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Picture 2Far 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.

Huffington Post

Huffington Post

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.”…”

Raw Story

Raw Story

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.

NYTimes

NYTimes

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.

 

 

 

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  • HH

    And trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see is going to SAVE this country? This is like a family earning $23,000 a year continuing on a path of spending $36,000 a year, having already racked up a debt of $164,000. No bank or credit card company would continue to support that fiscal path. And between Obamacare and the “Second Bill of Rights” that people like Cass Sunnstein are pushing, we will see even more spending as Obama doubles down on the failed Great Society, believing that he can succeed if he keeps throwing rich people’s money to buy the votes to keep Democrats, and their corrupt union buddies and billionaires like George Soros in power.

    We can either go down Europe’s path to bankruptcy, or we can learn from their mistakes and change course. And if we follow the European path to social democracy, we WILL go broke eventually, and we get Greek-style breakdowns in a country with 300 million guns and with Red and Blue America ready to settle scores with each other. After Prop 8, the illusions were gone when I found out my best friend’s wife got death threats for trying to overturn a court ruling that they believed was wrong – and which the California constitution allowed.

    Had Romney won, Obama supporters were threatening to riot on Twitter. You wonder why I don’t want to lose the right to own an AR-15?

    It’s because I remember the L.A. riots, and how the cops didn’t protect the citizenry – they were on their own. The Second Amendment was not about hunting or skeet shooting – it was about personal protection, including from an indifferent or tyrannical government – and yes, I think the Left in this country aims to oppress those they disagree with.

    I woke up over the last ten years – ever since Iraq started. I once thought that the Left in this country were decent. but misguided people. I was wrong in that assumption. Now, I see where they come from. They only love the idea of fundamentally transforming America into a government-centered society like those in Europe, with their notions of social justice – which eventually means the limiting of, if not the end of, the Bill of Rights. They’ve never loved the United States of America.

  • unknown jane

    I don’t think they understand the difference words can make: when Reagan quipped about welfare queens driving Cadillacs he was being critical of individual behavior, not people as a group (now, whether he did this because he was good or because he was savvy is unknown but it’s still there). Anybody who doesn’t live in a bubble or had their own agenda picked up on it too. That’s why Reagan could get away with saying it — because it did contain an element of truth, and it chastised but it didn’t demonize, and it was pointing out an individual behaving badly who could possibly be brought to mend their ways.
    These idiots though: they just saw that comment as, heh, black and white, so they take it too another level: anyone who isn’t making at least 80K a year is a “taker”, a mooch, regardless (and heck, even their hero Rand, in moments of sanity was better than they: because even that crazy broad realized that the little guy could be an honest worker and shouldn’t be put in a position to not be able to do that, should be allowed the fruits of his/her labor…it was rare, but she could have flashes of sense and sanity)…and they’ve even gone a step further: those people are “insects”, which is freaking Nazi. Stalin, and Mao talk (which Rand did do the majority of the time, because she was a crazy fascist at heart).
    And then these fools can’t understand why they aren’t more popular? How come Reagan could do it, but they can’t? That’s taking clueless evil to a whole other level — they are just as much venal bubble people as the clueless, self rightteous, power mad liberals they like to call libtards….conservodunces perhaps???
    It would be hilarious if people weren’t going to suffer so.

  • jose maria

    I have never had much faith in Keynesian Economics, so I don’t share much admiration for Paul Krugman. I don’t believe either an individual or a country can spend their way into prosperity. Keynesian Economics encourages spending and actually discourages savings by lowering interest rates. For awhile the United States can get by with deficit spending by printing more currency, but other countries can’t always do that. The real purpose of the Federal Reserve System was to use controls to expand the economy during deflation and contract the economy in periods of inflation. The Keynesian idea is that spending should continue regardless of the shape of the economy. Our unsung heroes are the people who work, but it is not deficit spending that creates jobs, it is production. This is basic Economics 101. Krugman’s audiences are just as bad as Paul Ryan’s. They lack wisdom, good judgment and character.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    Until about 6 months ago, I would have agreed 100% with you. You can’t spend your way out of deficits, but the “Austrian” economics that are being used against Greece & Spain don’t work. I think jobs are the only answer. The worst of it is that we need infrastructure repair, badly. Eisenhower fully lifted us out of the Depression by doing what Krugman is advocating – infrastructure. With Ike it was the interstate highway system, growing and building new airports, stuff like that. We need to repair what he built.

    My grandfather Froehlich was a very wise man, economically. He thought Greenspan’s economic philosophy would eventually destroy this country, if given an opportunity – and it has. He wasn’t anti- Keynesian, just a little more reserved about it. He was also the 1st person to suggest limiting the growth of South Florida because of the water table, and advocated protection for the Everglades. That was back in the late 1970s. He was called a senile old man and kicked off the state water commission.

    SJR

  • jose maria

    Greece is sucking up emergency funds faster than the European Central Bank can produce them. What we are witnessing is the collapse of the welfare state. There is not enough real wealth to support the promises made by the government.

  • jose maria

    I hear that Paul Ryan is singing a new theme song these days. “It is the dawning of the age of austerity, the age of austerity, austerity!”

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    Here we disagree. Greece had a problem but the austerity pushed on it by Germany has turned the problem into a humanitarian disaster. They lowered taxes for the ultra wealthy, cut taxes on the shipping industry, and raised taxes on everyone else. They cut state services to the point where people are literally committing suicide out of abject hopelessness. Children are being abandoned at unreal rates. There are no drugs, medications, hospital services almost destroyed. No humanitarian services – they were cut. Middle class has been literally turned into absolute poverty. Unemployment is at record highs. They turned a recession into a major depression.

    SJR

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    I quit. I give up. You win!

    SJR

  • HH

    SJ, if you wanted to avoid Greece, we needed a President who would have passed the Ryan budget. We’re trying to fix 21st century problems with programs designed in the 1960s that are increasingly insolvent.

    The current welfare state is unsustainable. We either gradually reform the programs so that we can preserve them, or we take a collapse and end up having to do what Greece did. And should the Greece-style riots happen, and the consequences of collapse happen, it is on the heads of those who voted for Obama, not politically courageous men and women like Paul Ryan who tried to avert the collapse and who have been viciously smeared for their efforts to do so.

    If you want infrastructure modernization, we need to get the budget situation stabilized. But right now, too many on the Left won’t lift a finger. We can’t use tax hikes on the “rich” and defense cuts to do that.

  • http://www.thepinkflamingoblog.com SJ Reidhead

    They pushed a Ryan type budget on Greece and it is destroying the country. People are dying. It is now in a major depression because of libertarian stupidity. The welfare state is not the problem. The problem is the fact that people are not paying the same tax rate. Why should a small business person be destroyed at 35-39% while some plutocratic pays only 10-14%? Sorry, that’s not what this country is about. Why should big corps get away with paying 1-5% taxes while small businesses get hosed? The problem with this country is the libertarian philosophy promoted by worshipers of Ayn Rand, including that lying little jerk, Paul Ryan. I have absolutely no respect for him or his agenda, which will not work.

    SJR


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