Paul Ryan's Austerity Haze

Sometimes the lies that conservative politicians spew are so ridiculous that they need to be reclassified in some way. Anybody with a brain who has followed the world economic news knows what 'European austerity' means. Europe is in the grip of

Sometimes the lies that conservative politicians spew are so ridiculous that they need to be reclassified in some way. Anybody with a brain who has followed the world economic news knows what 'European austerity' means.

Europe is in the grip of tough austerity measures - some of the deepest public sector cuts for a generation.
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Savings estimated at about £83bn are to be made over four years. The plan is to cut 490,000 public sector jobs. Most Whitehall departments face budget cuts of 19% on average. The retirement age is to rise from 65 to 66 by 2020. The budget deficit is about 10% of GDP and unemployment - officially 2.45 million (7.7%) - is at its highest level since 1994. Public anger over the cuts has grown. More than 250,000 people demonstrated in London on 26 March - the city's biggest protest since the 2003 Iraq war.

That's almost exactly the type of austerity approach Paul Ryan and his Republican/tea party pals want to implement in the US.

Here's Ayn's Poster Boy Ryan talking nonsense and it's just perverted.

I hate to hit Paul Ryan twice in one day, but this is so mind-bogglingly disingenuous that you have to assume the man is either a sociopath or extremely disabled:

RYAN: Let's review for a moment the path we are on, where we stand right now. It pains me to say this, but it's become clear that the president has committed us to the current path: higher taxes, more dependency, more bureaucratic control, inaction on the drivers of our debt — just not even dealing with it — and painful austerity, the kind you see in Europe.

This is very clever Orwellian gobbledygook. I would guess that the Republicans have found that the word "austerity" has penetrated and has negative connotations. So they are trying to shift the definition. It's quite a bold move even for a Randian menace like Ryan.

As we all know, Europe is a welfare state and that's very bad because it creates "welfare queens" who suck all the money from the hard working tax payers. (This is why Germany and France are nothing but hellhole ghettos where you can't even find a WalMart when you need a quick case of Capn' Crunch and Dr. Pepper.) Anyway, they gave all kinds of benefits to their welfare queens and now they have to live under austerity --- something we can only avoid if we cut government spending and taxes on the wealthy.

I don't know if it will work, but I do know that it gave me a headache when I read it so I'd guess it has a pretty good chance of sufficiently confusing the issue.

Conservatives and Randian worshippers have been trying to gut the federal government for generations as David Atkins points out, which would have the exact effect that Ryan is describing. Ron Paul's lunatic budget proposal is so full of misinformation and libertarian nonsense that David Gregory used the word 'draconian' to describe what his budget would do.

DAVID GREGORY: How is that possible that a draconian cut like this would not hurt anybody, particularly in this economy?

Nicole debunked Uncle Looney Toons pretty easily in her post: Ron Paul On Gutting Fed Gov't: Vote For My Plan and Nobody Gets Hurt! Young people make up a good portion of Poppa Paul's devotees. But in his vision of America, they wouldn't be able to get a college education or a job, period.

Liberal economists were even more dire in their assessments of the Paul budget. “This is almost having the economy fall off a cliff,” says Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, estimating that cutting $1 trillion in 2013 would prompt the unemployment rate to jump by 3 percentage points. Even if the $1 trillion in cuts were done over two or three years’ time, there would still be double-digit employment, Baker concludes. “This will make it extremely hard to balance the budget, since if the unemployment rate goes to 11 or 12 percent, then the budget picture will look much worse. If his response is still more cuts, then who knows how high he can get the unemployment rate.”

While Poppa Paul generally believes what he says, however delusional it may be, Paul Ryan is an outright liar.

That's insane. While President Obama has consistently called for sensible debt-reduction measures over the medium term coupled with short-term spending to get out of the deep recession he inherited from President Bush, Ryan's own party has spent almost three years demanding immediate and painful austerity measures. The GOP put Ryan in charge of 'committing us' to a "Path" of sharp, short-sighted cuts that economists say would make unemployment worse, as the IMF says austerity policies have always done.---

These later allusions to Europe support a typical right-wing mischaracterization of progressive aims, and one Ryan loves to use. (After all, it pulls focus away from his plan to destroy the safety net and shovel the savings to the already prosperous through tax cuts for the rich.) But it's got nothing to do with reality, where progressives see decades of wage stagnation and declining upward mobility and doubt that more tax cuts for rich people will help restore those opportunities. And it's the opposite of what Ryan said at the top of his speech.

Presenting a false choice, and suggesting that spending money to keep firefighters on the job and food on a job-seeker's table is an attempt to "turn that safety net into a hammock," is nothing new for Ryan. But doing so just moments after blaming President Obama for the GOP's obsession with European-style austerity? That's special.

Howie Klein has a good post up titled The Age-Old Conservative Crusade To Guarantee The Rich Pay Less

Conservatives never give up-- even if they have to go to extremist and radical means to achieve their ends-- and Monday is always a good day to mull over a bit of Corey Robin's book, The Reactionary Mind.

There's a fairly simple reason for the embrace of radicalism on the right, and it has to do with the reactionary imperative that lies at the core of conservative doctrine. The conservative not only opposes the left; he also believes that the left has been in the driver's seat since, depending on who's counting, the French Revolution or the Reformation. If he is to preserve what he values, the conservative must declare war against the culture as it is. Though the spirit of militant opposition pervades the entirety of conservative discourse, Dinesh D'Souza has put the case most clearly.

"Typically, the conservative attempts to conserve, to hold on to the values of the existing society. But... what if the existing society is inherently hostile to conservative beliefs? It is foolish for a conservative to attempt to conserve that culture. Rather, he must seek to undermine it, to thwart it, to destroy it at the root level. This means that the conservative must... be philosophically conservative but temperamentally radical."

How else could you ever explain a Timothy McVeigh or a Glenn Beck or a Jim DeMint? And how else could you ever explain why the conservatives never stop peddling their rejected wares year after year after year. Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio may not look like dried up, selfish, bloated, old vampires yet but their inherently anti-social message of greed and egoism, their hatred of the concept of equality and their vehement disdain for accepted American institutions like Social Security and Medicare, are the same old conservative message in superficially new packaging.

As Digby said, Ryan's trying to be slick about the word 'austerity,' but he's just lying. The American people know it and they know his own budget is as draconian as Poppa Paul's proposal.

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