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The choice is clear. Elect Mitt and we get Paul Ryan's disastrous budget rammed thru Congress.

“Now, we are truly at an inflection point, between the Barack Obama and Paul Ryan approaches to government,” National Review editor Rich Lowry wrote recently, treating the elevation of the chairman of the House Budget Committee over the presidential nominee as his party’s standard-bearer as so obvious it requires no explanation. “We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget,” says anti-tax enforcer Grover Norquist. “Pick a Republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the United States.” In any case, Romney has shown no inclination to challenge Ryan, praising him fulsomely and even promising him, according to The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, he’d enact Ryan’s plan in the first 100 days. Republicans envision an administration in which Romney has relegated himself to a kind of head-of-state role, at least domestically, with Ryan as the actual head of government.


Tom Toles nails Mitt Romney today...

Tom Toles: The Other Stand Your Ground

Joe Klein: Ryan Budget Savings are Unreal!

These Savings Are Unreal!
By Joe Klein Monday, Aprril 23, 2012

Mitt Romney used to say that this election was a choice between his proposed "opportunity society" and the President's "entitlement society." Mysteriously, that has changed in recent weeks. His opportunity society still stands, and for good reason: a recent poll from the moderate Democratic group Third Way found that 80% of swing voters--those who might go either way--preferred a government that provided opportunities to one that smoothed out inequalities. But Romney now says that Obama favors a "government-centered society," which is far clunkier though undoubtedly the product of polling as well: apparently an entitlement society didn't sound like such a bad deal. People like entitlements. They may not like entitlements for poor people, but they love Social Security and Medicare. And that is another reason why Romney starts the general-election campaign in something of a jam, having given his full-throated support to Congressman Paul Ryan's House Republican budget, which proposes significant changes for Medicare.

The Ryan budget is likely to be the totem pole around which the coming election will be fought. It is an entirely radical piece of business. Every budget is a political document; this one, however, is a campaign document--it is a right-wing fantasy and could not possibly be enacted. It contains several aspects that Republicans will love: humongous tax cuts, focused on the wealthy; humongous budget cuts, focused on the poor. Because the spending cuts don't outweigh the tax cuts by very much, the federal budget would not be balanced until 2040, unless there is significant tax reform, the closing of loopholes that Ryan refuses to specify.

The proposed tax cuts, about $4 trillion over the next 10 years, are Republican business as usual. The real outrage lies in the budget cuts, which would reduce federal spending on everything except Social Security, health care entitlements and interest on the debt to 3.75% of gross domestic product by 2050. As the Congressional Budget Office pointed out in an evaluation requested by Ryan, federal spending in these areas has never been less than 8% of GDP since World War II. Defense spending alone has never been less than 3% during that period, and Ryan plans to increase it. As the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities put it, if Ryan's budget were enacted, "the rest of government would largely have to disappear" by 2050--which means everything from food- and water-safety inspections to highway funds to basic research, as well as all spending on the poor. No doubt many of these programs need to be reformed and some might even be eliminated, but the cuts envisioned by Ryan are simply ridiculous. They will never happen.

The real heat, though, will be about Ryan's plan to reform Medicare. It is based on a deal that Ryan cut with Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat and perhaps the most creative health-policy thinker in either party--although Wyden told me that Ryan's version drops several of the safeguards for the elderly that the original deal included. What Ryan proposes is essentially Obamacare for the elderly--that is, a choice of private health care plans--with two differences: there would be a public option (seniors could stay in Medicare), and there would be a fairly strict cap on total spending increases (GDP growth plus 0.5%, much less than current health care spending trends).



Mother Jones: Kevin Drum debunks Romney's claim on 92.3% women's' job loss

Lies, Damn Lies, and Mitt Romney's Charts
—By Kevin Drum
Wed Apr. 11, 2012

"Apparently," sighs Matt Yglesias, "the ridiculous political attack line we're supposed to talk about today is Mitt Romney's claim that 92.3 percent of jobs lost since Barack Obama took office belonged to women." You betcha! Mainly, though, this is interesting as an object lesson in how to mislead with statistics. As a political attack, it's too lame to last more than a day or two.

So do you want to know how Team Romney came up with this number? The chart below, which shows job losses among men and women, tells the tale. If you look at jobs lost since the beginning of the recession, here's what you get:

Men: 3,321
Women 1,840
Total: 5,161
Percent women: 36%

But that's too boring! As you can see, there was a steep job loss among men right at the beginning of the recession and a slower job loss among women. So what happens if you just lop off that bit of the recession and count only the strength of the recovery since January 1, 2009? Well, men have recovered steeply and women have recovered more slowly. So now we have:

Men: 57
Women: 683
Total: 740
Percent women: 92%

Pretty snazzy, eh? Men have made up ground faster than women since January 2009, so technically that means that women have sustained the bulk of the job losses since then. Very clever indeed. Politifact has more here.

ALSO WORTH NOTING: It's important for Romney to start on January 1, even though Obama wasn't inaugurated until January 20. Why? Because if you started on February 1, you'd end up with women accounting for something like 300% of all job losses, and that's ridiculous enough that it would give the whole game away. Even the rubes wouldn't buy that.

Talkingpointsmemo: Kentucky Dem Broadsides Mitch McConnell For ‘Dishonesty’ On Obamacare

Kentucky Dem Broadsides Mitch McConnell For ‘Dishonesty’ On Obamacare


An outspoken Kentucky Democrat is directing an unusually pointed attack at a member of his own delegation. And not just any member — the single biggest target.

Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) laid in to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in a letter delivered last week for misleading their mutual constituents about the facts and benefits of President Obama’s health care law.

And in a follow-up interview, Yarmuth again attacked McConnell, his former ally, for putting partisan politics before representing the people of his state.

“I’ve known Mitch for 40 years,” said Yarmuth. “We were political allies at one point. I was a Republican ‘til 1985. In recent years, as I’ve said publicly before, he has a considerable knack for being scrupulously accurate and rarely honest.”

In this instance Yarmuth is referring to an op-ed McConnell wrote in the Louisville Courier-Journal. In his letter, Yarmuth calls into question five claims McConnell made in the op-ed. And he wants McConnell to address his concerns.

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