Paul Ryan’s “Road Map” to a Dead End

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?


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55 thoughts on “Paul Ryan’s “Road Map” to a Dead End

    1. Hi John,
      Thanks much for sharing this. Interesting point-by-point analysis of the Road Map. I still don’t understand how people in his District can continue to support him. I suspect his youth, good looks and articulate style result in few actually paying attention to what he has to say or espouses.


      1. MadCityMan,

        ” I suspect his youth, good looks and articulate style result in few actually paying attention to what he has to say or espouses.” I believe this is the EXACT reason so many people voted for Obama and look at the road he is taking us down now. Ryan or Obama, they are all similar. I want the government to allow me to retain as much of my money as possible and I will take care of myself in each and ever respect, besides national security. I can manage my own retirement, health and don’t need the government to do much of anything for me. An incredibly inflated size of government isn’t good for this country, we cannot sustain it (without higher taxes and less individual freedom of choice). Shrink the government one little chunk at a time and we can all start taking care of ourselves and relying less on the government.

  1. I’m convinced when Obama cracked about the tea-bagging Ryan being challenged by a Republican in the primary, he really meant it.

    1. Hi Lou,
      I must have missed this one. Do you have a reference to video or transcript I could see?
      Thanks for commenting.

      1. Interesting that the MadCityMan rips me for my use of “Democrat” rather than “Democratic,” but Lou K.’s “tea-bagging Ryan” is apparently all well and good.

        1. The term is vulgar, sophomoric, and yet has become a common part of the language of the left and sites like this. Every time I hear that phrase, it instantly frames the rest words into that kind of context and generally ruins what could possibly otherwise be an intelligent thought.

          As far as I recall Zach as generally stayed away from it, so kudos to him. MadCity and others, not so much.

            1. You proved Locke’s point. How old does that kid look, 15? I can’t say I’m surpised to see a sophomoric sign from a sophmore.

  2. At the Republican conference, Obama insinuated that in case Ryan were to get a Republican challenge (The boy wonder being challenged?), He (Obama) hoped his compliments wouldn’t hurt Ryan. Of course it was meant to be a joke. Full video and text here

    Excerpt: “And by the way, in case he’s going to get a Republican challenge, I didn’t mean it,” the president joked. Turning to Ryan, he said, “I don’t want to — don’t want to hurt you, man.”

  3. 1. Health care — MadCityMan, do you have the same problem with individuals having control of other goods and services and aspects of their lives? What about auto insurance?

    2. Social Security — If I can’t opt-out altogether, I would at least like to have the OPTION of investing it in something other than the government’s black hole. What’s wrong with giving people more choices? And here I thought Democrats were pro-choice.

    3. Tax Reform — Does the fact that you were only critical of the “death tax” mean you support eliminating tax on interest and capital gains? You can call it a death tax, inheritance tax, or estate tax, but it is still a tax. I know liberals often like calling taxes “user fees” or “patriotic duty.” Maybe we could rename it “The User Fee for Expiring.” I will refer you to the Beatles’ “Tax Man” for further insight. You may find the term “death tax” politically adventageous, but isn’t in accurate in that the tax is paid upon someone’s death?

    1. Hi Forgot,
      Thanks for your comments:
      1. You can choose any auto insurance you want. I love choice, what I have a problem with is insurance companies that screw people, states that have weak insurance laws and the consequences of this leading up to and including death. Your auto insurance doesn’t have this consequence – it is your poor driving that could result in this fate.

      2. You have the option of putting your 401 K funds in a range of investment vehicles. Keep that. Social Security is one of the few defined benefit plans left for Americans unless they work for the government or one of the few private employers still offering defined benefit pension plans. I want to make sure that we don’t see the elderly left with nothing when their privately invested funds disappear due to poor investment choices, overly high fees, etc.

      3. I didn’t have time to comment on the interest or capital gains tax and still don’t.

      I for one have never seen or heard a liberal/progressive call taxes “user fees or patriotic duty”, so I suspect you’re getting this terminology from some right wing blog or other with their prejudicial interpretation of liberal and progressive views. Probably the same place that came up with “death tax” “death panels” and other claptrap. I personally hate to see how high my property taxes are and don’t think it is my patriotic duty to not complain about them.

      I believe that billionaires and those with excessive millions should not be able to simply bestow their largess on their progeny without any inheritance, death or estate taxes (call it what you wish). This leads to a permanent “moneyed class” with little incentives for innovation and would even further accentuate the economic discrepancies in our country. I think a $3 million dollar cut-off adjusted for inflation is a reasonable break on taxable vs. non-taxable estates.

      May we never expire…

      1. Thanks for the further explanation of your original post. I also do not want insurance companies screwing over people and I think with more individual involvement that might get better. It seems like if you are in stuck a plan that you have no control and can’t take your business elsewhere (because government or employer is calling the shots for you), then the insurance companies aren’t going to be very responsive. But if you become a direct customer that might change. I am envisioning something like a “priceline” type system where consumers can shop around for good rates and read reviews for quality of service. Right now there is mystery in both of those areas.

        As for the taxes, it was Joe Biden who said it was our patriotic duty to pay more taxes, not a right wing conspiracy as you assert. And it was Jim Doyle who was fond of calling his increases user fees instead of higher taxes, also not from a prejudicial right wing blog. You might want to talk to him about your higher property taxes too. Also remember, when you look at someone earning more than you do and decide to go after them because it won’t affect you, someone else is looking at you as that person earning more than them.

        1. I am envisioning something like a “priceline” type system where consumers can shop around for good rates and read reviews for quality of service.

          So long as the true insurance aspect – the catastrophic/major portion is separated out from the maintenance/day to day routine stuff. Insurance is a great solution for shared risk for big things relatively unlikely to happen. Actuaries calculate the premiums and things like life & auto insurance are products that have clear coverage and benefits and also reasonable, predictable margins. Highly competitive products I might add, with hundreds of options. Health insurance that adds in routine medicine like antibiotics, x-rays & treatment for ankle sprains, etc – all things that with a very high likelihood of payout and it’s no longer a reasonable insurance product. It becomes impossible for actuaries to effectively price and becomes a mess of cost recovery.

          Any solution that doesn’t separate out the major catastrophic from the routine is missing a core component of the problem.

  4. Clearly the path we are on is one that will lead to a financial disaster. The plan being proposed by Obama and the Democrats is only stepping on the accelerator as we head toward the cliff. Paul Ryan’s plan at least has merit and tries to solve the problem rather than just push it down the road.

  5. Hey, I’m sorry if I offended anyone using the term “teabagging,” but it was absolutely necessary in my comment to demostrate that Obama might think Ryan is not a Republican but might be challenged by one.

    1. I’m confused. Why would President Obama think Ryan was not a Republican (and therefore a Democrat?) but in attendance anyway at the Republican conference?

      (And why was it necessary to use the term “teabagging” instead of just saying “Republican”?)

  6. What happened to the original blog posts point? Easily distracted.

    Illness is not a commodity. We don’t have choices when we’re sick, and we don’t have a choice as to whether or not to seek medical help. The market place is based on choices to buy or not to buy. Health care is not a free market choice, except for cosmetic services that have nothing to do with medical emergencies.

    Where many get confused, as mentioned above about catastrophic insurance, is the insertion of the middle man, insurers. You can shop for insurance coverage, but why?
    They don’t provide medical care and have no business becoming a part of health care.

    Like other civilized industrialized countries, it is illegal to make a profit from sick people.

    This is one major point never asked of Rep. Paul Ryan, and isn’t his killer “Road map” solution what we’re talking about here?

    1. John, you forget the profit motive usually inspires better service. Do I want the guy or gal who is building my car, house, or computer to make a profit? You bet I do! If they have to compete in the marketplace, they will provide me high quality goods or services or I will take my dollars elsewhere. If the doctor, hospital, and insurance company are going to be around no matter what and have no profit motive, what incentive do they have to provide good quality service?

        1. People want to get somewhere cheaply. Tools like Priceline or Travelocity help consumers meet with competitive rates. Airlines do their best to achieve that desire, within the confines of FAA/TSA. Given its heavy regulation, maybe that’s not the best example of a free market system.

          But my point was healthcare has no priceline-type tools. Right now no one can tell me the cost of a procedure at one hospital vs. the one down the street, so I couldn’t save me/employer/insurer any money even if I wanted to!

  7. to forgotmyscreenname (like that):

    I hope you’re kidding? Imagine if doctors operated under the premise of making a profit, or under your scenario, allow the corruption of the medical community with the motive of money.

    So long, hypocratic oath.

    You’re confusing making a living and sustaining the operation of hospitals, with share holder profit taking and obscene salaries (although for hospitals, that’s happening now-and it’s wrong). Doctors and nurses know they can make a comfortable living getting into the profession, thought the hours suck, but they go into it to save lives and cure people. Many free market conservative ideologues make the false comparison between a guy who starts up a car dealer and a physician or nurse. Apples and oranges and not the same motive.

    As long as you by into Randian theories where everything in our society has a self agrandizing profit motive, the point I’m making here will never sink in. Thus the radialization of the libertarian/conservative movement, with their attempts to come up with litmus tests and big government control legalizing the corporate elite, their biggest contributors.

    Finally, insurance companies are not part of the health care system (you’re not getting that), they’re a middle man, skimming money of the top that could have saved lives. Money made off the sick and dying.

    1. No joke, John. There are plenty of parallels between medicine and other sectors of the economy. You honestly think people don’t factor in the paycheck when going into medicine, just like any other career? If you are correct, let’s see how many people would get into the profession if they were only doing it out of the good of their own hearts. And even if that was true, the quality of the people choosing that profession would go down. Isn’t that the argument used with school teachers?

      It’s not incompatible for doctors to have that motive even with a hypocratic oath, just as individuals must be subject to ethics codes in other jobs (although Obama did criticize doctors for being unscrupulous by ordering unnecessary tests).

      But my point is not really on an individual doctor level, but in the sector overall. Without a profit motive, what incentive will there be for high-quality and responsive service? They’ll do just enough to get by, but without that incentive why would anyone go to the time and expense to be the best? That’s economics 101. That’s human nature. Sorry to break that news to you.

  8. People getting into health care are driven to excel in that profession, and if they’re good, they’ll make a great living. The premise you presented about the quality of people in health care going down didn’t happen, because it’s the current system we have now. It’s a baseless premise. We’re talking about now and in the future for doctors and nurses. Medical schools have limited enrollment as well, which should be opened up to encourage more to enter the profession.

    Upside down logic! School teachers (off the topic) are criticized for getting overpaid and benefits, even have their wages controled by Republican politicians, yet conservative free marketeers continue to defend CEO salaries and are against wage controls. HUH?

    My point was not to bash profit. Doctors and hospitals in Europe are doing quite well. Insurance companies there can make a profit from providing other boutique medical procedures or supplemental coverage. We’re talking non-profit hospitals who reinvest profits and aren’t a part of Wall Street or “test ordering” money machines. Profits actually promote excessive testing, not liability insurance and the threat of lawsuits.

    Doctors have a profit motive, so do hospitals. They’re not big box stores. They take care of people at their most helpless time and don’t try to sell them anything.

    Sorry to have to say this, but as I mentioned above, I didn’t expect to change your mind. You are hung up on “incentives” and “profits” instead of treating accident victims and sick people. You are conflating consumerism and greed with professionals who have a higher calling. That’s something conservatives and libertarians just don’t get. Ask yourself this question: when it comes to your health and body, who would you choose, the cheapest doctor you don’t know anything about, or a known higher priced one? That’s not the market place. That’s survival.

    That’s why we’re in the mess we’re in. Thanks.

  9. “Ask yourself this question: when it comes to your health and body, who would you choose, the cheapest doctor you don’t know anything about, or a known higher priced one?”

    You will see in my previous posts that I advocated for disclosure of both quality AND costs. Why do you presume in your question that the higher priced one would be known and not the cheaper one?

    To answer your question, if I am paying, I want a quality doctor at a reasonable price. If someone else is picking up the tab (like the government), then I want the highest quality but I don’t care at all about the price. That’s why with government in control, either we will be bankrupt or quality will suffer.

  10. Bankrupt is a word I would use for anyone who considers health care a consumer product that needs incentives and profits. Morally and ethically bankruupt.

    A doctors record will be available with reform, and more importantly, doctors will be paid according to performance, not quantity with reform. You haven’t read the two plans in congress. You haven’t investigated single payer plans in other countries, but excepted cliches’ and fantasy about proven systems, historically there for everyone to see.

    If I were to list all the horror stories in this country with the few horror stories from single payer countries, the U.S. list would smoke the competition.

    As a business owner and insurance shopper for the past 12 years, I know the game, loopholes and tricks of the insurance system. My independent insurance guy, a conservative, warned me of the double speak contracts and carrots offered by insurers.

    Can you imagine the loopholes in inexpensive policies with no state mandates, buying across state lines, by the unsuspecting public? That’s what conservatives are advocating. Crazy talk.

    1. Can you imagine the loopholes in inexpensive policies with no state mandates, buying across state lines, by the unsuspecting public? That’s what conservatives are advocating. Crazy talk.

      This conservative advocates nothing of the sort. I want to see government create the framework for policies ie to qualify as level 1, you need to provide X,Y, and Z. More or other stuff is fine, but that’s a minimum. Now people can be consumers & price shop. As far as oversight, the model I want to see, is a self-regulatory org almost identical to FINRA (was NASD) that the financial industry has. They’re responsible for the vast majority of oversight (sort of the carrot, but sometimes a ruler across the knuckles too) And above that you have a government agency (similar to the SEC) that carries the big stick. The “don’t make me get your father” model seems to work pretty well in my experience. Right now insurance regulation is a nightmare – 50 separate state regulatory commissions/agencies…well to be frank, it just plain sucks.

  11. What you propose, and I suggested, is included in health care reform. So it appears we’re all in agreement on the insurance market place idea. Since someone in this string of comments wanted choice, I propose giving me and others a choice of a public option within that marketplace.

    Is it unfair to insurance companies? Was it unfair when insurance companies dumped seniors, a natural high risk pool in declining health, off onto the government sector? Is the solution destroying Medicare and passing out vouchers that don’t come close to paying the bills? Ryan’s plan.

    Unless choice doesn’t apply to me in my quest for freedom and liberty.

    Still on that “self regulating” kick? Gee, I don’t see any future meltdowns there. This boom and bust mentality is insane. We need rules. Whatever regulatory framework is constructed, business will always find a way to maneuver within it. They don’t give up and go away, which is what many Republican politicians try to scare us into thinking.

    All I know is that health insurance companies continue to take all of the money I get from working two or three jobs, the small amount of money from gratutous Republican tax cuts (throwing us a bone), all the while ensuring that I will never get ahead. Example: Big Oil took the Bush tax cuts from the middle class when gas hit $4 a gallon.

    1. Example: local/state governments took the Bush tax cuts from the middle class when they increased taxes.

  12. Cute. Another conservative freeloader unwilling to pay for their public service bills. After cutting government services and education down to the bone the last 15 years, somehow, that just isn’t enough. Going private is an indirect tax increase on the public, and you know it.

    And by the way, state and local tax increases is the lamest defense of the private sector raping taxpayers I’ve seen this week. Keep ’em coming, corporate America loves to see you working so hard for them, without spending one dime on lobbyists.

    If you don’t like how well we have it here in Wisconsin, I hear Alabama is looking for a few uninsured free market tax dodgers…

    1. After looking at my tax bills, I would hardly call myself a tax freeloader (are you a freeloader for expecting gas to be under $4?). It’s not being a freeloader to desire limited government and not see half of what you make being sent off to the government.

      “After cutting government services and education down to the bone the last 15 years” — Ha, that is a laugh. What vital services have been cut exactly? Keep ’em coming, WEAC loves to see you working so hard for them. Direct money spent on children has been going down because WEAC demands cadillac health plans for their members, which wouldn’t be so bad if they were hired based on merit. But what do you expect from a government run system?

      Oh, and as for being “raped” by $4 gas, ask yourself two things. Why isn’t it $4 right now (did Big Oil suddenly decide to stop screwing you over for a while)? The second question is, if you hate paying so much for gas, who makes the most off of the sale of a gallon of gas? Answer: Government (in Wisconsin, it’s over 51 cents for every gallon sold).

    2. After cutting government services and education down to the bone the last 15 years, somehow, that just isn’t enough.

      That’s just comical. One question. If government services & education were cut down to the bone the last 15 years, how is it that we have an explosion of debt and a budget deficit larger than the cumulative one of every previous administration combined?

  13. Unions represent the people, working class citizens (the ones you oppose), while you represent the conservative corporate elite. Who has more power, unions at 5 or 8 percent of the workforce, or corporate “Wall Street” America. Instead of complaining about “cadillac health care” plans for teachers, bring health care to everyone else. Of course under a single payer plan, all cadillac plans would disappear. But then, how could you stereotypically bash unions, except to say union workers make too much money. Oops, conservatives used that to bash auto laborers. Whine whine whine….

    You proved my point about cutting to the bone. Small government types will never be happy until they’ve indirectly raising taxes by privatizing everything. Can’t blame government then.

    As for gas, the commodities market speculated and gas went through the roof, allowing big oil the chance to reap huge profits. The difference between you and me is that I wouldn’t mind $4 a gallon gas, with a government tax taking the balance of money, as long as that money is invested in alternative energy technologies. Not the pockets of CEO’s and Wall Street speculators. That’s the European model, where they again are ahead of the curve, like they are on future economies based on solar and wind.

    But then again, gas prices are low now, so who cares.

    1. When did I say I oppose working class citizens? I want everyone to have the opportunity to succeed and do well.

      I should have figured you wouldn’t mind being “gouged” by $4 gas, as long as it was government who was doing the gouging. It’s all well and good if the government is the one running off with your money?!

      If oil companies were found to be gouging, the answer is more competition, not less. If you are that unhappy about those companies making a profit, you should invest in them and become a shareholder. I didn’t hear any complaints when oil was dirt cheap back in the 90s.

      But it sounds like you are unhappy with anyone making a profit, the “I’m always getting screwed” attitude, “whine whine whine.” Government should run everything then and all would be wonderful, right?

      Privitization may be a “hidden tax” as you say, but I guarantee we would have a better education system if government didn’t have a monopoly.

      You are right about one thing, sir. “under a single payer plan, all cadillac plans would disappear” because everyone would have the same crappy plan, except the super-rich who could go elsewhere (possibly illegally). What government does best is create a lot more “have nots.”

  14. To Locke:

    I’m bowing out now, after that one. If your bills haven’t gone up in the last 15 years, your either living in a box on a street corner, or never paid a bill and missed the economic convulsion.

    You can’t argue with a ….


    1. You can’t argue with a ….

      I’d say right back ‘atcha but I don’t see how anything I’ve posted in this thread even resembles arguing.

      You said government has been cut to the bone.
      I responded that that claim doesn’t seem to jive with explosive debt from excessive spending.

      How does this last post pointing out there’s been inflation over the last 15 years (amidst the name-calling) have anything to do with that discussion?

  15. To Forgotmyscreenname:

    Losing the argument huh?

    Yes, the government can invest money where the private market won’t, like Big Oil. Government has successfully developed drugs at the NIH which were turned over to and now owned by Big Pharma. I was a teenager in the 60’s when gas was 25 cents a gallon, so don’t try to pin some kind of big government tag on me because I think we should stay ahead of China on wind and solar energy. Big Oil has kept that from happening for three and a half decades.

    But the reason why I say you have lost the argument is your fall back on “Government should run everything…” cliche’. It’s all or nothing with you guys. You don’t get it, that some things are better for Americans by making government a major player. Health care, commerce, security, consumer protection, energy and social safety nets. Almost all industrialized countries own a large stake in their natural resources because profits made from them belong to every citizen. Not here.

    You can’t guarantee education would get better with privatization. From the research I’ve seen, its just the opposite.

    So let me understand this then, you complained about teachers cadillac health care plans, then whine about doing away with it with single payer because then we’ll all have “crappy plan(s).” Not one industrialize country considers their plans crappy. The only complainers and whiners in those countries, not surprizingly, are conservative free market Randers. Like you, incentives and profits are valued more than human life.

    Maybe that’s why 45,000 people die a year for lack of health coverage, and 18,000 die from preventable deaths. That’s because we have private health care now. Kinda crazy huh?

    1. John, I don’t see any winners or losers in this debate. It’s simply a matter of philosophical differences. I said you seem to think government should run everything because you have given every indication of that in your previous comments — regardless of topic your comments seem to boil down to “Government good. Business bad.” And that’s fine if you think government can be used as a force for good in so many areas of life. I just happen to disagree.

      You are right I cannot guarantee education would get better with privitization. But since you like to compare us to Europe so much, American public school score lower than Europe in a lot of areas. Yet where are liberals calling for the dramatic reforms? They don’t because they are beholden to WEAC and NEA. Now tell me how is that different than the corporate interests you criticize? I say take government out of the equation and let poor kids have some of the same opportunities that rich kids have (you don’t see Obama’s kids in the dilapidated DC school system).

      On a final note, you were critical of obscene profits by oil companies. What about the obscene taxes they pay? That is never mentioned. In 2008 ExxonMobil had a record $45.22 billion total profit in 2008, but it also paid $36.5 billion in income tax — a 47% income tax rate. What I find interesting (i.e. ironic) is that many liberals bash and seek to cripple the very entities they rely on to fund the programs they love so much.

      1. forgot, the problems with our education system extends far beyond teachers and teachers unions, and it’s disingenuous to blame them for what’s going on. Sure, there are bad teachers out there, but when we look at a school district like Milwaukee, there’s plenty of blame to go around, and that includes parents who either don’t see the value in their children getting an education or who simply don’t care whether or not their kids go to school and/or excel.

  16. I don’t know any liberals or Demoracts that want to “cripple” anyone or anything.

    You seemed to have forgotten my previous point of what is moral, what is ethical. I’m not beholden to the teachers union or any other group. They are highly trained and driven to teach our children. I suppose criticizing bad teachers is next on your check list of talking points, but that assumes there are no bad private school teachers. Every year in Milwaukee, a dozen private schools are found to be cheating, underfunded (free market won’t support them, but taxpayer money is okay?) or lacking curriculum and qualified teachers. Expand that to the size of the public school system and tell me how you think that might work. And if the private company can’t cut it, they leave. How nice for the 40, 60, 100 or so students. Public schools are under OUR control. If you don’t like a teacher, you talk to the pricipal. I have two boys in elementary school and they are extremely responsive. I don’t see that accountability level with private interests that might not see me as important.

    Oh sure you’re worried about the “poor kids.” Give me a break. If you’re that concerned about poverty, the main reason for poor school performance, stop free market outsourcing and corporate welfare. Rework trade agreements that encourage higher foreign wages that can compete (might be to late for that) with American wages, which in turn will employe the untrained worker for manufacturing jobs.

    Big Oils a bad example in your above comment. They, along with a few others, are refusing to pay the American public royalties owed them in our courts, and under paying the royalties they do end up paying. That’s what I was referencing earlier. Profits are above and beyond paying themselves and operating expenses. No energy company should be making that kind of money without paying Americans for our natural resources.

    Obscene profits work for you, even when corporate America has gamed the system to do just that, and you celebrate. I believe in making more billionaires, but I also believe in a progressive system of taxation. There are a lot of freeloaders, making excuses by claiming to protect their freedoms and liberties. If these same people can remain silent after a conservative activist Supreme Court just allow big business to wipe out their voice and vote, they’re paper thin patriots.

    Thanks for the conversation, I’m taking way to much time away from my liberal “propaganda” blog of commie socialism.

    1. Wow, you weren’t kidding about the commie socialism.

      I didn’t say you were beholden to WEAC, I said the Democrats are. You are critical of what you say are unscrupulous private schools in Milwaukee, but what about the entire Milwaukee public school system? A graduation rate that is below 50% and the liberals who claim to care have never done anything about that. Year after year it goes ignored as the big money WEAC checks flow into Dem campaign accounts.

      Why don’t you think a private school would be responsive to your concerns? If they’re not, you can walk. If you complain to a public school, what do they care? Good luck going to the principal. Tell me the last time a teacher was denied a raise or let go based on performance.

      The main reason for poor school performance is outsourcing? Um, ok, not sure I see that connection, but might as well blame evil corporate America, right?

      You say you believe in making more billionaires, but from what I can gather, you don’t support any policies that would encourage that. You keep talking about these freeloaders, but you called me a freeloader before, and I work hard only to see a huge chunk of that taken from me. When you advocate government doing more and more, you do know where that money comes from, right?

  17. Um, I see a connection. I lived in Milwaukee the first 39 years of my life, worked third shift in a book bindery and a transformer company. I worked in the inner city at what was Gimbels warehouse, and had my life threatened a number of times. I’ve also seen Milwaukee’s proud industrial fabric consolidate and close up, moved to foreign countries. That in turn destroyed the blue collar, untrained work force in the inner city, leaving poverty and unemployment behind.

    Stop it. Try to make an argument without using teacher union BS. You betray your intention complaining about big union checks going to Democrats. That’s what this is all about, gaining fund raising advantage, not teaching poor black kids.

    I explained my situation with the elementary school here, read it again, you apparently skipped that part. Why didn’t private schools want to be tested for the last 17 years? Didn’t that strike you strange, or at least make you feel cheated for not getting private schools to be accountable to your taxpayer contribution? No, because you want to destroy the unions that give money to Democrats. Thank god Doyle negotiated testing.

    Yes, it all comes down to philosophy. Sadly. I support people making money (how many times do we have to go over this?), so stop generalizing as usual with “don’t support ANY policies.” I’m pragmatic, and saw that your approach to taxes and bowing to big business didn’t work. Deny it all you want, live the fantasy, gain power again in goverment, and drive it all back into the ground. I’ll bet you will still be making these wild analogies again and again.

    1. I care very much about teaching poor black kids. Don’t tell me I don’t care about that. It’s a travesty in this state and no one seems to care because it’s “just Milwaukee.” I was pointing out how they have been neglected for years by Democrats who claim to care about education. It’s not BS to point out that it could be a conflict of interest for Democrats to take all that WEAC cash, an organization in favor of preserving the status quo. Why is it all right for you to say conservatives are beholden to big business, but it’s somehow not relevant to use that argument here? Maybe because you know it’s true. Face it, WEAC is a union focused not on kids, but benefits for teachers.

      The high school graduation rate in Milwaukee for African Americans is one of the worst in the country. We should all be embarrassed by that. Jim Doyle makes one speech about it on Martin Luther King Day a couple of years ago, but what action does he have to show for it? None. He has swept it under the rug. The last major candidate from either party seriously talk about this issue was Mark Green. (You will most likely say he was just trying to get votes, but seriously what votes did he expect to get out of Milwaukee? If anything he lost votes outstate for making it a priority.)

      But Democrats can afford to neglect black voters because they have been reliable for them for quite some time. For some reason?!

      1. forgot, wasn’t it Jim Doyle and Tom Barrett who tried to enact sweeping reforms in MPS through the mayoral takeover proposal? I believe so, yet that proposal went nowhere in large part because of political considerations from folks in both parties.

        1. That’s true Zach. What year was Jim Doyle elected? 2002. It’s kind of hard to get something going when you wait til you’re a lame duck. I think it MAY have been a step in the right direction, only if the mayor is committed to some new ideas, which I haven’t heard much from Barrett (but I concede he may have offered something on that front I didn’t see).

          Zach, I can also agree with you on your comment above about parental responsibility. It won’t matter what kind of education system we have in place if the kids never make it to school.

          But my point was that for all the talk Democrats make about making education such a priority, to them it only means getting more money into teachers pockets. Nothing wrong with well-paid teachers (if based on merit), but that’s not going to solve the systemic problems. And Dems simply don’t propose any of those necessary changes.

          1. forgot, I won’t disagree with the concept of merit pay for teachers, but again, that’s not the only solution to the problem. I don’t think there’s one “magic bullet” to solve all that ails our education system.

  18. Poverty affects families and their kids in school or out.

    “…all the talk Democrats make about making education such a priority, to them it only means getting more money into teachers pockets.”

    Pure partisan conservative “projection.” You don’t know Democrats at all. You project how you would use money to influence peddle. Projection is a common ploy by Republicans. If Democrats were smarter, they would point it out everytime someone like “forgotmyscreenname” used it. It is so wrong about the way liberals react or think, that it really would be laughable if it weren’t so dishonest.

    School reform is happening right under your nose, but you just don’t know it. You’re inability to keep up with that is telling, and if it weren’t for Democrats, Republicans would have given up on education long ago and given it to private for profit commercial enterprizes so they wouldn’t have to deal with it. The party of accountability my ass.

    Oh, and if Doyle had a time machine he might have proposed the Milwaukee plan in 2002.

    The party of racist bigots, just look at the Obama signs and talk radio host comments, complaining about Democrats taking black voters for granted for some reason. Gee, I wonder why they don’t vote for Republicans? Hmmmm.

    1. Care to point out these school reforms that are going on right under my nose? Gee, are they secret reforms? How long has this been going on? Do tell.

      What’s with the Doyle time machine comment? What, was it not a problem way back in 2002? He had SIX+ YEARS to make any kind of proposal and did not until just now. That’s hardly making it a priority of one’s administration.

      I object to you calling an entire party racist bigots because of some individuals. Are the Democrats racist bigots because Harry Reid made a racial epithet? Are Democrats the party that despises mentally challenged because Rahm makes a stupid comment? Give me a break. Republicans don’t give black voters a reason to vote for them because they have written them off because they vote Dem in such high numbers, which Democrats know and can take advantage of by ignoring them. Kind of paradoxical isn’t it.

  19. Snarky stuff: “Do tell.” What an intellectual. I had to put up with similar clap trap from Vicki McKenna when I worked with her on the air at WIBA for her first year. Funny, looking back, she was wrong about everything she stood for. Can you say Great Recession.

    As for Doyle coming up with an idea… that he should have come up with seven year ago, well… you make sense of this comment. Maybe Steve Jobs should have come up with the iPhone in 2001, when everyone needed a real cool phone. Truely idiotic blah blah blah…

    Go ahead, make yourself feel better by point out non-racist comments and compare them to outright conservative radio, TV and GOP racist comments.

    Yea those blacks just vote without thinking for Democrats, don’t they. Why should Republican even try to make them part of the white majority party. Michael Steele was hired because Barack was black. Palin added to the ticket becuase of Hillary Clinton. Is there a political ploy conservatives won’t exploit? NO!

    I will never giving twisted nut jobs a break. The reason Republicans have become radicalized is because everyone treated them like they had something to say when they said crazy things.

    Yes, the Democrats are at fault for that. But I’m not. Now that this discussion has degenerated into snark and rhetoric…over and out.

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