** Click on “expand” to see the Worker’s Voice advertisement which reminds Nevadans that Senator By Appointment Only™ Dean Heller (R-NV) voted not once, but twice, to end Medicare as we know it and to replace it with a coupon (voucher) plan primarily benefiting health insurance corporations. Representative Shelley Berkley (D-NV1), Heller’s opponent in the 2012 Senate race has a cogent op-ed concerning what Heller’s position would cost senior citizens in Nevada.
** About that GOP claim that President Obama “cut” some $716 Billion from Medicare — BOGUS — what the Affordable Care Act really did was save $716 Billion by reducing taxpayer subsidies to health care corporations for profitable Medicare Advantage plans, and cut waste, fraud, and abuse from the system. NOTHING IN THE ACA CUTS MEDICARE PROGRAMS FOR THE ELDERLY. By the way, the Ryan Budget plan cuts about the same amount from Medicare, but uses the money to protect tax cuts for the top 1%.
** Oops? David Stockman, former Reagan budget guru has a few words for the Romney/Ryan Budget, compliments of Charlie Pierce at Esquire Magazine:
“The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.” [NYT]
But wait, Mr. Stockman hasn’t gotten to his closing:
“In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.” [NYT]
Many of Mr. Stockman’s proposals will be unpalatable to Democrats, however he’s right on target about the credibility void and “empty sermons” in what is supposed to pass for “big ideas” in the Romney/Ryan fiscal policy.
Rep. Ryan, staunch defender of the Mega-Mogul, and lieutenant of the Blazing Pants Brigade, will be in Las Vegas to meet with our resident Republican Money Pot, Sheldon Adelson, and to hold a “rally” of the all-white faithful chorus of The Church of the Empty Sermon. More at The Examiner.
** Not convinced that the GOP’s offering for the 2012 election is all about protecting the Merger & Acquisition Kings of Wall Street? Then read the Atlantic’s analysis which posits that under Ryan’s plan Mitt Romney would pay 0.82% in federal taxes.
** Flashback to March 2012: “A budget plan introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would add more to the deficit over 10 years than if Congress kept the status quo, undermining claims of its fiscal impact. Ryan’s blueprint, “The Path to Prosperity,” would add $3.127 trillion to the deficit during the decade spanning 2013 to 2022, according to a table on page 88 of the plan.” [The Hill]
There’s more from TDB:
“Everyone knows by now that Ryan’s budget would replace Medicare with a voucher whose value declines over time. His cuts to Medicare and other health care programs would total $2.4 trillion over the next ten years. But despite that, and despite all the domestic spending cuts in his plan, Ryan still doesn’t get anywhere close to balancing his own budget. That is because even by his own estimate, he reduces revenue by $2 trillion over the same period. His budget relies on optimistic economic assumptions about the stimulative effects of tax cuts, and many of his rate reductions are similarly supposedly offset by unspecified loophole closings, so the real revenue loss would be much greater.” (emphasis added)
** MUST READ: “Frank Luntz Messaging Ordered By NRCC” in Crooks & Liars. A Taste: “Do not say: ‘entitlement reform,’ ‘privatization,’ ‘every option is on the table,’” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an email memo. “Do say: ‘strengthen,’ ‘secure,’ ‘save,’ ‘preserve, ‘protect.’” This makes it very clear, because if the GOP says “don’t say” we can reasonably assume that they mean “privatization.”
There’s more over at the Booman Tribune worth reading as well. Perrspectives sums it up, “Now, Mitt Romney and his Republican allies are counting on Americans having short memories and bad math skills. For today’s Party of Lincoln, the message for 2012 is clear: You can fool some of the people all of the time, and that’s our target market.”