PAUL RYAN! Mitt Romney Just Chose His Running Mate, Tea Party Darling & Author Of The Brutal “Ryan Plan”, Paul Ryan – Embraces Ayn Rand’s Philosophy And Backs Dismantling FDR’s NEW DEAL. This Is All You Need To Know About Romney’s Vision For America – Paul Ryan: A Heartbeat Away From Becoming President!



America’s Last Chance

To Hear The Truth


Whatever Oswald had to say, we will never know now. Whether or not he was involved is not the point here. The point is that the “Powers That Be” were unsure (and with good reason) that they could successfully portray Oswald as INSANE, and they sure did not want him making “unscripted” and “unpredictable” assertions on TV – many might believe him.


So they permitted Jack Ruby to assassinate Oswald on TV in front of millions of viewers.


“Unscripted” Truth has not been seen on TV on a regular basis since. Bill Moyers was fired for doing that. Dan Rather was fired for doing that. Phil Donahue was fired for doing that twice. And former President, Jimmy Carter, has not been seen since he verbalized on TV certain truths from his Tome exposing Israel’s Nuclear Program (among other things).


You can tell Lies – BIG LIES – on TV without retribution, but certain Truths will end your career if you are foolish enough to speak them while cameras are rolling. Obama can decline to “speculate” on which Middle Eastern country already has Nukes (Helen Thomas asked that question at his first Press Conference – her smile demonstrated she did not expect an honest answer). Hillary Clinton can threaten to retaliate against Iran should it drop A-bombs on Israel. Obama does not have to “speculate” because he knows. Hillary knows that it is Israel, not Iran, which possesses Nukes! Politicians can Lie and Evade answering specific questions about Israel’s Nukes, but Jimmy Carter cannot tell the Truth. And you thought there was “FREE SPEECH” in America! SILLY YOU!


If I didn’t know better, after watching decades of “Sanitized” TV that passes for News, I would believe that this Blog was written by an Insane person, or at least by someone who was totally out-of-it. What you fine here is so diametrically opposed to anything you see on CNN even. Thank God for LinkTV and Amy Goodman!!!


How do they get away with Disinformation in a “Democracy”? The Establishment gets away with it because it can cut off your income if you dare utter certain Truths the Establishment does not want broadcasted by Blackballing you.




Tabacco has no “career” they can Blackball unless Romney and Ryan get elected and Privatize Social Security. They can harass me, but other than Social Security, they cannot hurt me financially. I neither have nor solicit Ads on this Blog. They could kill me – but why bother!


More people watch TVLand, The Cartoon Network and The Food Network than watch MSNBC. And, unless you have Dish or DirecTV (Satellite), you’ve probably never viewed LinkTV. So why bother killing a little blogger like Tabacco!


So Mitt Romney is running for President as if he didn’t have Offshore Funds, hidden from the IRS. And Mitt has brazenly selected Paul Ryan as his VP as if Ryan had never authored the “Ryan Budget”. They can play this game because CNN will not call them on it. Neither will CBS, ABC or NBC, and you know Fox News will never do that!



TV’s BLACK HOLE where Truth goes to die


TABACCO: This is as informative as it’s going to get re the Colorado Mass Murderer. Portrayed as insane, we will never find out any different. I am always suspicious when we get absolutely nothing about mass murderers! Hell, we know more about Louis Carroll than we do about this guy! Makes you wonder if the Powers That Be are withholding information about a serious grievance Holmes had with the American System – otherwise, we’d know much more. We know all about Charley Manson and David Berkowitz because they were crazy, but about Lee Harvey Oswald – very little! I am suspicious once again!












Analysis: How Ryan’s Budgets Would Affect Ours

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Updated: August 13, 2012 | 8:01 p.m.
August 13, 2012 | 7:40 p.m.


There are many different ways to talk about Rep. Paul Ryan‘s “Roadmap,” but maybe the most useful is to imagine how his budget affects your budget. How much more money would you keep under his broad tax plan? How much more would you have to save to pay for health care? And for the low-income, who — as we’ll see — bear the brunt of Ryan’s cuts: How alone would they be in Ryan’s America?


But let’s start with a bit of basic arithmetic.


There are two ways that the government’s budget can affect yours. Clearly, one is taxes. More than 80 percent of government revenues comes from individuals’ wages and income. (The rest comes from corporate taxes and things like excise taxes on gasoline, which also affects our budgets, but less directly.) Two is spending. Although most of us might think of government as providing public goods like airports and security, $3 out of every $5 Washington spends is basically insurance — a transfer to those who are old, sick, and poor. Social Security writes checks equal to 20 percent of government outlays. Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP account for another 20 percent. Safety-net programs and benefits for veterans and federal retirees account for another 20 percent.

So, a full accounting of how Ryan’s budget would affect your budget must consider how much he would cut our taxes and how much he would cut our transfers. (TABACCO: Read that ENTITLEMENTS!)

TAXES. Ryan cuts income tax rates and abolishes investment taxes to reduce government revenues by about $450 billion* per year over the next 10 years. (That’s after he makes permanent the Bush/Obama tax cuts.)  (TABACCO: ALL for the Rich so far!)


We don’t know exactly how Ryan’s tax cuts would break down by family income level, but the Tax Policy Center has published an estimate based on the Ryan-inspired budget passed by the House of Representatives this year. The upshot is that the federal income tax code — the one highly-progressive part of our tax system — would become significantly less progressive. Taxes would barely change (or even rise) on the low-income Americans, and the top 1 percent would see a windfall from the elimination of taxes on most of their investment income. (Ditto!)

“Those making $1 million or more would enjoy an average tax cut of $265,000 and see their after-tax income increase by 12.5 percent,” TPC found. “By contrast, half of those making between $20,000 and $30,000 would get no tax cut at all.”**

SPENDING. Ryan is most famous for his Medicare plan, but if his budget became law at midnight tomorrow, the most dramatic changes over the next 10 years would be everything but Medicare. That’s because Ryan’s long-term plan to move Medicare from a defined-benefit fee-for-service system (where government is your insurance) to a defined-contribution system (where government writes you a check to help you pay somebody else for insurance) is truly a long-term plan. It wouldn’t begin to take effect until the early 2020s. The typical family might prepare for a more modest Medicare by putting more money away. They might leave more of their salaries in a savings account. They might invest in the stock market, with the understanding that any gains wouldn’t be taxed. They might use their modest income gains to buy a house, with the intention to sell at a tax-free gain later.

Ryan slashes deeply, but he spares defense and Social Security, which, together, account for 40 percent of the budget. That means his $4 trillion in cuts come mostly out of health care spending, income security spending, and basic government duties. By 2023, Ryan would spend 16 percent less than Obama on income security programs like unemployment benefits and food stamps. He would spend a quarter less on transportation, and 13 percent less per veteran, according to Brad Plumer.  Medicaid spending would be shaved by about a third, and the Urban Institute calculated that a similar proposal would force the states to drop between 14 million and 27 million people from Medicaid by 2021 (note: that’s an extreme prediction). It’s not clear exactly what programs would be cut, or by exactly how much. What is clear is that everything within the bundle of government responsibility — from subsidizing science research to subsidizing education to keeping up national parks and law enforcement — would come under pressure for cuts to make room for the massive and regressive cuts to taxes.      






TABACCO: “Regressive cuts to taxes” means breaks for High Income guys and no breaks, if not even more taxes, for everybody else! Regressive Taxation is an essential concept that we all should understand thoroughly! Even Democrats like former NY Governor, David Paterson, tried to pull this one on New Yorkers because they don’t understand “flat tax”, “FairTax” or “Regressive Tax”!


Even property tax is REGRESSIVE because of the assessment and because a home assessed at $1.6 million does NOT have 4-times the Tax as a home assessed at $400,000.


Flat Taxes on soda, milk, clothing, furniture, cigarettes, electronics or any items purchased by the general public are REGRESSIVE because Rich People’s INCOME is much greater and those expenditures represent a much smaller % of their incomes than it does for the Middleclass.






What does that budget mean for your budget? It rather depends where you fall on the income ladder. Romney is relieving the richest Americans from some of their duties to pay for the risk-protection of the poor, and he is asking some of the poorest Americans to accept less help from the government in exchange for … well, the virtue of independence from government. It is stark, but broadly accurate, to say that the less you benefit from Ryan’s tax cuts, the more you would potentially suffer from Ryan spending cuts. It is possible — and, in Ryan’s vision, duly hoped for — that devolving responsibilities from the federal government to the states and the private sector will drive efficiencies. But, as the GOP likes to point out about the president, “hope is not a policy,” and it is definitely not an inevitability.

Remember when Romney said he’s “not concerned about the very poor” because there’s a safety net for them? Well, there wouldn’t be the same safety net after Ryan’s plan took root. Romney doesn’t have to embrace every detail of Ryan’s plan, and he won’t. But he has embraced the philosophy of Ryan’s vision: That true freedom means freedom from government dependency, and that the poor are somehow richer, in spirit or in literalness, if they take less money from the government. Ryan believes that his budget could unlock spectacular growth and increase lower-income wages. And it might! But most of what we know about the impact of technology, emerging markets, and off-shoring suggests that gaping income inequality is a side-effect of global capitalism more than an outcome of progressive government.

This budget would have a very predictable outcome: It would make poor families poorer, and more exposed to the risks of medical or financial calamity, all under the banner of “Responsibility And Freedom.” Ryan is free to march under his banner. But don’t ask me to call it responsible.

* To be clear, in the latest plan passed by the House of Representatives, Ryan did not propose to zero out investment taxes, as he has proposed in earlier iterations of his Roadmap.

**Read Alan Viard’s comments about Ryan’s plan here.

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Monday, August 13, 2012 Full Show

“An Extreme Choice”: Embracing Ayn Rand, GOP VP Pick Paul Ryan Backs Dismantling New Deal

As Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney names Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his vice-presidential running mate, we speak with two Wisconsinites about the seven-term congressman’s record and how his views are influenced by the controversial philosopher Ayn Rand. “This is not necessarily a foolish choice by Romney,” says John Nichols, political writer for The Nation magazine. “It is an extreme choice. And it does define the national Republican Party toward a place where the Wisconsin Republican Party is, which is very anti-labor, willing to make deep cuts in education, public services, and, frankly, very combative on issues like voter ID and a host of other things that really go to the core question of how successful and how functional our democracy will be.” Ryan is chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee and architect of a controversial budget plan to cut federal spending by more than $5 trillion over the next 10 years. “Ryan gets a lot of mileage for understanding, so-called, the budget and economics,” says Matthew Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine. “But if you look closely, he doesn’t really get it.” Democrats argue Ryan’s planned Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security reform would essentially dismantle key components of the social safety net. [includes rush transcript]


Filed under  Election 2012, Republican Party, Medicaid, Social Security, Wisconsin, Taxes, Paul Ryan, Matthew Rothschild, John Nichols




Matthew Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine.


John Nichols, political writer for The Nation and the author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.




Rush Transcript

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.Donate >




AMYGOODMAN: We begin today’s show with the latest news in the U.S. presidential race. On Saturday, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney announced Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan, now 42, was elected to the House of Representatives at 28. He’s a Republican representative. He’s also chair of the House of Representatives Budget Committee. He spoke in Virginia right after his selection was made.


REP. PAULRYAN: I’ve been asked by Governor Romney to serve the country that I love. Janesville, Wisconsin, is where I was born and raised, and I never really left it. It’s our home now. For the last 14 years, I have proudly represented Wisconsin in Congress. There—there I have focused on solving the problems that confront our country, turning ideas into action and action into solutions. I am committed in heart and mind to putting that experience to work in a Romney administration.


This is a crucial moment in the life of our nation, and it is absolutely vital that we select the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness. That man—that man is standing right next to me. His name is Mitt Romney, and he will be the next president of the United States of America.


My dad died when I was young. He was a good and decent man. There are a few things he would say that have just always stuck with me. He’d say, “Son, you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.” Well, regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem, and Mitt Romney is the solution.


AMYGOODMAN: Paul Ryan was born in Janesville, Wisconsin, where he still lives with his wife and three children. He’s a practicing Catholic. As chair of the House Budget Committee, Ryan was the architect of a controversial budget plan to cut spending by over $5 trillion over the next 10 years. Democrats have argued his planned Medicare and Medicaid reform would essentially dismantle key components of the social safety net. Speaking in Mooresville, North Carolina, Sunday, Romney contrasted his team’s economic policy with that of the Obama administration.


MITTROMNEY: There are some who are—who are fearful that if we stay on the track we’re on, we’re going to end up like Greece, and we’re going to have, like Europe has, the chronic high unemployment and the low wage growth and fiscal calamity right at the door. That’s not the path we’ll take us down. I see our president making us more and more like Europe. I don’t want to be like Europe. I want to be like America.


AMYGOODMAN: Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, reaction to Ryan’s addition to the Republican ticket was mixed. President Obama won the state in 2008, but this year Romney hopes to win the state’s 10 electoral votes. This is Wisconsin resident Mark Saphos.


MARKSAPHOS: I think we need more fiscal responsibility in politics today, and I think Paul brings that to the table. I think that’s his greatest asset. Spending and spending and not having the money and printing more money to solve the world’s problems, I don’t think is the way to go. I think Paul is one of the few in politics today that’s willing to address that head on. So I think it’s a great choice.


AMYGOODMAN: Other residents expressed concerns about his fiscal policies. This is Wesley Enterline, also of Wisconsin.


WESLEYENTERLINE: I personally don’t agree with the direction Paul Ryan wants to go with the financial state of affairs in the country. I don’t plan on voting for either of the major two parties. I really hold environmental concerns as my chief value, and I plan on voting for the Green Party and hope that other people consider the Green Party, as well.


AMYGOODMAN: Mitt Romney continued touring key states over the weekend in what some analysts say is a revitalized campaign with Ryan by his side.


Well, to talk more about the implications of his vice-presidential candidacy, we are joined by two Wisconsinites: in Madison, Matthew Rothschild is with us, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, and here in New York, John Nichols just flew in from Wisconsin, political writer for The Nation, author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.


Welcome you both to Democracy Now! John, let’s start with you. You heard the news on Saturday. Were you surprised?


JOHNNICHOLS: Actually heard the news late Friday night. And I had written some pieces last week about Paul Ryan, not anticipating a certainty of his selection, but it was clear he was moving up the list rapidly. I talked to a lot of Republicans. What they said was that last week was a crisis moment in the Romney campaign. He had—he and his aides had made statements and taken actions that caused many conservatives to be very, very upset. They knew they had to make a hard-right choice—


AMYGOODMAN: And those issues were, that they were most upset about?


JOHNNICHOLS: Number one, Andrea Saul, an aide to Mitt Romney, had said—had started talking up Romneycare, while on the right wing the conservative base of the party hates Obamacare, as they call it, and also Romneycare. That caused Ann Coulter to say, “Maybe we shouldn’t even bother with this year’s presidential race.” The right was very upset.


But there was a back story thing that was even bigger. Robert Zoellick, the former U.S. trade representative, head of the World Bank, was put in charge of Romney’s transition campaign. Many of the Neocons just went wild. They were furious that—they thought Romney was selling them out. And so, the pressure from the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard and other publications, as well as a lot of politicos, really went high on Ryan. And I’m not sure that Ryan wasn’t—there’s no question he was always in the running, but there’s also no doubt that at a point where Mitt Romney was worried about maintaining his base, Paul Ryan became a much more attractive choice, because Ryan is immensely popular with the base.


AMYGOODMAN: When you, Matt Rothschild, heard the news, as you were there in Wisconsin—you have covered Ryan from the beginning at The Progressive magazine. Talk about who Paul Ryan is.


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Well, Amy, I was up north fishing in northern Wisconsin, so it did kind of take me off my vacation. And I was surprised, just as John was, because my initial feeling was that Romney was going to go with Portman of Ohio or Pawlenty of Minnesota. Paul Ryan, though, is a better snake oil salesman of free market capitalism, unbridled capitalism, than either of those two. He also has better, I think, retail political skills. He’s a better person-to-person kind of guy, down to earth. People seem to like him—most people, anyway, in Janesville. At least he’s been winning re-election pretty easily up until now. And so, I think that’s another reason why Romney chose him.


I mean, here’s a guy—first of all, he started his career as a Capitol Hill staffer with Bob Kasten, a real right-wing banker from Wisconsin who beat a great candidate, Ed Garvey, here in a real sleazy campaign. And then Ryan went to work with Sam Brownback of Kansas, so it’s not like he’s been a Wisconsin guy through and through, because he went over to the Kansas side.


But he’s always been this kind of policy wonk. He considers himself a genius in economics, but he’s kind of the one-eyed man in the kingdom, because his theory of economics is really absurd. I mean, he blames FDR and FDR’s policies for making the Great Depression worse. Similarly, he blames Obama for making the economy worse in the first two years. I think any economist of any stature would say that FDR certainly helped get us out of the Great Depression by reducing unemployment from 25 percent to 10 percent and that Obama, though his economic revival in the stimulus package wasn’t nearly as big as it should have been, but certainly it created anywhere between one to two-and-a-half million jobs. Even John McCain’s old economist said that. And so, you know, Ryan gets a lot of mileage for understanding, so-called, the budget and economics, but if you look closely, he doesn’t really get it.


AMYGOODMAN: Paul Ryan was heavily influenced by the controversial philosopher, writer, Ayn Rand, known for rejecting collectivism in favor of laissez-faire capitalism, which she believed was the only social system that protected individual rights. As a congressman, Paul Ryan not only tried to get all the interns to read her writing, he also gave copies of her novel Atlas Shrugged to his staff as Christmas presents. I want to turn to a clip of Congress member Ryan speaking about Rand’s influence on him.


REP. PAULRYAN: 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. And the fight we are in here—make no mistake about it—is a fight of individualism versus collectivism. In almost every fight we are involved in here on Capitol Hill, whether it’s an amendment vote that I’ll take later on this afternoon or a big piece of policy we’re putting through our Ways and Means Committee, it is a fight that usually comes down to one conflict: individualism versus collectivism. And so, when you take a look at where we are today, some would say we’re on offense, some would say we’re on defense. I’d say it’s a little bit of both. And when you look at the 20th century experiment with collectivism that Ayn Rand, more than anybody else, did such a good job of articulating the pitfalls of statism and collectivism, you can’t find another thinker or writer who did a better job of describing and laying out the moral case for capitalism than Ayn Rand.

TABACCO: The 1949 film of Ayn Rand’s book, starring Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal & Raymond Massey.. “Ayn” pronounced “ine” as in wine.. this is NOT a great film; but then again, it was NOT a great book! Simplistic, even by 1949 terms, it is comparable to Hitler’s propaganda film by Leni Riefenstahl. But the love story part is hot on a Saturday night if you ignore the message and just focus on Neal! Give Coop a break on this one!

TABACCO: Watch the Film Trailer ^. Then rent the film if you like! It’s a good story, but it’s sheer PROPAGANDA! I’ve seen it several times and enjoyed it each and every time (but not for the message). Pat Neal is at her horny best! Still young and statuesque, she had no peers at bending over backwards for Coop’s kiss (suggesting sex while circumnavigating the Hays Code). Coop just looks uncomfortable and wooden reading those stupid lines!


The average person won’t even be aware how ‘The Fountainhead’ propagandizes you shamelessly in favor of Capitalism as both Equitable and Desirable by portraying the non-contributing, past-obsessed, progress-denying leaders of Society as “the bad guys”!


In reality, they are all BAD GUYS – including Cooper’s character, Howard Roark! They are all “bad” because they are all SELFISH and SELF-CENTERED – each in his or her own way! That’s the Hamartia with all successful Capitalists! Ayn should have entitled her work “The Selfish Capitalists”. But that would constitute Redundancy and Propaganda is rarely that honest!


AMYGOODMAN: Congress member, now vice-presidential nominee on the Republican ticket, Paul Ryan. John Nichols, talk about the significance, for people who’ve never heard of Ayn Rand, why what he is saying matters.


JOHNNICHOLS: Well, first off, he knows how to pronounce her name. And most people mispronounce it “Ann Rand,” A-Y-N. It is in fact Ayn. And Paul Ryan is a deep, deep scholar of and reader of Ayn Rand. She is a—she was a Russian immigrant—family, supposedly dispossessed by the Russian revolution, came to the United States—and throughout her writing career was a militant opponent of what she called collectivism, but really what she meant was government, and beyond that, a critic even of helping your neighbor. She said that selfishness must be the central organizing precept of your life and that the most important thing was to take care of yourself, don’t worry about others.


Now, Paul Ryan started reading Ayn Rand as a very young man, has read all of her books. He has appeared at Ayn Rand celebrations and events. He cut a video in which he said that in these times—this was a video cut about two years ago—one of the most important things people can do is to read Ayn Rand. It’s—he said it was one of the best ways to respond to Obama’s election. So he’s been deeply into this writer.


Now, what’s fascinating is that about a couple months ago, when he was going to speak at a Catholic university, a number of Catholic scholars wrote a letter saying, “You know, we kind of have a problem with this, because Ayn Rand was an atheist who was very condemnatory of what we think of as Catholic social justice teaching and all that.” Well, Ryan immediately ran over to the National Review, did an interview and said, “Well, I’m not really a fan of Ayn Rand.” It was a bizarre thing, because he was distancing himself from a hero.


AMYGOODMAN: Think Progress writes, “Rand described altruism as ‘evil,’ condemned Christianity for advocating compassion for the poor, viewed the feminist movement as ‘phony,’ and called Arabs ‘almost totally primitive savages’.”


JOHNNICHOLS: But there’s something more than that. All of that, she did not back Ronald Reagan in 1980 because he was anti-abortion, because she thinks—she thought abortion was a great idea—maybe not for the best of reasons. Now, the fascinating thing is that despite Paul Ryan’s wild attempts in recent months to very much distance himself from Ayn Rand, there was a quote in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel yesterday from his brother Tobin, who said, “Oh, Paul can quote every verse of Ayn Rand.” And so, I think it’s very important to understand that Paul Ryan—I don’t think he’s an atheist. I think Paul Ryan melds extreme right-wing Catholicism, particularly on social issues, with Ayn Rand’s philosophy as regards government and a very kind of selfish image of how we should relate to others.


AMYGOODMAN: We’re going to break and then come back to this discussion with John Nichols, in studio with us, longtime Wisconsinite—family goes back generations—and Matt Rothschild, who’s in the Madison, Wisconsin, studio, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine. This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute.




AMYGOODMAN: We continue our coverage of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney selecting longtime Wisconsin Congress member Paul Ryan as his running mate. On Sunday, President Obama responded to the announcement. Speaking at a fundraiser in Chicago, he welcomed Paul Ryan to the race, calling him the ideological leader of the Republican Party.


PRESIDENTBARACKOBAMA: It’s an idea propagated by the other side that somehow we’re going to grow this economy from the top down and that if people at the top are doing really, really well, then everybody else is automatically going to benefit. Now, this kind of top-down economics is central to Governor Romney, and it is central to his running mate. Just yesterday morning, my opponent chose his running mate, the ideological leader of the Republicans in Congress, Mr. Paul Ryan. And I want to congratulate—




PRESIDENTBARACKOBAMA: No, no, no, no. Look, I want to congratulate Congressman Ryan. I know him. I welcome him to the race. Congressman Ryan is a decent man. He is a family man. He is an articulate spokesman for Governor Romney’s vision. But it’s a vision that I fundamentally disagree with.


AMYGOODMAN: That was President Obama at a Chicago fundraiser. Our guests are Matt Rothschild, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, which is based in Madison, Wisconsin, and John Nichols, political writer for The Nation, author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street. And he wrote a biography of another vice-presidential candidate become vice president, and that was Cheney. It’s called Dick. Matt Rothschild, what President Obama was saying, that he is the chief ideologist of the Republican Party?


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Well, I think that’s correct, and I don’t know why Obama needed to second the nomination of Paul Ryan there. Maybe he thinks it’s a big plus for his campaign. But, you know, Obama has been praising Ryan, in a way, for the last couple years. During budget negotiations, he praised him for his seriousness on his proposals on Medicare and Social Security and budget reform, even though he didn’t agree with him. But, you know, you’ve got to be careful what you ask for, because I think the glee that some people in the Democratic Party have about running against Romney-Ryan needs to be qualified, because it’s—it is possible that Ryan is going to help the ticket. And I think, as the ideologist of the Republican Party, this is a victory anyway for Wall Street. It’s a victory for the Republican Party’s right wing, because here you have a guy who’s out there, you know, peddling this stuff constantly about how great the free enterprise system is and how we need to cut government and how deficits are the worst thing in the world and we’ve got to focus on them as opposed to helping people. And so, you know, I think it’s quite possible that Ryan may help. He may help in Wisconsin, and he may help in some other states.


I think it’s a question as to whether he’s going to help in places like Florida, because of his assault on Medicare. And you and John were just talking about Ayn Rand. I mean, Ryan says that Medicare and Social Security are part of a collectivist system. I mean, this is really part of the whole Republican agenda now for the last 70 years to repeal the New Deal. And Ayn Rand and Ryan are just, you know, giving the ideological justification for that. But it’s a frontal assault, and I think the more he gets his ideas out, the more—unless Obama really takes him on head on—and he did a little bit in that clip, but sometimes he doesn’t—you know, this is not going to be good for the progressive agenda.


And what bothers me is that Obama has a tendency to want to play things toward the middle or meet people halfway. And, for instance, in the budget negotiations with Boehner a couple years ago or last year, he was open to a grand bargain. And even some of his staffers have said he’d be open to a grand bargain again. Well, yesterday, Ryan was talking on 60 Minutes about a compromise on issues like Medicare and Social Security. Is that really what we’re going to get to here? I should hope not.


AMYGOODMAN: John Nichols, there’s another Randian who’s had tremendous influence on the U.S. economy?


JOHNNICHOLS: Alan Greenspan, former head of the Fed. And—


AMYGOODMAN: Who was close to her personally.


JOHNNICHOLS: Oh, yeah. There’s a picture of Ayn Rand and Greenspan in the Ford White House. She came to the White House with him back in the ’70s, or at least to an appointment event of some kind. So, look, there’s an influence here, and I think we should not underestimate it. But I have to also suggest that there’s a cynicism in Paul Ryan. I’ve known Paul for a long time, and he’s a really nice guy. He’s very easy to get along with, very easy to talk to. If he was sitting on this show, you might disagree, but you’d have a real dialogue, much more so than you could have with many conservative Republicans.


But the fact of the matter is, while he talks about really not liking government, really being opposed to government, the truth of the matter is, he voted for two unfunded wars—and put on a credit card, not paid for. He voted for the bank bailouts, for TARP, for the auto industry bailouts, for Medicare Part D, which was a very badly constructed initiative, very, very costly. So for all his talk about wanting to balance budgets, the fact of the matter is, what he seems to really want to do is empower Wall Street. He gets huge amounts of money from many of the same interests that we might talk about with the Fed and the banks and other folks. And it happen—


AMYGOODMAN: You could say that there was a conflict of interest here: Mitt Romney chooses someone, Paul Ryan, who puts forward a plan that would enormously personally benefit Mitt Romney personally.


JOHNNICHOLS: Oh, my gosh. You know, the thing is, people look at Ryan’s budget plan, and they say, “Well, it attacks Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security.” At least to some extent it does. It begins a deconstruction of them. But what it really does, fascinatingly enough, is return full-scale supply-side economics. Ryan’s plan doesn’t balance the budget for 28 years. Ryan’s plan really is all about massive tax cuts for very, very wealthy people, for multinational corporations, and the beginning of a redistribution of federal spending from funding programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security into Wall Street and the insurance companies. His notion of using vouchers to, you know, help people, quote-unquote, “buy their Medicare” or “buy their Medicaid,” what that’s going to do is make insurance companies a whole lot richer. So, the fact of the matter is, here’s a guy who gets immense amounts of money from Wall Street, the banks, the Koch brothers, who is proposing a budget under the guise—


AMYGOODMAN: Pentagon? His view on the Pentagon?


JOHNNICHOLS: Oh, military-industrial complex love him.


AMYGOODMAN: More than the Pentagon asks for?


JOHNNICHOLS: Oh, yeah, absolutely. That’s what I’m saying. This is a guy who’s saying to America, “I want to balance your budget. I want to take care of your grandkids, make sure they don’t have debt.” In fact, what he really seems to want to do is make sure that the federal government keeps collecting taxes but shifts it over to very wealthy people and to Wall Street.


AMYGOODMAN: Yet, Matt Rothschild, during the weekend, as they campaigned together and separately, an almost mantra, clearly a talking point, of the Republican candidates, of Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney, was that President Obama would cut $700 billion from Medicare and that they would save Medicare. Matt?


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Yeah, well, they’re—you know, they’re trying to cover their backsides here, because they know they are vulnerable on Medicare, because the Ryan plan would have seniors paying $6,000 more a year, $6,000 more a year for health insurance with that voucher plan. And, you know, there are not many seniors in this country who want to pay $6,000 more or who could afford paying $6,000 more.


AMYGOODMAN: But explain how what—explain how what Paul Ryan has put forward—and it is unusual that he has put forward a very clear budget, head of the House Budget Committee—what it means to talk about Medicare as vouchers, giving seniors the chance to choose.


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: So, he would give—he would give people on Medicare, people who are over 65, a voucher to go into the private insurance market and, as John says, help the private insurance companies out by buying insurance there. But it would be a fixed amount at about $5,600. That’s how much they would get. But there’s no limit on the insurance premiums that the insurance companies can raise them to, so, you know, the sky is the limit. And as the insurance companies raise their rates, that voucher is going to be worth less and less over time. And so, elderly people are going to have to shell out more from their own pocket than they would be certainly under the traditional Medicare system that, you know, 90, 95 percent of seniors enjoy and appreciate and are in favor of.


AMYGOODMAN: Last fall at one of Ryan’s town hall meetings, he spoke about cutting Social Security and Medicare as a means of debt reduction. Let’s turn to a clip of a senior citizen who spoke out during the meeting. He was promptly escorted out of the room.


REP. PAULRYAN: Most of our debt in the future comes from our entitlement programs—


SENIORCITIZEN: Hey! Why [inaudible]—


REP. PAULRYAN: —mainly Medicare and Medicaid. So—


SENIORCITIZEN: I paid into that for 50 years, my unemployment and my Social Security and my Medicare. And now you’re gonna—


SECURITYGUARD: On the ground! On the ground!


REP. PAULRYAN: I hope he’s taken his blood pressure medication.


AMYGOODMAN: That was Paul Ryan being questioned by a senior citizen. Then the senior citizen was escorted out. John Nichols?


JOHNNICHOLS: And that was at a town hall meeting. You know, the interesting thing is that Paul Ryan flew under radar in Wisconsin for a long time. His congressional district is small towns and small cities—Racine, Kenosha, Janesville being the largest. There aren’t any big TV stations there. And so, for a long time Paul Ryan was able to create this image at home as nice guy, always in the Fourth of July parade, pretty good constituent service. And a lot of people weren’t fully aware of what his agenda was. When they became aware, he started coming back for these town hall meetings, they were packed with angry, angry people. I was at one in Kenosha where I don’t think there was more than a handful of people out of the hundreds there who weren’t opposed to what he was proposing. And this is one of the complexities with Paul Ryan. A lot of the national folks say, “Well, he won in a Democratic-leaning district, or a district that voted for Obama.” But he won at a time when most people weren’t fully aware of exactly where he was going.


And you saw in that incident that joke about the older gentleman, saying, “I hope he’s taken his blood pressure medicine.” That older gentleman didn’t need blood pressure medicine. He was mad about a policy. There’s a similar scene from a parade last Labor Day in Janesville. Paul Ryan’s going down the street handing out candy. A guy runs up and says, “Look, I’m really concerned about the fact that our GM plant has closed, that our pen plant has closed. This town is de-industrializing. We’re losing jobs.” Ryan gave him a piece of candy, said, “Here, have some candy”, and walked away.

TABACCO: If something like that happened to Obama, it would be all over the News – not just because he’s Black but because he’s a Democrat. Don’t you remember the Rev. Wright brouhaha when he was candidate Obama!


AMYGOODMAN: Let’s talk about Ryan and where he comes from, Janesville, and his family, his rise to Congress.


JOHNNICHOLS: Well, Paul Ryan lives on the same street where he grew up. And again, there will be this attempt to portray him as sort of a blue-collar guy from a working-class town. It happens to be the best street in town. He now lives in 5,400-square-foot mansion formerly owned by the head of the Parker Pen Company. Now, the interesting thing about that is that the mansion is still there. Paul Ryan owns it and lives in it. But the Parker Pen plant isn’t. It got shut. The General Motors plant, which at one time employed thousands and thousands of people; it was shut, as well.


And Janesville is a wonderful town, a good working-class Wisconsin town, where Russ Feingold was born and raised. In fact, Feingold and Ryan came up from the same neighborhoods, same schools—obviously different teachers. And the thing about Janesville is it has suffered dramatically from de-industrialization. It has been hard, hard hit by our trade policies. And yet, throughout his career, Paul Ryan has voted for free trade policies pretty much across the board and is, to my mind—and I say this as somebody who grew up just a few miles away from Janesville—really out of sync with what was best for that district. He is not a blue-collar Republican. He is not a Republican with deep roots in working-class communities. He’s a Republican who’s gotten a lot of money from Wall Street, used it to win a congressional seat, maintain that seat. Now he’s taking these policies national. And it will be disappointing to me if the national media goes down that line, that spin of portrayment as somehow a blue-collar or a working-class Republican.


AMYGOODMAN: Analysts suggest Paul Ryan’s budget would raise taxes on the middle class, cut them for millionaires. I want to turn to a clip of Paul Ryan speaking at a town hall meeting in which he’s booed for claiming he does tax the top. He then shifts gears and says small businesses create most jobs, so they shouldn’t be burdened by high taxes.


REP. PAULRYAN: We do tax the top.




REP. PAULRYAN: Let’s remember—let’s remember—let’s remember—let’s remember, most of our jobs come from successful small businesses. Two-thirds of our jobs—you’ve got to remember, these businesses pay tax as individuals, so when you raise their tax rate to a 44.8 percent, which is what the president is proposing, I would fundamentally disagree. That is going to hurt job creation.


AMYGOODMAN: That’s Paul Ryan at another town hall meeting. Matt Rothschild, if you could respond to that but also set him in the context of the different tendencies in Wisconsin, which is an historic place, the home of McCarthy and the home of La Follette, and explain who they are.


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Sure. Well, I mean, on the economic question, I mean, here you have Paul Ryan with the traditional Republican message that if you cut taxes for the wealthy and cut taxes for business, that everything is going to be great. But what actually drives the economy is consumer demand, and we need to give people enough money in their pockets so they can go out and buy things. If they buy things, then employers can hire more people, and the economy will cook. But they have a completely reverse idea of how to get the economy going. And Paul Ryan is against the minimum wage, and he’s against, you know, government jobs programs and anything that would stimulate the economy from the federal level. So, I think he’s got that all wrong.


Yeah, you’re right, Amy. I mean, Wisconsin is this odd, kind of schizophrenic place. It was the home of Fighting Bob La Follette, the founder of The Progressive magazine and leader of the Progressive movement. And also, it’s also home of Joe McCarthy, the terrible red-baiting senator from Wisconsin in the 1950s. And so, you had that terrible split. And we saw that split last year and up to this year with the recall of Scott Walker, where the state is virtually 50-50 between people who identify with the Republicans and people who identify with progressives. And that’s a battle that’s not unique to Wisconsin. I think it’s all over the country, but it’s especially in focus here in Wisconsin, and you can feel the polarization almost every day.


AMYGOODMAN: And, John Nichols, the triumvirate now in Wisconsin, you have Reince Priebus, who is the head of the Republican National Committee, you have Governor Scott Walker, who won his recall—I was watching him yesterday on television saying that his major victory in the recall was a real sort of green light for Ryan to be chosen, because it shows the direction people want to go in this country. The three of them are very similar, even look alike.


JOHNNICHOLS: They do a little bit. There’s a different height, different heights. Ryan is quite tall and, frankly, very athletic, much more so than the governor or Reince Priebus—and frankly has better hair. But the funny thing is that Priebus is a constituent of Ryan’s. Priebus is from Kenosha. Scott Walker is from Wauwatosa, which is just on the edge of Ryan’s district. So they’re not just from—they’re not just from Wisconsin; they’re actually from a corner of Wisconsin.


And something that we’re talking about here, there’s a subtlety to this. One of the reasons they’ve all risen is because Wisconsin is such a divided state, because it is a real battleground. Sometimes our presidential race is being decided by about 10,000 votes, both in 2000 and 2004. Republicans in Wisconsin had to get good at retail politics. They had to learn how to go out and campaign and how to spin these economic messages in effective ways. And, you know, listen, one of the things—be cautious about Paul Ryan. We can talk about Ayn Rand. We can talk about the Medicare, Medicaid, some policies that are really deeply unsettling to people. But understand also, this guy is a retail politician. He is—he does know how to work a crowd, to give a speech, much better than Mitt Romney. So, while Romney went extreme ideologically, he also added somebody to his ticket who’s frankly a much better communicator and, coming out of that Wisconsin battleground, knows how to stir it up, how to fight in places that are not necessarily easy Republican turf.


So this is—this is not necessarily a foolish choice by Romney, although, again, it is an extreme choice. And it does define the national Republican Party toward a place where the Wisconsin Republican Party is, which is very anti-labor, willing to make deep cuts in education, public services, and, frankly, very combative on issues like voter ID and a host of other things that really go to the core question of how successful and how functional our democracy will be.


AMYGOODMAN: Matt Rothschild, the issue of Social Security. I mean, Mitt Romney has been somewhat careful, never coming out with a plan, yet here you have Paul Ryan, who is a man with a plan, a very clear plan, and it has to do with Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. Social Security, he’s taken on from the beginning. Can you explain Congress member, now vice-presidential candidate, Paul Ryan’s plans for Social Security?


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Yeah. He wants to do two things. He wants to partially privatize Social Security, so people can, instead of investing in the Social Security system, which you do now automatically, could take a sum of those funds, invest in Wall Street. Again, this would be a huge gift to Wall Street. And secondly, he would lift the retirement age from 65 to 67. And so, you know, we’d be working longer and longer, and we’d have more of our savings at risk. The problem with investing in the stock market, if the market goes down, then you’re going to be out of luck. And so, what happened, you know, back in the New Deal, we had one out of three elderly people who were in poverty. And after the New Deal and the Great Society programs, that got under 10 percent. And so, do we really want to go back to where we had one out of three, one out of two elderly people who are in poverty? I don’t think that’s the system we want to get to. But that’s the system that Paul Ryan may drive us to.


AMYGOODMAN: Interestingly, President Bush would not adopt Paul Ryan’s budget plan, his recommendations.


MATTHEWROTHSCHILD: Yeah, I mean, that gives you an indication of just how far right Paul Ryan is here. He’s to the right of both President Bushes. I think he’s to the right of Dick Cheney on some of these issues. And so, we have a guy who is just so far over to the edge that he is actually—he may hurt Romney’s chances, in some ways, because of that, but on the other hand, I think he’s going to help the Republican agenda, the Wall Street agenda, the primitive free market capitalist agenda, because he’s going to be out there every day now peddling this stuff. And unless Obama and unless Biden can really hammer that into the ground, we’re going to have to live with the consequences of that, whether Romney-Ryan win or not.


AMYGOODMAN: I want to thank you, Matt Rothschild, for being with us, editor and publisher of The Progressive magazine, John Nichols, political writer for The Nation, author of Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street.


When we come back, we’ll be joined by a third Wisconsinite, who is with Planned Parenthood, Wisconsin’s pro-choice organization, which has clinics throughout the state, a bomb placed at one of those clinics last April. We’ll talk about Paul Ryan’s record on women’s reproductive rights. Stay with us.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012 Full Show

77 Years After FDR Signs Social Security, VP Pick Paul Ryan Pushes Dismantling the Social Safety Net


Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s newly picked running mate, Paul Ryan, is on the forefront of efforts to dismantle Social Security by putting seniors’ savings into risky Wall Street investments. Over the years, Ryan has not only pushed for privatizing Social Security, but also dismantling Medicare and slashing funding for Medicaid. In the Republican response to President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, Ryan defended cutbacks on social spending. “We’re in a moment where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century,” Ryan said. “This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.” For more, we speak with two experts on Social Security: independent journalist Eric Laursen, author of the book “The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan,” and Heather McGhee, vice president of policy and outreach at the progressive policy group Demos and co-author of a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book “Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences.” [includes rush transcript]


Filed under  Healthcare, Social Security, Medicaid, Paul Ryan, Election 2012, Eric Laursen, Heather McGhee



Eric Laursen, independent journalist, author of the book The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan.


Heather McGhee, vice president of policy and outreach at the progressive policy group Demos and co-author of a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences.




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Rush Transcript

This transcript is available free of charge. However, donations help us provide closed captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing on our TV broadcast. Thank you for your generous contribution.Donate >




NERMEENSHAIKH: We turn now to Social Security, which celebrated its 77th anniversary on Tuesday. President Franklin D. Roosevelt first signed Social Security into law on August 14th, 1935, at a time when about half of America’s senior citizens lived in poverty.


PRESIDENTFRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT: Today, a hope of many years’ standing is in large part fulfilled. The civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last. This social security measure gives at least some protection to 30 millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Franklin D. Roosevelt, speaking 77 years ago. Today, less than 10 percent of senior citizens live in poverty. Social Security provides retirement security as well as assistance to millions of people with disabilities. The program also supports widows, widowers and their children. Critics of Social Security say the program is fiscally unsustainable, but supporters point out it’s funded by the payroll tax and does not contribute to the deficit. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, was among those who celebrated the program’s success.


SEN. HARRYREID: Happy birthday, Social Security. Happy 77th birthday, Mr. and Mrs. Social Security. It’s a wonderful program, the most important successful social program in the history of our country. And don’t be misled. Social Security isn’t about to go broke. It’s a strong program that’s funded by people who pay into that fund. Again, let’s all celebrate a very important birthday.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Despite the high level of popularity that Social Security enjoys, the program’s future remains more precarious than ever. President Obama has shied away from his 2008 campaign promise to defend Social Security. This year, he’s failed to stand behind his four-year-old opposition to cuts. Instead, Obama has suggested he’s possibly receptive to lowering benefits by changing how they’re calculated.


Meanwhile, Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney has signaled he wants to go even further by beginning the process of privatizing Social Security. He also would gradually increase the retirement age to 68 or 69. And his newly picked running mate, Paul Ryan, is on the forefront of efforts to dismantle the program by putting seniors’ savings into risky Wall Street investments. Over the years, Ryan has not only pushed for privatizing Social Security but also dismantling Medicare and slashing funding for Medicaid. In the Republican response to President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, Ryan defended cutbacks on social spending.


REP. PAULRYAN: We’re in a moment where if government’s growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America’s best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency. Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness and wise consumer choices has never worked, and it won’t work now. We need to chart a new course.


AMYGOODMAN: Paul Ryan has become a Tea Party favorite for pushing a controversial budget and economic vision, marked by deep cutbacks to the social safety net coupled with lower tax rates. Ryan has also proposed cutting food stamps for as many as 10 million Americans, cutting funds for programs likes Meals on Wheels, eliminating Pell Grants for more than a million students. On the tax front, Ryan has proposed a plan to slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans while raising taxes on some of the poor. The New York Times reports, by one statistical count, Ryan is the most conservative vice-presidential nominee in more than a hundred years.


For more, we’re joined by two guests. In Chicopee, Massachusetts, we’re joined by Eric Laursen. He is an independent journalist, author of The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan. And here in New York, we’re joined by Heather McGhee, vice president of policy and outreach at the progressive policy group Demos, co-author of a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences.


Eric Laursen, Heather McGhee, we welcome you both to Democracy Now! Heather, let’s begin with you. It’s been hard to pin down Romney, the presidential candidate, on what his plans are for Social Security, for Medicare, Medicaid, but Paul Ryan is a man with a plan, and he has clearly laid it out. Can you talk about that plan and what your concerns are?


HEATHER McGHEE: Sure. I think that the best way to really take a step back and see what the totality of Ryan’s vision is for America is to look at what the CBO said would happen in 2050, where essentially—


Heather McGhee, Author & Demos VP


AMYGOODMAN: This is the Congressional Budget Office.


HEATHER McGHEE: Yes, sorry, the Congressional Budget Office—where essentially, in 2050, there would be virtually no more federal government, outside of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and defense. No more. It’s Grover Norquist’s vision for shrinking the size of our federal government down to the size where you could drown it in a bathtub. So, no more Federal Aviation, no more investments in transportation, roads, consumer protection—essentially, eliminating the federal government. The idea that we would have that at the top of our presidential ticket is quite astonishing.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Heather McGhee, your organization, Demos, put out a report card for all of the different budget proposals under discussion, and Ryan’s budget plan got the lowest score. Can you explain why?


HEATHER McGHEE: Yes. We had to give him an F, because what we were grading for was not just were you able to cut, cut, cut, but were you able to ensure that we have fiscal balance while also recreating the great American middle class for those who are already there and those who aspire to it. And on simply every single measure that we judged—job creation, retirement security, investments in the next generation’s future security—the Ryan plan really consistently chose those who are already wealthy, millionaires and billionaires, who would essentially see their taxes eliminated, as in the case of Mitt Romney himself, over, the next generation, the most vulnerable in our society.


AMYGOODMAN: And yet, when presidential candidate Romney on Saturday, standing in front of the USS Wisconsin in Norfolk, Virginia, introduced Paul Ryan, both of them reiterated that it is President Obama who’s going to cut more than $700 billion from Medicare. Explain what they’re saying about what Obama is doing and then what their plans are.


HEATHER McGHEE: There’s a huge difference in what the president’s vision is, which is expanding healthcare for millions of Americans, as we know, through the Affordable Care Act, and finding savings, ways for Medicare, which is already quite efficient, to do it more efficiently, and what Ryan’s vision is. Obviously Romney did not mention that Ryan has over a trillion dollars in cuts from Medicaid and about $810 billion in cuts from Medicare, because he would turn Medicare into essentially a private voucher program, where instead of having a guarantee of coverage, a schedule of benefits that pays doctors, you would essentially get a voucher and be—as a senior, and then be able to go into the private market, and if the voucher didn’t cover your medical expenses, you would have to pay that out of pocket. It would be an enormous shift in burden from the government to individuals.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Heather McGhee, who are the people who would be most impacted by slashes in Social Security?


HEATHER McGHEE: Right. In Social Security, in Medicare, in the non-defense discretionary budget, which really is going to—would see, under Paul Ryan, an incredible cut, 22 percent just in 2014, that really is going to affect the working middle class, the middle class and our country’s future. Obviously there’s a gender—there’s a disproportionate gender effect here, where the vast majority of people on food stamps, on Medicaid and on welfare are women.


AMYGOODMAN: Let’s bring in Eric Laursen into this discussion. You wrote The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan. This week is the 77th anniversary of FDR announcing Social Security. Where would it stand under Reagan-Ryan, and where does it stand under President Obama in a second administration, Eric?


ERICLAURSEN: Well, under Reagan—under Romney-Ryan, Social Security would be well on its way to being either phased out or reduced to—


AMYGOODMAN: Romney-Ryan, sorry.


ERICLAURSEN: —reduced to irrelevancy. Social Security right now is—just for perspective, is not an overly generous program. It keeps 20 million people out of poverty every year, including children, survivors, widows, as well as retired workers. It’s actually one of the least generous national old-age income systems in the industrialized world, but it’s absolutely vital to keeping millions of people out of poverty.


Now, what Ryan and Romney, Romney and Ryan, are proposing is several things. One of them is to raise the retirement age. Another is to means test Social Security, meaning that if you are an upper-income or somewhat more affluent person, your benefits would be reduced. They’ve also talked a little bit about what they call targeting benefits more closely to low-income people. Now, this is Republican code, meaning turning—excuse me—Social Security into more of a welfare-type program. Right now Social Security is what’s known as a social insurance system, which means that individuals pay into it, receive benefits—excuse me—based on the contributions they make to the system. It’s something that we own. It’s something that belongs to us as workers. Turning Social Security into more of a means-tested system means turning into welfare, which, as we know, in the post-Reagan era, which I write about in my book, that means that it’s something that can be cut, reduced and turned into something that’s much less relevant in terms of keeping people out of poverty.


Now, who is this going to affect? It’s going to affect everybody. If the Republican ticket gets its way, Social Security will be much, much less effective for current retirees and for people who are nearing retirement age, but the cuts would be most severe for younger workers, people in their twenties, thirties and forties today, who are faced with collapsing home equity, the loss of private pensions, the inability to save due to stagnating wages. These people are actually going to be more dependent on Social Security in the future than current retirees or older workers today stand to be. And the cuts that Romney and Ryan are talking about, the changes in the program, will affect them—will take effect increasingly over the next few decades when those people are getting ready to retire. If you’re a younger worker today, you should be, if anything, more concerned about Romney and Ryan than your parents are.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Eric Laursen, can you comment on whether either Romney or Ryan support raising the Social Security cap, which would make some or all earnings above $106,000 subject to the Social Security tax?


ERICLAURSEN: They are both against that. Ryan, in his budget, the House budget which he authored, fairly specifically said that he opposes anything of the sort. You have to remember, the Republicans, at the beginning of the day and the end of the day, are about tax cuts for the affluent, and raising the cap would essentially shift more of the cost of paying for benefits to more affluent people. This is really a matter of fairness. They don’t pay as large a share as they should at the current time, but the Republican ticket is very explicitly opposed to this.


AMYGOODMAN: In a part of Paul Ryan’s biography, one of the first things that Romney mentioned in introducing him is that his father died at a young age, which meant that Paul Ryan got Social Security. And he talks about this as very important in helping him. Heather McGhee?


HEATHER McGHEE: Yeah. I think it’s really interesting to see someone who’s really benefited from government, not only in his youth, but his family’s wealth actually, it’s been reported recently, has come from a lot of companies really taking advantage of much of the public works, public infrastructure investments that the government does with that non-defense discretionary spending that he would eliminate in 2050.


AMYGOODMAN: Ryan told AP in 2005, it was a tough time for our family, and Social Security was there to help us when we needed the help.


HEATHER McGHEE: Yeah, yeah.


AMYGOODMAN: Eric Laursen, is it broke? I mean, let’s talk about Social Security. They say it’s bankrupting this country, and whether you like it or not, we have to be grown up, and people at the government level have to do what you do in your own house: you have to balance your budget.


ERICLAURSEN: Social Security is not broke. Social Security has a trust fund that’s over $2 trillion in size. Their projections, that the Social Security Administration makes, say that it will—the trust fund will run out in 2033. Now, what does that mean? That means that Social Security will only have the payroll tax receipts that are coming in at that time to pay for benefits. But there’s lots of things that can be done to prevent that from happening. Congress can simply vote more money to put into the program. The Social Security payroll tax could be raised gradually across the board over a period of decades in a way that would not cut into anybody’s purchasing power, and that could be done in a slow—as a slow process. That’s the way Social Security’s books have been balanced in the past, and there’s no reason why that can’t be done in the future. The only thing standing in the way of doing it, which is the sensible thing, is the fact that, in Washington today, Republicans basically get the flu every time the subject of taxes comes up.


The other larger issue, though, is: can we afford Social Security in the future as a society? Now, the Social Security Administration gives us some very useful numbers to talk about this, as well. Social Security today costs about 4.5 percent of GDP, which means that about 4.5 percent of the entire economy goes to funding Social Security and all the things that it does. The projections are that that number will rise to about—if nothing else is done, that number will rise to about 6 to 6.5 percent by about 2050. That’s a significant rise. But again, it’s something that’s sustainable without anybody losing their purchasing power—the point being that it’s a small price to pay, 6 percent to 6.5 percent of the entire economy. For all the things Social Security does for us, at a time when the population is aging, it’s a small price to pay. And it, I think, makes a very dramatic point that Social Security is not unaffordable. It’s not something that needs to be cut for the nation not to go bankrupt or something like that.


NERMEENSHAIKH: Heather McGhee, one of the things that you’ve mentioned that has not been talked about very much about Ryan’s budget is the effect on the military.


HEATHER McGHEE: Yes, absolutely. And interestingly, that’s where Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney really differ. Paul Ryan does not want to decrease the military budget, as the president does over time. He wants to cut, essentially, Obama’s proposed cuts by about half, so that would mean about a $228 billion increase from our current record—near-record defense spending for the modern age over the next 10 years. Now, Mitt Romney, on the other hand, I think in a sense of wanting to really show his military might without having the service, would increase the military budget by nearly $8 trillion over the next 10 years, without really any explanation for what that funding would go for, other than of course maybe some of the bellicose comments he’s making about Iran.


AMYGOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, but I want to thank Heather McGhee, vice president of policy and outreach at Demos. Thanks so much for being with us. And Eric Laursen, his book is called The People’s Pension: The Struggle to Defend Social Security Since Reagan.



Hi—I wanted to make sure you saw this email we sent yesterday. This is an incredible opportunity, and every dollar counts!


If voters find out what Paul Ryan really stands for, then Mitt Romney just gave away the election. But the next ten days are critical to make sure the public gets the truth about Paul Ryan—not just the Romney campaign’s spin. Chip in $65 for our emergency “Paul Ryan is Wrong for America” campaign.


Dear MoveOn member,

Breaking news: Mitt Romney just picked tea party hero Paul Ryan as his running mate. And Romney may have just committed political suicide.

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Simply put, the policies Paul Ryan stands for are politically toxic.

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We’re going to share stories from Paul Ryan’s actual constituents who know best what he’s all about—including one woman who was unemployed, facing large medical bills, and literally camped out for a week in front of Paul Ryan’s office because he refused to meet with her. She’s still waiting for her meeting.


We’re putting together a wave of super-sharable videos, photos, and Facebook posts that we can use to tell people about Paul Ryan via social media. For starters there’s an unbelievable clip of Glenn Beck calling Paul Ryan his “soul mate.”2

I’m so excited to put this plan into action. If we can pull it off, this could hurt the Romney campaign the way the Sarah Palin debacle hurt John McCain. But we can’t do it unless we can raise $200,000 right away. 

Chip in $65 to help make sure America knows the truth about Paul Ryan.

The next ten days are crucial for the future of America. Every day this week, Mitt Romney will be making appearances with Paul Ryan at diners, town squares, factories—all to create the false impression that he and Paul Ryan understand the concerns of people like you and me.

The Republicans are trying to do exactly what they did with George W. Bush—convince people that he’s someone you’d like to have a beer with, and then ram though a far-right agenda that screws the middle class.

We can’t count on the media to tell the truth. It’s up to us to set the record straight.

Chip in $65 to help make sure America knows the truth about Paul Ryan.

Thanks for all you do.

–Justin, Tate, Laura, Julia, and the rest of the team



1. “12 Things You Should Know About Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan,” Think Progress, August 11, 2012

2. “Glenn’s Soulmate?”, April 12, 2010


Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.


Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!


In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.

T.A.B.A.C.C.O.  (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People

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This entry was posted in Bush, class+war, deregulation, disaster+capitalism, GOP, hypocrisy, knowledge+is+power, Obama, outsourcing, political+ping+pong, Politics, socialism4richcapitalism4poor, sophistry, takebackamerica, warpeace and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to PAUL RYAN! Mitt Romney Just Chose His Running Mate, Tea Party Darling & Author Of The Brutal “Ryan Plan”, Paul Ryan – Embraces Ayn Rand’s Philosophy And Backs Dismantling FDR’s NEW DEAL. This Is All You Need To Know About Romney’s Vision For America – Paul Ryan: A Heartbeat Away From Becoming President!

  1. admin says:


    When Republicans say they will NOT raise taxes, they mean for the Well-to-Do. When you cut entitlements for the Middle Class and Poor, that has the same effect as RAISING TAXES on the Middle Class and Poor. That is how you LIE while appearing to tell the Truth!

    ENTITLEMENTS for the Rich never get discussed, much less threatened. So we can forget about the 3-Martini lunch. Entitlements are for the rest of us. What Rich man waits by the mailbox for his Welfare Check, his Social Security Check, his Unemployment Check or his Disability Check! That’s right – NONE! When GOPers discuss “Entitlements”, those Entitlements only affect the bottom 95%, not the Haves and Have-Mores. That is how you LIE while appearing to tell the Truth!

    When Republicans “CUT TAXES”, you get a few dollars while Rich Folks get MILLION$. When Republicans can figure out how to do it and get away with it, the Rich get their MILLION$ and you PAY FOR IT! That is how you LIE while appearing to tell the Truth!

    When George W. Bush used to talk to a crowd of Republicans with the cameras rolling, he would say, “It’s your money; you can spend it as well as the government can!” All those Middle Class GOPers thought Bush was talking to them – HE WASN’T. They were in the audience, but Bush was talking only to the Haves and Have-Mores. The rest were operating under a FALSE ASSUMPTION. That is how you LIE while appearing to tell the Truth!

    When Republicans attest that Obama has NOT earned a 2nd term, they leave you with T.I.N.A. (There Is No Alternative) That’s because the Republican Party is the ONLY ALTERNATIVE. And the Republican Party created the current Economic Catastrophe. It took Bush & Cohorts 8 years to do it, but Obama only gets 4 years to undo it. That is how you LIE while appearing to tell the Truth!

    Then there is always the old “Fallback Strategy” that GOPers learned from the children: Pejorative Repetition Propaganda – see my prior Post for that little gem!

    If you want to learn how to Lie while appearing to tell the Truth, study the Republican Party. They are Professional Liars!


  2. admin says:


    The reason Corporations run America is because Corporations payoff our elected officials, and they do it legally because Lobbying is legal. Lobbying is nothing more than LEGALIZED BRIBERY! If you want to end “Legalized Bribery” of Public Officials, you must END LOBBYING! Then you would get a better class of Politician because those positions would not be so lucrative anymore.

    Why are Corporations at the top of the Pyramid and NOT the Elected Politicians? Remember that he, who runs the Company, is he, who signs the check, NOT he, who cashes the check.

    And Politicians do NOT work for the Electorate because their salaries, paid by We The People, are a lot less than those Lobbying Dollar$ paid by Corporations. If you had a full-time job paying $100,000 per annum and a part-time job paying $15,000 per annum, which job would you value most!


  3. admin says:

    THE HAYS CODE 1930-1968 (Hollywood’s Don’ts & Be Carefuls):

    Resolved, That those things which are included in the following list shall not appear in pictures produced by the members of this Association, irrespective of the manner in which they are treated:

    Pointed profanity – by either title or lip – this includes the words “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus,” “Christ” (unless they be used reverently in connection with proper religious ceremonies), “hell,” “damn,” “Gawd,” and every other profane and vulgar expression however it may be spelled;
    Any licentious or suggestive nudity-in fact or in silhouette; and any lecherous or licentious notice thereof by other characters in the picture;
    The illegal traffic in drugs;
    Any inference of sex perversion;
    White slavery;
    ****Miscegenation (sex relationships between the white and black races);
    Sex hygiene and venereal diseases;
    Scenes of actual childbirth – in fact or in silhouette;
    Children’s sex organs;
    Ridicule of the clergy;
    Willful offense to any nation, race or creed;

    And be it further resolved, That special care be exercised in the manner in which the following subjects are treated, to the end that vulgarity and suggestiveness may be eliminated and that good taste may be emphasized:

    The use of the flag;
    International relations (avoiding picturizing in an unfavorable light another country’s religion, history, institutions, prominent people, and citizenry);
    The use of firearms;
    Theft, robbery, safe-cracking, and dynamiting of trains, mines, buildings, etc. (having in mind the effect which a too-detailed description of these may have upon the moron);
    Brutality and possible gruesomeness;
    Technique of committing murder by whatever method;
    Methods of smuggling;
    Third-degree methods;
    Actual hangings or electrocutions as legal punishment for crime;
    Sympathy for criminals;
    Attitude toward public characters and institutions;
    Apparent cruelty to children and animals;
    Branding of people or animals;
    The sale of women, or of a woman selling her virtue;
    Rape or attempted rape;
    First-night scenes;
    Man and woman in bed together;
    Deliberate seduction of girls;
    The institution of marriage;
    Surgical operations;
    The use of drugs;
    Titles or scenes having to do with law enforcement or law-enforcing officers;
    Excessive or lustful kissing, particularly when one character or the other is a “heavy.”[16]

    Repub by Tabacco
    PS **** Now we know why Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte and other Black actors found kissing their White lovers on screen so distasteful! And you thought the Constitution’s “3/5 of all other persons” was bad!

  4. admin says:


    Armey Departed Tea Party Group After Forceful Coup Attempt

    New details have emerged in the internal turmoil at the key tea party group FreedomWorks. The Washington Post reports the group’s chairman and former House majority leader, Dick Armey, attempted to seize power in a coup-like maneuver earlier this year before receiving a multimillion-dollar payout to leave. Armey entered the FreedomWorks offices in September with an armed aide who escorted two top employees off the premises while Armey suspended several others. Just days later, Armey left the group after an Illinois millionaire pledged $8 million over 20 years in exchange for his departure. FreedomWorks has been a pivotal force behind the victories of tea party candidates in recent years. The money for Dick Armey’s exit came from Illinois billionaire Richard Stephenson, founder of the for-profit Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Stephenson was reportedly behind more than $12 million in donations funneled to the FreedomWorks super PAC in the weeks before the 2012 election.

    Republished by Tabacco
    PS Are Republicans still pretending the Tea Party is NOT strictly Republican? The only Democrats there are a) the ones who are being paid to be there or b) those too dumb to know who or where they are and ask for a GOP KICKBACK!

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