Representative Paul Ryan, GOP WI-01 and ranking GOP member of the House Budget Committee, is a darling of the corporate & banking world (see my earlier blog posting and more recent data on his contributors for proof of this). Rupert Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal seems to find him an illustrious representative of the right and periodically gives him a platform to espouse his views. In his latest illusory editorial, Paul Ryan brings back the GOP “Road Map for America’s Future” that was first introduced in 2008. Even in his re-introduction of an old plan, he seems to be missing that economic, demographic and political conditions are constantly in flux and bringing back the best of the GOP’s oldies is not necessarily the best path to the GOP’s new promised land. We had 8 years of oldies and are not looking for a repeat of those disastrous years anytime soon.
Here were some of his road map ideas and my opinions of the same:
Health care – “shifting the control and ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.”
Oh yeah, this one really scares the insurance companies. Now instead of fighting with large corporations, group purchasers, etc. all they need to worry about are the pesky complaints of individuals. Denial of coverage anyone?
Social Security – “For those under 55, the plan offers the option of investing over one-third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts.”
Great idea, we just went through a period where individual retirement accounts were decimated and now we want to shift even more of the investment advising costs, future income risks and decision making on Social Security over to consumers. Your banking friends and investment bankers will love this – fees, bonuses… WHOOPEE!
Tax Reform – “It promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends. It eliminates the death tax.”
Paul, come on the death tax? You can do better than this – it is an inheritance or estate tax. Using trite right wing terms for this tax shows your lack of perspective and insights. Even Bill Gates, Sr and John Bogle of Vanguard Group thinks we need to have a strong inheritance or estate tax. I suggest Paul Ryan watch this video or take a look at the group United for a Fair Economy.
Frank Rich in this Sunday’s New York Time’s Editorial “The State of the Union is Comatose” had this to say about Ryan’s editorial:
“Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman hailed as the Republicans’ new intellectual hope, laid out a lengthy “G.O.P. Road Map for America’s Future” on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page that proposed cutting taxes (disproportionately for the wealthy) and privatizing Medicare and Social Security but devoted no bullet point to creating jobs for Americans in urgent need.”
Is this really a “road map” that we want to follow or are his GPS coordinates out of sync and out of focus?