says:

    @CarolDuhart2:

    Besides, with Republican support of offshoring millions of jobs and sending others away from urban environments, …

    While I agree there’s much more than a dime’s worth of difference between the parties, the Democrats (in the main) have unfortunately been guilty of supporting measures that increase offshoring.

  106. 106
    Mino says:

    The biggest, most immediate necessity is grid. And that is not being done. At least, I don’t think it is.

  107. 107
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @liberal: Paul Ryan is a stupid person’s idea of an intelligent person (just like Krugthulu said about Newt). So serious, so dreamy, such beautiful baby blues, the sound you hear is that of Villagers swooning and hitting their fainting couches.

  108. 108
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @Mino: Internet access should be a utility just like electricity and water.

  109. 109
    Mino says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: No arguments from me. In fact, it fulfills the Constitutional imperative of a post office in the 21th century.

  110. 110
    Ksmiami says:

    Verities you are a truly sick fuck: it’s well documented that most of the programs designed to help the poor in America are aimed at children. If you are as demented as you appear by your comments then a triple dog dare you to come to inner city detroit and take a meal away from a poor kid to his or face. You see my husband and I may be in the upper 1 percent but we acknowledge our luck and advantages and want to live in a country that both rewards success and helps people attain a better life no matter what they are born into. So again I triple dog dare you you sick cowardly keyboard commando. I always knew republicans were frigging sociopaths

  111. 111
    wrb says:

    @Mino:

    Which could made a Defense Department priority.

    I’d like to see an effort to fund conversion to green energy through the Defense Department and HSA justified on the basis of national security.

  112. 112
    SensesFail says:

    And don’t forget the “deeply held” conviction that government is evil. And the other one that government can’t create jobs.

    I’m so fucking tired of both of those dishonest claims. Why can’t we all be grown ups and at least agree that our country is a big, complex thing, and only the government is able to address some of the problems that arise from this reality?

    I think the other claim, that government doesn’t create jobs, pisses me off even more than the other one, since this one is just so fucking obviously false that anytime one of these conservative jackasses spouts it off, someone needs to just punch him/her in the throat. The government certainly can create a shit-ton of great jobs, but since the government isn’t participating in the free-market circle jerk, those jobs just don’t count? Is that it?

    So
    fucking
    stupid.

  113. 113
    liberal says:

    @Ksmiami:
    But the worst part of his incoherent position is that it implicitly asserts that those who are rich got that way through their labor, rather than rent-seeking parasitism.

    It very well may be that many poor are a net negative to society in the very narrow sense that they “take” less than they produce. But it’s a drop in the bucket compared to that stolen by sociopathic wealthy parasites.

  114. 114
    Mino says:

    @wrb: If we get divided government and gridlock again, We might see that argument being made. FSM, we’re running out of time.

  115. 115
    liberal says:

    @SensesFail:

    Why can’t we all be grown ups and at least agree that our country is a big, complex thing, and only the government is able to address some of the problems that arise from this reality?

    That really misses the point, though. Most of the filthy rich got that way through government-granted privileges which take a form that’s hardly particular to large or modern countries.

    The best known one is land ownership; the government grants you the privilege of excluding others from something that no person created, and which was not the product of your or anyone else’s labor. No government, no property. (Yes, there’s “possession” in the absence of government, but it’s not the same as legal property.)

    Other examples would include so-called intellectual property rights.

  116. 116
    bemused says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    High speed internet access is a universal legal right in Finland but that’s one of those dangerous pinko countries.

  117. 117
    ericblair says:

    @wrb:

    I’d like to see an effort to fund conversion to green energy through the Defense Department and HSA justified on the basis of national security.

    Um, yup, here you go. Yes, it is pretty goddamn justifiable from a national security standpoint, as well as logistics and cost. Besides the fact that the DoD has been our de facto national industrial policy apparatus for decades and with the goopers and conservadems anywhere near power it won’t be changing.

  118. 118
    El Cid says:

    Republicans just don’t like it when their anti-poor / anti-majority / pro-super-upper-class stuff is too brutally and obviously and quotably so.

    They want a few dodges in there to keep playing about the edges while their mean-ignorant followers know what’s up yet they can talk innocent-like to the dumbass ‘liberal both sides doit’ medja.

  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    Sorta O/T, ahem, Politafact, this is how it’s done.

    1. Darrell Issa (R–Felonistan) lies about president on national teebee.
    2. Fact checker checks out claim, asks Issa’s office for backup to claim, can’t verify claim.
    3. Fact checker concludes the following.

    Given that Issa cannot provide any evidence to the contrary, we can only assume he’s making a reckless charges on national television without much basis in fact.

    Was that so hard?

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

  120. 120
    lacp says:

    @Provider_UNE: Mendacium? Isn’t that the element in the Wingnut Periodic Table that’s right after Santorum?

  121. 121
    trollhattan says:

    @Veritas:

    Sociopath says, “What?”

  122. 122
    marv says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    You seriously nailed that one, imho

  123. 123
    pragmatism says:

    @trollhattan: as a non-felon living in felonistan, i want you to know that i am doing what i can to get issa voted out. tough row to hoe, though.

  124. 124
    feebog says:

    @ Shawn in ShowMe:

    The question is how do you transition from a war economy to a green economy without laying off millions of people? Literally millions of people are going to need to be retrained. That’s gonna cost trillions. We had to fight tooth and nail just to pass taxpayer-funded health insurance.

    The key word is transition. Lets start by taking 25 billion a year out of the military budget and applying it driectly to green energy, particularly solar. Hell, for 25 billion we could install, free, solar panels on over a million homes. Just want to offer some great incentives instead, make that a couple million. Do that over 10 years and you have 20 million homes on solar power and off the grid in this country. Keep upping the ante every few years and it could be 30 or 40 million. It can be done, we just need the national will to do it.

  125. 125
    trollhattan says:

    @pragmatism:

    Go with god, bog, dog or fsm, you’re doing blessed work.

    Is his seat threatened at all from redistricting?

  126. 126
    SensesFail says:

    @liberal:

    I agree with you there. What I was alluding to is the Republican/conservative belief that there is a “free market” solution to pretty much all problems, big and small.

  127. 127
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    I disagree with Ezra that hurting the poor is an accidental byproduct of their ideas. Today’s GOP is the latest custodian of the idea with a long history (the name Jeremy Bentham comes to mind) that wealth comes from moral virtue, and moral virtue comes from suffering, hence the best way to “help” the poor is to make them suffer. And the more they suffer, the sooner they won’t be poor any more. So the beatings will continue until income improves.

  128. 128
    pragmatism says:

    @trollhattan: the first draft of the citizens’ redistricting would. not sure how it is going to end up. right now my district crosses county lines of riverside/san diego. the redistricting is supposed to prevent that. it would create an interesting situation between Brian Bilbray and Issa.

    ETA it is likely that Bilbray would run against Susan Davis down in SD proper.

  129. 129
    Gus says:

    Who is this Veritas douche? His troll-fu is fucking weak. My guess is he’s a 17 year old punk who listens to Rush.

  130. 130
    liberal says:

    @SensesFail:
    Fair enough.

    Tying our remarks together, of course, is the problem that free market worshippers don’t understand that no government, no market, no freedom. “That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…”

  131. 131
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @feebog:

    The key word is transition. Lets start by taking 25 billion a year out of the military budget and applying it driectly to green energy, particularly solar

    And which Dem senators do you want to fall on their swords to make that happen? Should we draw lots? Maybe we could have Commissioner Goodell decide :-)

  132. 132
    liberal says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    Today’s GOP is the latest custodian of the idea with a long history (the name Jeremy Bentham comes to mind) that wealth comes from moral virtue, and moral virtue comes from suffering…

    Is it really true that Bentham held that view?

  133. 133
    Clime Acts says:

    @Veritas:

    I just fundamentally disagree with you, Veritas, that these are bad things. I don’t WANT angry, destitute, starving people with no resources or hope roaming the streets and out for revenge.

    You should be glad the poor in America are not generally living in squalid tenements without the basic requirements and accessories of modern life, or they’d be coming after people like…you.

    BTW, is it your view that people such as Paris Hilton and others who were born into wealth, EARNED their financial situation? Did Mitt Romney or any of the Kennedys or the Trump kids EARN their dollars? In what way are trophy wives of the one percent “productive?” Why should people in these categories of unearned wealth and vast, unearned privilege, NOT be taxed to the max?

  134. 134
    liberal says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    Key is to just leave it in DoD.

    After all, the wingers (and unfortunately some others) are too ignorant to understand that a majority of the Dept of Energy’s budget is actually militaristic (having to do with nuclear weapons). Why would they be intelligent to see the process in reverse?

    :-)

  135. 135
    Clime Acts says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    When we’re in hell together, I’ll let the Devil do anything he wants to me as long as I get to take a chainsaw to you.

    Wow. Anger issues, much?

  136. 136
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Is his seat threatened at all from redistricting?

    @trollhattan: Not a bit, godammit.

  137. 137
    Clime Acts says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    Veritas spelled backwards is Satire V. Satire V is a humor publication from the fine kids at Harvard. My hats off to such a long-running and successful spoof.

    Or…spelled forward, Veritas is the goddess of truth in Roman mythology. I could totally see a wingnut taking that nym in all earnestness. So either may be the case. And I’m ok with that.

    After all, ABL posts here too.

  138. 138
    pragmatism says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity: i’d say somewhat. the story goes like this: they let issa keep the new n. county district. bilbray goes and runs against davis. the new n. county district will lose the heavy goper support that issa has now in riverside county.

  139. 139
    Clime Acts says:

    @Veritas:

    And if you’re so poor, isn’t it kind of stupid to keep having children?

    Yes, it is kind of stupid. But there are LOTS of stupid things in America. Like George W Bush. Mitt Romney. Ann Coulter. ABL.

    Why do you pick only on the powerless stupid people?

  140. 140
    Mike in NC says:

    @Gus:

    Who is this Veritas douche? His troll-fu is fucking weak. My guess is he’s a 17 year old punk who listens to Rush.

    More like an “inside job”, if you will.

  141. 141
    xian says:

    @Clime Acts: shit, even you are only banned when you go off the deep end

  142. 142
    Clime Acts says:

    @Raven:

    You just HAVE to talk to it don’t you?

    Why is it your concern who other commenters engage?

  143. 143
    Clime Acts says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Reality Chuck is pie-filtered, but based on the responses, he seems to embrace an America where the luxuries are cheap and the essentials are expensive.

    So allegedly you are finding it necessary to respond second hand to a commenter you claim to have pie filtered. Weak.

  144. 144
    Clime Acts says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Reality Chuck is pie-filtered, but based on the responses, he seems to embrace an America where the luxuries are cheap and the essentials are expensive.

    So allegedly you are finding it necessary to respond second hand to a commenter you claim to have pie filtered. Weak.

  145. 145
    Clime Acts says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Ezra is just taking precautions to ensure his future employment. He is a baby Villager after all.

    Absolutely.

  146. 146
    Clime Acts says:

    @bemused:

    High speed internet access is a universal legal right in Finland but that’s one of those dangerous pinko countries.

    I fucking love that. It should be thus.

  147. 147
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @liberal:

    Is it really true that Bentham held that view?

    IIRC (I’m going from memory here, no time to look it up) not really, but his ideas were perverted by his followers in a manner not unlike what happened to Marx. Bentham held that public policy should aim for achieving the greatest good for society as a whole, based on seeking an optimum mixture of the amount of pain or pleasure inflicted on citizens by the law. It was a short step from this utilitarian argument to the idea that poverty was a complex of bad behaviors which could be cured by making them less rewarding and more painful, and since Bentham argued against traditional moral reasons for mitigating the utility seeking aspects of public policy with Christian charity, the gates of Victorian hell, once opened, were difficult to slam shut.

  148. 148
    Gravenstone says:

    @Veritas:

    Because I believe in working for a living and being self-sufficient, instead of being a parasite on the productive.

    Being paid by the post to troll blogs is not quite the get rich quick scheme you were hoping for, eh sparky?

  149. 149
    Ruckus says:

    @Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity:
    It’s not hatred, they just want a more secure foothold to help them climb further up the ladder. Your back will do nicely.

  150. 150
    Lojasmo says:

    @Veritas:

    I’ve been an ansent moron here for weeks.

    Fixt for accuracy.

    I have a used Nintendo GameCube anybody here with kids can have for free. I also have an aging TiVo box, and a VCR I haven’t used for years.

    Gotta go pick up the food stamps, but I’ll be back in later to see if there are any takers.

    VICTORY!

  151. 151
    Ruckus says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:
    I think our spoof is going for anger-inducing performance art a la Andy Kaufman.

    So, failure as a troll, failure as a performance artist, failure as a human…
    What’s left?

  152. 152
    JoyfulA says:

    @Veritas: Did you know you can get a microwave oven, a washer and dryer, a TV, a computer, a DVR, a refrigerator, even a mobile home off FreeCycle? (I’ve given away a washer and dryer, TVs, and a microwave oven myself.)

    If something is free, how can it be amazing that a poor family has one?

  153. 153
    jefft452 says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: This!
    Like Limbaugh, speaking for the hard working taxpayers, the makers not the takers … who are at home listening to the radio for 3 hours in the mid afternoon, every weekday

  154. 154
    wrb says:

    @jefft452:

    who are at home listening to the radio for 3 hours in the mid afternoon, every weekday

    It is on in their workplace, and has been every day for the last twenty years, without their say so.

    Over that time the World as Described by Rush has become the world.

  155. 155
    rikyrah says:

    I’m tired of folks like Ezra giving those sociopaths the benefit of the doubt.

    WHAT,

    in Republican policy in the last 50 years

    would EVER make Ezra think that the GOP hasn’t targeted poor people?

    GMAFB

  156. 156
    tcinaz says:

    Given their efforts to disenfranchise poor and minority voters, this is actually consistent policy. Make more people poor, they too will be disenfranchised, and viola, a Republican voting majority. Actually, this is shrewd electoral policy.

  157. 157
    bob h says:

    Republicans scurry away from their other convictions because they simply can not give Obama a “win” on anything.

    Ezra also has a nice piece in the latest NYRB about this zero-sum Republican mentality.

    Is Romney going to go with the Ryan Plan? Did Ryan even consult him?

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