The problem with our political system, simplified

“The Ryan proposal could be the foil Obama needs,” said former Bill Clinton adviser Paul Begala, who could not sound happier at the prospect. “I hope every vulnerable Republican in Congress signs on to the Ryan plan to kill Medicare, because we will beat ’em like a bad piece of meat.”

Begala clearly is not even slightly interested in what is best for the country. All this he wants to do is bash Republicans. And plenty of Republicans are just the same. It’s all about short-term partisan gain (and how much money they can make as a result of the polarization they deliberately create.) Long-term views are not even considered and anything that makes the Other Side look bad is always good regardless of the consequences of such actions upon the country.

Our political class in DC is self-perpetuating, utterly out of touch, too often corrupt and self-serving, and needs to be replaced. All of them. Attitudes like Begala’s are poisonous to the health and welfare of the country.


  1. I have to agree with him in one regard: I hope that all those that do want to kill Medicare sign on to it, regardless of party. If they really want to kill it off, they should say so and be up front about it. Once people realize they’re really want to kill what is an immensely popular program, it will do nothing but hurt them. I know if my representative were to sign on to it, they would not be getting my vote next election.

  2. CNN reported today that the fine print of Ryan’s proposal makes permanent the Bush tax cuts for the super wealthy. The Hatch balanced budget plan being proposed would require a supermajority to raise any taxes, yet require the budget to be balanced. If these folks have their way, it won’t be just Medicare that gets the axe.

    Let’s say we wanted to balance the budget without raising taxes, and without trimming defense spending. We have $2.1 trillion in income. If you cut everything but security-related expenses (defense, law enforcement, and veterans benefits), basic infrastructure maintenance, mandatory liabilities, general government (i.e. congressional salaries), social security, the postal service, and interest on the debt, that’s $1.9 trillion in outlays. That’s pretty much what can’t be cut – except for social security which currently contributes $221 billion more than it costs, cut it and we’re in even worse shape.

    Things not funded are:

    Non-military foreign aid
    Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health, HUD, Interior, Labor, and Transportation
    Medicare & Medicaid
    Library of Congress
    The Smithsonian

    No student loans, school lunches, farm subsidies, NPR, public school support, new highways, disaster relief, FDIC, small business loans, nuclear power plants, national parks, unemployment insurance, farm loans, food safety enforcement, pharmaceutical regulation, pollution controls, automobile safety — nothing but the bare minimum.

    Of course there’s still $200 billion to play with… except that if you cut Medicare, you’re going to cut Medicare taxes also, which contribute $209 billion in revenue. So much for that extra $200 billion.

    Our current level of revenue funds NOTHING BUT THE BARE MINIMUM. I really don’t understand this minimalist vision of the federal government. I’d call it anarchy, except it relies on a huge military and law enforcement budget. Taxes stay the same, and the benefit we got from it is… what exactly?

    • Even some Republicans in the House are saying Ryan’s budget is insane. He’s probably gunning for Boehner’s position as Speaker by shoriing up support with radical Tea Party fringe, thus this crazed budget.

      There’s zero chance it will pass the Senate

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