Saturday, April 09, 2011


It's taken about a week, but the pundits have finally gotten around to actually looking at that "courageous" budget proposal Rep. Paul Ryan issued. Bloggers (including me) spotted the chicanery early on.

Tim Rutten entered the fray this morning, and mostly got it right, even if belatedly.

The hall of mirrors in which our bitterly partisan politics now play themselves out is a curious place. But even by its distorted standards, the reaction to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan's budget blueprint has been odd, particularly the general reluctance to call it what it plainly is: an attempt to abolish Medicare and gut Medicaid, while further lowering the taxes paid by corporations and wealthy individuals.

Economists already are picking over the plan's dubious statistics, but — as The Times reported Friday — the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has outlined what adoption of this proposal to supplant Medicare with vouchers and private insurance exchanges would mean. The overall cost of healthcare would go up, and retirees' out-of-pocket medical expenses would double — an increase that would push tens of millions of people living on fixed incomes over the financial brink.

The Wall Street Journal tellingly — and correctly — hailed Ryan's proposal for being "as important an advance as the shift from defined-benefit pensions to 401(k)s."

We all know how well that's worked out, but it does fix this plan firmly in the line of initiatives that, over the past 30 years, have dramatically increased social and economic inequality.
[Emphasis added]

Now, if these same pundits would just come out and acknowledge that this was the entire point of Mr. Ryan's express desires, that it is a feature and not a bug, perhaps the public would get the education it so desperately needs.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point. Of course, the pundits and their bosses are situated squarely within the set of beneficiaries of the budget, and so their salaries depend on not trying too hard to understand it ....

If they had integrity they'd recuse themselves from economic reporting and let the reality-based bloggers take over :-)

5:05 AM  

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