Sunday, April 6, 2014

Ryan's student loan lies and his not so sneaking way to throw the poor off Medicaid.

The conservative echo chamber believes in the following; federal student loans have increased tuition, and block granting Medicaid offers states the flexibility to shape their own programs and saves money.

While many countries provide their citizens with a free college education, we don't: Instead of free, the GOP would like to make life more difficult by making us shop for everything, like a student loans, health care and soon, K-12. Imagine if all these things were provided through a general tax, and we could focus our energies on so many other things.

Republicans have been setting up the student loan program to fall for years: State Republicans continue to cut funding for their public colleges, forcing tuition increases. And on the other side, congressional Republicans blame the tuition increases on the availability of federal funding. Their con is to do away with the governments affordable student loan program and give banks the freedom to make even bigger profits. Sen. Elizabeth Warren would instead lower student loan interest to just above 3%.
Warren’s latest proposal would allow students and former students to refinance old loans at current government-subsidized rates. She proposes paying for the losses to the government by levying bigger taxes on top earners. “It’s billionaires or students. Where do we want to make our investment?” Warren asked a Washington audience recently.
Democratic Rep. Ron Kind quickly responded to Paul Ryan's latest proposal with this reality check:
Students --CUT $145 billion in education funding and $90 billion in Pell grants. Students would also be charged interest on their loans while still in school.
The solution is easy; Republicans need to start funding state colleges again, and get behind the idea of an educated public. Use general revenues to shore up our public schools and colleges-lower tuition's.

Medicaid, it's all "philosophical?" What Scott Walker did to the poor on Badgercare is mild compared to what he could have done if the federal government didn't regulate (strings attached) the use of funding. Paul Ryan wants to get rid of the strings. It's a "philosophical" thing, and a very brave "it doesn't effect me" move that only tramples on the unhealthy.

From Political Capital, Ryan amazed host Al Hunt at how disconnected he was to the reality of the problem:

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ryan's 25% top tax bracket impossible, proves he doesn't really know what he's doing.

Political Capital's Al Hunt knows his stuff, and easily exposed the real Paul Ryan plan. Although Hunt does let Ryan off the hook eventually, it's clear there's a lot Ryan doesn't want to tell us.

Hunt reminded Ryan that Republican Rep. Dave Camp's detailed austere budget plan could only safely bring the top tax rate down to 35%, or it wouldn't work. RYAN WAS STUMPED, so he said the House Ways and Means Committee can itemize their plans, but the budget committee "won't say, here's exactly how to do tax reform. But here's the goal of tax reform...!" What does that mean?

But if Ryan's goal in unrealistic, as exemplified by Camp's budget plan, then why did Ryan proposal the impossible? Because the truth is, Ryan really does have a Dickensian vision for America? Correct me if I'm wrong.

Ryan in one fell swoop lost all of his credibility, again. He crumbled under the questioning of someone smarter. Thank you Al Hunt:

Ryan's Paymasters Will Never Let Him Give Up Trying To Enslave Ordinary Americans-- Really

Wednesday the House Budget Committee approved Paul Ryan's latest Ayn Rand Budget, which cuts trillions in healthcare spending and repeals the Affordable Care Act. "His budget," reports Hospital CFO, "would make significant changes to Medicare, reducing program spending by $129 billion over the next 10 years. Starting in 2012, it would convert Medicare to a premium support program, under which beneficiaries would receive funds from the government with which they could purchase either traditional Medicare coverage or private health plans." A report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), a nonpartisan policy organization, reports that "Some 69% of the cuts in House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget would come from programs that serve people of limited means." While Ryan claims to want to strengthen Medicare, the CBPP report said $2.7 trillion of the cuts will come from Medicaid and at least 40 million Americans would become uninsured by 2024. None of the popular parts of the Affordable Care Act would survive the Republicans' meat cleaver. He's says they're too expensive and have got to go.

The committee vote to approve Ryan's drastic budget was 22-16. All the Republicans voted for it and all the Democrats voted against it. Several Republicans not on the committee said they will vote against it next week when the full House takes it up. Walter Jones (R-NC) said he will oppose any budget with foreign aid in it and is one of the few Republicans who agrees with the Democrats that Ryan's scheme to convert Medicare into a partially privatized insurance system would be a catastrophe for American seniors. Other likely Republican "no" votes next week include Jack Kingston (R-GA), Justin Amash (R-MI), Tim Huelskamp (R-KS), Raúl Labrador (R-ID), Tom Massie (R-KY), and Rick Crawford (R-AR). These are the Republicans on the Budget Committee"

Paul Ryan (WI-01), Chairman
Tom Price (GA-06), Vice-Chairman
Scott Garrett (NJ-05)
John Campbell (CA-45)
Ken Calvert (CA-42)
Tom Cole (OK-04)
Tom McClintock (CA-04)
James Lankford (OK-05)
Diane Black (TN-06)
Reid Ribble (WI-08)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Todd Rokita (IN-04)
Rob Woodall (GA-07)
Marsha Blackburn (TN-07)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-01)
Scott Rigell (VA-02)
Vicky Hartzler (MO-04)
Jackie Walorski (IN-02)
Luke Messer (IN-06)
Tom Rice (SC-07)
Roger Williams (TX-25)
Sean Duffy (WI-07)
Meanwhile, House Democrats have been furious about Ryan's slash-and-burn Austerity approach to programs that provide services and benefits to the middle class and those least able to afford the cuts. Barbara Lee (D-CA) pointed out yesterday was the 46th anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, and that Ryan's Godless budget cuts are “exactly the opposite of what Dr. King stood for.” Ryan's adolescent ideas, straight from his favorite school girl Ayn Rand novel, have already failed in Europe; he wants to implement them here anyway. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), who would become Budget Chairman if Nancy Pelosi removed Steve Israel as head of the DCCC and allowed the Democrats to win back the House in November, said that the Ryan cuts approved by the Republicans on the committee "tells the American public exactly what Republicans in Congress would do to the country if they have the power to impose their will."
"It's the budget that ransacks the future of America's children," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said during a press briefing in the Capitol. "Education is the best investment that a person, a parent, a country can make in its future... This is key to employment, to growth, to innovation and for the success of our economy.

"I view the Ryan budget as an ideological manifesto," she added.

Other Democrats piled on.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said the Ryan plan would cut $18 billion in early education programs, $89 billion in K-12 programs and $205 billion in higher education initiatives over the next decade, versus the levels established by December's budget deal between Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).

Rep. George Miller (D-CA), ranking member of the Education and Labor Committee, said the GOP budget would eliminate more than 170,000 spots for early education benefits-- "and it gets worse every year after that," he added.

"These are the exact children that we know, if they have an opportunity in early childhood education, they will do much better in school, they're more likely to graduate, they're more likely to get a job, they're less likely to go to jail and they're more likely to earn a higher income than children who don't get that opportunity," Miller said.

"Clearly they [Republicans] don't care about these children."
President Obama doesn't think so either. In his weekly address to the nation this morning, he contrasted his own budget with the Ryan document. "[T]he budget I sent Congress earlier this year," he said, "is built on the idea of opportunity for all. It will grow the middle class and shrink the deficits we’ve already cut in half since I took office. It’s an opportunity agenda with four goals. Number one is creating more good jobs that pay good wages. Number two is training more Americans with the skills to fill those jobs. Number three is guaranteeing every child access to a great education. And number four is making work pay-- with wages you can live on, savings you can retire on, and health care that’s there for you when you need it." He has a very different view of what Ryan presented on April Fool's Day.
This week, the Republicans in Congress put forward a very different budget. And it does just the opposite: it shrinks opportunity and makes it harder for Americans who work hard to get ahead.

The Republican budget begins by handing out massive tax cuts to households making more than $1 million a year. Then, to keep from blowing a hole in the deficit, they’d have to raise taxes on middle-class families with kids. Next, their budget forces deep cuts to investments that help our economy create jobs, like education and scientific research.

Now, they won’t tell you where these cuts will fall. But compared to my budget, if they cut everything evenly, then within a few years, about 170,000 kids will be cut from early education programs. About 200,000 new mothers and kids will be cut off from programs to help them get healthy food. Schools across the country will lose funding that supports 21,000 special education teachers. And if they want to make smaller cuts to one of these areas, that means larger cuts in others.

Unsurprisingly, the Republican budget also tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act-- even though that would take away health coverage from the more than seven million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance. And for good measure, their budget guts the rules we put in place to protect the middle class from another financial crisis like the one we’ve had to fight so hard to recover from.

Policies that benefit a fortunate few while making it harder for working Americans to succeed are not what we need right now. Our economy doesn’t grow best from the top-down; it grows best from the middle-out.  That’s what my opportunity agenda does-- and it’s what I’ll keep fighting for.
Did you know Blue America has a special page set up for the sole purpose of defeating Paul Ryan. This isn't to "send him a message" by electing some Blue Dog with values not so different from his in some backward red district. This page is dedicated to defeating him and replacing him with a progressive Democrat, Rob Zerban. Rob on Ryan's budget: "Ryan and his Republican colleagues fail to honestly account for their own policies. Free trade deals that have hollowed out our manufacturing industry, giveaways to Wall Street that have let billionaires accumulate all the benefits of our economy-- these are the things that cause poverty, not food stamps or early education programs. I agree with the New York Times that Ryan's report distorts the facts and that his ideas are ‘small and tired.' As the Times says, ‘most successful programs, including the (earned income) tax credit, Medicaid and food stamps, have been those that are carefully designed, properly managed and well-financed.’ I am a shining example of how smart programs can work. My single mother raised us in poverty, and we needed federal nutrition programs to have enough to eat. I needed Pell Grants and Stafford Loans to go to college, but I used all that help to get an education, and then build two successful businesses and employ dozens of people. The truth is that many of these programs are extremely successful, but years of budget cuts, free trade deals, refusal to increase the minimum wage, and giveaways to Wall Street resulted in the Great Recession and driven more and more people into poverty.”

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Palin loves the mighty Badger's, can't say the same for Paul Ryan.

Like the giant Kool Aid Pitcher or Joe Camel, Sarah Palin now just makes me laugh. I also have a tendency to want to hide my face like I did when I was 4, but a 12 step program helped me beat back that desire. 

I present to you Sarah Palin's take on the UW Badgers and Paul Ryan. She writes like she talks? Amazing:
Holy Moly! Are you kidding? You’d think one who is representing the mighty Badgers, who made it to the Final Four based on sacrificial work ethic and discipline that obviously pays off in the end, he who represents the great state of Wisconsin that hosts this underdog celebrated college basketball team, would understand that future success depends on hard work and sacrifices. 

The latest Ryan (R, Wisconsin) Budget is not an April Fool’s joke. But it really IS a joke because it is STILL not seeing the problem; it STILL is not proposing reining in wasteful government overspending TODAY, instead of speculating years out that some future Congress and White House may possibly, hopefully, eh-who-knows, take responsibility for today’s budgetary selfishness and shortsightedness to do so. THIS is the definition of insanity. Do we still not understand how dangerous it is to allow government to grow unchecked as we shackle ourselves with massive debt – a good portion of which is held by foreign nations who don’t necessarily like us? If we can’t balance the budget today, what on earth makes us think it will happen at some future date? 

The solution is staring us in the face. We need to rein in spending today, and don’t tell me there is nothing to cut when we know every omnibus bill is loaded with pork and kickbacks.

Reading the article linked (that) gave me the same reaction that my daughter just caused when she punked me with a very unfunny April Fool’s Day announcement. As my Dad would say after these April Fool’s announcements, “This would kill a lesser man.” This out-of-control debt is killing our economic future.- Sarah Palin

Monday, March 31, 2014

Correcting Lyin' Paul Ryan...again.

The only good that came out of Paul Ryan's run for vice president is that we now know he's a lying phony. Is that just liberal name calling? Not if it's the truth.

Ryan's opponent Democratic candidate Rob Zerban would wise to incorporate a few of the important reality base points below about Ryan's mischaracterization of poverty and Medicaid. From Bill Moyers:
Ryan: “It’s time for an adult conversation,” he told The Washington Post: The problem is that a prerequisite for any adult conversation is telling the truth and it is there the congressman falls monumentally short.

In addition to Rep. Ryan’s recent, racially-coded comments about “our inner cities” where “generations of men [are] not even thinking about working,” his rhetoric around policy should raise red flags for anyone — including the media — assessing his credibility.
Here are the facts that simply scream common sense:
report from Emily Oshima Lee, policy analyst at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, examines the hatchet job Rep. Ryan did on Medicaid ... The Washington Post generously described as a “critique.” Indeed, Ryan’s report ... misrepresenting and cherry-picking data — is a dangerous disservice ... assessing antipoverty programs.

Lee notes that Ryan misuses research to imply that Medicaid coverage leads to poorer health. “The privately insured comparison is patently unfair because these people tend to be higher income and that comes with a whole host of health privileges.” She notes that Medicaid enrollees tend to struggle a lot more with chronic conditions and illnesses than other populations writes Lee, in my opinion admirably resisting the temptation to add, “duh.”

Ryan also argues that Medicaid coverage has little positive effect on enrollees’ health. But as Lee points out, Ryan conveniently overlooks studies showing lower mortality rates; reduced low-weight births and infant and child mortality; and lower mortality for HIV-positive patients. “…such as increased use of preventive care and greater financial security.”

Despite Ryan’s shabby work when it comes to antipoverty policy, the media repeatedly seems willing to overlook it. That’s another strike against the prospects of a truly adult conversation about poverty — in addition to honesty, it requires accountability.

Rep. Ryan also plays on fears of low-income people abusing the welfare system when he asserts that Medicaid coverage improperly increases enrollees’ use of health care services, including preventive care and emergency department services ... by comparing Medicaid enrollees to uninsured people ... “Presenting data that Medicaid enrollees use more health services than the uninsured affirms that insurance coverage allows people who need care to seek it out,” writes Lee, “and that being uninsured is a major barrier to receiving important medical care.”

Further, one of the two studies Ryan references explicitly states that “neither theory nor existing evidence provides a definitive answer to… whether we should expect increases or decreases in emergency-department use when Medicaid expands.”

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Paul Ryan has always focused on Poverty? Media Keeps Myth Alive.

Let me get this right; solving the problem of poverty, along with long term unemployment, has been on Rep. Paul Ryan’s radar for a long time? It’s almost as if the press, in this case AP, is oblivious to his actual plan to get rid of these nagging problems and safety net programs. They also know of his ideological hero, Ayn Rand I hope.

Republicans like Ryan simply want to cut the poor and unemployed loose, having them disappear into society, knowing that there aren't enough newspapers to report all the devastating stories from disenfranchised Americans.

The case of the long term unemployed provided the first test for Republicans last December. They now know the unemployed, who continue to lose benefits month after month, are no longer part of the media focus. The GOP has "disappeared them"…problem solved.

But it’s even worse when an outlet like AP makes it seem like Ryan's “signature issue…(that) dates back to his time…working for former vice-presidential nominee Jack Kemp” has anything to do with really helping them make a living wage or expand the jobs market. His be proud don’t eat strategy is somehow a plan?
AP: Rep. Paul Ryan is making poverty a signature issue … The Wisconsin congressman had hoped his work on poverty could be a positive: His interest in the issue dates back to his time as a speechwriter working for former vice-presidential nominee Jack Kemp. He has spent much of his time since returning to Congress focused on the issue, touring poor precincts, giving speeches and producing a detailed, 205-page report on poverty, while indicating that he may introduce legislation to deal with the issue.
Ryan hopes the poor will disappear under the flood of cheerful stories about the bullish investor market and rosy corporate profits reports.

The media has already started writing stories about how the long term unemployed are probably here to stay, so we should get used to that simple fact of life.

Ryan’s comment below cements the idea that “government” and “the people” are two separate entities, and that we can’t rely on our elected lawmakers to solve the problem:
"This enforces the idea that this is government's responsibility, and you don't need to do anything about it. That's not true."
I thought that was the reason we had government, or am I missing something?

Ryan Helps the Poor Myth Builds: The AP article ended on this bizarre defensive note about our misunderstood Paul Ryan and his plans to cut the safety nets:
Mary Berry, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who served as the chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights from 1993 to 2004 (said), "Democrats will jump all over them in the messaging game, no matter what they say, and they won't be given the benefit of the doubt — that's politics."
But there are no doubts, except for those created by the media.