mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“No, Really – I Mean It”: The Same-Old Same-Old Paul Ryan

One of the reasons that Barack Obama was elected president in 2008 is that the Republican agenda had been shattered. After eight years of Bush/Cheney, our economy crashed due to deregulation, while the federal deficit soared because of unfunded wars and tax cuts for the wealthy. Similarly, our foreign policy was a mess because, after invading Afghanistan, we pretty much ignored those who were actually responsible for 9/11 and went on to invade Iraq based on lies that were meant to gin up a “global war on terror.” We abandoned basic universal values with an embrace of things like torture and the prison at Guantanamo Bay. Americans were ready to abandon all of what the Republican Party stood for in the modern era.

That’s what led the GOP to become “post-policy.” Instead of fighting for what they wanted to do to address the challenges America faced, they decided to fight President Obama and obstruct anything he attempted to accomplish. The result is that their current presidential nominee is the one who best captured post-policy nihilism.

Obviously that approach doesn’t sit well with House Speaker Paul Ryan. As the guy who impressed a lot of the Washington press corp with his wonkishness, he is determined to take Republicans back to the the agenda that failed in the past. This week Ryan announced that starting next week, Congressional Republicans will release six policy papers that he calls their “Confident America” agenda.

As Steve Benen noted, you can hear Ryan saying, “No, really – I mean it,” in this quote:

“What you will see with these [releases] are detailed policy papers,” the Wisconsin Republican said. “We’re not talking about principles here. This is substance. It’s going to be a clear explanation of the policy changes that are needed in these areas.”

The six areas to be covered include: poverty, taxes, healthcare, national security, regulations and constitutional authority. In case anyone is tempted to think that they will be any different from the failed Republican policies of the past, there’s this:

Ryan declined to detail the contents of the policy papers, other than offer a few hints: anti-poverty proposals will transition existing programs from “a work replacement system to a work encouragement system”; deficit reduction proposals will not affect seniors in or near retirement; and a healthcare overhaul will involve repealing the Affordable Care Act despite recent member proposals that wouldn’t involve full repeal.

In other words, we’ll see social programs block-granted to states (with significant reductions in revenue), voodoo economics with tax cuts for the wealthy, privatization of entitlement programs and the elimination health care coverage for millions of people. Sound familiar? Of course, Ryan will dress all of that up with language that pretends it will actually help working Americans. But it will all be the same-old same-old that failed so miserably in the past.

Yesterday I described the dance that is currently going on between Ryan and Trump – mostly from the perspective of what Trump is looking for (submission to his enormous ego). This is what Ryan wants. It is the classic post-truth/post-policy battle that has been going on among Republicans over the last few years. To the extent that Ryan makes any headway in that dance, it would provide a contrast for the 2016 election. Do Americans want to return to the failed policies of the Bush/Cheney years? Or do they want to continue the policies that have worked during the Obama administration?

 

By: Nancy LeTourneau, Contributing Writer, Political Animal Blog, The Washington Monthly, May 27, 2016

May 27, 2016 - Posted by | Bush-Cheney Administration, Paul Ryan, Republicans | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I would like to see us govern off data and not rhetoric. I actually don’t mind policy discussion, as it is rare from the GOP which has not been big on ideas in the past few years. But, let’s use facts. Such as,

    – the economy is doing pretty well, but could use some improvements;
    – jobs are being created, but we need to help with a skills gap on better jobs;
    – not every one is benefitting under the economy, so we need to help with better jobs, infrastructure investment, improved minimum wage and better earned income tax credits;
    – we have a huge debt problem that will not be solved by cuts, so we also need tax increases and we do not need what the GOP candidate is offering in a tax plan that will increase the debt by over 60% over ten years;
    – the ACA is working pretty well, but needs some improvements such as helping with adverse risk and expanding Medicaid;
    – climate change is real and man- influenced and renewable energy jobs are growing like gangbusters; let’s help retrain coal workers find these new energy jobs.

    That would be discussion worth having.

    Like

    Comment by Keith | May 27, 2016 | Reply

    • Discussions of this sort are what made America great in the first place. There was also civility and willing partners, for those who seem to have forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by raemd95 | May 27, 2016 | Reply


Share your comment

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: