August 16, 2010

"Paul Ryan will need all the friends he can make."

Writes G. Tracy Mehan, III in The American Spectator:
The stakes are too high for the Republicans to simply stand by, quietly, hoping the Democrats will self-immolate. The GOP needs to embrace a big, visionary idea, something like Ryan's "Roadmap," which addresses the most important political challenge of the age: the runaway costs of entitlements which were irresponsibly put on autopilot under both Democratic and Republican governments.

73 comments:

AlphaLiberal said...

I agree. They should all sign onto Paul Ryan's plan to destroy Medicare and Social Security. Go for it!

It's funny to hear people whine after one critical column was published about Paul Ryan's skeezy plan. That's the Krugman column, here:

The FlimFlam Man

But it’s the audacity of dopes. Mr. Ryan isn’t offering fresh food for thought; he’s serving up leftovers from the 1990s, drenched in flimflam sauce.

And this post on Krugman's blog, about how poor Paul Ryan was criticized in one column, is a hoot.

Waaaaa!!!

AlphaLiberal said...

More on the Ryan plan:

And I do mean slash. The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population.

Scott said...

Poor AlphaSockPuppet. His handlers must be so confused these days.

former law student said...

All my working life I've been paying in 2X-4X what the first retirees had. In the meantime the one-earner couple became the two-earner couple, yet couples' benefits will not be double. Under Reagan, changes were made to put SS on a firm financial footing for decades to come -- until the last baby boomers were in their eighties. But Reagan -- and all his successors -- looted the Social Security "trust fund" to make up for his income tax cuts.

Now that the chickens come home to roost the poor sap working stiff must give up what he paid into for 45 years.

Joe said...


They should all sign onto Paul Ryan's plan to destroy Medicare and Social Security. Go for it!


No instead let's just let time do it for us! Yuo realize that both programs are UNSUSTAINABLE, right?

Scott M said...

So, Alpha, should we assume that you're just okey-dokey with the status quo?

Instead of abject criticism, how about a measured response detailing your brilliant plan for the looming problems facing both Social Security and Medicare.

And tell us what you do for a living at the end of that.

Joe said...

FLS, oh I see it was Tax Cuts that looted SS? Really NOT the Congressional spending?

AlphaLiberal said...

Scott, re-read the topic of the blog post. It's Paul Ryan's plan. It's not AlphaLiberal's plan.

Why don't you tell us if you like Paul Ryan's plan. Or if you think the one critical column about it. Paul Krugman's is right or wrong?

I'll check back in later.

EDH said...

In response to Krugman.

Maguro said...

Now that the chickens come home to roost the poor sap working stiff must give up what he paid into for 45 years.

Yep. But that's got fuckall to do with tax cuts, it's because the entire program is based on demographic assumptions that are 70 years out of date. The math just doesn't - cannot - work with today's birthrates and life expectancies.

Scott said...

I don't give a flying fuck about Ryan's plan. If Congress made it illegal for insurers to construct discount barriers, and empowered people to buy insurance across state lines, we would have affordable healtcare overnight, and it wouldn't cost the US taxpayer a dime.

But the GOP won't do that because they're cowed into protecting the insurers of their own states. And of course the Democrats won't do that because they're fascists and would never deny themselves the opportunity to take over nearly twenty percent of the economy.

Hoosier Daddy said...

But Reagan -- and all his successors -- looted the Social Security "trust fund" to make up for his income tax cuts.

I had no idea the Executive Branch of the government had access to Social Security assets.

Alex said...

FLS:

But Reagan -- and all his successors -- looted the Social Security "trust fund" to make up for his income tax cuts.

Who controlled the House of Representatives from 1981-1989?

Joe said...


Scott, re-read the topic of the blog post. It's Paul Ryan's plan. It's not AlphaLiberal's plan.


Good Doge, dood/doodette...the system is going to go broke, and/or require effective tax rates in the 70% range, but "Hey let's not talk about THAT! Let's talk about Paul Ryan..." Nice plan, tell me about YOUR plan.

Calypso Facto said...

Ryan's mature response to Krugman's name-calling and fact omitting piece.

Who's the responsible adult here? Like Alpha, Krugman comes off as a misinformed, selfish, and childish dolt.

wv: costs. Yes, indeed.

Fred4Pres said...

Of course the GOP should embrace a central issue and spending/smaller governement and entitlements is the obvious choice. This is a huge problem, it crosses party lines, and it needs to be fixed.

AlphaLiberal said...

EDH, so "Instapundit" has only a personal attack of Krugman.

So, I click through the various links and find this stupid defense of Paul Ryan's flim flammery:

"Krugman attacked Ryan for not having the Congressional Budget Office officially score how much revenue his Roadmap would generate. An analysis by the Tax Policy Center, a left-leaning Brookings/Urban Institute project, showed that Ryan’s tax reforms would not generate enough revenue to eliminate the deficit. But Ryan points out that it is not the CBO’s role to score revenue–it’s the job of the Joint Committee on Taxation."

This is very easily discredited.
Here is a a CBO report with an entire chapter dedicated to the revenue outlook.


"CHAPTER 4: The Revenue Outlook"

"The Congressional Budget Office projects that total federal revenues will be about..."

We can only conclude that Instapundit is a vicious and ignorant hack.

Hoosier Daddy said...

FLS, oh I see it was Tax Cuts that looted SS? Really NOT the Congressional spending?

The problem with liberal thinking with respect to tax policy is they hold government spending as sancrosanct. Regardless of the economic realities, government must be willing so spend while everyone else must know how to budget.

What is lost on them is the fact that nearly half the wage earners don't contribute to federal income tax which leaves the burden to fall disporportionately on the 'rich'.

Perhaps one of our learned liberals can esplain to me how we can continue with unfettered government spending while relying on the top 5% to foot ever more of the bill? I'm sure there is some mathematical formula that doesn't take human nature into account that will show how it can work.

Skyler said...

The dirty secret of college and especially law school is that classes are almost always useless and add very little to the curriculum. The material being tested is too vast for an hour of talking here or there. All you really get from the class is announcements about what will be covered and occasionally you get good tidbits not in the text book.

Pop quizzes and class participation requirements serve only to feed the ego of the professor who imagines that they add more value than they do.

MadisonMan said...

giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint.

It's not a misprint. It's just mathematically obtuse.

I am curious how one group can get more than all of a total.

MadisonMan said...

Of course the GOP should embrace a central issue and spending/smaller government and entitlements is the obvious choice.

Alas, all the Republicans want is power. And they lack the discipline to enact cuts. This was proven during the Bush II Presidency.

Peg C. said...

I love Ryan. If his plan (which I am very familiar with and heartily approve of) will wrest our grandchildren's futures away from the fascist and totalitarian Democrats' greedy coffers, I'll happily give up Medicare and SS, and I'm not many years from qualifying for both. We can make the really hard decisions now, or we can have utter disaster and catastrophe thrust upon ALL of us and our descendants.

AlphaLiberal very obviously has no kids or grandkids. NO SKIN IN THE GAME.

AlphaLiberal said...

Also, The CBO is not a Congressional committee. It is a legislative service agency. So to compare it to a House Committee is dumb. And Meghan McArdle is often dumb.

Further, See the word "Budget" in "Congressional Budget Office."

How do you work on budgets without talking about revenues? What, you just analyze expenditures?

The Instapundit/HotAir/McArdle line on the CBO is stunning for it's stupidity.

garage mahal said...

Tax cuts = more revenue. Less is more!

c3 said...

I read Ryan's proposal some time ago and I generally liked it. It seemed to take an honest look at a looming problem and suggest some tough solutions.

What I usually hear regarding solving Medicare and SS is:

-there is no problem

- the _______________ need to pay their fair share

- we made a promise and _______________

- the latest report says its not so bad


There are clear problems ahead. Neither party has done very well on this. Republicans have not been falling over themselves to support Ryan's plan.

We need to leave our children a better legacy.

msspurlock said...

AlphaLiberal's words come directly from the Media Matters talking points FAX, so I doubt he thinks of anyone but himself.

AlphaLiberal said...

Paul Ryan's plan will help advance the key goal of Republican economics: Cheap Labor.

Republicans dislike high wages. They are the party of Cheap Labor. Consistently throughout history they have driving up unemployment and favored tax polices, such as Ryan's proposed plan, to enrich the rich.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ah, when losing an argument, turn to personal attacks.

Do you know what that proves? That you have lost the argument.

edutcher said...

It seems somebody gave Alpha what Sean Connery gave Lorraine Bracco in "Medicine Man".

In any case, the system can't sustain itself and demographers have been trying to warn people for about 50 years.

AlphaLiberal said...

I agree. They should all sign onto Paul Ryan's plan to destroy Medicare and Social Security. Go for it!

The Demos did that during the 60s to pay for the Great Society.

garage mahal said...

Tax cuts = more revenue. Less is more!

By George, I think he gets it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Ok maybe one of the resident liberals can provide a reasonable tax rate that will cover government spending at its current levels. Serious question cause I'm seeing a lot of snark but zero solutions. Unless of course $1.5 trillion deficits are no biggie.

Anyone?

AlphaLiberal said...

Paul Ryan's plan massively increases the deficit. That's why he did not want CBO to score the revenues.

Still like that plan?

Calypso Facto said...

Alpha said: "Ah, when losing an argument, turn to personal attacks." Right after saying "Meghan McArdle is often dumb" thereby announcing that he has only losing arguments.

The CBO grading was a lie, but no matter. The crux of Krugman's dishonesty was when he said: Social Security has been running surpluses for the last quarter-century, banking those surpluses in a special account, the so-called trust fund. The program won’t have to turn to Congress for help or cut benefits until or unless the trust fund is exhausted…

Newsflash Krugman/AlGore: THERE IS NO TRUST FUND/LOCKBOX.

AlphaLiberal said...

HossierDaddy, Reagan's tax rates were higher than Obama's. Yet you guys attack Obama as a taxer.

I don't get that at all.

AlphaLiberal said...

Calypos Facto:

Newsflash: Obama did not claim that there is lockbox.

He said the program has been running surpluses, and he is entirely correct. The Federal government has written IOU's to the Social Security program as the Feds otherwise use the surplus.

Krugman did not say or imply "lockbox." Sharron Angles it he one talking about a lockbox in modern times:

"I'd like to save Social Security," Angle says, "by locking the lockbox, putting the money back into the trust fund so the government can no longer raid our retirement."

Montagne Montaigne said...

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DEATH PANELS!!!!!

How could anyone with even the slimmest grasp of reason be a Republican today?

Democrats reform entitlements= death panels. Right Anne?

Republican proposes total dismantling of safety net= way forward.

Hoosier Daddy said...

HossierDaddy, Reagan's tax rates were higher than Obama's. Yet you guys attack Obama as a taxer.

I don't get that at all.


Alpha, that doesn't answer my question (not that I expected you too). What is the reasonable tax rate that you guys think are needed to sustain this spending? If the top 5% are footing the biggest chunk of the bill now, how much more do you think they should absorb?

It is a very simple question.

Calypso Facto said...

Read Krugman again, Alpha. He says there's a "special account...trust fund" that isn't yet "depleted". Sounds like the AlGore lie rehashed to me.

All the money's already spent....

bagoh20 said...

"But Reagan -- and all his successors -- looted the Social Security "trust fund" to make up for his income tax cuts.

Now that the chickens come home to roost the poor sap working stiff must give up what he paid into for 45 years. "


You got that all exactly right except for the central fact that it's the spending, not the tax cuts.

Otherwise, you are suggesting unlimited spending and taxing that never gets controlled. In other words, the Democratic platform over my entire life.

Calypso Facto said...

Ha! David Harsanyi must be reading this blog and responding to Alpha, too:

"What do you do when your sweeping restructuring of the economy miserably fails? Easy.

1) Blame Bush. (A word of warning: At this economic trajectory, it won't be long before you get people reminiscing.)

2) Accuse your opponents of being the extremists.

Well, if the Democrats want to talk about crazy ideas, the Republicans have about two years' and a few trillion dollars' worth of them to discuss with the public."

Hoosier Daddy said...

Otherwise, you are suggesting unlimited spending and taxing that never gets controlled.

The captures the liberal mindset perfectly.

rcocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rcocean said...

Wow, the Republicans really are stuck on stupid.

SS is not going "Bankrupt". The gap between projected benefits and payroll taxes is expected to increase to 1% GDP by 2037 and stay that way. Big whoop, since the Federal Government spends 19 percent of GDP. Simply, getting rid of the Cap on Payroll taxes and putting a cap benefits for rich people will solve the problem.

If the Repubs want to run on tax cuts for the rich, cutting SS, and amnesty for illegal aliens they'll be losing again in 2012.

former law student said...

the entire program is based on demographic assumptions that are 70 years out of date.

At most the demographic assumptions are 27 years out of date -- SS reform under Reagan passed in 1983. I get to retire at 67 as a direct result.

Alex said...

What is so hard to understand about $1.7 trillion deficits as far as the eye can see? Why do Democrats think it's OK to be so fiscally insane? Even if you cut defense by 50% you still have a $1.3 trillion deficit.

former law student said...

I am curious how one group can get more than all of a total.

Rich folks income + everybody else's income = I

Rich folks income tax + everybody else's income tax = IT

Change in Income Tax = Delta IT

Delta Rich folks income tax/Rich folks income = 1.17 * Delta IT

Scott said...

When I said...

"...the Democrats won't [consider reforming the insurance industry] because they're fascists and would never deny themselves the opportunity to take over nearly twenty percent of the economy..."

I wasn't name calling. Democrats truly are fascists. They represent a coalition of the bureaucracy, labor, and big industry, all working together to consolidate and grow their power, and harness the productive middle class to achieve their own ends.

former law student said...

Ryan also wants to means test Social Security. But Social Security is not a safety net, it is a pension plan funded through salary deductions. Everybody who works pays in, and everyone who has paid in for a sufficient number of quarters will get a benefit.

Imagine if the State of Wisconsin decided to "means test" the professor's pension. They'd drop by the house, check on the size of her plasma screen and the newness of her appliances, car, etc. and decide she could safely handle a cut.

garage mahal said...

By George, I think he gets it.

Indeed. Less money coming in means more is coming in. Any serious economist will tell you that.

AllenS said...

I get a Social Security check for $1469 on the second Wednesday of each month. What's the problem?

fls, how old are you?

AllenS said...

More more money coming into the government, the less money everybody else has.

edutcher said...

AlphaLiberal said...

Paul Ryan's plan massively increases the deficit. That's why he did not want CBO to score the revenues.

Like the way Pelosi Galore had the CBO score ZeroCare and Stimulus II?

Montagne Montaigne said...

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE DEATH PANELS!!!!!

Lefty for, "Oh, look, a squirrel"

How could anyone with even the slimmest grasp of reason be a Republican today?

Because the Demos have spent us into oblivion and want the Feds to control every aspect of our lives?

Democrats reform entitlements= death panels. Right Anne?

You beat on a Lefty's head and the light of reason does shine through. Apparently in Newspeak, power grabs qualify as reform.

Republican proposes total dismantling of safety net= way forward.

This assumes there really is a safety net. Given all the people in 'poverty' in this country, it must be pretty thin.

garage mahal said...

By George, I think he gets it.

Indeed. Less money coming in means more is coming in. Any serious economist will tell you that.


And experience proves lower taxes means increased economic activity which means more revenue.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Indeed. Less money coming in means more is coming in. Any serious economist will tell you that.

Indeed they will. It means that additional income that would have otherwise gone to the sucking maw of the State is in turn gone into the private sector in the form of purchasing goods, services or investment.

Its a simple concept garage that has been proven time and again. See JFK, Reagan tax cuts.

sunsong said...

I love Ryan. It doesn't matter to me if his roadmap is accepted as or not. It can probably be improved. But he is talking about and giving a plan for cutting spending - and that is what I support in a politican.

I think that top down - one-size-fits-all big government, big spending solutions do NOT help individuals. A bureauract in Washington does not know me or what is truly helpful to me. In fact, he's probably watching porn or smoking pot...

The idea that we can just continue borrowing and spending and taxing and spending is insane.

former law student said...

It means that additional income that would have otherwise gone to the sucking maw of the State is in turn gone into the private sector in the form of purchasing goods, services or investment.

No shit. The Chinese economy is still booming.

I found two things still made in America the other day at Lowe's: a Weber replacement grill (food grill, not a charcoal grill which was made in China) and a CharBroil replacement grill (large fixed size, not the adjustable grill made in China.)

After a lifetime spent trying to buy Made-in-America products, I gave up during the Bush administration.

GMay said...

Who the hell was talking about how solid Social Security is right now? About how much money was in the SS trust fund?

God, so much leftist bullshit on this thread, so little time.

wv: banter - hah!

Hoosier Daddy said...

No shit. The Chinese economy is still booming.

And for those of you who are all gung-ho for more breakneck Federal spending you'd better hope it stays that way.

Alex said...

The Chinese economy may be booming, but their environment is a disaster:

China's environmental catastrophe

GMay said...

FLS: "No shit. The Chinese economy is still booming."

Someone doesn't read the fine print.

I have many links bookmarked on China's economy, ready for reference for times such as these. Oddly enough, the first link I have not only covers some of the issues with China's economy, but has plenty of other links you should probably brush up on before cheerleading China yet once again.

GMay said...

(For FLS, just in case that gets bumped off the top story.)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Someone doesn't read the fine print.

Or doesn't remember the 80s when 'everything' was made in Japan.

c3 said...

The Chinese economy is still booming.

An ironic statement in a discussion about programs that care for the aged.

rcocean said...

The SS is not going bankrupt. That's BS. The Gap between spending and Payroll taxes will be only 1 percent of GDP. That can be easily covered by borrowing, increased taxes on the rich, or lifting the cap on the payroll tax.

c3 said...

As much as I will suffer under the recision of the Bush tax cuts, I could get behind the concept if I had any confidence that Congress and the Administration would make coincident, significant and REAL cuts in federal spending.

I see no reason to believe that.

And so I must reiterate a question previously asked of our liberal commenters:

What's your solution?

And assuming it involve tax increase at what level of tax inequality does it become unfair

Calypso Facto said...

GMay: I love that the "trust fund" guardian (from your link) says about Social Security bonds: "They're as solid as what we owe China and Japan." I don't think that's a confidence inspiring statement on EITHER side of the Pacific.

rocean: The Gap between spending and Payroll taxes ... can be easily covered by eliminating the Department of Education (or some other useless(harmful?)/over-reaching/extra-Constitutional federal spending. Fixed. At least for this year.

damikesc said...

So, AL, you're just saying no and providing no alternatives?

Isn't that a bit hypocritical?

GMay said...

rcocean floated this one across: "The SS is not going bankrupt."

What do you call it in business when you have no assets and you're paying out more than you're taking in?

former law student said...

What do you call it in business when you have no assets and you're paying out more than you're taking in?

In government you call it a neat way to make the deficit look $2.5 trillion smaller than it is. After 25 years of robbing Worker Bee to pay Paul, you claim crisis and plan to screw the worker.

Methadras said...

Peg C. said...

NO SKIN IN THE GAME.


Of course not. It's tucked into his vagina.

Duchag = an incomplete douchebag. Hence, AlphaLiars modus operandi.

AJ Lynch said...

I agree with FLS. The social security money was looted. It does not matter which branch did it- both are guilty.

The solution is to tell them to keep their g-damn hands off that money in the future OR end the programs.

If it was up to me, I'd give serious thought to using the guillotine on everyone who has spent the last 20 years or so in Congress.

c3 said...

from the SS Trust Fund report:

After 2014 deficits are expected to grow rapidly as the baby boom generation’s retirement causes the number of beneficiaries to grow substantially more rapidly than the number of covered workers. The annual deficits will be made up by redeeming trust fund assets in amounts less than interest earnings through 2024, and then by redeeming trust fund assets until reserves are exhausted in 2037, at which point tax income would be sufficient to pay about 75 percent of scheduled benefits through 2084. The projected exhaustion date for the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds is unchanged from last year’s report.

And a conservative/libertarian take on the situation here

That deficit will turn permanent in just six years. Of course, in theory, the Social Security Trust Fund will pay benefits until 2037. That's not much comfort to today's 35-year-olds, who have faithfully paid into the program their entire working lives but will face an automatic 27 percent cut in benefits unless the program is reformed before they retire.

But even that figure is misleading, because the Trust Fund contains no actual assets. The government bonds it holds are simply a form of IOU, a measure of how much money the government owes the system. It says nothing about where the government will get the money to pay back those IOUs.

Even if Congress can find a way to redeem the bonds, the Trust Fund surplus will be completely exhausted by 2037. At that point, Social Security will have to rely solely on revenue from the payroll tax — and that won't be sufficient to pay all promised benefits.


My kids aren't liking their Social Security prospects. My son would retire in the late 2040's. I'm sure he's reassured that the check will be in the mail

JAL said...

I'll be his friend.

And so will millions of other Americans who want to stop the insanity.

rcocean said...

The SS isn't going to go 'Bankrupt'. The US government takes in money every year and spends it. It all goes in one pot. The SS "trust fund" is an accounting fiction.

For the last 25 years SS taxes exceeded SS outlays by 1 to 2 percent of GDP. But the US Government simply spent this surplus. Since we we've been running budget deficits, it meant the US Government could borrow less money from the private sector. Now starting in 2011 & thru 2050 the SS trust fund expects SS outlays will exceed SS receipts by about 1 percent of GDP. So, the US Government will have to borrow more money from the private sector. No big Whoop.

All this hysteria is ideological.

GMay said...

rcocean,

You're clearly ignorant and stupid.