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Paul Ryan's Socially Destructive Agenda

By Stephen Lendman - Posted on 13 August 2012


Paul Ryan's Socially Destructive Agenda 


by Stephen Lendman


Ryan and other Republican House Budget Committee members call it "The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal."


Key is gutting vital programs millions of Americans rely on. Ryan wants Medicare privatized as well as Medicaid, food stamps, and and other entitlement programs ended.


Later, he wants Social Security privatized en route to ending it altogether.


Medicaid is welfare for low-income beneficiaries. Washington and states co-fund it. It's managed at the state level.


Social Security and Medicare are insurance programs, not entitlements. Worker-employer payroll tax deductions fund them. They're contractual federal obligations to eligible recipients. Gutting them is irresponsible and socially destructive. Like Republicans, Obama and most Democrats are committed to doing it.


Social security provides vital retirement, disability, survivorship, and death benefits. It's America's most effective poverty reduction program. It's worked remarkably well since inception.


It's the debt, stupid, America's "fiscal cliff," they claim. Gutting social programs assures unrestricted military spending, maintaining tax cuts for rich elites, cutting amounts corporations pay, and sustaining handouts to bankers and other corporate favorites.


It's not going bankrupt. When properly administered, it's sound and secure. It needs only modest adjustments at times to assure it.


Medicare is America's largest health insurance program. Millions of seniors, disabled people under age 65, and other eligible recipients rely on it.


Ryan wants social spending cut to 1949 levels. Around $5 trillion is proposed for starters over the next decade. Doing so will create jobs and promote growth, he claims. His budget balancing plan falls on the backs of ordinary people.


His program assures America's resources go to rich elites, bankers, war profiteers, and other corporate favorites.


"Prioritize national security by preventing deep, indiscriminate cuts to defense," he says.


Repeal Obamacare. "Advance bipartisan solutions that take power away from government bureaucrats and put patients in control."


Last March, the House adopted a budget resolution. It adopted much of what Ryan proposed. Ten Republicans opposed him. They want bigger cuts. Democrats endorse slightly less austere ones than Ryan. America's poor, disadvantaged, and moderate income earners are largely shut out of his plan.


In 2011, he proposed eliminating Medicare altogether. It passed the House but not the Senate.


Ryan claims his plan is responsible deficit cutting. The late Bob Chapman disagreed. He envisioned no change in out-of-control spending. The deficit will accelerate, not shrink, he explained.


Ryan's plan reshuffles the deck chairs. Most of what's cut is redirected to America's wealthy and corporate favorites. Lawmakers know exactly what they're doing, said Chapman. The nation is headed for Banana Republic status, he explained.


He saw no reality checking, no restraint, no attempt to stop deficit hemorrhaging, and no control over America's war machine. He called forced austerity a formula for "economic chaos."


Criminals are running the country. Annual $1 - 2 trillion deficits will persist for years. Debt amounts are so great, they won't be paid. Limits will be raised. Social spending cuts will grow until America's safety net is entirely gutted.


Gradualism is how he'll do it. A bipartisan majority agrees. Ryan's plan follows recommendations from Obama's two deficit cutting commissions. Simpson/Bowles and Dominici/Rivlin proposed "restoring America's future" by destroying it for ordinary households hit hardest.


Instead of stimulus when it's most needed, they want America's poor, disadvantaged, and others of limited means bearing the burden of America's war machine and letting super-rich elites get richer. Greater inequality and poverty are assured.


Their ideal society is no fit place to live in. Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" wants America returned to 19th century harshness. His entire agenda reflects reactionary extremism. Legislation he proposes is corporate friendly.


Agribusiness is favored over small farmers. Free trade is unfair. Education plans want public schools privatized. Everything government does, business does better, he believes. Energy policy supports dangerous nuclear technology and drill baby drill.


Environmental concerns are subordinated to profits. Healthcare proposals favor the best money can buy for those who can afford it. Homeland Security is about keeping America safe by militarizing it. War on terror strategy hypes fear to enlist support for Pentagon and homeland priorities.


Immigration plans call for keeping out and removing millions not wanted. Tax policy makes ordinary people bear the burden for maximum business and super-rich benefits. 


Ryan's position on these and other issues cynically supports the top 1% at the expense of everyone else. He represents Wisconsin's 1st congressional district. Elected in November 1998, he's in his 7th term in Congress.


He chairs the House Budget Committee. He's one of three Young Guns Program co-founders. It recruits hardline candidates for Congress. Romney chose Ryan as his running mate partner. They call themselves "America's Comeback Team."


"Paul is a man of tremendous character," Romney said. He's "the right man to lead America back to prosperity and greatness." He manipulated Tea Party anger into budget priorities. 


He's wealthy and doesn't care. He's ranked America's 124th richest House representative. He's worth an estimated $3.2 million.


He's ideologically far-right. He's an economic warrior representing wealth and power. He and Romney are two sides of the same coin. Democrats hardly differ. They're in lockstep on issues mattering most.


Ryan is more hard right than most ideological extremists. He favors two tax brackets - 25 and 10%. He wants corporate taxes cut from 35 - 25% or lower. Ideally he'd like them eliminated altogether along with others on capital gains, dividends, interest, and estates.


He deplores social spending. He calls Social Security a Ponzi scheme. His job creation ideas assures destroying millions of them. He supports socialism for the rich and free market capitalism for working folks. 


No corporation left behind is policy. No social program too many destroyed permits it. Bankers and other other business predators love Ryan. He's their kind of guy. Romney/Ryan is their ticket. 


They're as comfortable with Obama. He gave them everything they want and then some. Everything isn't enough. They want more. Stealing it from ordinary folks is how. Romney's on board to do it. So is Ryan.


Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at 


His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"


Visit his blog site at and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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