Wednesday, April 6, 2011

One more Paul Ryan post...

Government is evil - selfishness is the only virtue.

"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," Ryan said at a D.C. gathering five years ago honoring the author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

Quote via Digby.

The Congressional Budget Office rains cold water on poor, screwy Paul Ryan

"But if you turn it this way..."
Wisconsin Representative and GOP Budget Czar Paul Ryan is becoming something of an obsession here at  "Titanic."  But his plan to privatize Medicare and shrink the government is getting serious kudos in the press.  David Brooks, in a NY Times column, has attempted to sanctify Ryan's scheme as the "adult in the room" - an earnest voice that "serious" people ignore at their peril.  (In better than average form,  he's about half right.  Attention must be paid to the GOP's extremist foray into social nihilism.)

Brooks writes: 
The Ryan budget will not be enacted this year, but it will immediately reframe the domestic policy debate.

His proposal will set the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion. It will become the 2012 Republican platform, no matter who is the nominee. Any candidate hoping to win that nomination will have to be able to talk about government programs with this degree of specificity, so it will improve the G.O.P. primary race...

Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands. He’s forcing everybody else to do the same.
This assessment - described by one wag as a "wet kiss" - is typical of the "serious" face being painted in the media and throughout the Beltway on the hustle that the zealous Congressman has hatched and that the GOP has chosen as it's fiscal cris de coeur.  And as further testament to Ryan's seriousness, serious Sarah Palin has Tweeted in with, "Serious and necessary leadership has rolled out serious and necessary reform proposal." It doesn't get more serious than that!

But sooner or later reality intrudes on most of these purely ideological enterprises and in Ryan's case it's come sooner - in the form of the staid, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office beginning to crunch his numbers. Here's the scoop from TPM Muckraker:

Ringing endorsement of Ryan's Roadmap

Andrew Sullivan, who has moved his blog over to The Daily Beast, is one of those pundits who has been offering praise of the unhinged Congressman from Wisconsin, Paul Ryan and his fiscal Roadmap - now the official GOP scheme and apparently designed as a guide for anyone interested in driving America off the cliff.  But in one telling line, Sullivan offers a great example of the old cliche about "having friends like these, you don't need enemies":
What I admire is Ryan's willingness to cop to the suffering and sacrifice that the Bush years made inevitable in its fiscal irresponsibility.

GOP Pols: "A government shutdown for thee - but not for me!"

 "Shared sacrifice!"
Rep. Paul Ryan*, our current poster boy for GOP wing-nuttery, whoppers and wackiness, is on record as stating that the looming government shutdown by Congresss "sounds worse than it probably is." But...uh...Congressman, for starters  government workers will go without paychecks and that's tough for them and their families.  Right?

Well, that's sort of true. Despite the shutdown, which cuts off funds to most federal operations, at least one group of government workers will still be getting paid.  Guess who?  The answer is HERE.  (Hint: Paul Ryan is one of them.)

* Note: Today is our fun-filled "Ryanathon," so there'll be no commentary here that doesn't include his name.  I promise to come up with something tomorrow morning that doesn't necessitate another picture of the congressman's vacant stare.