We have only scratched the surface, but a pattern is emerging. As with President Obama’s budget, the Ryan budget plan relies on dubious assertions, questionable assumptions and fishy figures. The ideas may be bold, but the budget presentation falls short of his claim that he is getting rid of budget gimmicks.
Oh, do tell:
Mitch Daniels gave Ryan's plan a glowing tweet. "The first serious proposal produced by either party to deal with the overriding issue of our time."
It is, of course, a measure of the unseriousness of our times that anyone takes Mitch Daniels' word about anything, let alone enough to retweet some. And that's before we get to the idea that a man, and a party, conducting a permanent game of chicken with the total ruination of a country in order to prove their sort of disaster is superior to any other has something "serious" to say, or would go about saying it via bullhorn and grandstand if it did.
"Let's cut everything but our ever-burgeoning War Department and let Ayn Rand sort it out" is not a serious proposal. It's a religious slogan. The fact that some people are serious about Dead Carpenters, UFOs, or two-bit novelists has nothing to do with whether the ideas themselves are serious. It's like being forced into having a never-ending debate about the real powers of vampires.
"Under threat of government shutdown?" What's the threat? If we avert the threat by enacting the Brave Ryan budget the government shuts down anyway, except for the IRS and the War Department. (Look, Teabaggers: stupid's fun, an' all, but those of you who aren't in on the gag might want to consider just when government officials, even those government officials you love, are going to stop picking your pocket to line their own.)
Hey, if you demand a "serious" proposal for dealing with the budget in precisely these terms you have it: it's called "Simpson-Bowles", and it was almost as delusional, but it raised taxes as part of the "solution". It's serious as a collapsed lung. I don't recall any Republicans manning the barricades over that one.
The Republican party has lost its mind. This is nothing new, or particularly shocking, to anyone who's been conscious the last thirty years. It's just another opportunity to note that things have gone so far downhill since then that the "reasonable" Presidential candidate, and the "moderate" New York Times columnist both endose as "serious" a piece of political kabuki which, if enacted, would shred the social fabric on the off chance that the upper 2% of income earners might benefit from it.
And this despite the fact that it's had exactly the opposite effect for the last three decades, and despite the fact that the utter fucking insanity has been clear for at least two.
Do you really want a serious proposal about the deficit? Okay. Ready? Raise taxes. Raise taxes to compensate for all that's been lost over the past thirty years, give or take a Clinton administration, through incontinent tax cutting for the wealthy, which was enacted by the same people who refused to make tough, public decisions about cuts in services, and who refuse to admit to them now, even as they blow the same goddam trumpet again. Add in a surtax designed to create the Trickle-Down Nirvana this era was supposed to usher in. End of serious proposal.
I doubt a serious discussion will ensue.
So here's a modest proposal, free of charge. Let the House shut down the government. At the stroke of midnight, Joe Biden declares himself the Fourth Branch of Government, acting on a National Emergency, freezes the assets of the entire financial sector based on the Dick Cheney clause, and uses that money to continue the normal, or "normal" operations of government until such time as it is restored. Meanwhile we comb the books. Over/under on budget compromise: 12:03.
Or, hell, just shut the fucker down. The Republican party needs it a lot worse than I do.