Favorite

Paul Ryan's budget plan was so bad that even Rep. Mike Ross was against it 

I want my country back

How bad was the House Republican budget plan crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan? It was so bad that even Rep. Mike Ross voted against it. But outrage has been in short supply.

Arkansas's Republican representatives, — Tim Griffin, Rick Crawford and Steve Womack — seem positively proud of their vote to lavish a 28 percent top-dollar income tax on the richest Americans while gutting Medicaid and essentially ending Medicare.

Griffin, battle hardened in the Karl Rove attack machine, is nothing if not sensitive to how adept sloganeering can influence public opinion. He and other House Republicans seem to be convinced that the public's newfound budgeting ardor is so great people will be oblivious to the fallout. They sense the Republicans' great chance to break the historic government social contract with the American people and put the savings in millionaires' pockets.

Griffin is so sure of the power of the Tea Party's words — taxes and spending must be cut; defenders of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are deadbeats addicted to unearned "entitlements" — that we were treated to a Twilight Zone photo op last week. Griffin, son of a Head Start teacher, made sure TV cameras were on hand at a local Head Start center where he read a book to cute kids and then proudly said, in so many words, that if it came down to tax breaks for millionaires versus cutting Head Start, he'd cut Head Start. The problem is not revenue, but spending, he said. False economy is no obstacle.

A Republican freeze of Medicaid spending will drive truckloads of the old and sick out of hospitals and nursing homes.

Griffin and Co. also want to eventually end Medicare. Instead, future generations would get a promise from the government of a health insurance subsidy to take to profiteering private insurance companies. With an additional $6,000 or so, you might be able to buy insurance — if the insurance companies wanted to cover you and you could afford it.

Griffin's assertion that the plan preserves Medicare is a big lie, one of many. The plan also is built on a fairy tale assumption of the U.S. jobless rate dropping below 3 percent. It makes unrealistic assumptions on tax revenues, particularly given the proposals to cut the income tax on the wealthy and end taxation entirely on dividends and capital gains.

Ryan's cheerleaders tell us that the tax breaks for the wealthy would be offset by closure of loopholes. They've specified none. But we know from past experience that things like the Earned Income Tax Credit (in which working poor get back some of their payroll taxes) are what Republicans consider a loophole.

Another big lie is Republicans' supposed courage in spending cuts. Some bravery. Most of the pain will be felt by the sick, poor and elderly. Ryan claims a cut in defense spending, but even conservative analysts contend this is just a bookkeeping ruse. Overall military spending will still rise, but domestic spending will get a chainsaw massacre, particularly programs Republicans don't like. Birth control pills, for example. Environmental protection, for another.

The details don't seem to matter. Where's the outrage over Griffin's peacock strut at the Head Start center?

Ryan himself did have to endure one contentious town hall meeting. A round of these, with plenty of YouTube support, like the summer of the Tea Party, could do a world of good. If only there were some liberal Kochs out there to finance a campaign on the other side of their greedy agenda.

Favorite

From the ArkTimes store

Comments (13)

Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-13 of 13

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Bootstraps for me, not thee

    Mean spirit, hypocrisy and misinformation abound among the rump minority threatening to wreck state government rather than allow passage of the state Medicaid appropriation if it continues to include the Obamacare-funded expansion of health insurance coverage for working poor.
    • Apr 14, 2016
  • Trump: The Obama of 2016?

    Conner Eldridge, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. John Boozman, launched an assault on Boozman Monday morning rich with irony and opportunity.
    • May 5, 2016
  • Double-talk

    A couple of instances of doublespeak cropped up in Little Rock over the weekend.
    • Jun 29, 2017

Most Shared

  • So much for a school settlement in Pulaski County

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette's Cynthia Howell got the scoop on what appears to be coming upheaval in the Pulaski County School District along with the likely end of any chance of a speedy resolution of school desegregation issues in Pulaski County.
  • Riverfest calls it quits

    The board of directors of Riverfest, Arkansas's largest and longest running music festival, announced today that the festival will no longer be held. Riverfest celebrated itsĀ 40th anniversary in June. A press release blamed competition from other festivals and the rising cost of performers fees for the decision.
  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
  • Turn to baseball

    When the world threatens to get you down, there is always baseball — an absorbing refuge, an alternate reality entirely unto itself.

Latest in Max Brantley

  • Football for UA Little Rock

    Andrew Rogerson, the new chancellor at UA Little Rock, has decided to study the cost of starting a major college football team on campus (plus a marching band). Technically, it would be a revival of football, dropped more than 60 years ago when the school was a junior college.
    • Jul 20, 2017
  • We're No. 1! in vote suppression

    It's not often that Arkansas can claim national leadership, so give Secretary of State Mark Martin credit for something.

    • Jul 13, 2017
  • Bangin' in LR

    About 2:30 a.m. Saturday, with the Power Ultra Lounge downtown jammed for a rap show by Finese2Tymes (Ricky Hampton of Memphis), gunfire broke out. Before it was over, 25 people had been wounded by gunfire and three others injured in the rush for safety.
    • Jul 6, 2017
  • More »

Event Calendar

« »

July

S M T W T F S
  1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31  

Most Viewed

  • Another Jesus

    If you follow the logic of Jason Rapert and his supporters, God is very pleased so many have donated money to rebuild a giant stone slab with some rules on it. A few minutes on Rapert's Facebook page (if he hasn't blocked you yet) also shows his supporters believe that Jesus wants us to lock up more people in prison, close our borders to those in need and let poor Americans fend for themselves for food and health care.
  • Pay attention

    If anyone thinks that a crisis with the Power Ultra Lounge shooting, then he hasn't been paying attention to Little Rock.

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Bishop's first sentence might constitute the holy grail of sentence diagramming. Bishop, if you pass…

    • on July 22, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • The first commandment directly contradicts the first amendment.

    • on July 21, 2017
  • Re: Another Jesus

    • Arkyguy, try Numbers 31:17-18.

      Bishop?

    • on July 21, 2017
 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation