Paul Ryan Doesn't Have the Time

"I don’t have the time. It would take me too long to go through all of the math." - GOP VP Candidate Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee

He didn't the time to explain the Romney-Ryan tax cuts, or is it the Ryan-Romney plan, to Fox News' Chris Wallace. In this case it is not that the math is hard, it is that math is impossible or contradicts their stated view that their tax cuts for the wealthy would have no impact on the middle class. Here is what an August report from the non-partisan Brookings Institution concluded about the Romney-Ryan tax plan:

"Our major conclusion is that a revenue-neutral individual income tax change that incorporates the features Governor Romney has proposed – including reducing marginal tax rates substantially, eliminating the individual alternative minimum tax (AMT) and maintaining all tax breaks for saving and investment – would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers. This is true even when we bias our assumptions about which and whose tax expenditures are reduced to make the resulting tax system as progressive as possible. For instance, even when we assume that tax breaks – like the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, and the exclusion for health insurance – are completely eliminated for higher-income households first, and only then reduced as necessary for other households to achieve overall revenue-neutrality– the net effect of the plan would be a tax cut for high-income households coupled with a tax increase for middle-income households."

More fromThink Progress.

Why Republicans Aren’t Serious About Reducing the Deficit

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

Republicans talk a good game about why the United States must reduce its debt. Republican Congressman Paul Ryan:

We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.

On this current path, when my three children — who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old — are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay.

No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.

Frankly, it’s one of my greatest concerns as a parent — and I know many of you feel the same way.

Mr. Ryan then proposed a plan whose purpose is purportedly to solve America’s debt problems. To its credit, this plan cuts trillions of dollars in spending. It bravely – or cruelly, depending on your political orientation – cuts the sacred Medicare program.

But then Mr. Ryan’s plan does something very strange, at least if its purpose is to reduce the deficit.

To cut the deficit one has to cut spending and raise taxes. Supply-siders argue that cutting taxes will lead to more revenues raised. Perhaps in a world in which taxation levels are at 90% or 70% that is true, but right now in the United States we’re definitely not at that level (the highest tax bracket is currently 35%). So one have to raise taxes to solve the deficit.

Instead of raising taxes, however, Mr. Ryan cuts trillions of dollars in taxes in his plan.

This is not something unique to this particular Republican. As a whole, the Republican Party steadfastly refused to allow a single dime in revenue increases during the debt ceiling debate. It proudly advocated extending the Bush tax cuts for everybody before that. Fighting against tax increases is a very core element of the Republican program today. The Republican Party does this because it goes against their philosophy of small government.

Now, that’s absolutely fine; there’s nothing wrong with arguing against tax increases. The Republican Party believes that America should lower taxes and lower spending. That’s a philosophy that it will try selling to the American people during election time, and then America will have a debate over that philosophy.

But there is a problem when Republicans sell their proposals as a way to solve the deficit. Cutting taxes and cutting spending does not solve the deficit anymore than “tax and spend liberals” do. Cutting taxes increases the deficit. That’s simply a fact (unless taxes are 70%, which they aren’t in this country).

The Ryan proposal, like most Republican proposals, is a proposal to change America to be more like what Paul Ryan wants America to be like. That may be a better America or a worse America. I personally believe that enacting Ryan’s plan hurts America; many Americans, for very valid reasons, believe that it helps America.

But when Mr. Ryan – or other Republican politicians – sells his proposal as a way to cut the deficit, that’s disingenuous. The plan simply isn’t a way to cut the deficit; it has too many trillions of deficit-raising tax-cuts inside it. It’s fine for Mr. Ryan to advertise his plan as the Republican vision of what America should be like. It’s not fine for him to advertise the plan as a way to cut the deficit. That’s not what Republicans really want; otherwise they would be willing to accept tax increases.

All in all, any Republican who’s not willing to increase taxes is not serious about cutting the deficit, full stop. And since almost no Republican nowadays will agree to tax increases, then the Republican Party as a whole really isn’t serious about reducing America’s debt. It certainly talks a good game. But when push comes to shove, what the Republican Party really wants is to change American to be more like it’s vision of what America should be like (rather than cut the deficit). That’s absolutely fine on its merits. Just don’t pretend that you’re trying to reduce the deficit when you do that.

 

 

Why Republicans Aren’t Serious About Reducing the Deficit

By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/ 

Republicans talk a good game about why the United States must reduce its debt. Republican Congressman Paul Ryan:

We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.

On this current path, when my three children — who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old — are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay.

No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.

Frankly, it’s one of my greatest concerns as a parent — and I know many of you feel the same way.

Mr. Ryan then proposed a plan whose purpose is purportedly to solve America’s debt problems. To its credit, this plan cuts trillions of dollars in spending. It bravely – or cruelly, depending on your political orientation – cuts the sacred Medicare program.

But then Mr. Ryan’s plan does something very strange, at least if its purpose is to reduce the deficit.

To cut the deficit one has to cut spending and raise taxes. Supply-siders argue that cutting taxes will lead to more revenues raised. Perhaps in a world in which taxation levels are at 90% or 70% that is true, but right now in the United States we’re definitely not at that level (the highest tax bracket is currently 35%). So one have to raise taxes to solve the deficit.

Instead of raising taxes, however, Mr. Ryan cuts trillions of dollars in taxes in his plan.

This is not something unique to this particular Republican. As a whole, the Republican Party steadfastly refused to allow a single dime in revenue increases during the debt ceiling debate. It proudly advocated extending the Bush tax cuts for everybody before that. Fighting against tax increases is a very core element of the Republican program today. The Republican Party does this because it goes against their philosophy of small government.

Now, that’s absolutely fine; there’s nothing wrong with arguing against tax increases. The Republican Party believes that America should lower taxes and lower spending. That’s a philosophy that it will try selling to the American people during election time, and then America will have a debate over that philosophy.

But there is a problem when Republicans sell their proposals as a way to solve the deficit. Cutting taxes and cutting spending does not solve the deficit anymore than “tax and spend liberals” do. Cutting taxes increases the deficit. That’s simply a fact (unless taxes are 70%, which they aren’t in this country).

The Ryan proposal, like most Republican proposals, is a proposal to change America to be more like what Paul Ryan wants America to be like. That may be a better America or a worse America. I personally believe that enacting Ryan’s plan hurts America; many Americans, for very valid reasons, believe that it helps America.

But when Mr. Ryan – or other Republican politicians – sells his proposal as a way to cut the deficit, that’s disingenuous. The plan simply isn’t a way to cut the deficit; it has too many trillions of deficit-raising tax-cuts inside it. It’s fine for Mr. Ryan to advertise his plan as the Republican vision of what America should be like. It’s not fine for him to advertise the plan as a way to cut the deficit. That’s not what Republicans really want; otherwise they would be willing to accept tax increases.

All in all, any Republican who’s not willing to increase taxes is not serious about cutting the deficit, full stop. And since almost no Republican nowadays will agree to tax increases, then the Republican Party as a whole really isn’t serious about reducing America’s debt. It certainly talks a good game. But when push comes to shove, what the Republican Party really wants is to change American to be more like it’s vision of what America should be like (rather than cut the deficit). That’s absolutely fine on its merits. Just don’t pretend that you’re trying to reduce the deficit when you do that.

 

 

Rep. Ryan's Tax Loopholes For Donors

Republican Congressman Paul Ryan's history of pushing legislation to benefit his campaign donors is profiled by The Young Turks host Cenk Uygur.

 

The high stakes in CA-36

Full Disclosure: I'm the media consultant and senior strategist for the Janice Hahn for Congress campaign.

Special elections usually attract a lot of attention. They're correctly seen as referendums on the direction of Congress; a chance between election cycles for people in one part of the country to send a clear message to those in power.

May's special election in New York-26 is a perfect example. Voters in the district overwhelmingly rejected the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In a historically Republican district, voters backed Democrat Kathy Hochul and in so doing told John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan to take their hands off Medicare, which was a major issue throughout the campaign.

That message to Republicans was unmistakeable. So you would think that for maybe just a second after NY-26 Republicans recognized that Americans weren't going to re-elect people who sacrificed their healthcare to service a far right agenda. Unbelievably, that doesn't seem to be the case. As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Republicans are in "total denial" that their Medicare plan is deeply unpopular.

It's a good thing we have another chance on July 12 to make it clear how wrong Republicans are on Medicare.

In California-36, Democrat Janice Hahn is facing off against Republican Craig Huey. The stakes couldn't be higher. And yet, this race is not receiving nearly the attention it deserves. It's time to tune in to this campaign and stand up for Medicare. Millions of people across this country are counting on Democrats to defend it. This is your chance.

Craig Huey is running on an extreme agenda. As I wrote recently, Huey has a long record of shady business dealings including working with clients to market a ponzi scheme and targeting seniors with products that claimed to "cure" Alzheimer's disease. Huey got rich off these scams while taking hard-working Americans to the cleaners. So it should be no surprise that Huey supports a similar scheme to turn Medicare into a voucher program leaving seniors vulnerable to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

We simply cannot trust someone like Huey in Congress. Giving Huey and his extreme ideas a seat at the table in Washington will enable Republicans to continue down the path towards slashing Medicare.

The contrast between candidates in this race couldn't be more stark. Democrats have an experienced, practical and ethical alternative.

Janice Hahn has promised to protect Medicare while making smart cuts in Washington and investing in tomorrow's jobs. That's the type of leader we need right now. Someone with common sense solutions who is not beholden to an extreme political dogma. Someone who fights for hard-working people.

In four days, we have the chance to stand up to John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. By sending Janice Hahn to Congress we can force the Republicans to face reality. They will have no choice but to see just how many people across this country are against their Medicare scheme. We can send Paul Ryan's plan into a tailspin on July 12.

Janice needs your help in the final days of this campaign. Donate. Spread the word. Volunteer if you're in Southern California.

The stakes couldn't be higher.

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