Tag Archives: Joshua Holland

Ryan Budget Plan is the GOP’s Death Rattle

Are the Republicans really so high on their own fumes they think they won’t pay for this radical end-Medicare-bust-unions-coddle-the-rich nonsense in the next election? Or do they have enough of the nation’s election apparatus in their backpocket that they just don’t care — they’ll keep winning narrow 51-49 percent victories, perhaps with the occasional aid of votes conveniently ‘discovered’ right after the first count is completed, and their friends in the corporate Big Media will compliantly look the other way. I guess we’ll find out in 2012 — if there is anything left of the GOP by then.

How the GOP Is Committing Political Suicide With Ryan’s Extremist Budget Plan

Believing their own spin, the GOP appears to have over-reached since the last election, alienating swing voters as it pursues a profoundly reactionary agenda.

Joshua Holland
AlterNet.org
April 18, 2011

At first blush, it’s difficult to grasp why all but four Republicans in the House would go on record endorsing a budget plan that would cost the economy millions of jobs, effectively end Medicare and result in deep cuts to Social Security, roll back new regulations on Wall Street and raise taxes on the middle class while slashing the rates paid by big business and the wealthy. It’s especially tough to understand given that we’re entering the 2012 campaign season, and their budget has no chance of becoming law.

But that’s what happened last week when the GOP-controlled House passed a budget outline based on the radical plan hatched by Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

A poll conducted last week found that, “when voters learn almost anything about [the Ryan plan], they turn sharply and intensely against it.” And why wouldn’t they? According to an analysis by the non-partisan Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), the Republicans’ “roadmap” would “end most of government other than Social Security, health care, and defense by 2050,” while providing the “largest tax cuts in history” for the wealthy.

Not wealthy yourself? Well that’s too bad, because the plan would also “place a new consumption tax on most goods and services, a measure that would increase taxes on most low- and middle-income families.” According to the Tax Policy Center, about three-quarters of Americans — people who earn between $20,000 and $200,000 per year — would face tax increases if the GOP’s scheme became law.

To check the links and read the rest, go here.

Ayn Rand: Another Conservative Hypocrite

[Editor’s Note: Actually, when I read “The Fountainhead” as a teenager, I took it as a tale of an artist, in this case an architect, displaying his integrity by creating only what he wanted, and flouting the establishment rather than selling himself out to the highest bidder and producing mediocre work. The unregulated capitalist ‘Libertarian’ side of the novel’s protagonist, Howard Roark, was not immediately apparent to my young eyes – if anything, it showed those wealthy men who ran big businesses and other power-brokers in a poor light, with a few exceptions. That said, Rand’s anti-government ‘Objectivist’ philosophy became the basis for Libertarianism, and much of the justification for selfishness and cruelty to others we now hear expounded daily by the GOP, so the author’s use of government social programs like Medicare in her waning years is a particularly acute form of hypocrisy.]

Ayn Rand Railed Against Government Benefits, But Grabbed Social Security and Medicare When She Needed Them

by Joshua Holland, AlterNet, January 29, 2011

Ayn Rand was not only a schlock novelist, she was also the progenitor of a sweeping “moral philosophy” that justifies the privilege of the wealthy and demonizes not only the slothful, undeserving poor but the lackluster middle-classes as well.

Her books provided wide-ranging parables of “parasites,” “looters” and “moochers” using the levers of government to steal the fruits of her heroes’ labor. In the real world, however, Rand herself received Social Security payments and Medicare benefits under the name of Ann O’Connor (her husband was Frank O’Connor). […]

Her ideas about government intervention in some idealized pristine marketplace serve as the basis for so much of the conservative rhetoric we see today. “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” said Paul Ryan, the GOP’s young budget star at a D.C. event honoring the author. On another occasion, he proclaimed, “Rand makes the best case for the morality of democratic capitalism.” […]

Rand is one of three women the Cato Institute calls founders of American libertarianism. The other two, Rose Wilder Lane and Isabel “Pat” Paterson, both rejected Social Security benefits on principle. Lane, with whom Rand corresponded for several years, once quit an editorial job in order to avoid paying Social Security taxes. The Cato Institute says Lane considered Social Security a “Ponzi fraud” and “told friends that it would be immoral of her to take part in a system that would predictably collapse so catastrophically.” Lane died in 1968.

Read the rest here.