I hope our favorite Tory reads this, because Jonathan Chait just eviscerates the very “serious” Ryan budget plan:
Ryan’s plan does single out a lot of people who would get less from the government. Specifically: the poor and the currently uninsured. Ryan would eliminate all the new coverage in the Affordable Care Act, increasing the ranks of the uninsured by some 30 million. That’s good! (Remember, we’re inhabiting Ryan’s moral universe. If those leeches wanted health insurance, then they should have thought of that before they decided to get breast cancer.) On top of that, he cuts another huge chunk from Medicaid, almost as much from food stamps and other aid to the impoverished, and there we go: about $3 trillion in honest-to-goodness budget savings wrested from the claws of the sick and poor.
But then, alas, Ryan gives all those savings right back and then some by proposing to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts, at a cost of almost $4 trillion. Ryan’s explanation for this decision in this report, which begins by decrying the existential dangers of the national debt in the most lurid terms, is comic. He explains that raising taxes on the rich would not, by itself, solve the problem. “To close the ﬁscal gap by raising the top rates,” he writes, “the government would have to collect an additional $500,000 each year on average from every taxpayer in the top two brackets.” So, he reasons, let’s just give them a big tax cut instead. Likewise, you don’t have enough time in the day to lose 20 pounds through exercise alone, so you might as well quit the gym and start watching more television.
So now Ryan has given back at least as much as he’s saved. Then, on top of those tax cuts, Ryan proposes to slash the corporate tax rate and the top income tax rate by ten points each, diverting hundreds of billions of dollars out of the revenue stream. He does promise to make up for this lost revenue by closing unspecified tax deductions. But note the asymmetry of his promises. The goodies (low, low tax rates) are specified. The mean stuff (fewer deductions) isn’t.
Meanwhile, Ryan does claim to save $1.6 trillion over the next decade by slashing all the other functions of government except defense and homeland security by a third, not even accounting for population growth. “All the other functions” means the FBI, highways, environmental protection, the Coast Guard, and so on. Ryan may think this vast category is stuffed with useless or over-funded programs, but, if he has any specific beliefs to this effect, he is keeping them to himself. Conveniently, this allows Republicans to plausibly deny that any particular program will lose funding. This also makes it far less likely that these cuts will actually occur.
Yes, but the courage of Ryan’s seriousness! It’s courageous to slash $4 trillion from the neediest in society and hand it to the rich. It’s very, very serious to predict that unemployment will be 2.8% in 2021 (as Ryan and the Heritage Foundation predict). But those are numbers, so Andrew won’t understand them. He only understands seriousness! And adult conversations! The math demands it even if it doesn’t add up!
And most importantly, where is the Democrat’s plan? Since plausibility, facts, and data clearly do not matter to Sullivan, here is the Democratic plan: Free unicorns for everyone. Top Marginal Rate at 220%! Abolish the military! There, the budget is fixed!
My plan is every bit as serious, likely to happen, factually based, and useful as the Ryan plan. I fully expect Andrew to be praising my genius, my courage, and my seriousness all day tomorrow.
Ann B. Nonymous
Let the simpleton fade already.
I feel sorry for his husband.
Is “I’ll tell you where you can stick your fucking Moore award” a new tag? Good one.
But seriously. Stop caring so hard about this yutz. It’s kinda weird.
Please, please, please for the love of God, stop calling it the Ryan Plan. Call it the GOP plan.
Otherwise they’ll just toss him under the bus and run away.
You had me at the free unicorns.
I am only rooting for the day the Daily Beast/Newsweek folds and Sully is adrift without any insurance and no income. Maybe Paul Ryan will let him sleep on the couch in his congressional apartment.
Sadly, it’s as likely to happen as Ryan’s budget plan.
Furthermore, I notice that Sullivan still hasn’t been moved to the “Blogs We Monitor And Mock As Needed” category.
@arguingwithsignposts: Not going to happen. BS sounds better, or should I say more serious when spouted with a British accent.
This. I see a lot more mocking than anything else, so it’s only fitting and proper that Sullivan be properly labeled.
I actually wrote a very similar proposal to yours to [email protected] yesterday evening, so I scooped you. He must have been looking over my serious budget proposal this morning. It had numbers in it, and some people were hurt, so it is serious in some ways.
sadly, it doesn’t hurt the wounded. So my proposal will probably be viewed as “Hard Left”.
Revenue is such an ugly word, while profits veritably rolls off the tongue and can’t help but make someone smile…..
Ryan’s budget proposals are like Stephen King’s novel The Stand. Damn near everybody dies. Except this time its due to Republican indifference and Democratic ineptitude. When a Republican steps up and offers “significant” cuts to the Military, then we can talk about how serious they are. The rest of it is just an extended photo op with the press.
My favorite isolated factoid about the Republicans’ budget ideas is this, via Ezra Klein:
I suppose it’s progress that the Republicans are trying to turn the clock back to 1956 rather than their usual aim of 1886. Although I do note the possible non-coincidence that 1956 predates all of the Federal Civil Rights acts in the modern era.
i can’t stop laughing about sully saying that ryan’s plan forces everyone to “share the pain”. everyone?????????????
How is the unemployment going to fall to 2%? Which is much lower than Friedman’s (Milton not Tom) natural rate of unemployment. Wow give Ryan a Nobel Prize we have a new economic genius, what’s next, is he (Ryan) going for the GUT (Grand Unified Theory)?
How about the Gooper Plan?
Barb (formerly Gex)
Put a negative sign in front of your top marginal tax rate and you do have Sullivan’s ideal budget fixer.
And remember, when people ask where the Democratic plan (or “Democrat plan” in the original redneck) is, Obama produced it back in February.
@Calouste:Perhaps it is because Cole (or may be it is Tunch) has a secret crush on Sully.
I continue to be amazed at the attention this guy gets here. Who gives a rats ass?
best thing i’ve read on the interwebs all day. thank you.
I propose a surtax of $14,000 on every bad idea an Atlantic blogger has ever had.
Should solve the deficit.
I applaud Mr. Cole’s plan and Mr. Chait’s excellent “Roadmap” to understanding Ryan’s plan which is Gaddafi Crazy!
I is on your internets, spouting gibberish on my blog, being all serious.
Just Some Fuckhead
I’m always amazed that every new problem can be fixed simply with an idea Republicans have been trying to implement for the last 75 years. How lucky are Republicans to only have a hammer and every new problem keeps miraculously being a nail?
I am so fucking tired of reading that idiots are clamoring for Obama’s alternative plan. It’s called ACA nitwits. It reduced the deficit and helped people. But Sully and his ilk refuse to believe the CBO but choose to believe the Ayn Rand fairy and his made up numbers. Asshole.
Also too. Obama released his budget months ago.
Republicans want neo-feudalism. Period.
At the risk of repeating myself, Sullivan (and Halperin and the whole gang) aren’t asking what Obama’s budget plan is. They’re asking what his plan to kill Medicare is. If he’s not planning to kill Medicare, Obama is not a Serious Person and can be ignored.
By the way, I’m glad more people are picking up on the Very Serious Person theme. I’ve long since grown tired of the VSPs.
And finance a colony on Mars after we have guaranteed income for everyone in the US.
When Ryan as a Republican proposes an increase in taxes on the upper 2% or corporations, then he can be called courageous. Until then, he is just playing to his base.
My favorite isolated factoid is that it predicts that spending on things other than entitlements will be 6% of GDP by 2021 and 3% by 2050. That basically requires shutting down the entire government except for entitlements and national security by 2021 and drastically cutting even national security spending after that.
Something tells me that’s not going to work. Yes, there are tons of individual discretionary programs you could eliminate without causing a huge uproar, and more that you could eliminate while maintaining majority support. But the people who will be upset by each individual program getting axed are different, so that eliminating all of them will piss off just about everyone in the country.
This is hilarious, but it’s more than a little upsetting that the plan gets called out for the sham it is on blogs, while on TV and in mainstream newspapers it’s being heralded as serious.
Yea, Sullivan might sound like an idiot. And he might be an idiot. But he’ll also be on Hardball and Bill Maher as a “serious person”.
That sounds like a losing proposition for our side, long term.
This is the perfect post in response to Sullivan’s “serious” proposal crap. *Golf Clap* I was worried about getting a job after I graduate, but if unemployment is dropping to 2.8% I don’t think I have to “seriously” worry about it. Can we expect our unicorns in the mail with our rebate checks?
Just goes to show this is not a real budget which makes any hard choices. I am sure all the hospital emergency rooms which will be inundated with the uninsured are real happy about this bit of tripe, if it ever got adopted.
I will need a subsidy to pay for unicorn care.
Unicorns have the additional advantage of being delicious, so I am told.
Sully’s man crush on Ryan is likely coming from the head that gets all the blood flow, and lustful gravity prevents that blood from flowing to the northern hemisphere where his cranium is located.
Logic in the Paul Ryan world:
Problem: Our roof is leaking and we don’t know how to afford to fix it.
Solution: Blow up the house. Now you don’t have to worry about it.
no they want a do over.
They should call Ryan’s plan Free Market Deficit Reduction or New Improved Free Market Job-Creating Plan or Compassionate Liberal-tarian Job-creating Supply Side Economics.
Conservatives/Libertarians (same thing in america) think the VSPs like Sully can repackage the same old oakeshottian/hayekian/burkean failed crapology and assrape America all over again.
If Ryan and the GOP want to go back to 1956, by all means, let’s… The top personal income tax rate was 91%, and the corporate rate was 50%.
Not completely there, but the Dutch muslim-haters-backed right-wing government apparently is going to propose tomorrow to cut the defense budget by about 15%, cut 10,000 of 45,000 defense jobs and get rid of all their tanks.
It’s a safe assumption that the unicorns will pay for themselves.
I am somewhat of a new reader of this blog. What is the big obsession about a nobody like Andrew Sullivan by this blogs author and commentors alike?
Logic in the Paul Ryan world:
Problem: Our payroll is a little tight this month.
Solution: Fire all of all employees!
John’s take is similar to the one I had at my blog. Basically, Sully seems to suggest that he’d welcome a left-wing alternative to Ryan’s budget, which if true is a damning indictment. It means he doesn’t give a shit about anything other than that The Deficit Gets Fixed. But don’t ask him why!
The unemployment prediction was so gross that they retired it from the online PDF with the numbers.
@Kool Earl: He’s sort of the big fish in the blogging scene, and he frequently goes off on insane tangents (this, Trig Palin, firing Janet Napolitano, etc.). That’s basically why people pay attention.
The Republicans want a do-over of the Enlightenment.
Yes, yes, yes. Sully needs to hear that repenting for the nth time for believing in lunacy after it’s too late is unforgivable. Ryan’s plan is lunacy, he should get off that train now.
Problem: Your car has a flat tire.
Solution: Set the car on fire and walk away.
Now why isn’t that insufferable know-it-all Hermione telling us about the properties of unicorns?
Thank you. This is totally correct. Ryan is getting a tongue-bath for Seriously making Seriously Serious hard choices that are Serious… and yet somehow he has made absolutely certain not to go against GOP orthodoxy one iota. Even by Serious standards, shouldn’t you have to be goring your own fucking ox to get this much goddamn credit?
Kmeyer the lurker
I actually read Suulivan’s blog for about 6 months before i decided that he is an idiot. I mean, he can be smart about some things, and writes with an addictive level of pathos, but he’s like Pavlov’s dogs. Just say the words ‘free market,’ and he salivates.
Which would be fine, except for THE ENTIRETY OF RECORDED HUMAN HISTORY WHICH PROVES HE IS FULL OF SHIT.
@Roger Moore: Unicorns are memetically selected for bruzzlefiskety florpitude, as she has explained several times.
He still hasn’t given up on _The Bell Curve_! Rarely is the question asked, is our Sullies learning?
Don’t you people get it? Andrew Sullivan’s entire career is the work of one of the front pagers. This “DougJ” character has perfected the art of the long troll. I fear it can only get worse from here.
Ha…spot on. I just wrote an email to Sully saying basically the same thing (only not as funny), asking him if it was alright if the Democrats wrote a plan with just as much meaningless fantasy and absurd assumptions as Ryan’s.
This comment makes me think that HG-W probably should have chosen Luna Lovegood as a nick instead; it’s certainly more consistent with her conversational style.
The issue needs no more framing than this:
The GOP wants to abolish Medicare to give billionaires a 30% tax cut.
@Mnemosyne: Fun isn’t this.
Sorry, that plan involves raising revenues and cutting expenses. Very Serious People know that’s no way of solving a deficit. Deficits can only be solved by the sacrifice of poor people to the deficit gods.
@Schad: If the unicorns do pay for themselves, then my subsidy is pure profit. Don’t you understand capitalism at all?
People, I’ve been telling you: My theory is that behind the scenes Sully and our Johnny are best buds; likely exchanging daily emails full of mirth and ideas on how to keep feeding each other page hits (and let’s hope that’s all they’re feeding each other!). Ergo all these constant posts referencing Sully’s fetid swamp of a blawg.
That said, regarding Bareback Bear’s current crush on Ryan, I really do believe that at the most fundamental level that’s what his enthusiasm for this “plan” is all about: Sully has the hots for Ryan. Since he can’t have his way with him sexually because he’s, you know, all seriously settled down and married and shit now, he has to work out his lust by fawning over Ryan’s policies rather than his pole.
Don’t you recall during the lead up to the Iraq invasion, Sully was hot for Bush, Cheney, AND Rumsfeld, and said as much on his blawg.
Remember, BB is a devotee of Saint Ronald Raygun Maxidouche, and Paul Ryan’s hair has that same, cantilevered, off center, teetering bulk to its upper crest as did Ronnie’s. That’s plenty reason for Sully to love everything he utters. That, and those baby blues, and the fact that by beltway standards Ryan is uber-hot.
The liberal plan is fairly simple:
1) Nationalize healthcare to bring down the cost-per-capita of healthcare to around half of where it is today (instantly fixing the problem for several years albeit at the cost of preventing a lot of folks in the medical industry from becoming incredibly wealthy), employ strict cost control mechanisms to only pay for procedures passing some cost:benefit threshold, and create a progressive income tax or VAT to pay for it.
2) Allow current tax law to stand as is to easily deal with the Social Security gap rather than extend tax cuts.
3) Also, tax CO2 emissions and use the revenue to train/employ workers displaced by taxing CO2 emissions in other industries.
All of these are politically impossible today but are very likely to be possible at some point in the medium/long-term budget picture… much more so than, for example, providing healthcare for the poor and elderly that’s dramatically worse than that enjoyed by upper-middle-class workers.
We need a good nickname like Obamacare. I vote for “Lyin’-care.” This is only half tongue-in-cheek.
Beltway standards are pretty low it seems.
@zach: That makes too much sense to be a serious plan.
Good gentlemen. What part of “just can’t quit him” do you not understand?
don’t worry; she probably will on her next post-ban reappearance.
There’s a reason they call DC, “Hollywood for ugly people.”
@eemom: Banned again?
As a matter of fact, I’m don’t; I’m Canadian. We’d probably pool our unicorn windfall as a Rapid Orphan Rescue Force or something equally insidious.
Conservatives want a do over of the free market policies that gave us the Econopalypse and 25th and 20th world ranking in math and science.
@eemom: i quit him already. unless he shows up here. Go fawn over him at Forbes and the LoOG since you are his groupie.
Me, I fucking hate those free market fucktards.
The Daily Dish was the first blog that I read. This led to Talking Points Memo, Daily Kos, The Corner (really), and, yes, Balloon Juice. I’ve stopped reading Sully though. Maybe it was Trig. Maybe it’s that I enjoyed him more when Bush was in office.
Just Some Fuckhead
@Omnes Omnibus: Nope. The eemom/Allan axis of evil is always fantasizing about someone being banned.
@Omnes Omnibus: Lastly, spend a ton of money as long as money is dirt cheap to hasten recovery of the unemployment rate, boosting revenues across the board and especially for pension taxes.
Most estimates of the effect of the stimulus (plus bailout) are that it reduced unemployment by about 2% and resulted in a GDP that’s a few percent higher than where it’d be otherwise. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen a study that estimates what the national debt will be in, say, 2020 under current law, and where it would’ve been in 2020 without the stimulus and bailout.
zach: Let’s dream about the politically impossible. Comas are relaxing, if not expedient.
@Omnes Omnibus: you wish.
@Hermione Granger-Weasley: Not really. I am not in favor of banning and I don’t pie people. Matter of principle.
@cynn: Actually, as a committed liberal pragmatist, I think it is absolutely vital to have a set of policies as an end goal toward which one is working. If one doesn’t, one ends up compromising for the sake of compromising, just making a deal to get something, anything, done. I think zach’s list is damn good set of goals. Harrumph.
I have an even better plan. If elected, I will cut taxes by yellow percent and name every first born child Bobo the Peyote Rainbow! Space Coyote Forever!
@cynn: Politically impossible to be done right now but not impossible on a different time frame. We can do next to nothing for years and be fine as long as the Bush cuts expire. The budget gap becomes harder and more painful to deal with as we continue to waste money, but not impossibly so.
I’m not asking John to quit him; I just want him officially classified as mockable rather than worth following. Since mocking him is already about 95% of his total mentions, it’s really long overdue.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I quote from the Gospel According to Fuckhead:
Cross me again, ye knave, and I’ll have ye banned!
For verily I say into you, that in the beginning there was Balloon Juice, and Balloon Juice was with Fuckhead, and Fuckhead was Balloon Juice.
And Cole saw that it was Good.
And Cole saideth unto the blogosphere, which was without form and void, behold! For Fuckhead is the Commenter thy Fuckhead, and thou shalt have no Commenters before He.
And thus spaketh Cole unto the firmament, and gaveth Fuckhead dominion over all Creatures of the Blog.
E.D. Kain explicitly responds to Sullivan’s “math” claims. An effective parry.
Have you noticed that Sullivan rarely brings numbers into any of his posts? He’s not inclined that way. He’s good with words, but I’d bet he was never good at math in school.
I am no one’s groupie, and unlike you, I have never visited either of those blogs at all — much less for the purpose of stalking someone I purport to hate.
You need help, kid.
Quitting=”monitor and mock” in this context. Cuz officially demoting him to “mock” status would mean the end of the love-hate thingie. And that, you know, is what keeps the passion ALIVE.
@pragmatism: There is a Tom Toles cartoon (for tomorrow?) that show the rich sharing the pain.
@Quiddity: I’m sure you’re right. You can tell because he’s all too impressed by people’s fake math, as, to wit, during his long love affair with Charles Murray.
Anyone who refers to the Ryan plan as “serious,” or “adult,” or “courageous,” or even “a beginning” is a complete idiot.
After all the time Ryan has spent working on The Plan and this shit is what he comes up with. In a city full of clowns, he should be laughed out of town.
How will Paris Hilton “share the suffering” if the Ryan plan gives her another tax cut?
Sullivan is a fuckwit and should mocked and ignored as such.
@eemom: no. i. don’t. need. help.
I’m perfectly capable of deconstructing free market fucktards all by my bigself.
Altho i did get some help at the end there.
and like i said, i have been stalked.
I wouldn’t wish that on you or anyone, no matter how vile they are.
@eemom: Yes, we understand that you feel very, very strongly about the injustice of your parents’ preference for your sibling. But isn’t half a century long enough to nurse your grudges?
Here’s my budget proposal:
– Eliminate the tax exemption for religious profits
– Abolish the black half of the military/security budget
– Defund the war on drugs, decriminalize and tax them
Ah but the prediction of 2.8% unemployment went down the memory hole. The Heritage foundation removed that number from their published pdf (without admitting that they had edited it).
The rest of the predictions are still based on pushing a macro model until it predicts 2.8% unemployment, but that embarassing number is, as Ron Ziegler (Nixon’s press secretary kids) would say “no longer operative.”
Yes it seems that a firm grasp of all internet tradictions is not part of Heritage’s heritage — the number is all over the web. Heritage has shown that they are not only extreme but totally utterly dishonest. Of course this has been clear, since the week after the
lobby>ìthink tank was founded, but people can’t pretend not to know anymore.
I haven’t read through the thread but I searched for “Krugman” and “Orwell” so I think this hasn’t been mentioned.
read the record, dearie.
@melior: We could save 3 billion per month just by bringing the troops home from Iraq and A-stan. We have 150000 troops there and we are getting NOTHING from having them there. Since 2001 American taxpayers have spent over a trillion dollars to kill muslims in Af-Pak and Iraq and make more islamic terrorists.
What is the Mission again?
….not all of us flee like chickenshits when we’re attacked.
Fuck U6: A More Accurate Measure of the Total Amount of Duck-Fuckery in the Economy
kool earl: Sully the Pooh is the Insane Clown Posse of the blogosphere, only that’s not Faygo he’s spraying on you.
Jay in Oregon
100 comments in, and not one about how awesome the title of this post is?
@eemom: where did i attack you? I’m attacking the stealth freemarket fucktards that want a do over on the eight years of Horrorshow Bush without ever owning up to the fact that it was that hayekian/burkean/humeian/oakeshottian ultra crapology that wrecked our economy in the first place..
Just Some Fuckhead
You may wanna try that because you don’t appear bright enough to make a case for yourself.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
keep up the research, fuckie. Eventually I’ll expect to see an unauthorized biography.
Just Some Fuckhead
Are you this stupid and hardheaded in real life?
@Just Some Fuckhead:
look, asshole. You started this thing. Not my fault you ain’t man enough to take what you dish out.
I suspect you know I’m not stupid.
Just Some Fuckhead
@eemom: Honestly, I go back and forth between Stupid, Crazy and Evil. Which do you prefer?
Just Some Fuckhead
Basil: Is there something wrong?
Elder Herr: Will you stop talking about the war?
Basil: Me! You started it!
Elder Herr: We did not start it!
Basil: Yes you did — you invaded Poland.
Fawlty Towers – The Germans
@Quiddity: heres some Sully numbers.
Look, EDK is just another stealth freemarket fucktard. Like I said, conservatives/libertarians (same thing in America) just want a do over on the eight years of Horrorshow Bush without ever owning up to the fact that it was that hayekian/burkean/humeian/oakeshottian ultra crapology that wrecked our economy in the first place.
Call it Reconstructed Compassionate Freemarket Glibertarianism.
That is what it is.
And here is why Sully digs Ryan.
The only non-repulsive conservative/libertarian figure except for Handsome Mormon Guy and invisible non-entity John Thune, who both basically look like their hair lifts off in one piece like a Ken doll.
If Palin was XY Sully would totally dig her.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I’m none of those 3 things.
You, on the other hand, are just a soul-dead loser unworthy of any such drastic adjective. Though I guess passive-aggressive evil would be reasonably accurate.
Just Some Fuckhead
Sorry, all I have to go by is your crazy obsession with GG/Hamsher, your evil disregard for the lives of humanitarians who help people you dislike and your stupid inability to maintain a consistent message across one simple thread.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I see it took you only 3 hours to come up with that. Good work — or did you get your kids to help you?
Go on fuckie, splutter away some more. It’ll be drinking time soon enough.