I know that generally speaking, fiscal policy is not the sexiest subject to write about. In an effort to help everybody understand what one of our major political parties is proposing, I took a quick look at Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget outline.
Here is what you need to know: The GOP still does not function in any type of reality.
The Ryan budget is pure poppycock that has absolutely zero chance of passing, period. For Republicans to put such a plan forward proves (again) that they have learned absolutely nothing from the 2012 elections about what the country (read: their constituents) actually WANT. Perhaps the better question is: Why does ANYBODY take Paul Ryan seriously as a deficit hawk? Aren’t these the same people who keep blatantly lying when they claim that the deficit continues to go up under Obama?
Ryan published an Op-ed yesterday in the Wall Street Journal where he gives a sneak peek into the GOP’s budget. The highlights: Repeal Obamacare, lower taxes for corporations and rich people, gut Medicare and turn it into a block-grant voucher program, and cut food stamps and other programs for disadvantaged Americans.
EDIT – Whoops
Welcome to the new GOP, same as the old GOP.
Let’s start with the big point of contention: The Republican budget only works if Obamacare is repealed. Does anybody think that after the hardest fight of his political career, a landmark Supreme Court decision, and being the first President to tackle healthcare reform in half a century that Obama is going to simply abandon his signature accomplishment? Paul Ryan might as well have stated that Republicans plan to balance the budget by 2023 by harnessing the natural gas contained in unicorn farts. The increased revenue and energy independence that we’d enjoy would allow us to pay down our debt and more importantly, we wouldn’t have to touch any of the tax breaks that oil companies currently enjoy, and we could even offer subsidies to “Big Unicorn” to help ensure their success.
Sound crazy? What do you think the GOP would say if as the cornerstone of his 2013 budget, President Obama came out and said he was expanding Medicare to everybody, creating a true Single Payer system for healthcare. (you know, like those SOCIALISTS in Finland who enjoy the best and most affordable healthcare in the world.) Republicans would accuse the President of “not negotiating in good faith” or “not being realistic” about putting forward a plan that could pass both chambers of Congress. You know it’s insane when even the journalists at Fox News are saying it won’t happen.
Sure, Senate Democrats are going to put a plan forward – But it will probably be filibustered because if both the House and Senate passed budget bills, they’d have to move to reconciliation – Which means they’d actually have to get together in a conference and find a COMPROMISE between the two bills. Anyone feeling warm and fuzzy about those prospects?
Of course, that won’t happen. Republicans will block the bill in the Senate from coming up for a vote and then turn around and scream, “Why won’t the Democrats in the Senate pass a budget?” Good thing we got that filibuster reform, eh Senator Reid?
Let’s also address something that we learned in the Sequester: Republicans say they want spending cuts, but they don’t want to take responsibility for any of the cuts. Why? Most Americans do not favor the cuts. Turns out people LIKE Medicare, Medicaid, and even defense spending. Here’s the cliff notes:
- Republicans want spending cuts.
- Americans don’t favor spending cuts.
- Spending cuts, while something that Republicans campaign on as a major party platform are extremely unpopular and thus, now Obama’s fault.
The bad news is that we’ve just resolved ourselves to our system of government being hopeless and broken. It never used to be like this, and the partisanship and lack of compromise is starting to create even more hatred and animosity towards our elected officials. Do they really represent us as a nation anymore? Most of us favor a balanced approach regarding cuts and spending. Then again, 90% of the country supports universal background checks on gun purchases, and we can’t even get THAT done.
What hope do we have of having our voices heard? I guess that is up to you. See you at the polls.
–Sean Kemmerer is a freelance writer, administrator of Politics Without The Crazy Pills, and wishes Noah would have had more room on the Ark, because unicorns would be rad.