Thursday, April 7, 2011

Have They No Shame?

Mark Thoma remarking on Jeff Frankel's Harvard weblog post regarding the Republican Party's latest economic policy malfeasance - to wit, Rep. Paul Ryan's supposedly 'serious' latest budget plan:

When all of the savings from cutting spending are given back as tax cuts, it's not about the deficit (see here for who the tax cuts got to under the Ryan plan -- it shouldn't be a surprise).

 The radical right - forgive me if that's redundant - has been boo hooing about how the liberal left is supposedly raising the spectre of class warfare as some sort of red herring to confuse and/or threaten the great unwashed masses. They cry that the left is unfairly distorting the Republicon message, and engaging in underhanded, un-American internecine strife. [Ignore the Koch brother behind the curtain.]

What, pray tell, is Ryan's plan if not bald-faced class warfare? I am hard-pressed to interpret this graph in any other way:

So, the Top 1% in this country reap virtually & literally ALL of the national economic benefits of the last 30 years. Their success in capturing such an unbalanced share of the national prosperity was supported & accelerated by purportedly 'conservative' tax & regulatory policies based on a free market fundamentalist ideology & flawed economic theory that nearly brought on a second Great Depression, has tossed nearly 15 million Americans out of work, and contributed to an unsustainable ballooning of the national deficit and debt.

And now that the bill has come due on these ideological policies Rep.Ryan wants the middle class (and below) to pay it?

Worse, he wants us to pay that tab AND pay for another massive tax cut for the rich!
I'm not making this stuff up, folks!

On the tax side, the Ryan plan would make permanent all of the Bush tax cuts for high-income Americans, as well as the striking estate-tax giveaway included in the December 2010 tax package that benefits the estates of only the wealthiest one-quarter of 1 percent of Americans who die, at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. The Ryan plan loses $700 billion over ten years from making the high-end tax cuts permanent. People with incomes over $1 million would receive average tax cuts of $125,000 a year — or more than $1 million over the coming decade — if these tax cuts are made permanent, according to the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The $125,000 figure does not include the additional tax cuts that high-income households would receive from the evisceration of the estate tax (or from additional cuts that people earning at least $1million a year would receive from Ryan’s call to cut the top tax rate to 25 percent as part of revenue neutral tax reform).

             CBPP Statement: Updated April 6, 2011Statement of Robert Greenstein, President, on Chairman Ryan’s Budget Plan

Anybody who says Rep. Ryan is reasonable - or even a fiscal conservative - is an idiot.
Or a liar.
Or both.
Most likely both.


Adding credibility - NOT!- to Rep. Ryan's plan is the Heritage Foundation's economic analysis.

Our favorite Koch Bros. enrichment-enhancement machine claims that some magic wand-waving of tax cuts [mostly for the rich], supply-side hypotheses & free market fundamentalism will drive the long-term unemployment number down to 2.8% within 10 years.

 That hasn't happened in my lifetime (I'm 51).
Won't happen now.
I'm amazed Ryan can pass the straight face test on this one.

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