I don’t think there’s much doubt that Paul Ryan is trying to position himself as VP material, and there’s also not much doubt that talk show bobbleheads aren’t going to push him all that much on his entitlement double talk – either because they don’t especially care, or are just that dim. Witness this exchange today on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, in which he embraces the classic Beltway journalists’ “View From Nowhere”: “Some say” it’s premium support, “some call it a voucher.” Really, George, how much trouble would it have been for YOU to do your freakin’ job and explain that what we’re really talking about are Groupons for healthcare? How much money does ABC News pay you to sit and nod at this crap?
STEPHANOPOULOS: And let’s get more on this now with Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee. He comes to us from Wisconsin this morning.
You just heard Jack Lew right there, Congressman, say that Congress should just get this payroll tax extension done. Will they?
RYAN: Well, I think we will, but what we’re trying to do is simply cut spending to pay for it. You’ve got to remember, George, that this payroll tax holiday loses money to the Social Security Trust Fund. And if you just extend this without paying for it by cutting spending, then you’re accelerating the bankruptcy of Social Security. That’s all we want to do, is make sure that Social Security is left unharmed while we extend this payroll tax holiday.
Yes, because we all know how determined Republicans are to save Social Security.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But — and the White House agrees with that, but the point is, it seems like you’re stuck on how to pay for this extension.
RYAN: Yeah, it seems as if the parties — the president’s party leaders are more or less not engaging in these conversations. We have offered literally scores of different offsets. We’ve taken provisions from the president’s own budget as ways of paying for this payroll tax holiday, yet they continue to insist on not agreeing to those kinds of things.
So I don’t know where this is going to come down to it. I do believe this will get extended. But when we make offer after offer based on policies that we know Democrats and the president have supported in the past, yet they still insist on not coming to agreement, it’s difficult to see exactly how this is going to pan out.
Oh, you mean the part about raising revenues? Yes, funny how “stuck” Republicans are on this one issue, thanks to Pope Grover.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s get to the broader budget. You heard Jack Lew there say that they have $2.50 of spending reductions for every tax increase. And the White House and Democrats have really targeted your plan to reform Medicare, this — what you call premium support, they say it’s a voucher system. I want to show right here the — the ad put out, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, saying just when you thought Medicare was safe, they are back. They’re saying that your plan is going to end Medicare as we know it.
Are you concerned that this — this attack — and we’ve heard Republicans pick it up, as well — could end up costing your House majority?
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This sounds really useful – and I’m not being sarcastic.
Sick of reading stories like this, where people can’t afford to heat their homes. Where sick people can’t afford treatment, where the older unemployed have to beg for help from strangers. Yeah, it’s always heartwarming to read that people want to help, but the New York Times can’t write about everybody.
This is America?
I’m also sick of brain-dead fuckwits who believe our personal value as human beings is determined by our willingness to run these inhumane obstacle courses, and not our compassion for each other. I mean, just read the comments section on those stories.
And by the way, how anyone can listen to that new Bruce Springsteen song and hear it as anything other than an indictment is beyond me.
Trader Joe’s signs a fair food agreement with Florida tomato workers.
Boy, is it cold today. It’s 23 and windy, the first really cold weather we’ve had. Hope it hangs around long enough to kill off the mold, because it’s been one long allergy season.
The U.S. builds a fake case for intervention in Syria, via b. at Moon Over Alabama.