Paul Ryan's Path to Dystopia

The adoring beltway media Cult surrounding serious, stalwart sportsman and future GOP Presidential hopeful Paul Ryan has obscured the unsteady numbers fueling his so-called 'serious' budget proposal.

Rachel Maddow has some background on the numbers fiasco. Please follow this link and take a few moments to watch Maddow's broadcast for an overview of the numbers fiasco. In her broadcast, she alludes to other coverage, which I urge you to take a moment to skim over.

Regarding the Heritage Foundation's erroneous projections: their ideological predispositions and bad or missing numbers underly Ryan's budget proposal, therefore negating the proposal's relevance. They've been thoroughly debunked, if not by the last ten years, then the last forty years. And yet, this important relevation lays buried in the sand somewhere, save for a few media outlets here and there.

I'm glad that NPR at least took the time to provide more balanced coverage on Paul Ryan last week. They followed up a story on the political implications of the Ryan budget with an in-depth analysis of the Heritage Foundation, its relation to the Ryan's fiscal projections.

Just kidding. NPR did give me a few fun facts about Ryan, though.  I learned the following vital pieces of information:

* Ryan drove a weiner truck in his youth. Is there any more potent symbol for a teenager's American business initiative?

* He makes his staffers read Ayn Rand's 'Atlas Shrugged.'  

* He's an avid sportsman: an extreme mountain biker, bow hunter and fly fisherman.

* He's a huge Led Zepplin fan.  

NPR followed this up by triumphantly playing about fifteen seconds of Zepplin's 'Stairway to Heaven,' with no further comments. I think the only this missing from this puff piece were the sounds of American flags unfurling and fireworks going off.

Listen, I know it seems I've been obsessive on my coverage on the issues swirling around this man Paul Ryan and his 'Path to Prosperity' budget proposal.  I'm not an enemy of the man.  He's just doing his job.  He believes what he believes.  He isn't trying to hurt the country.  He's shown political courage by putting something out there..  

My warning bell to stand up and critique Ryan has more to do with the unwillingness of Democrats or the media to provide the slightest bit of balance to what is an extreme attempt to transform the country into a dystopia by taking social programs designed to help the underprivileged, the elderly, the poor and middle class and instead of fixing them, just privatizing them into irrelevance. Democrats won't stand up for what they believe in or impart their social and political ideologies with the slightest bit of passion or clear-sightedness in the face of his proposal, which outrageously affronts just about everything they stand for.  Instead, I hear Obama's only comment on Ryan is that he's 'serious.' Thanks Obama. You've just given me yet another reason not to vote for you next year. 

The media, too, has a responsibility to report the story. Ryan is a poster boy for everything the media wants in a rising political star. However, they have a responsibility to make a minimum effort in reporting both sides of the story, and the only side I've heard is Ryan's. Are most journalists just not willing to go there?

The rise of the Tea Party makes complete sense to me. There is so much wrongheaded, intolerant, irrational nonsense coming from it, but at the same time, it's the only political party with a passionate - if sometimes muddled - agenda. The Democratic party on the other hand, has hardly bothered to come to a clearly defined defense of anything they've historically stood for: public unions, the right to collectively bargain, teachers in general, the middle class, the social safety net, the role of Government, anything. I don't see the point of this party even existing outside of their new role as the party that isn't Tea or Republican.

If you're ideologically predisposed to agree with the notion that lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans is the only way to improve life for all Americans across the board, then I have nothing for you.  If you feel tax incentives on the rich compel them to create wealth that then trickles down to the rest of us in the form of new businesses, new jobs and the like, I have nothing that will change your mind. If you feel that the only way to fix a broken healthcare system, or social security, is to create a voucher program or a block grant plan that will only pay for a portion of what its intended recipients (the poorer and older citizens) will be charged, then what can I say? You may agree that Paul Ryan's plan is the only way to go. 

I urge you to take a close look at the numbers being projected by the plan (such as, the projected unemployment rate, which for all intents looks made up). Few of us are economists, but I find it interesting that very little fact checking has been done on the 'Path to Prosperity' or the source of it's information. Even if you're not an economist, just look at the numbers. I urge you to read about the Heritage Foundation and what they stand for. I urge you to keep an open mind to any proposal or ideological stance put forth by any politician, including Paul Ryan. All I ask is that you consider more than what the media is feeding you about him, his ideology or his plan. I ask this of you because it seems all the media has all but given up on critiquing his background or the proposal itself. Even if you vehemently disagree with me, the critical thinking lies, as it always should, with you. 


Popular Posts