Budget Battles and Mainstreamed Racism….

Workout notes Only a swim this morning: 2200 yards. I swam 2000 straight in 36:42 (19:01, 17:41) with a slow 9:45 first 500. 200 cool down.

David Brooks didn’t like President Obama’s harsh tones and said that he exaggerated the problems with the Ryan budget:

President Obama is an intelligent, judicious man who can see all sides of an issue. But every once in a while he tries to get politically cute, and he puts on his Keith Olbermann mask. […]

That’s pretty much what happened this week in Obama’s speech before a group of newspaper editors. Obama’s target in this speech was Representative Paul Ryan’s budget.

It should be said at the outset that the Ryan budget has some disturbing weaknesses, which Democrats are right to identify. The Ryan budget would cut too deeply into discretionary spending. This could lead to self-destructive cuts in scientific research, health care for poor kids and programs that boost social mobility. Moreover, the Ryan tax ideas are too regressive. They make tax cuts for the rich explicit while they hide any painful loophole closings that might hurt Republican donors.

But these legitimate criticisms and Obama’s modest but real deficit-reducing accomplishments got buried under an avalanche of distortion. The Republicans have been embarrassing themselves all primary season. It’s as if Obama wanted to sink to their level in a single hour.

First, there was his tone. Obama cast himself as the fiscal moderate who embraced the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles approach. (Perhaps we were all asleep during the Simpson-Bowles-Obama consciousness tour.) Then he unleashed every 1980s liberal cliché in the book, calling the Republicans a bunch of trickle-down, Trojan horse-bearing social Darwinists.

Uh, the CURRENT Republicans are just that. As Paul Krugman points out:

Now, on round two, the nature of the discussion has changed; instead of hearing about how wonderful Ryan is, we’re hearing about what a big meanie Obama is for saying nasty things about Ryan’s plan — a plan that is “imperfect” and maybe cuts a bit, but not really that bad.

Except that it really is that bad.

I could do this in detail, but you can learn everything you need to know by understanding two numbers: $4.6 trillion and 14 million.

Of these, $4.6 trillion is the size of the mystery meat in the budget. Ryan proposes tax cuts that would cost $4.6 trillion over the next decade relative to current policy — that is, relative even to making the Bush tax cuts permanent — but claims that his plan is revenue neutral, because he would make up the revenue loss by closing loopholes. For example, he would … well, actually, he refuses to name a single example of a loophole he wants to close.

So the budget is a fraud. No, it’s not “imperfect”, it’s not a bit shaky on the numbers; it’s completely based on almost $5 trillion dollars of alleged revenue that are pure fabrication.

On the other side, 14 million is the minimum number of people who would lose health insurance due to Medicaid cuts — the Urban Institute, working off the very similar plan Ryan unveiled last year, puts it at between 14 and 27 million people losing Medicaid.

That’s a lot of people — and a lot of suffering. And again, bear in mind that none of this would be done to reduce the deficit — it would be done to make room for those $4.6 trillion in tax cuts, and in particular a tax cut of $240,000 a year to the average member of the one percent..

But Obama is very rude for pointing any of this out.

So perhaps the President is tired of the current Republicans not making any good faith efforts to negotiate?

Heat: non-political
Yes, world wide, it was a warm March (warmer than normal) albeit not warm everywhere. You can see a dark red splotch over where I live.

Racism A writer for the National Review gives his “black-white” talk to his kids. Upshot: yes, there are some educated and well behaved blacks. But try to stay away from large gatherings of them…and remember that they ARE more incompetent than whites (on the average).

Note: yes, blacks do score lower on IQ tests than whites or Asians; however that is probably driven by social issues. The article that I linked to is what I would call “soft-core Stormfront” stuff.

Remember: this is coming from a writer in a mainstream conservative magazine.


April 7, 2012 - Posted by | Barack Obama, economy, environment, political/social, politics/social, racism, republicans, swimming

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