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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:16 AM
Original message
Fareed Zakaria is a perfect example of the media's absurd GOP-friendly posturing on Ryan's proposal
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 08:17 AM by ProSense
First, Ryan's proposal is so bizarre that the Heritage Foundation is running for cover and several newly elected teabagger Republicans are afraid to commit to it:

HERITAGE FOUNDATION WANTS YOU TO STOP LAUGHING AT IT....

Pelosi: Dems shouldnt take GOPs bait on Medicare

'Seriously' Embarrassing (Paul Ryan's proposal and "unicorn sightings")

Alice Rivlin doesn't support Ryan's proposal

GOP Budget Ignores CBO To Claim Health Care Repeal Will Reduce The Deficit

Via Steve Benen:

<...>

Politico talked to a half-dozen vulnerable GOP House members -- all of them freshmen -- and none of them was prepared to endorse their own party's budget plan, at least not yet, and all said they want to spend more time reading it.

<...>

Imagine being one of these GOP incumbent freshman from a competitive district. The leadership is going to ask you to take an enormous gamble (vote for a wildly unpopular, right-wing agenda, including the elimination of Medicare), with no possibility of actually accomplishing anything (the bill will die in the Senate). It's all risk, no reward.

It also sounds like electoral suicide.


So what does Fareed Zakaria suggest:

The Ryan Budget: A test of character for Obama

I've just published a piece in Time on the Paul Ryan plan, which poses a test of character for President Obama. Will he turn the plan into a series of attack ads, or use it to spur a national conversation on the U.S. budget crisis? Check out an excerpt of my piece here:

<...>

The liberal establishment is in full fury over Ryan's plan. From the New York Times to the influential website TPM (Talking Points Memo), all quickly denounced it. And it is an odd proposal from a man who seems genuinely committed to a comprehensive solution to the U.S.'s fiscal crisis. Ryan makes magical assumptions about growth and thus tax revenues. He tells us that once his policies are enacted, unemployment will decline to 4%, a rate that the U.S. has not seen for nearly half a century.

The plan does not touch Social Security, and it does not specify the actual programs it would cut. So for all its supposed radicalism, it's actually quite weak at outlining reductions in government spending. The bulk of the deficit reduction which allows for the large tax cuts in Ryan's plan would come from changing American health care. But there, too, Ryan's plan is highly unrealistic....

<...>

So why do I applaud the Ryan plan? Because it is a serious effort to tackle entitlement programs, even though any discussion of cuts in these programs which are inevitable and unavoidable could be political suicide. If Democrats don't like his budget ideas, they should propose their own presumably without tax cuts and with stronger protections for Medicare and Medicaid and deeper reductions in defense spending.

<...>


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CTyankee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. The MSM's favorite new word is "serious."
If I see it again in the context of budget cutting, I'll scream...
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:48 AM
Response to Original message
2. Or perhaps Democrats ought to propose the unthinkable:
rescind the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires and end this fake budget crisis tomorrow.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:55 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Now that would be truly 'serious'....
....of course it'll never fucking happen because that requires intestinal fortitude, a spine and a set of balls...
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 08:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. "rescind the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires" Wonder
if Zakaria would be interested in writing a commentary calling on Republicans to pass the President's 2011 and 2012 budgets.

<...>

The president, in a $3.7 trillion budget plan released yesterday in Washington, revived dozens of proposals that Congress has rejected, including $129 billion in higher taxes on the overseas profits of U.S. companies. He also proposed changing the tax treatment of oil, gas and coal companies, which would raise about $46 billion.

<...>

The proposal also would bring back pre-2001 tax rates on income and capital gains for individuals earning more than $200,000 annually and married couples making more than $250,000. The estate tax would return to 2009 levels with a $3.5 million per-person exemption and a 45 percent top rate. Under a law Obama signed in December, lower rates expire at the end of 2012.


<...>

The budget plan would limit itemized deductions for top earners to 28 percent, curbing the value of tax breaks for charitable contributions, home mortgage interest and state and local taxes. That proposal has been included in every budget of Obamas presidency and was rejected as a revenue-raising provision to fund his overhaul of the health system last year.

link


It also includes a $30 billion tax on the largest financial institutions.

The 2011 budget proposed $90 billion.



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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
5. Ryan's budget is not 'serious.' It's a wet dream for Grover Norquist and his conservative ilk.
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 09:03 AM by flpoljunkie
Zakaria should know better.
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
6. It is stunning that he ignores Simpson Bowles
For all its flaws, Simpson Bowles is a more serious comprehensive attempt than the Ryan plan. Zakaria ignores that over 30 bipartisan Senators are on record as wanting to deal with the serious fiscal problem.

Unlike Ryan, some of them have spoken of things like the millionaire's tax cut and reforming the tax code to get rid of the corporate loopholes. Kerry is one of many Democrats who have spoken out on Republican budgets calling the cuts "immoral. unjust and dangerous". He is one of many who have spoken of dealing with the fiscal crisis - but he noted that the debt was not caused just by historically high spending, but historically low tax rates.

Ryan's proposal, not only doesn't include raising any taxes, it calls for extensive loss of future revenue by cutting taxes - including by extending the Bush tax cuts for another 10 years. Not to mention, his Medicare proposal is simply ideological. Replacing Medicare with the "same plans Congressmen get" ignores that to get the savings he speaks of the cost for seniors would sky rocket.

The facts are that each of the plans that could be selected have around 20% administrative overhead vs about 2 or 3% for Medicare. So, if you wanted to keep people whole, you would need to give them MORE than the cost of Medicare - about 20% more. Yet, this is in there and it is CUTTING COSTS. That means they are are giving these people LESS than the cost of Medicare to apply to a policy that will cost about 20% more. That or - they do not need to even figure out the costs - they are beyond the 10 year horizon of any cost analysis. What is really sneaky about this is that the 54 and younger do not get Medicare or the new alternative for 10 years.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. Exactly, it's all about
giving Ryan credibility. Even Alice Rivlin rejected his plan.

Zakaria: "If Democrats don't like his budget ideas, they should propose their own presumably without tax cuts and with stronger protections for Medicare and Medicaid and deeper reductions in defense spending."

That completely ignores that the President has already taken steps to address health care cost.

Krugman: "Mr. Obama...has done more to rein in long-run deficits than any previous president."

Bending The Curve

Medicaid and Medicare are not the problem. Additional measures to address drug prices and control overall health care cost will also bring down Medicaid and Medicare spending.

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Fareed Zakaria ought to read this analysis of Ryan's budget from CBPP
Chairman Ryan Gets Roughly Two-Thirds of His Huge Budget Cuts From Programs for Lower-Income Americans



By Robert Greenstein
April 5, 2011

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryans budget plan would get about two-thirds of its more than $4 trillion in budget cuts over 10 years from programs that serve people of limited means, which violates basic principles of fairness and stands a core principle of President Obamas fiscal commission on its head.

The plan of Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, who co-chaired President Obamas National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, established, as a basic principle, that deficit reduction should not increase poverty or inequality or hurt the disadvantaged. The Ryan plan, which the chairman unveiled in a news conference, speech, and Wall Street Journal op-ed today, charts a different course, turning its biggest cannons on these people.

This finding emerges from a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis of the Ryan plan. Table S-4 of the plan shows that it proposes net program cuts of $4.3 trillion over ten years. The plan shows a $5.8 trillion cut in outlays from the Congressional Budget Office baseline, but $446 billion of that is interest savings and another $1.04 trillion is simply an assumption that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars will phase down on the Obama Administrations timetable. Actual program cuts produce net savings of $4.322 trillion.

Cuts in low-income programs appear likely to account for at least $2.9 trillion or about two-thirds of this amount. The $2.9 trillion includes the following three categories of cuts:

$2.17 trillion in reductions from Medicaid and related health care. The plan shows Medicaid cuts of $771 billion, plus savings of $1.4 trillion from repealing the health reform laws Medicaid expansion and its subsidies to help low- and moderate-income people purchase health insurance.

$350 billion in cuts in mandatory programs serving low-income Americans (other than Medicaid). The budget documents that Chairman Ryan issued today show that he is proposing $715 billion in cuts in mandatory programs other than Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but do not specify how much will be cut from various programs (although they imply that cuts in the food stamp program will be large). In this analysis, we make the conservative assumption that savings from low-income mandatory programs (other than Medicaid) would be proportionate to their share of spending in this category. Thus, we derive the $350 billion figure from the fact that about half of mandatory spending other than for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security goes for programs for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. This likely substantially understates the cuts that the plan would make in low-income programs. The Ryan documents show that $380 billion in cuts would come from programs in the income security portion of the budget (function 600), and the overwhelming bulk of the mandatory spending in that category goes for low-income programs. The documents also show $126 billion in mandatory cuts in the education, training, employment, and social services portion of the budget (function 500), which, based on the discussion in those documents, would likely come mainly from cuts in the mandatory portion of the Pell Grant program for low-income students.

$400 billion in cuts in low-income discretionary programs. The Ryan budget documents show that he is proposing $1.6 trillion in cuts in non-security discretionary programs, but again do not provide details about the size of cuts to specific programs. (The documents do identify some major low-income program areas, including Pell Grants and low-income housing, as prime targets for cuts.) Here, too, we make the conservative assumption that low-income programs in this category would bear a proportionate share of the cuts. Thus, we derive the $400 billion figure from the fact that about a quarter of non-security discretionary spending goes for programs for low- and moderate-income individuals and families.


Our numerical assumptions are conservative in another way as well. Thats because, when faced with the choice of which specific programs to cut, policymakers are unlikely to cut much from a number of non-low-income programs in these budget categories that are popular, such as veterans disability compensation and the FBI. That means that other programs including low-income programs would have to be cut by more than their proportionate share.

http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3451&email...
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:26 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Wonderful link - atrocious facts
Thanks
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. It's really too bad
Edited on Thu Apr-07-11 11:12 AM by ProSense
that reports like these don't get much attention.

Look at how much attention the Heritage Foundation, a discredited think tank, garnered.

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Has anyone on cable news even mentioned Heritage's bogus employment rate number?
I don't think so.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:51 AM
Response to Reply #9
15. Fareed Zakaria has more important things to do then support reasonable legislation.
He is probably a slumlord type.
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dorkulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:14 AM
Response to Original message
7. "inevitable and unavoidable" -- bullshit.
It's only inevitable if you don't cut defense and keep tax rates for the wealthy absurdly low.
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LiberalFighter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
13. The Democrats did try to tackle it. They passed the Affordable Health Care Act.
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Cali_Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:50 AM
Response to Original message
14. Obama reads Fareed Zakaria
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:52 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Wow!
That must mean he agrees with Fareed and Ryan on this issue!

Thanks for sharing.

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Cali_Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. ...
:thumbsup: :hi:
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Cali_Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:02 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Don't forget
Fareed Zakaria endorsed Barack Obama for Prez. :thumbsup:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. More
irrefutable evidence.

So did Matt Damon.

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Cali_Democrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 12:12 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. I love Matt Damon!
One of my favorite actors! Too bad he's a Boston Celtics fan :(
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 01:34 AM
Response to Reply #14
22. Well, we can only hope Obama acts on some of what he reads.
Edited on Fri Apr-08-11 01:34 AM by Mimosa
I don't like Zakaria but these paragraphs from his book on the decline of the USA are inarguable:



Zakarias is not another exercise in declinism. His point is not the demise of Gulliver, but the rise of the rest. After all, how can this giant follow Rome and Britain onto the dust heap of empire if it can prosecute two wars at once without much notice at home? The granddaughters of those millions of Rosie the Riveters who kept the World War II economy going are off to the mall today; if they dont shop till they drop, its because of recession, not rationing.

The real problem, Zakaria argues, is the rise of China, trailed by India. Chinas is indeed the most incredible success story in history a tale of almost 30 years of growth in the 7-to-10-percent range that seems to defy the laws of economic gravity. The United States, Germany and Japan had similar tales to tell in the late 19th century, but bust was the price of boom, and for Germany as well as Japan (add Russia, too), headlong industrialization ended in the horrors of 20th-century totalitarianism.

But for China its up, up and away. As Zakaria memorably puts it, China today exports in a single day more than it exported in all of 1978. Authoritarian modernization just hums along. The Partys message reads Enrich yourselves, but leave the driving to us, and most of 1.3 billion Chinese seem happy to comply and to consume. With power safely lodged in the Politburo, China does not conform to the historical pattern of first rich, then rowdy, which led to Tokyos and Berlins imperialist careers.


US industrialists and politicians did all they could to export jobs to India, China and other low cost labor countries. We are reaping what they sowed. :(
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Mimosa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
21. How did the creepy Mr. Fareed Zakaria get put in a prominent news position?
I've long found him tedious, even repulsive, and sensed he is probably a CIA Operation Mockingbird type.
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