Robert Reich Explains the Romney-Ryan Economic Plan

Via HuffPo. This is how you do whiteboard.

In fact, the Romney-Ryan economic plan is so extreme, disastrous and cruel that focus groups “simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”

UPDATE: FDL’s Jon Walker points out that ACA supporters (e.g. Peter Orszag) have now stopped believing in the “health-care competition tooth fairy.” They believed in coupons for the under-65 crowd, but now (correctly) say the Romney-Ryan proposal to voucherize Medicare won’t work.

The one good thing about Ryan’s Medicare plan is it has gotten the so called “policy wonks” behind Obamacare to admit the basic policy of expecting private insurance exchanges to result in competitive prices, which lies at the heart of the ACA, is stupid. I guess two years late is better than never.

  1. #1 by brewski on August 20, 2012 - 2:06 pm

    In other words:

    Geithner: That’s right. We have millions of Americans retiring everyday, and that will drive substantial further rise in the growth of healthcare costs. We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is we don’t like yours.

  2. #2 by Richard Warnick on August 20, 2012 - 2:34 pm

    Cutting taxes on the rich is not the solution to any national problem, budgetary or otherwise. And it has caused epic income inequality, which is the source of many problems.

    And the last time I checked, we’re spending more on the military and homeland security than ALL other nations in the world combined, including our allies. That’s a big problem.

  3. #3 by brewski on August 20, 2012 - 4:39 pm

    Income inequality is causing income inequality. Taxes are not causing income inequality. Loopholes such as the Harry Reid Memorial Carried Interest Loophole don’t help.

  4. #4 by Richard Warnick on August 20, 2012 - 5:29 pm

    Romney-Ryan won’t eliminate the carried-interest tax break, so it’s bipartisan. Fund managers will be able to treat their income as capital gains no matter who wins this election.

  5. #5 by brewski on August 20, 2012 - 10:30 pm

    I’ve said so before, and I’ll say it again. I am not a fan of Romney’s tax plan or of Romney.

  6. #6 by cav on August 20, 2012 - 11:03 pm

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, I’m not sure all those characterizations that you laid out there were accurate. For example, nobody accused Mr. Romney of being a felon.

    Now, if you look at the overall trajectory of our campaign and the ads that I’ve approved and are produced by my campaign, you’ll see that we point out sharp differences between the candidates, but we don’t go out of bounds. And when it comes to releasing taxes, that’s a precedent that was set decades ago, including by Governor Romney’s father. And for us to say that it makes sense to release your tax returns, as I did, as John McCain did, as Bill Clinton did, as the two President Bushes did, I don’t think is in any way out of bounds.

    I think that is what the American people would rightly expect — is a sense that, particularly when we’re going to be having a huge debate about how we reform our tax code and how we pay for the government that we need, I think people want to know that everybody has been playing by the same rules, including people who are seeking the highest office in the land. This is not an entitlement, being President of the United States. This is a privilege. And we’ve got to put ourselves before the American people to make our case.

    I suddenly have the thought that maybe *some*body is playing by different rules.

  7. #7 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 8:52 am

    ” I think people want to know that everybody has been playing by the same rules, ”

    People like Obama, Reid and Pelosi wrote the rules. People like Romney follow the rules to their advantage. If Romney and his accountants are smarter than Obama, Reid and Pelosi, then I would blame the latter group and not the former. The enforcement of the rules are up to the IRS. Romney said he was audited. So presumably he is following the rules.

    Show us your Columbia transcripts!

  8. #8 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 9:15 am

    Only the “birthers” want to see transcripts.

  9. #9 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 9:19 am

    Do you just make this shit up?

  10. #10 by cav on August 21, 2012 - 9:31 am

    Metaphorical people like Akin and rAyn.

  11. #12 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 9:41 am

    Explain to me how Obama’s transcripts are any different from Romney’s tax returns.

    So your source is some staff writer for the LA Times? As a former employee of the LA Times (aka LA Slimes) I have to laugh out loud on that one.

  12. #13 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 9:48 am

    That would be like me citing the American Coal Council and expecting you to accept it.

  13. #14 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 10:22 am


    Every recent candidate for President has made public at least five years of tax returns – except for Romney. It might be routine, except Romney has piqued our interest by hinting that there’s something in those returns that would destroy his candidacy.

    Therefore, the issue isn’t going away. The question is, What’s Romney Hiding in His Tax Returns? As someone who says he doesn’t support Romney’s candidacy, you might want to ask that question too.

  14. #15 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 10:55 am

    Thanks for not answering my question.

    The question is “what is Obama hiding in his transcripts”?

  15. #16 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 11:20 am

    Every “birther” would like to know. But Obama hasn’t said there is something we don’t know about him that would cause him to lose the election.

    Romney has said that if his tax returns became public, he would lose. But it’s likely he will lose anyway, because everybody assumes he must be hiding evidence of a felony.

  16. #17 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 11:42 am

    What is Obama hiding? It must be really bad. He really must be hiding something awful. I mean, it must be really embarrassing for him to make such an effort to hide his secrets.

  17. #18 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 11:48 am

    During a surprise press briefing on Monday in which President Barack Obama took questions from White House reporters for the first time in months, he claimed that “nobody accused Romney of being a felon.”

  18. #19 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 11:57 am

    Obama’s statement was a politician’s way of keeping the speculation going. I think he’s enjoying this after all the years of “birther” nonsense.

  19. #20 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 1:26 pm

    Obama is please by anything as long as no one talks about his job performance.

  20. #21 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 1:50 pm

    More than anything, this election is shaping up as a referendum on Republican right-wing extremism. I guess the GOP thought this could be a repeat of 2010, when all they had to do was say “jobs-jobs-jobs” to get votes.

  21. #22 by cav on August 21, 2012 - 3:08 pm

    “If allowed to run free of the social system, capitalism will attempt to corrupt and undermine democracy, which is, after all, not a natural state…Capitalism was reasonably content under Hitler, happy under Mussolini, very happy under Franco and delirious under General Pinochet.”

    /John Ralston Saul

  22. #23 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 3:17 pm

    I agree with Michael Moore’s conclusion that capitalism is antithetical to both democracy and Christianity.

  23. #24 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 3:43 pm

    Where does Michael Moore say that?

  24. #25 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 3:57 pm

    We’ve been over this. It’s the theme of Moore’s documentary, “Capitalism: A Love Story” (2009).

    William Deresiewicz:

    To expect morality in the market is to commit a category error. Capitalist values are antithetical to Christian ones. (How the loudest Christians in our public life can also be the most bellicose proponents of an unbridled free market is a matter for their own consciences.) Capitalist values are also antithetical to democratic ones. Like Christian ethics, the principles of republican government require us to consider the interests of others. Capitalism, which entails the single-minded pursuit of profit, would have us believe that it’s every man for himself.

    If corporations were people, what kind of people would they be? Sociopaths: indifferent to others, incapable of guilt, exclusively devoted to their own interests.

  25. #26 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    I’ve seen the movie and I don’t remember Moore making that point. I guess since you are quoting someone not named Moore, that you admit you have no idea if Moore made that point. You are also projecting your own thoughts on Moore that Moore did not express himself. I’d call that delusional.

    As for the point itself. You can only come to that conclusion if you have no understanding of what Christianity, Democracy and Capitalism are. So if you don’t know what they are the you can’t state what capitalism is and isn’t.

  26. #27 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 4:18 pm

    Mr. William Deresiewicz has no idea what capitalism is either. He is an English professor. Next time I have a question about Chaucer I will be sure to ask him. But I might as well ask Bozo the Clown about capitalism as William Deresiewicz.

  27. #28 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 4:42 pm


    That’s exactly the point Moore was making. Capitalism conflicts with Judeo-Christian morality. . He interviewed Catholic authorities including a priest, Dick Preston, who says: “Capitalism is evil, immoral and contrary to the teachings of Jesus.”


    OK, what about democracy vs. capitalism?

    In his first television interview about the film, Moore suggests that corruption-filled capitalism conflicts with the values of a democratic system of government…

    Clearly the idea that “corporations are people” undermines democracy. In capitalism, like the cartoon “Wizard of Id,” “whoever has the gold makes the rules.” That’s not what Americans envision as the way to run a country.

  28. #29 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 4:57 pm

    A priest saying something does not make it so. Reading that piece, it sounds as though the priest does not know what capitalism is and does not know what Christianity is, and does not know what any alternative to capitalism might be. So he, like Moore, like you, are hopelessly ignorant as to what they are talking about.

    I agree with Moore and his movie that the corrupt cronyism he depicts in the likes of Dodd and others is evil and immoral. He should be in jail.

  29. #30 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 4:59 pm

    Well, at least you agree with me that Michael Moore said what he said!

  30. #31 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 5:01 pm

    Yes, Moore said that corruption in government is evil. I don’t remember any part where he said free will is anti Christian and anti democratic.

  31. #32 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 5:06 pm

    the problem with you and all of your lunatic sources is that they equate capitalism with greed. they equate capitalism with corruption. i could easily find a Christian commune which became corrupt and dictatorial, so then I could point and shout “see, Christian communes are corrupt andanti democratic!” So you have proven nothing to point out that governments are corrupt and some people are greedy.

  32. #33 by Richard Warnick on August 21, 2012 - 6:34 pm

    Moore’s point, which I summarized, was that capitalism is antithetical to both Christianity and democracy.

    If you acknowledge the real world and know the basic principles of capitalism, Christianity, and democracy you know it’s true.

    To give another example, you can have a company that’s run by a kindly boss who dies, and in his will leaves his controlling share of stock to the workers to be held in common. That would be the exception, wouldn’t it?

  33. #34 by cav on August 21, 2012 - 6:45 pm

    brewski, I asked Bozo the Clown about capitalism – he says you got it right

  34. #35 by Shane on August 21, 2012 - 7:12 pm

    Bozo and Jesus disagree…

    21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

    22 And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.

    23 And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!

    24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!

    25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

    There is the point that the last one seems to be properly translated as a camel hair rope, making it less sureal, but I think the idea is understandable.

  35. #36 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 8:43 pm

    Thank you for that verse. As you can see, nowhere does Jesus say “Give all your money to the Romans since they are so smart and wise and will spend it far better than you can”

    He doesn’t say anything close to that.

    What any English interpretation of that means is to give to CHARITY, the poor, your church, homeless shelters, not give to government. Apparently you don’t see the distinction.

    So thank you Shane for proving my point.

  36. #37 by brewski on August 21, 2012 - 8:48 pm

    You keep telling me what Moore said without showing me anywhere that Moore said that. He did say that Chris Dodd is a corrupt bastard. Show me where Moore says that capitalism is antithetical to Christianity and Democracy. Show me.

    Then you conclude by agreeing with your own statement and telling yourself it must be true since you said it. Not very compelling.

    You have also continued to show that you don’t understand what capitalism, Christianity or Democracy are.

    If a man of great wealth dies and gives all his wealth to charity, then that is a great thing. If he dies and he is forced to sell his assets to pay estate tax to go into Obama bundlers’ pockets, then it is not.

  37. #38 by Richard Warnick on August 22, 2012 - 9:38 am


    I thought we agreed that Moore said what he said. I provided quotes and a video. You can take issue with it, but you can’t deny that he said it.

    According to cav, I’m a “nutsheller.” So I summarize Moore’s point as “capitalism is antithetical to both Christianity and democracy.” My words, but his ideas.

    BTW quoth Jesus on the subject of taxes: “Render unto Caesar…”

  38. #39 by cav on August 22, 2012 - 10:31 am

    And a credible nutsheller at that…unlike some right-wing NUTS whose ‘if’, ‘ands’ and ‘buts’ must be taken with a grain or two of salt – not to mention what they ridiculously refer to the ‘substance’ of their drivellings.

  39. #40 by Shane on August 22, 2012 - 3:23 pm

    Really, because just before that your point was that Richards problem was that his sources said capitalism was bad…

    I can see why a source that said that would rub you the wrong way! Clearly capitalism is good!

    “And all that believed were together, and had all things in common; and sold their possesions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.”

    “Not one of them claimed sole ownership of property. It was all shared…No one was poor with them.”

    So clearly the case to be made is that supply side gospel of prosperity Jesus will give you a sheckle or two in order that you ignore your proclaimed faith and join the Randians.

  40. #41 by Richard Warnick on August 22, 2012 - 4:45 pm

    A concise comment I ran across on HuffPo:

    Compare and contrast two distinct periods:

    The first is from 1947 until 1979. It was a period of primarily Democratic policies characterized by high marginal tax rates on the rich, and strong regulations on banks plus an emphasis on unionization. The additional revenue allowed America to pay off the WWII debt, build the national highway system, bridges, dams, airports, and THE MIDDLE CLASS. No booms no busts, no long term recessions.

    The second is the period from 1980 to the present and was a period of primarily Republican policies. It was characterized by union busting, supply side economics, and deregulation. This is also the period of the S&L scandal, Enron, the housing boom and subsequent bust, and the banking meltdown. It was also the period of the shrinking of the middle class, the slide of the middle class into poverty, food stamps, and welfare, the rise of the permanent aristocracy and the Great Republican Recession of 2007-09. There were two brief respites from the Republican malaise. The Clinton years of balanced budgets, and the current Obama years of recovery. Compare and contrast.

    I would disagree a little about the Obama recovery, which has also been characterized by Republican policies inflicted on us by a so-called Democratic administration.

  41. #42 by brewski on August 22, 2012 - 5:08 pm

    The weakness of your point is that you misstate Moore’s point. Moore says that government corruption bought by businesses is at odds with democracy. Of course it is. I have yet to find anyone who is pro-corruption, other than the corrupt ones themselves.

    But you are equating government corruption with capitalism itself. If you are equating government corruption with capitalism, why don’t you equate government corruption with Statism and soshulizm? You don’t have to look very far around the world where the Statist and soshulist governments are the ones which are the most corrupt. So your link to capitalism and corruption as though they are necessarily linked more so than any non-capitalist system defies history, facts and logic.

  42. #43 by brewski on August 22, 2012 - 5:18 pm

    If you want to recreate the world before 1979 go ahead. Let’s bomb the shit out of Europe and Asia, tell the Chinese to isolate themselves and commit genocide on themselves. Tell the Japanese not to make cars better than the US’s. Cut school spending in half. Cut life expectancy by 10 years. Make a lot of promises that we can’t keep (per Warren Buffett), make the air dirtier, water dirtier, tell women not to enter the workforce, cut the average size of home in half, make mortgage rates 20%.

    Is that the world you want?

  43. #44 by cav on August 22, 2012 - 5:26 pm

    In reading brewski’s #42, I’m moved to suggest that Capitalism, capitalist, and so on – while not triggers for the moderation filter, should be spelled differently just to balance the scales here. May I suggest ‘Crapitalism’, ‘crapitalist’, etc. It not right that a system with all the virtues of Social(mac)ism – ask anybody informed about such things, be any more poorly regarded than crapitalism.

    Now, what wer you saying?

  44. #45 by Larry Bergan on August 22, 2012 - 6:19 pm

    I love the sound that “Republican malaise” makes.

  45. #46 by cav on August 23, 2012 - 7:45 am

    When criminals write the laws, only people who don’t write laws will be criminals.

    Or something like that.

  46. #47 by cav on August 23, 2012 - 11:23 am

    Robert Reich don’t know squat – it’s the people that have spoken!

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