Romney-Ryan Ticket Steps Up Class Warfare, Part II

Class Warfare on steroids, let the games begin!

This duo takes class warfare to a frightening new level. Romney could not have picked a better running mate than Paul Ryan to demonstrate how out of touch the GOP is with the majority of America, the 99 percent as we are sometimes called.

 We already know how wronged Romney feels. People are “envious” of him. “You know, I think it’s about envy. I think it’s about class warfare”. Looking for sympathy saying “I’m unemployed too” while talking to the unemployed folks in Florida (he didn’t mention he also earned $42,000,000 in 2009 and 2010). See “Mitt Romney Demonstrates Class Warfare on the Working Class”.

Researching Paul Ryan’s history is giving me an oxymoron induced headache.

Oxymoron: an adjective-noun combination of two words, the most popular in a Google search: jumbo shrimp, business ethics, living dead, passive aggressive. 

Called a” budget deficit hawk”, while voting like money grows on trees, Ryan’s voice continues to be the loudest on capital hill arguing that we are speeding with no breaks toward the cliff edge   because we can’t stop our borrowing and rein in our spending. Good for him, we need our elected officials’ to be concerned about the out of control, insane debt the House of Congress keeps piling  on. We need them to pass a true balanced budget. A balanced budget has two sides – revenue and expenses. It just occurred to me – I do not think Mr. Ryan knows this.

If he doesn’t like debt why does he keep voting for it? Why does he continue to vote for revenue cuts (tax cuts)? Paul Ryan’s record in Congress is consistently incongruent. Hence, my headache:

  • Voted YES on TARP  $700 Billion for the Bank Bail Out – Wealthfare giveaway to banks and wealthy individuals (the Federal Reserve also gave out $13 Billion in undisclosed loans as part of this plan)
  • Voted YES on authorizing military force in Iraq. (Oct 2002)
  • Voted YES on emergency $78 Billion for war in Iraq & Afghanistan. (Apr 2003)
  • Voted YES on declaring Iraq part of War on Terror with no exit date. (Jun 2006)
  • Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq starting in 90 days. (May 2007)
  • Voted YES on $15 Billion bailout for GM and Chrysler. (Dec 2008)
  • Voted YES  Bush’s Medicare Part D in 2003, a costly government program that benefited Health Insurance Companies and increased costs for Medicare recipients
  • Voted YES for Bush Tax Cuts, and for continuing them

Any one else have a headache now?  It gets worse, because his solution is more of the same. 

Ryan’s “The Path to Prosperity Budget” makes it very clear who his path to prosperity plan benefits: Corporations, Defense Manufacturers, Billionaires, and mere Millionaires.  Even Newt Gingrich, gasp, called it “right-wing social engineering” (he backtracked on that comment). True to form, Ryan is still not advocating for a balanced budget – revenues (taxes) and spending to be equal.

Some highlights from his “Path to Prosperity Budget”, another oxymoron. From my article “GOP and their Gospel of Greed”:

  • $3 Trillion cut from social safety net programs, according to The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities. 62 percent of budget cuts proposed by Ryan are from low-income programs. Another oxymoron –these programs are strained because of Paul Ryan’s votes to cut taxes (revenue) and increase expenses (war, TARP, Medicare Part D etc)
  • $4.6 Trillion in tax cuts for the very wealthy. His budget calls for the elimination of Capital Gains tax (revenue). Example – Romney’s income of 2010 would be taxed at.082 percent, less than 1 percent, rather than the 14.9 percent rate he is currently legally obligated to pay (and proud of it).   
  • Transforming Medicare into a voucher system. The Congressional Budget Office determined that, by 2022, the typical 65-year-old be responsible for two-thirds of his or her medical costs. Vouchers will not guarantee access to a set of predetermined benefits. And if costs rise faster than the value of the vouchers,  seniors would have to make up the difference out of their pockets.  Ouch.

I just did a fact check for costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars (all of which Ryan voted for). If there is no such thing as a free lunch, which Ryan wants to cut from social safety net programs, can there continue to be a free war?  During Bush’s tenure, the cost was already $3 TRILLION, $12-16 BILLION DOLLARS a month.  Stars and Stripes in August, 2011 reports as of May 2011, the costs are $9.7 Billion a month, and the total cost could be upwards of $5 TRILLION. On the other hand, Social Security currently has revenue (taxes) to cover the costs associated with the program. War does not (expense).

Another Blog will have to deal with the specifics of a Zero capital gains tax. We already know lower taxes doesn’t create jobs.  That mythical theory has proved to be false. The Bush tax cuts went into effect in 2001 and 2003, and no jobs were created. None were created when the Bush tax cuts were extended in 2010. Capital gains are made from the sale of an asset, like real estate or stock. All it does is create a profit for the seller. It does not create jobs.

The other aspect to be explored in more detail, which neither party is talking about, is our demographics.  The largest population in our history, called Baby Boomers, are winding down their earning and their spending. Tax revenues are down because of this, and as a consumer driven economy, consumer spending is down and will continue to be affected by this simple fact.

But all of this is a moot point. Until money is out of politics we will have more of the same. That’s why Paul Ryan says one thing and does another. He may be a member of Congress, but he’s really just a hired gun for a number of corporations.  He votes the way they want him to.

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