Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Barrel Full O' Stupid

Even when we already know the likely outcome of some events, we can still be amazed at how some of those events unfold - and how persons involved in those events can justify horrible outcomes as acceptable.

Take the case we looked at Tuesday, of the young man who was murdered in Florida. Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, a man with a history of violent arrest, disturbing the police, and racism. With all these strikes against him, Mr. Zimmerman was still allowed to have a concealed weapons permit, in the state that originated the '"Stand Your Ground' law. In the first five years since that law was enacted, "justifiable homicides" tripled in Florida - often because people who were unstable and prone to paranoia are allowed to carry guns.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that even if Trayvon Martin hadn't been the victim of George Zimmerman's paranoia and racism, another unlucky young person might have been.

In that same spirit of insane stupidity, Congressional Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, announced their budget plan for 2013 on Tuesday. To say that this year's version of the Ryan Plan is insanely stupid would almost be an insult to how brilliantly bad it is.

The all-new Ryan Plan has some similarities to the original "Path To Prosperity" that Rep. Ryan released last year - for example, significantly raising the cost of health care for the elderly, through a voucher system. Although that idea went over like a lead balloon last year - even with Republicans - Ryan put nearly the same points in his plan this year.

Of course, that one bad idea isn't nearly enough for us to call the Ryan Plan "insanely stupid."

On top of a plan that would significantly increase medical costs - especially for the elderly - the new Ryan Plan would also raise taxes on the poor, and freeze the pay of Federal workers for five years, while giving a $3 trillion tax cut to the rich and big corporations. It would also cut most parts of the safety net, while massively boosting military spending - which means that the Republican Congress also would break the budget and deficit control agreement they made with Democrats in August of 2011.

That doesn't seem to really be a concern, however, for Rep. Ryan or the Republican talking heads who support him on this, as the new Ryan plan would also blow a massive hole in the deficit, with no real way to control spending at any time in the foreseeable future.

All this in an election year, when Congressional Republicans need political successes to run on, if they expect to be successful in this fall's elections.

Of course, that assumes Republican voters will turn out to vote for their candidates this fall. If Republican turnout this autumn is like that in the Illinois primary on Tuesday - where only 24 percent of Republicans turned out to vote, the worst turnout in 70 years - having a successful political platform to stand on will be the least of the GOP's problems.

Let's make it perfectly clear - this "budget" put forth by Rep. Ryan was never meant to be an actual budgetary document. Not only was this version of the Ryan Plan missing all kinds of specifics - including one of the most important details... an honest accounting of how to pay for the thing. This document was in no way a compromise - and it wasn't meant to be.

Real budgets have details, they figure out how to pay for everything - and they're configured in a way designed to win enough votes to become law. This "plan" was nothing more than a statement of dogma that now guarantees Republicans in both the House and Senate will have no significant budget successes to show their constituents this fall.

Politically, for Republicans, the new Ryan Plan is a cannon full of stupid, aimed right at the heads of the GOP.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure how this one is likely to end either.

No comments:

Post a Comment