Third Party & Independents Archives

GOP & Paul Ryan: The party of no answer

In September 2006, the House of Representatives passed what they called earmark reform. The legislation was co-authored by Congressman Paul Ryan. The legislation was meant to require lawmakers to identify the special projects that they slip into legislation. Now Ryan is trying to play a track from his greatest hits album by proposing almost identical “reforms” for the 2012 federal budget, but his plan falls far short on anything resembling details of what and how he would reform anything.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities exposed the double standards of Ryan's 2006 bill because it exempted a ludicrous number of earmarks depending on how they are packaged. For example:
* Any tax cut or tax break that benefits as few as two individuals or entities are fully exempt from this “earmark reform” legislation.
* Elected officials that sponsored such earmarks may remain anonymous.
* The 2006 House-passed line-item veto legislation, also co-sponsored by Ryan, provided a litany of line-item exemptions for special interest groups;
* The legislation provided more than six dozen new individual tax breaks for special interest groups and their corporate sponsors.
* Ryan also included several loopholes providing that any legislation not reported by a committee should be exempt from the restrictions and rules in Ryan’s legislation.
* Ryan’s plan proposed that any legislation created on the floor as a “manager’s amendment” or any “emergency, circumstantial or contingency bill” that is brought to the floor by the Leadership would also be exempt from the rules.

This same type of special treatment for tax cuts is part of a very easily recognizable pattern for Ryan and the Republicans and they are marching to the exact same drummer in 2011 that they marched to in 2006.

And would you care to guess what document Ryan used as the basis for his new 2012 budget proposal? If you said “the same corporate and lobbyist pandering that he used in 2006,” you get an “A.”

For a party that is so “personally indignant and offended” by the concept of wealth redistribution, Ryan and his intentionally blind followers are certainly comfortable with the concept of weath FUNNELING.

If Paul Ryan were really concerned about the practice of anonymous earmarks, then why would he leave so many loopholes in his 2006 proposal in the first place? And why does he abjectly refuse to answer the simple questions of “Which specific loopholes do you plan to eliminate” and “Are you adding any other loopholes, exceptions or contingencies in your new proposal?”

When asked on “The Today Show” by Meredith Viera: “You say discretionary spending — give me specifics. Where are you going to cut? Are you gonna cut transportation, education, Medicare — what are you going to cut?”

Ryan’s answer was: “I can’t tell you the answer to that because, as a budget committee person, we simply lower the cap and then those things go down. I can’t tell you by what amount and which program, but all of it is going to be going down, and the aggregate amount will be back to 2008 levels before the spending binge occurred.”

*Before* the spending binge? What I can only assume Ryan meant was that “before it became known that George W. Bush never included one single dime of the spending on Iraq and Afghanistan in any budget he ever proposed, so the $2.2 Trillion mis-spent and mismanaged for six years suddenly appeared on the debt rolls in 2009 when Obama made them public knowledge and part of the acknowledged debt instead of hiding it in undisclosed appropriations packages the way Bush did.”

Apparently, the Republican history revision plan includes utter dismissal of the $3.6 Trillion that the Bush administration deficit-spent between 2001 and 2009.

Why does Ryan’s plan intention ignore any of the following:
* Ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and returning all troops to U.S. soil;
* The concept or implementation of a flat tax;
* Rolling all tax cuts to 2000-levels, or even to the 1990s levels which spawned the decade of prosperity that followed;
* Elimination of all subsidies, tax breaks, rebates and shelters for corporations, offshore tax havens, etc.;
* Elimination of the hedge/equity fund tax loophole.

Why does Ryan’s plan not mention one single word about cutting Defense and Pentagon spending, federal contract fraud, increased oversight and regulation, or calendar-year accounting of all federal spending?

These, certainly more than teacher benefits, contributed to the current debt and fiscal instability in America. But Ryan avoids them like a Bronx bake sale.

Even ranking and freshman members of his own party acknowledge that Paul Ryan’s plan is dismally devoid of details, and dismiss Ryan’s refusal to discuss specifics as “just good political strategy.”

Why be so secretive about what is clearly the most grave issue facing the country, its taxpayers and its future? Why be completely evasive in response to the simple and legitimate question of "How do you plan to do it?"

The deafening silence is like a concerto of Paul Ryan's and his backers' true intentions: Politics and career first; corporate welfare second; country last.

Posted by Gary St. Lawrence at April 11, 2011 1:13 PM
Comment #321466

Gary, how about we get the 2011 budget passed before we being talking about 2012?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 11, 2011 4:48 PM
Comment #321468

Fine. 15 percent cut across the board on all federal spending. Period. No exceptions.

2011 budget solved.

Let’s not ignore new/future stupidity and corporate welfare while we obsess over the current stupidity and corporate welfare.

Posted by: Gary St. Lawrence at April 11, 2011 5:03 PM
Comment #321481

Obama collected about $750M for his 08 campaign, 1/4 from small donors, $200 or less. This time, with big corps able to directly target candidates, he is expected to call in $1B.

And yet, few will throw in the towel with the Corpocracy and work to support a third party. Why don’t we just cut out ‘gov’t’ as an unneeded expense and look to the Chamber of Commerce for representation? Better than ‘writing your congressperson’ fer shure.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 11, 2011 8:13 PM
Comment #321485

Roy, we have elected the Chamber of Commerce. The Ryan plan is actually the Chamber plan and what do you mean “unneeded expense. There is no end to the expense that the Chamber needs. They need it all and they need it now.

Posted by: jlw at April 11, 2011 9:05 PM
Comment #321508

The only thing I can say is that I am glad the Tea Party will not be influencing the outcome of the 2012 budget; because SD says they are loosing their influence and becoming unpopular.

Posted by: Conservativethinker at April 12, 2011 2:24 PM
Comment #321580

As I can tell the REP/TEA Party position is that there will be no mention of corporate welfare and no added taxation on the wealthy. Whack entitlements all you want but, don’t fool with the Corpocracy.

President Obama has gone plumb populist. Heard in his speech today, ‘we need to revamp the corporate tax code to make business more competitive’. From a full blown socialist to a populist in one short speech. Fevers of election are upon us - -

Otherwise - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 13, 2011 5:08 PM
Comment #321617

Roy, you forgot the Rep/tea party corpocracy defense spending which is actually about a third of the budget. Can’t protect our borders from invasion, but sure can gain and protect foreign assets for the corpocracy.

On Obama, don’t you mean from a full blown corpocracist to a centrist liberal. The right would say that by moving populist, as you suggest, he is showing his true socialist roots.

Posted by: jlw at April 14, 2011 12:11 PM
Comment #321892
The only thing I can say is that I am glad the Tea Party will not be influencing the outcome of the 2012 budget; because SD says they are loosing their influence and becoming unpopular.

Yeah that’s true, they’ve been losing their influence incredibly fast.

Maybe it’s because some of those tea party people stood there with those signs saying “Keep your hands off my Medicare!” at the town hall meetings, but once they got a bunch of their Tea Bag Candidates voted in, they immediately started attacking their “socialist” Medicare and Medicaid?

Or maybe people suddenly found out that once Ayn Rand got cancer, she instantly became a “socialist welfare queen” who spent the last six years of her life before she died living off of “Socialist” Social Security and Medicare?

Or perhaps tea is no longer so sweet because nationally fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs?

Anyway, it’s clear that the tea has definitely gone cold…

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