On Paul Ryan and his budget plan:

Paul Ryan, the Republican Party’s latest entrant in the seemingly endless series of young, prickish, over-coiffed, anal-retentive deficit Robespierres they’ve sent to the political center stage in the last decade or so, has come out with his new budget plan. All of these smug little jerks look alike to me – from Ralph Reed to Eric Cantor to Jeb Hensarling to Rand Paul and now to Ryan, they all look like overgrown kids who got nipple-twisted in the halls in high school, worked as Applebee’s shift managers in college, and are now taking revenge on the world as grownups by defunding hospice care and student loans and Sesame Street. They all look like they sleep with their ties on, and keep their feet in dress socks when doing their bi-monthly duty with their wives.

Every few years or so, the Republicans trot out one of these little whippersnappers, who offer proposals to hack away at the federal budget. Each successive whippersnapper inevitably tries, rhetorically, to out-mean the previous one, and their proposals are inevitably couched as the boldest and most ambitious deficit-reduction plans ever seen. Each time, we are told that these plans mark the end of the budgetary reign of terror long ago imposed by the entitlement system begun by FDR and furthered by LBJ.

Never mind that each time the Republicans actually come into power, federal deficit spending explodes and these whippersnappers somehow never get around to touching Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid. The key is that for the many years before that moment of truth, before these buffoons actually get a chance to put their money where their lipless little mouths are, they will stomp their feet and scream about how entitlements are bringing us to the edge of apocalypse.

The reason for this is always the same: the Republicans, quite smartly, recognize that there is great political hay to be made in the appearance of deficit reduction, and that white middle class voters will respond with overwhelming enthusiasm to any call for reductions in the “welfare state,” a term which said voters will instantly associate with black welfare moms and Mexicans sneaking over the border to visit American emergency rooms.

The problem, of course, is that to actually make significant cuts in what is left of the “welfare state,” one has to cut Medicare and Medicaid, programs overwhelmingly patronized by white people, and particularly white seniors. So when the time comes to actually pull the trigger on the proposed reductions, the whippersnappers are quietly removed from the stage and life goes on as usual, i.e. with massive deficit spending on defense, upper-class tax cuts, bailouts, corporate subsidies, and big handouts to Pharma and the insurance industries.

3 thoughts on “Taibbi

  1. Mr. Obama couldn’t negotiate his way out of a paper
    bag coated in acid. Susie is being too kind here.

    The man won’t fight for anything.

  2. The other thing that he doesn’t mention is that they love war, guns, bombs and getting their way by blustering and swaggering and waving guns around. This is how they make the huge deficits they can’t control.

  3. Oh, but Obama did fight to get his profit protection plan passed for Big Health Industry Players; he twisted arms quite well to accomplish what he and his paymasters wanted.

    He twisted arms before he was elected to get as much money flowing to his bankster buddy backers as they wanted. Well, maybe they’re not actually buddies; more like his paymasters and MOTU overlords.

    And he didn’t even talk to Congress much about his last little war in Libya. Exactly who he’s doing this for I really don’t know, but it’s not the like of us here.

    He’s also kept Democrats amazingly under control, with very little pushback on his rightward moves for the government, the party, and our society.

    We are so screwed.

    Do not fall for the line that he’s been “forced” to do all these awful things: He’s doing what he wants to do and feels is in the best interests of his MOTU overlords and himself. I can’t know why he’s doing this shit to us, but it’s really enough to knows he’s doing it and doing it with due deliberation.

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