They’ve Always Been Banking On Failure

A lot of rightful facepalming has been made over GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s odiously awful budget proposal adding some 50 million Americans to the ranks of the uninsured and basically handing over trillions to the one percent, but in addition to all that the GOP would end up obliterating Dodd-Frank and leaving us with the same “oversight” we had in 2007 when the financial meltdown came barreling through our lives.  Suzy Khimm over at Ezra Klein’s Kaplan Nerd Farm details the carnage:

The Ryan budget, however, would actually repeal the FDIC’s new resolution authority, arguing that it would have the opposite effect of what’s intended by allowing bank regulators “to access taxpayer dollars in order to bail out the creditors of large, ‘systemically significant’ financial institutions.” By doing so, Ryan says he would “end the regime now enshrined into law that paves the way for future bailouts.”

His blueprint doesn’t go into much further detail to explain why this is the case. But other critics of Dodd-Frank have argued that it could enable the FDIC to take control of failing firms and rely on taxpayer funds to keep the systemically important parts running through a government-run “bridge” financial company. That’s likely why Ryan believes the cost of the new resolution authority could far exceed the Congressional Budget Office’s $26 billion estimate.

While outside analysts across the political spectrum have shared Ryan’s concerns that Dodd-Frank doesn’t do enough to stop Too Big to Fail, their specific worry is often quite different than Ryan’s: they’re worried that bank regulators have too little authority, not too much, to quickly take down failing firms. It’s unclear, for example, how swiftly and forcefully the FDIC would use the new rules to liquidate a highly troubled, systemically important firm.

Repealing that authority as Ryan proposes eliminates a new government channel for intervention, but it wouldn’t explicitly prohibit future bailouts, which could become more likely if systemically risky banks aren’t wound down in an orderly fashion.

Of course they would be, that’s the point.  Banks are profitable now only because they got trillions in mulligans from the Bushies (and FOX News has done a terrific job of lying to the American people, convincing them that President Obama bailed out the banks, not Bush and Hank Paulson, and conflating the Obama stimulus with the Bush bank bailout on purpose.)  Here’s the thing: I know everyone says that Ryan’s budget proposal is just empty posturing that has no effect on the actual budget, but if there’s a GOP Senate to go along with the House in 2013, these proposals will end up on the President’s desk.

Let’s not pretend that the GOP getting into actual power will moderate the Ryan Plan.  This is their plan for America’s future, where the rising tide lifts all yachts and drowns the rest of us who can’t tread water.  And speaking of the Kaplan Nerd Farm, when Ezra Klein says things like this:

Today, the Republican Party is in a different place, and my theory is that it’s because they’ve committed themselves to a set of fiscal priorities — lower taxes, higher defense spending, no entitlement changes for 210 years, and lower deficits — that can only be reconciled through draconian cuts to programs for the poor.

The result is that when Republican politicians stop speaking for themselves and begin speaking for their party, their fiscal proposals have to reflect those priorities, and so they end up cutting deep into programs for the poor, even though that may not be their personal preference. But that is, of course, just speculation.

I have to have a good, long laugh, because the dude has it so backwards it’s actually funny.  Draconian cuts to the poor at the expense to give more to the rich was exactly what the Republican party has been engineering since 1980.  We’re just in the endgame now.  They didn’t “accidentally leave themselves no other choice” any more than any other fanatical group of nutjobs have throughout history.  The cuts have been the point all along, knucklehead.  Like I said, let’s stop pretending that a series of unfortunate and non-preventable accidents led the GOP to this sad fate.  This is deliberate, it has been deliberate, they believe this stuff period, and we have to recognize that first thing.

[UPDATE:]  Oh, and for the folks still convinced that none of this is deliberate and that the Ryan Budget will quietly die in the House because it’s an election year, well that’s not happening either.

86 replies
  1. 1
    Some Guy says:

    Agreed. You can see it with the war on women, too. Let’s stop pretending Republican ideology is motivated by policy. It is motivated by a series of very harsh value judgements about whole groups of people. Theirs is a very powerful set of ideologies surrounding their own sense of identity. Poor people are loafers who don’t deserve help, which is almost always rationalized that by kicking the needy when they are down will teach them to stand up.

    And hating women for wanting to control their bodies, well that is just old-timey, “way it is” kind of thinking.

    It ain’t about policy, it is about fear and loathing of people you actively try to misunderstand.

    Malice is not the right word. This is sanctimonious hatred fueled by a sense of “aggressively ignorant” arrogance.

  2. 2
    redshirt says:

    I feel like Alice often when I contemplate this: During Bush’s reign, even the barest, objective criticism of the Administration was tatamount to treason, and the media duly reported it as such. As soon as Obama’s in office, Republicans are actually engaging in treason and the literal destruction of the country, and we get the “both sides do it” spiel.

    Try explaining this dynamic to an “Independent” voter and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy.

    Which is party of the Repukes strategy, no doubt.

  3. 3
    Butch says:

    I used to like Ezra. What the heck is he thinking now?

  4. 4
    LGRooney says:

    Ryan says he would “end the regime now enshrined into law that paves the way for future bailouts.”

    Banks are profitable now only because they got trillions in mulligans from the Bushies

    Let’s not pretend that the GOP getting into actual power will moderate the Ryan Plan.

    Let’s not pretend that future conservative/GOP leaders will not scream until hoarse that, in the face of another banking crisis, we need government action lest the whole system collapse. If they enshrine into law anything against bailouts of financial firms, future bailouts will go by another name (not prosecutable by conservative jurisprudence, unless a D is president and then let the impeachment proceedings roll), they will be direct handouts with no oversight and, most importantly for them, no feds standing by to manage any part of the process.

  5. 5

    They’re in the endgame now, but it’s the endgame where they lose as their awesome short term strategies finally meet the ‘long term’ wall.

    Banks are profitable now only because they got trillions in mulligans from the Bushies

    And way, way less profitable than they were before FinReg, which took away the leveraging systems they used to hang the whole banking system on their high risk bets. The hedge funds are weeping over not being able to touch delicious savings bank money anymore, and the banks are weeping that they can’t give that money to the hedge funds. Like the ACA, the Republicans are desperate to repeal FinReg, they just haven’t figured out how to make it a selling point to the masses.

  6. 6
    daveNYC says:

    Eh, you’re wrong on a relatively minor point. Banks aren’t profitable because of the bailouts. They’re still in business because of the bailouts. Without them there would have been more failures and shotgun marriages.

    Banks are currently profitable because the interest rates are so freaking low.

  7. 7
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    “But it won’t happen to me.” – Republican voter.

  8. 8
    Culture of Truth says:

    I don’t quite agree that cuts to the poor have been the goal all along, rather the goal all along has been tax cuts and bailouts and other benefits for the wealthy. Cuts for the poor are convenient, sure, but not the goal. Perhaps I’m splitting hairs, or maybe I’m wrong, but when benefits and subsidies are for things they like, it’s not a problem.

  9. 9
    Splitting Image says:

    @Butch:

    I used to like Ezra. What the heck is he thinking now?

    He changed jobs. When a writer moves from one company to another, it’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing the change as simply a new URL to point to.

    It isn’t. Klein is employed to write a certain kind of column and he either writes it or gets replaced.

    Having said that, I think Klein may be trying to make the point that the GOP’s conflicting priorities coming to a head is why the craziness seems to be more pronounced than it used to be, and that might be true, but it’s also true that this stuff isn’t a side effect. Cuts to the poor have always been just as much of a priority as the other things he mentioned.

  10. 10
    Waldo says:

    Draconian cuts to the poor at the expense of the rich was exactly what the Republican party has been engineering since 1980.

    I think you mean to the benefit of the rich.

  11. 11
    redshirt says:

    Yeah, I don’t think your average Repuke in power cares one way or the other about the Poor. They’re not specifically out to get them, but rather, support their benefactors and themselves. The consequences of this are often to screw the poor, but that’s just a side effect!

    They’re also a good tool in the “Divide and Conquer” quiver.

  12. 12

    @Culture of Truth:
    I think it’s a little of both. Back in the Reagan era, despite ballooning the deficit he still had to pay lip service to it – unlike Bush. Attacking ‘welfare’ was a key way of shifting the money to the rich, and Reagan was ALL about shifting the money to the rich. Now screwing over the safety net has become habit, part of their identity and culture, and enforcing their culture on the rest of us is an obsession with them.

  13. 13

    Ryan says he would “end the regime now enshrined into law that paves the way for future bailouts.”

    Finally the birth of the long-awaited, long-promised righto-leftist alliance, where the one thing all parties can agree on — bank bailouts are bad, and TARP was a catastrophe, and Obama sold us out — provides the needed common ground.

  14. 14
    losgatosca says:

    their fiscal proposals have to reflect those priorities, and so they end up cutting deep into programs for the poor, even though that may not be their personal preference.

    That’s an instant classic of the genre, “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you, since your pain will end when I kill you, while I will have to live on in luxury.”

  15. 15
    cmorenc says:

    @Zandar:

    Draconian cuts to the poor at the expense of the rich was exactly what the Republican party has been engineering since 1980.

    Another key GOP goal didn’t really crystallize until George W. Bush came into office in 2001, at a moment when it briefly appeared the federal government had achieved not merely a fiscally responsible, sustainably balanced budget, but was on a path to paying off the entire accumulated national debt within a decade or two. Hard-core ideological conservatives recognized that a fiscally sustainable federal government of its then-current size meant the death of any dreams they ever had of dismantling the progressive legacy that had been built over the years from FDR’s New Deal through LBJ and even Richard Nixon’s Administration, and shrinking the federal government back to more like what it was in the 1920s. And so, they conveniently coupled dramatic tax reductions for the highest-income taxpayers with a deliberate plan to so deeply hamstring the federal government with debt as to eventually force draconian cutbacks, especially in domestic programs. They conducted two major wars off-budget, without making any provisions to pay for them. They passed a senior drug plan, without making any provisions to pay for it. They portray themselves as the party of fiscal responsibility, the would-be protectors of future generations that will be saddled with unbearably enormous debt against irresponsible spending, yet it is they who are almost entirely responsible for the irresponsible tax and spending policies that created this fiscal situation.

    Complete greedy sociopaths. The whole Republican establishment should be cast into debtor’s prisons for the next two or three decades, to be temporarily released every Sunday to be put in stocks in the public square for people to throw rotten tomatoes at all afternoon.

  16. 16
    Napoleon says:

    That post from Klein even drove mild mannered Kevin Drum over the edge.

  17. 17
    samara morgan says:

    its not actually deliberate, its evolutionary.
    its the “freed” market in action.
    conservatives support the mythos of the free market, but the free market is actually teleogically incapable of improving the human condition…it only improves the condition of the overclass. social justice is only delivered through side-effecting. In times of resource abundance, (ie THE PAST where we had cheap oil), americans became the overclass of the world. Now, during the onset of resource starvation (Peak Oil), the market has started to cannibalize the middle class and the poor, first with home mortgages, and then with college mortages and for profit schools.

  18. 18
    Waldo says:

    @Culture of Truth: I agree. They’ve mostly been indifferent to the poor, except where they can turn one group (poor whites) against another (poor non-whites) to win elections, which allows them to carry on the real work of further enriching the 1-percenters.

  19. 19
    samara morgan says:

    @cmorenc: this is all true. but you have to see the greatest threat to the GOP is not the demographic timer, but the ACA.
    because then white people will also realize that the GOP overclass has been scamming them all along.

  20. 20
    Shalimar says:

    Making the poorest even poorer is a feature. Otherwise, the sheep won’t have anyone to feel morally superior to.

  21. 21
    New Yorker says:

    On the topic of a buffoon like Ryan, can we please get the GOP to pick one person to worship: Ayn Rand or Jesus? It’s hard to find two people in the history of western thought that are more diametrically opposed. One was a militant opponent of religion, the other claimed to be the son of God. One glorified the accumulation of wealth and thought altruism was an abomination, the other said the rich would end up in hell and that the way to follow him was to give away all one’s material wealth.

    I mean, if a politial party held up John Stuart Mill and Vladimir Lenin as its two pillars, it would rightly be considered insane. Why is the GOP not called out for such insanity on their end?

  22. 22
    Chris says:

    @redshirt:

    Like Franken, I’d say it’s a little of both – depending on which Republican you’re talking to. Some of them don’t care, they’re just trying to get rich and screwing the poor is a cost of doing business rather than an actual goal. But for others, especially ideologues, screwing the poor is a goal in itself, in the same way and for the same reason that screwing women, gays, immigrants, minorities and DFHs is – it’s one of those demographics they’ve been taught to hate, blame and scapegoat.

    If I had to guess, I’d say that latter sentiment is probably highest among the white middle class voter base, more than among the elites that finance the party.

  23. 23
    Barry says:

    @Splitting Image: “He changed jobs. When a writer moves from one company to another, it’s easy to fall into the habit of seeing the change as simply a new URL to point to.

    It isn’t. Klein is employed to write a certain kind of column and he either writes it or gets replaced.”

    Writing at the WaPo has got to be like writing at The New Republic. The leadership is flat-out evil, and it’d take strong character to resist sliding over to the Dark Side.

  24. 24
    Zandar says:

    @samara morgan: Naah, getting rid of the undesirables has long been the goal of post New-Deal Republicans, particularly after the influx of Dixiecrats.

  25. 25
    TK-421 says:

    This is IMO the most serious consequence of the “Both Sides Do It!” mentality, and represents the most damning critique of American culture. At some point (and if you ask me that point was somewhere in the 90s), it’s no longer true, and insisting on this becomes a lie we tell ourselves.

    Why do we tell ourselves this lie? Well, there is a cost to being honest. Refuting this lie would force us all to admit that A) half of our political spectrum is batshit insane, B) the other half constantly tries to imitate the batshit insanity, and C) our democratic institutions have done nothing but enable and embolden this batshit insanity.

    That’s…a LOT for many Americans to take in, to the point that we become scared. So rather than tackle this very big and very serious problem by being honest with ourselves, we chicken out and lie*. The “Both Sides Do It!” lie we tell ourselves should convince the rest of the world how cowardly and lazy we have become.

    *Note that this explains our “response” to global warming and declining education as well.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    Sure, they have ideological objection (allegedly) to ‘welfare’, broadly defined, as well as Medicare, Medicaid and social security, but even the true believers are not actually Randian superman, they only think they are, and while billionaires have contempt for the poor, cutting the small amount of money spent on such programs is not worth valuable time that could be spent getting the government pay for your new stadium or nuclear power plant or pipeline or help overthrow that pesky foreign leader. I think for the most part attacking programs for certain poor people is a political ploy – for the Paul Ryan’s of the world it may be the goal, for others it an afterthought or added benefit.

    And to be fair to Ezra he does say, “But that is, of course, just speculation.”

  27. 27
    Cacti says:

    and so they end up cutting deep into programs for the poor, even though that may not be their personal preference.

    Of course it’s their personal preference. Republicans despise the poor, I mean literally and viscerally HATE them for the fact of their poverty. “Poor” is a synonym in the GOP mind for “Non-white” (using the G-rated version).

    Republicans support anything that has the net effect of screwing the “coloreds”. “Coloreds” are unworthy and not real Americans. Their entire electoral model for nearly 50 years has been built around this idea.

  28. 28
    Zandar says:

    @Culture of Truth: They’re only Randian up to the point of objecting to the government giving people other than themselves free money. Your government aid is shackling you to the plantation mentality where the government picks winners and losers. My government aid is necessary in order to keep businesses from passing the costs along to the consumer and threatening the nascent recovery.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Otherwise, the sheep won’t have anyone to feel morally superior to.

    Assuming that’s true, it’s a political tactic, not a goal. You may be committed to the west coast offense, but it’s a means to an end – you’re trying to win the game.

    I will say though the GOP for various reasons, since the New Deal, has despised government programs designed to help people who are not rich, and therefore will always push back against even little ones, lest people find they like them and they grow. So in that sense Cole is correct.

  30. 30
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of compassion says:

    OT, but it’s beginning to look like there might be some pushback among physicians to the coercive, invasive ultrasound bills sweeping state legislatures.

  31. 31
    samara morgan says:

    @Zandar: disagree. that doesnt explain the housing bubble or college mortgages.
    college education cost has sixtupled since the 80s.
    eradicating the poor and undesireables is just a side-effect of market economics…they are takers, not makers…
    At the top of the food chain, sharks have no social justice…..its evolutionary.

  32. 32
    Kristin says:

    Krugman asks today if people will finally stop taking Ryan seriously. He hasn’t read Klein, apparently. Douthat is, unsurprisingly, taking Ryan seriously as well.

  33. 33
    Schlemizel says:

    @Culture of Truth: @redshirt:

    I think you guys are wrong & here is why. Poor people will accept any job under any conditions in order to be a tiny bit better off. If they can make life here shitty enough the average person won’t mind sending their kids off to Foxconn’s USA plant to help support the struggling family. This helps the 1% greatly.

    I just had this concept reinforced yesterday reading one of the Atlantic pundits. There was support in the comments section for the brain damaged position that we shouldn’t complain that 13 year olds are working 70 hour weeks for a buck and a quarter an hour because its better than what they had! If only they could make life outside Foxconn even worse those dumb bastards would work long for much less, right? Thats what they want here.

  34. 34
    Satanicpanic says:

    @New Yorker: You’re totally right, but the people with the power and/or authority to publicize Jesus’s actual teachings have a compelling interest not to, so we’re going to keep getting the interpretation that is convenient for the bigoted and the wealthy.

  35. 35
    Mino says:

    Remember, folks, Bush threatened martial law if his bank bailout was not passed.

    The whole Republican party is Etch-a-Sketch. Say whatever to get elected/govern as if you’ve been given license to rule.

    And those seniors thinking they’re safe from Ryan’s Medicare changes, well, sucks to be yu the morning after!!

  36. 36
    chopper says:

    @cmorenc:

    this. people need to be reminded on a daily basis that ‘starve the beast’ has been the basis of republican governance for the past 60+ years.

    the idea that the government could be able to provide a robust safety net as well as provide decent services without a huge debt causes their whole philosophy to fall apart. it’s like the cubs making it to the series and then throwing the game.

  37. 37
    Chris says:

    @Cacti:

    Republicans despise the poor, I mean literally and viscerally HATE them for the fact of their poverty.

    This can’t be stressed enough. It’s why Ayn Rand is so popular and why any suggestion of new laws that further inconvenience, humiliate or hurt them more is greeted at the very least with laughter and at most (Ryan Plan) with a big push to get them passed. The Republican base runs on hate more than any other thing.

  38. 38
    WyldPirate says:

    To be fair, the second bolus of TARP money was released on Obama’s watch. On top of that, the recent “settlement” with the banks on their foreclosure hijinks by the Obama administration let the banks get off with a mere slap on the wrist compared to the damage and theft they got away with.

    Granted Obama is light years ahead of the free reign of economic terror the Rethugs would unleash on the nation, but it’s not like his administration is going out of its way to hold the financial sector’s feet to the fire.

  39. 39
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Bingo! Throw in legal pot, and all the white semi-smarts younger than 40 will pull the lever, because Amy Goodman told them Obama was just as bad as Bush and all that makes a difference is registering your protest to the Man.

    No more drones! Free Bradley Manning and Julian Assange! NORML! Vote GOP! Or Nader. Or Whatever!

  40. 40
    PurpleGirl says:

    @Butch: Taking care of keeping his job as a junior Villager. He wants to be a senior Villager.

  41. 41
    Cacti says:

    @WyldPirate:

    To be fair, the second bolus of TARP money was released on Obama’s watch. On top of that, the recent “settlement” with the banks on their foreclosure hijinks by the Obama administration let the banks get off with a mere slap on the wrist compared to the damage and theft they got away with.

    And also, too, he’s blackity-black.

  42. 42
    redshirt says:

    @Schlemizel: I agree, but this is another consequence of their overall goals, and not always the specific, deliberate intent.

    Their ultimate goal is always the same: Money and Power.

    It obviously helps to have a labor class who are so beaten down they’ll accept any pittance, any working conditions that the Overlord deigns deliver. But again, this is a by product of their actual goal: More money and power.

    This is all semantics of course. Only a sociopath is eager for the pain and suffering of others. Our gilded elite are able to block this out in pursuit of their own, “noble” goals.

    This is why the “Trickle Down” economics of the last thirty years has been so pernicious. Feed the rich, everyone else gets the crumbs, and have the mobs defend this scheme through the explosive manipulation of cultural issues.

  43. 43
    dedc79 says:

    Oh, and for the folks still convinced that none of this is deliberate and that the Ryan Budget will quietly die in the House because it’s an election year, well that’s not happening either.

    Well, it’s kind of the worst of both worlds. They know the Senate won’t pass it so they get to throw all kinds of tea-bag crazy into the budget knowing that they won’t have to face the dire consequences of its passage.

    The Democrats should make a list of all that’s wrong with the budget and run ads against all vulnerable republicans who vote in favor saying “Congressman X voted to defund Y. Congressman X voted to lower taxes for the wealthy. And so on”

  44. 44
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Schlemizel: You make good points, but Ezra also points to probable cuts in highways, bridges, food inspectors, air-traffic controllers, science, space, technology, the environment. This also includes food stamps and housing, but even those don’t allow a family to say take this job and shove it.

    Anyway, I don’t think we here, and Ezra and Cole, really disagree all that much. Whatever their motivations, these guys are crazy.

  45. 45
    Cacti says:

    @dedc79:

    so they get to throw all kinds of tea-bag crazy into the budget knowing that they won’t have to face the dire consequences of its passage

    Not necessarily true for the Senate.

    Harry Reid will force a vote on it to get all the R’s on record as supporting its worst aspects. And statewide elections are a different animal than heavily gerrymandered, single-member districts.

  46. 46
    Culture of Truth says:

    I’ve always assumed these assholes would rather be rich, even if the undeserving lived a comfortable life. But who knows? For sociopaths and their enablers, perhaps the opposite is true.

    I suspect it’s a little like that saying attributed to Napoleon. “It’s not enough that I succeed. My enemies must also fail.”

  47. 47
    Xenos says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    They’re in the endgame now, but it’s the endgame where they lose as their awesome short term strategies finally meet the ‘long term’ wall.

    It is like they have a bishop and a knight against two rooks and a pawn. If they are very talented at tactics they can drag it out for a while, but there is no way they are going to win it in the long run.

  48. 48
    Comrade Dread says:

    Take what you can, give nothing back.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I suspect it’s a little like that saying attributed to Napoleon. “It’s not enough that I succeed. My enemies must also fail.”

    For the narcissist or sociopath, it’s not enough to reach the top. Pissing on everyone further down is the whole point of reaching the top.

  50. 50
    Tone In DC says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I thought Genghis Khan said that.

  51. 51
    PeakVT says:

    @Culture of Truth: What the assholes want is relative wealth, which pretty easily translates into power. It’s a lot harder to lord over the masses when they don’t live in constant fear.

  52. 52
    PurpleGirl says:

    @New Yorker: Or, may I add, the Church in Ryan’s case. I believe he claims to be a Roman Catholic. Given the way he worships Ayn Rand, I’d say he has a definite conflict with the 1st Commandment and the solution to that is to question him (yes, an inquisition) and then if he refuses to give up Rand, excommunicate him. Deny him the comforts of communion and sacraments. It’s a time-honored set of actions. Let’s see if the Bishops’ Conference will take him on in the name of social justice.

  53. 53
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Tone In DC: He may have said it first, but it took the GOP to bring it to its final fruition.

  54. 54
    WyldPirate says:

    @Cacti:

    If you would pull the thorns out of your ass, along with your head, perhaps you could give a shot at refuting the facts of what I posted.

    But that would be too much like thinking for you, though, wouldn’t it? We wouldn’t want to get that waterlogged cranium of yours heated up.

  55. 55
    Cacti says:

    @WyldPirate:

    If you would pull the thorns out of your ass, along with your head, perhaps you could give a shot at refuting the facts of what I posted.

    Or maybe you could regale us with a tale of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s business accumen and how President blackity-black could benefit from its example?

  56. 56

    @Culture of Truth: There are positional goods goods whose value is increased not by their becoming better per se, — they can even get worse — but because you possess them, and others do not, or because fewer and fewer people possess them, and you are among their number.

    It’s a kind of expenditure cascade, in reverse. Health insurance is heading in this direction under the status quo, as is public education.

  57. 57
    Brachiator says:

    Draconian cuts to the poor at the expense for the benefit of the rich was exactly what the Republican party has been engineering since 1980.

    As others have noted, this has to be corrected.

    Main problem. The Republicans control the House, so they get to take the lead on the budget. The president can propose an alternative budget, or budget guidelines, but you are going to need more Democrats in order to make it stick.

    @WyldPirate:

    To be fair, the second bolus of TARP money was released on Obama’s watch. On top of that, the recent “settlement” with the banks on their foreclosure hijinks by the Obama administration let the banks get off with a mere slap on the wrist compared to the damage and theft they got away with.

    Of course, as far back as the Clinton Administration, Congress passed laws preventing some of the types of prosecutions that took place during the S&L scandals, when insitutions were shut down and some people went to jail. The banks paid off not only Republicans, but also some Democrats.

    In addition, the kinds of show trials that progressives are still so hot for would be meaningless in the absence of effective regulation of the financial industry, regulation which is still being furiously blocked by the Republicans.

    But progressives love the purity of their outrage, especially if it is impotent, and doubly so if they can blame Obama for not giving them what they want, as opposed to what is possible given the current state of the Congress.

  58. 58

    Here’s the thing: I know everyone says that Ryan’s budget proposal is just empty posturing that has no effect on the actual budget, but if there’s a GOP Senate to go along with the House in 2013, these proposals will end up on the President’s desk.

    Maybe, but doubtful democrats would not filibuster any such draconian assault on the New Deal. This kind of public outing by wingnuts to what they have been sneaking around doing for decades, should be welcome, IMO.

    There is a limit to what the solid majority in this country will tolerate for taking from the poor (and increasingly the middle class) to give to the rich. That limit is not where I would like it, but wingers have made advances with stealth efforts to consolidate the country’s wealth, measured by moderating the degree of backlash of over reach.

    We should want them to over reach. The GOP is America’s favored party by majority white tribalists, and democrats will likely largely fail by just hollering what greedy assholes the wingnuts are, and an enemy to middle class aspirations.

    So, I think, dems screaming foul, plus the wingers openly being greedy assholes, is what it will take for the rubes to listen. And if they still won’t listen, then we are and have been doomed all along.

  59. 59
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Or maybe you could regale us with a tale of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s business accumen and how President blackity-black could benefit from its example?

    @Cacti: That guy did more for the bedsheet industry than anybody. He’s the best.

    I’m sure that RaycistPirate would point out that the best way we could help Democrats is to vote Republican or third party. Worked great in 2000, man I miss President Nader. Best progressive ever.

  60. 60
    Schad says:

    At the very least, the race within the GOP to see who can screw the poor the most fiendishly is entertaining in an apocalyptic sorta way…witness the fact that two Republicans on the House Budget Committee voted against the Ryan budget because it didn’t cut deep enough.

    They are fast approaching Four Yorkshiremen territory. “Why, your budget is positively coddling the poor! In mine, they have to work 26 hours a day, twelve days a week inside a wood-chipper just to get enough money to afford the application fee for the driver’s license they’ll need to be turned away from the polls!”

  61. 61
    the fugitive uterus says:

    War on Women = put women in their place and get to work on producing more of those wage/debt slaves! chop, chop! stfu, b**ches and start acting like the breeding stock that you are! if you die in childbirth, so what? happened all the time back in the day.

    War on Affordable Health Care = let the weak and old die off, we need young, productive and easily replaceable wage/debt slaves – swap ’em out when they lose a limb on the job or something – you know, like those industrious little kids working in the mills in late 1800’s?

    War on Regulation = we’re going to finish r*ping this country before we all pack up and move to Dubai. you’re welcome.

  62. 62

    (and FOX News has done a terrific job of lying to the American people, convincing them that President Obama bailed out the banks, not Bush and Hank Paulson, and conflating the Obama stimulus with the Bush bank bailout on purpose.) Yes but Mitt Romney does an equally terrific job of undoing that job by saying Bush and Paulson not Obama saved us from great Depression II.

    He should be asked what they did which impressed him so much. Again. and. Again.

  63. 63
    Mudge says:

    I am glad to see the word “sociopath” used so much more often these days for Republicans. They do little if anything that shows they care about our society, it’s all about greed and the wealthy.

    I have noticed that Ezra Klein (and for that matter Yglesias) have changed over the years. They both started blogging while quite young and have yet to develop the outrage that distinguishes Krugman and Charles Pierce and Matt Tiabbi and Michael Lewis. The young ones tend to be dull and humorless. These are Republican traits. We will see over time if they lack self-awareness and become ideologues.

  64. 64
    dmbeaster says:

    Our culture has basically largely forgotten why all of the New Deal and progeny programs were enacted. They have no understanding of senior poverty alleviated by Social Security (as well as the indigent from injury, etc). They dont understand why we have all this regulation of business, since there is no memory of how crazy it was pre-1929. The libertarian notion that there is too much government and regulation which impinges on my freedom sells partly because of this ignorance.

    Republicans are exploiting this to undo the basic social contract in place in this country for several generations now, and many people are frankly ignorant of the consequence.

    The religious angle is part of the sanctimony – it is why someone can be Randian and Christian at the same time. When the point of the ideology is cover for selfishness and entitlement/privilege, then it makes sense, even though it is clearly not Christian as we understand it. The tradition of the liberal Christian church (which has a long history) is under assault by this new alien creed.

  65. 65
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The problem the Rethugs have is that their fiscal priorities are not sane

    You cannot have more defense spending AND lower deficits, with or without tax cuts. The only way to accomplish this is by borrowing and spending, and then lying about the effect on the nation’s finances (by putting the entire spending spree on death “off budget) which the war criminal deserting coward did.

    To this day there are utter fuckheads on the right who insist that Obama’s deficits are bigger than the war criminal deserting coward’s because the numbers go worse when Obama stopped the lie of “off budget” financing of wars of aggression.

    How to get the nation’s finances back in order: stop the stupid wars. Tax the living shit out of parasites like Paul Ryan, the banksters, the Bush Crime Family, offal like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Megan McFuckstick, Fucker McFuckerson, and Glenn “The Blaze” Beck. For starters. Nuke the health “insurance” companies until they glow, and set up single payer.

    All this shit is doable IF we reallocate resources in a reasonable, prudent manner…which the GOP is utterly unwilling to do.

  66. 66
    tcinaz says:

    fugitve uterus: you can add one more “war on…” to your list, a war on the poor. Ryan’s budget makes complete sense if you couple it with their voter restriction strategy. First, get states to enact voter i.d. laws that disproportionately disenfranchise poor people and minorities. Then deepen the pool of poor people with a budget that is deliberately conceived to do exactly that by increasing the costs of being poor. The end result is a voting advantage for Ryan and Republicans, attacking a class of voters who never support them anyway, at no political cost to Republicans. We have a new Republican war going on, a war on the poor.

  67. 67
    flukebucket says:

    @Comrade Dread:

    Take what you can, give nothing back.

    “From each as much as I can get. To each the least I can give”

    The capitalist manifesto

  68. 68
    the fugitive uterus says:

    @PurpleGirl: ever see the clip of that guy trying to hand Ryan a bible and asking him how he can be a disciple of Rand whose philosophy is in direct conflict with Christian teachings, all the while Ryan ignoring him and just trying to get into the protective bubble of a black SUV so his driver could speed off. you’d think the guy had leprosy or something. Ryan never takes the bible or respond to the guy in anyway. i’d love to play that clip for all the ‘vangies but they’re too dumb to know or care who Rand is.

  69. 69
    the fugitive uterus says:

    @tcinaz: yes, of course – too many republican wars on all vulnerable beings to keep it all straight!

  70. 70
    jl says:

    @Mudge:

    Yglesias, and to a lesser extent Klein, get lost in their intellectual hobby horses.

    Klein was lost in nerd number land when he wrote that the GOP ended up with its policies for the poor inadvertently.

    The GOP say themselves that we need to ‘liberate’ the poor by giving them incentives to help raise themselves out of poverty (by removing what they consider to be counterproductive incentives to rely on public assistance).

    And Klein ignores the electoral wedge issues aspect of GOP politics entirely.

    I read Klein because he produces good analysis often enough to make it worthwhile. But I take his, to put in mildly, very doubtful analysis of GOP policy as more evidence that he is becoming preciously contrarian like Kinsley, or is trimming his analysis to preserve access to the mighty.

  71. 71
    the fugitive uterus says:

    i’d like to smack Ryan’s face with a 2×4, as hard as i can. just saying.

  72. 72
    handy says:

    @the fugitive uterus:

    BOTH SIDES DO IT!!

  73. 73
    Andree-Anne Desmedt says:

    So, when the middle class is eliminated due to its lack of purchasing power due to its lack of income growth due to the wrong-headed lack of positive employment policies, who’s going to be left to buy goods and services from the companies headed/controlled by the 0.1%? Can’t count on the poor. They were poor before the financial institutions blew the world economy to pieces, and they are poorer still. Huh?

  74. 74

    The religious angle, from people like Ryan, is more than just godbothering on pure social issues like abortion, gay marriage etc…. It is also fundamental to their economic policies, and likely how they somehow learn to live with themselves while trying to destroy government programs that comprise the social safety net since the New Deal.

    In their minds, the vacuum of support will be met by private religious orgs that help to some degree sustain the down and out. And it is a two fer, that the hungry and sick will only have the churches to turn to, to get some ole time right wing religion and show their gratitude by voting for republicans. It is a fantasy they maintain to go forth with shit like the Ryan budget, and like everything else, completely unworkable in the real world. But it is the belief that it is a real solution, like about everything that has to do with conservative philosophy that makes it possible to be such craven assholes/ And pile up the cash for the one percent.

  75. 75
    Chris says:

    @dmbeaster:

    The religious angle is part of the sanctimony – it is why someone can be Randian and Christian at the same time. When the point of the ideology is cover for selfishness and entitlement/privilege, then it makes sense, even though it is clearly not Christian as we understand it.

    This.

    They want to be selfish just like Ayn Rand would want them to, but because they’re weak, scared and authoritarian-submissive jackasses, they also need to be told that it’s okay to be selfish, that their god wants them to be selfish and that they’re really doing great good in the world by being selfish. Hence the popular industry in “religious” figures telling their congregations that social justice is a plot by the devil.

    The result is a contrived, TARFU’d, misassembled political-religious cult that’s bad Christianity as well as bad Objectivism. Ayn Rand would hold these guys in the deepest contempt for being so weak, and I think we can all imagine what Jesus would have to say. But it allows them to 1) be assholes and 2) sleep at night. Which is what they’re looking for.

  76. 76
    Daaling says:

    The more I read Zandars dillusional dot connecting the more I am convinced he is some sort of frankenstein creation half way between wrong again Cole and Lana Del Rey is a great singer mistermix. Who is quite the dot connector to manufacture a point in his own right.

  77. 77
    cckids says:

    @PurpleGirl: Well, it seems that at least some of the Catholics are noticing & starting to say so: http://halfinten.org/uploads/s.....282%29.pdf

    edited because FYWP link seems to be gone.

  78. 78
    cckids says:

    Just in case that link won’t work, here are some quotes:

    Father Thomas Kelly, Catholic priest from Elkhorn, WI and constituent of Rep. Paul Ryan:
    “As a constituent of Congressman Ryan and a Catholic priest, I’m disappointed by his
    cruel budget plan and outraged that he defends it on moral grounds. Ryan is Catholic,
    and he knows that justice for the poor and economic fairness are core elements of our
    church’s social teaching. It’s shameful that he disregarded these principles in his budget.”

    Bishop Gene Robinson, Ninth Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire
    and a visiting Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, Washington, D.C.:
    Make no mistake: A budget is a moral document. It says something about the character
    of those who would propose to enact it. The proposed Ryan budget takes a huge
    step toward immorality. Sacred texts for Christians, Jews and Muslims all depict a
    God who judges us by the way we care for the most vulnerable in our society. By this
    measure, the Ryan budget robs the poor, the marginalized and the vulnerable of the
    safety net so integral to their survival. By any measure of civility and regard for one’s
    neighbor, it is an immoral disaster.

    It is quite a document. Hopefully it will get more press than it has so far.

  79. 79
    tcinaz says:

    daaling, Zander”s dot connecting is far less delusional than your position. You know, if the shoe fits and all…That’s the problem with Ryan’s budget, all of the GOP’s candidates, and the entire right; they don’t connect obvious dots. They are deliberately fact-free, and often when they do cite a fact, a quick google shows it’s in error. Check out Maddow above on Mitt. Slamming an opposition point ain’t the same as proving it wrong. Just sayin’

  80. 80
    jl says:

    Econbrowser has a good intro to the Ryan budget with some good links.

    http://www.econbrowser.com/arc.....an_op.html

  81. 81
    Judas Escargot, Your Postmodern Neighbor says:

    @jl:

    Ezra Klein was always the true policy wonk of the two: His essays on health care during the ACA fight, for example, were second to none. But IMO he’s wasted as a pundit, and soaking in that culture isn’t doing his thinking any favors. He’d be better off working in someone’s administration on actual policy ,or as a press secretary or something. Hopefully someday, before the Pundit Virus has totally destroyed his agile young brain.

    Yglesias, on the other hand, is basically McMegan (ie insulated child of privilege), except with a conscience and an interest in actual policy outcomes.

  82. 82
    nastybrutishntall says:

    @Andree-Anne Desmedt: The rich are so rich, they don’t need your money. They just need to rule you. And employ your children as indentured servants so y’all learn your proper place in the cosmos.

  83. 83
    Knockabout says:

    You know, Zandar has single-handedly cost this place much of its credibility. Elias Isquith crushes him over at LOG. I foresee him being asked to leave before too much longer.

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Knockabout:

    I suggest, again, that you go fuck off and die somewhere, maggot.

  85. 85
    A Humble Lurker says:

    @Knockabout:
    We’re never going to care what you think about Zandar. Please go away.

  86. 86

    […] charlatan” for daring to offer tough solutions to our fiscal problems. The insults are routinely picked up and circulated in the liberal blogosphere. The New Republic writer Jonathan Cohn believes the Ryan budget is […]

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