Far right Koch whores like Paul Ryan are what is wrong with the GOP. It’s that plain and simple. For some strange and perilous reason, the far right demonizes economic geniuses like Paul Krugman, while worshiping Paul Ryan. I have yet to figure out why Ryan is seen as some intellectual economic giant. He is far from it, rather a delusional adult with a teenage boy’s crush on a psychopath. Like a pundit recently wrote:
“…I have a hard time believing that there are “many” Democrats who don’t know that Paul Ryan has yet to do the math on his “reforms”, or who don’t understand that contrary to Republican fantasy, Obama Care actually reduces the deficit. Of course, Gregory doesn’t ask him to name these Democrats, so we are left with yet more imaginary proof of Ryan’s alleged reasonableness. Yes, that is what he’s selling. Ryan is selling himself as the middle and trying to paint Obama as the extremist. He can’t do this using reality, so he impugns motives and uses second hand information as a fact….”
Anyone who is a regular reader of The Pink Flamingo knows that I have absolutely no use for Paul Ryan. I think he is a lying, arrogant, jerk who is to duplicitous to even admit his admiration for and devotion to Ayn Rand. Like other Randians, he can’t tell the truth, about anything. Not to worry, though, he’s bought and paid for by the Kochs. As long as he does their bidding, he’s fine.
“...During an interview on Meet The Press on Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) predicted that the sequester cuts are “going to happen” and made no concrete proposals for how to avoid the reductions. The tone represents a sharp rhetorical and policy shift for the onetime GOP vice presidential nominee, who warned during the 2012 presidential campaign that the cuts would “devastate” the country and undermine job growth.
“I think the sequester is going to happen,” Ryan said, referring to the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon and other government agencies that will go into effect unless Congress approves offsets. He charged that Democrats rejected the GOP’s replacement legislation — the bill cut the food-stamp program, slashed Medicaid, undermined funding for the Affordable Care Act and disaster relief — and failed to produce their own alternatives…”
The problem with Ryan’s way of thinking, the Randian way, is that it does not work. It has been proven not to work, repeatedly. But people like Paul Ryan don’t seem to care that it doesn’t work. They have demonized the ‘takers’ to the point where their slobbering followers are starting to get a little nasty about anyone who is not worth millions, even though their followers are on a niche slightly above the takers, but not by much.
Paul Krugman wrote:
“...What strikes me, however, isn’t just the way the right is trying to turn a reasonable development into some kind of outrage; it’s the political tone-deafness.
I mean, when Reagan ranted about welfare queens driving Cadillacs, he was inventing a fake problem — but his rant resonated with angry white voters, who understood perfectly well who Reagan was targeting. But Americans on disability as moochers? That isn’t, as far as I can tell, an especially nonwhite group — and it’s a group that is surely as likely to elicit sympathy as disdain. There’s just no way it can serve the kind of political purpose the old welfare-kicking rhetoric used to perform.
The same goes, more broadly, for the whole nation of takers thing. First of all, a lot of the “taking” involves Social Security and Medicare. And even the growth in means-tested programs is largely accounted for by the Earned Income Tax Credit — which requires and rewards work — and the expansion of Medicaid/CHIP to cover more children. Again, not the greatest of political targets.
The point, I think, is that right-wing intellectuals and politicians live in a bubble in which denunciations of those bums on disability and those greedy children getting free health care are greeted with shouts of approval — but now have to deal with a country where the same remarks come across as greedy and heartless (because they are)….”
The best part about being able to turn off the far right noise-making machine is to realize the Paul Krugman is an economic genius and people like Paul Ryan are idiots. Krugman has been on top of the whole mess in Europe for ages.
“...NBC host David Gregory on Sunday pointed out to Ryan that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently argued that “the willingness of the government to keep spending was one of the main reasons we didn’t experience a full replay of the Great Depression.”
“Well, we can debate the efficacy of Keynesian economics or not, and I think that it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t work,” the former Republican vice presidential nominee quipped. “We’re not preaching austerity; we’re preaching growth and opportunity. What we’re saying is if you get our fiscal ship fixed, you preempt austerity.”.. .“A debt crisis is what they have in Europe, which is austerity,” he continued. “You cut the safety net immediately, you cut retirement benefits for people who have already retired, you raise taxes, slow down the economy, young people don’t have jobs. That’s the austerity that comes when you have a debt crisis. And when you keep stacking up trillion dollar deficits like this government is doing, it’s bringing us to that moment.”…”
John Boehner has decided to adapt Ryan’s budget plans. The problem with Paul Ryan’s budget plans are they are not the GOP plans, but what the Koch Brothers want. We need to start becoming brutally honest here. I wish those of us who have become horribly aware of what is going on in GOP were delusional. It would be so much easier than the cold hard reality of life. But, I fear we aren’t. The Kochs have an agenda. It is much the same as was their grandfather, Harry Koch.
“...Despite, or because of, overwhelming public support for FDR’s pension and welfare programs, they became major targets, with Harry Koch publishing two or three op-eds in a single day attacking them. “Some ten million old folks are wanting to draw $200 a month from the government, and one hundred million stand ready to quit work when they do. Why not pension all of them?” Koch wrote in a February 1935 editorial, while claiming in a different editorial that the “idea of an old age pension is a splendid idea … such a pension is proper. But great care should be taken…in preparing old age pension laws.”
His editorials contained the same familiar right-wing claims that we hear today: that there is not enough money to support “entitlement” programs, that government will tax industry into ruin, that similar programs in other countries have failed, that regulation is unconstitutional and workers, given the opportunity, will quit en masse and live off government charity.
In a 1934 editorial titled “Democracy’s Problem,” Harry rejected “mobocracy,” which had “been discarded as undesirable, even if attainable.” Mobocracy was the right’s popular name for “tyranny of the majority,” and remains a favorite whipping horse of Koch-funded libertarians, who increasingly promote the idea that America is not a democracy and was never intended to be one. Here’s Steve H. Hanke, senior fellow at the Cato Institute, writing in a 2011 editorial: “Contrary to what propaganda has led the public to believe, America’s Founding Fathers were skeptical and anxious about democracy. They were aware of the evils that accompany a tyranny of the majority. The Framers of the Constitution went to great lengths to ensure that the federal government was not based on the will of the majority and was not, therefore, democratic.“…”
In other words, everything that Paul Ryan and his Koch Brothers backers have told you is a lie. They don’t give a damn about the Constitution, feeling that We the Little People of America are incapable of dealing with it. Let’s simply deal with the fact that we’ve been screwed as a nation.
If something is not done to rid the GOP of the likes of the Paul Ryans, this country is going to sink into a depression the likes of which we have never known. Millions of good, honorable people, many of them having voted for Ryan will lose everything. Too bad Paul Ryan doesn’t have a pea size amount of Paul Krugman’s genius and wisdom.
“…Consider Spain’s woes. What is the real economic problem? Basically, Spain is suffering the hangover from a huge housing bubble, which caused both an economic boom and a period of inflation that left Spanish industry uncompetitive with the rest of Europe. When the bubble burst, Spain was left with the difficult problem of regaining competitiveness, a painful process that will take years. Unless Spain leaves the euro — a step nobody wants to take — it is condemned to years of high unemployment.But this arguably inevitable suffering is being greatly magnified by harsh spending cuts; and these spending cuts are a case of inflicting pain for the sake of inflicting pain.First of all, Spain didn’t get into trouble because its government was profligate. On the contrary, on the eve of the crisis, Spain actually had a budget surplus and low debt. Large deficits emerged when the economy tanked, taking revenues with it, but, even so, Spain doesn’t appear to have all that high a debt burden.It’s true that Spain is now having trouble borrowing to finance its deficits. That trouble is, however, mainly because of fears about the nation’s broader difficulties — not least the fear of political turmoil in the face of very high unemployment. And shaving a few points off the budget deficit won’t resolve those fears. In fact, research by the International Monetary Fund suggests that spending cuts in deeply depressed economies may actually reduce investor confidence because they accelerate the pace of economic decline.In other words, the straight economics of the situation suggests that Spain doesn’t need more austerity. It shouldn’t throw a party, and, in fact, it probably has no alternative (short of euro exit) to a protracted period of hard times. But savage cuts to essential public services, to aid to the needy, and so on actually hurt the country’s prospects for successful adjustment.Why, then, are there demands for ever more pain?Part of the explanation is that in Europe, as in America, far too many Very Serious People have been taken in by the cult of austerity, by the belief that budget deficits, not mass unemployment, are the clear and present danger, and that deficit reduction will somehow solve a problem brought on by private sector excess….”
The GOP is incapable of comprehending what is going on in Greece because of the forced utilization of Randian economic theory on the country. The austerity imposed by Germany, advised by Rand’sycophant Alan Greenspan, is destroying the very fabric of the nation as tens of thousands plunge from middle class into abject poverty. This is what will happen here, if Paul Ryan gets his way.
Paul Krugman wrote:
“…Early in his masterwork, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, John Maynard Keynes speculated about why the belief that economies could never suffer from inadequate demand, and that it was therefore wrong for governments ever to seek to increase demand—what he referred to as “Ricardian” economics, after the early-19th-century economist David Ricardo—had dominated respectable opinion for so long. His musings are as sharp and forceful now as when they were written:
The completeness of the Ricardian victory is something of a curiosity and a mystery. It must have been due to a complex of suitabilities in the doctrine to the environment into which it was projected. That it reached conclusions quite different from what the ordinary uninstructed person would expect, added, I suppose, to its intellectual prestige. That its teaching, translated into practice, was austere and often unpalatable, lent it virtue. That it was adapted to carry a vast and consistent logical superstructure, gave it beauty. That it could explain much social injustice and apparent cruelty as an inevitable incident in the scheme of progress, and the attempt to change such things as likely on the whole to do more harm than good, commended it to authority. That it afforded a measure of justification to the free activities of the individual capitalist, attracted to it the support of the dominant social force behind authority.
Indeed; the part about how the economic doctrine that demands austerity also rationalizes social injustice and cruelty more broadly, and how this recommends it to authority, rings especially true.
We might add an insight from another 20th-century economist, Michal Kalecki, who wrote a penetrating 1943 essay on the importance to business leaders of the appeal to “confidence.” As long as there are no routes back to full employment except that of somehow restoring business confidence, he pointed out, business lobbies in effect have veto power over government actions: propose doing anything they dislike, such as raising taxes or enhancing workers’ bargaining power, and they can issue dire warnings that this will reduce confidence and plunge the nation into depression. But let monetary and fiscal policy be deployed to fight unemployment, and suddenly business confidence becomes less necessary, and the need to cater to capitalists’ concerns is much reduced.
Let me add yet another line of explanation. If you look at what Austerians want—fiscal policy that focuses on deficits rather than on job creation, monetary policy that obsessively fights even the hint of inflation and raises interest rates even in the face of mass unemployment—all of it in effect serves the interests of creditors, of those who lend as opposed to those who borrow and/or work for a living. Lenders want governments to make honoring their debts the highest priority, and they oppose any action on the monetary side that either deprives bankers of returns by keeping rates low or erodes the value of claims through inflation.
Finally, there’s the continuing urge to make the economic crisis a morality play, a tale in which a depression is the necessary consequence of prior sins and must not be alleviated. Deficit spending and low interest rates just seem wrong to many people, perhaps especially to central bankers and other financial officials, whose sense of self-worth is bound up with the idea of being the grown-ups who say no….”
This country is screwed if people like Paul Ryan continue to have their way. It’s as simple as that.