Thursday, April 21, 2011

Kirsten Powers Continues Anti-GOP Narrative, but Without Mentioning Starving Seniors

I don't know why I keep coming back to the Daily Beast. Perhaps it's because most of the articles I read are linked from Hot Air, who doesn't tell you their source before you actually click on the link itself to find out what the article in question says. I've had to put up with reading articles by Meghan "Mean Girl" McCain, among others that make me grind my teeth whenever I see the ubiquitous phrases "tea party racism" or "tax the rich". Kirsten Powers's latest writing for the Beast is of the latter variety. I know Hannity allows her on his show to provide an alternate point of view during his Great American Panel, but come on. Surely you can find SOMEONE on the left who can actually make a coherent argument, or at least a truthful one.

Oh, I forgot. We're talking about the left here, who use sites like Wonkette to demonize down syndrome children in a shameless attack on conservative families. Never mind. I thought I was dealing with rational adults for a second there. Must have been temporary insanity. At any rate, to the meat and mead of the article:

It is tellingly headlined "The GOP's Budget Backfire". Right away you know this is not going to be a favorable or even objective piece on the budget deal  passed by the House of Representatives last week. It only gets better (worse?) as you go. Example:

Not only are Republicans wasting time with the Paul Ryan proposal, their cynical gambit on the even more drastic House Republican Study Committee came back to bite them. They may be under pressure to keep campaign promises about balancing the budget—but they're running a huge risk of electoral disaster with their overreach.


Overreach? You, Kirsten, want to talk to us, Conservatives, about overreach? Are you forgetting the years of 2007-2010, when Democrats had full control (minus Bush's veto power, of course, which he never used) of the purse strings and could have put the kibosh on any of this discretionary spending at any time during their tenure as the 111th congress? Seriously? Oy...


To be fair, at least Kirsten tries to use polls to justify her rehashed and recycled arguments. According to a gallup poll she cites for us, more people now support taxing the so-called "rich" in order to balance the budget for 2012. But look closely at the poll she uses. If you take a closer look and actually do a little math, you'll realize that the majority of those that support taxing those who make over 250k a year are democrats, as opposed to the majority of those who oppose that measure being Republicans. Nice try Kirsten, but that little lie of omission about a partisan split couldn't escape my eagle eye for journalistic integrity, and I'm just an amateur blogger. Do you really think that people smarter than me won't get it enough to realize your smoke and mirrors are just that? 


Gallup's bottom line about the poll shows:


Bottom Line

Americans mostly approve of Friday's budget agreement that will keep the federal government running through September, but few say it was a victory for either party. Whether this is because of the messy politics involved in reaching it, or because the $38.5 million in spending cuts was not, in fact, a complete victory for either party, is not clear.
Republican and Democratic leaders are making considerable noise about the federal debt, and Americans share this concern. President Obama is expected to spell out his vision for reducing the national debt in a White House speech Wednesday afternoon, and Republicans are expected to press for dramatic deficit reduction in the looming negotiations over raising the debt ceiling. With a divided Congress, the challenge will be, once again, to strike a compromise between Democrats' calls for higher taxes on the wealthy and Republicans' calls for deeper domestic spending cuts. At this stage, the Democrats' position seems to have the greater public appeal.

What's that you say? American's share this concern about the debt? Of course they do. That's not the question Kirsten answers with her article, however. Kirsten skirts that question by falling back into her "tax the rich" talking point delivered to her COD by the DNC. She also makes some noise about an alternative budget that would have cut spending even more drastically than the Ryan plan, but that budget didn't pass because at the last minute a few Republican voters switched from yes to no. What she doesn't tell you, but what the article does say, is that the more conservative RSC budget only has a few differences that make it more conservative than the Ryan plan. Via Right Wing News Watch, These are:


Discretionary Spending: The RSC proposal would trim FY 2012 total discretionary spending down to 2006 levels-a $141 billion cut from the last budget passed in 2010.  The subsequent 9 years of total discretionary spending would be frozen at 2008 levels-$933 billion annually.


Medicaid:  The RSC plan adopts the same laudable block grant and mandatory cap program for Medicaid that is proposed in the House budget.  The difference is that the RSC pegs its spending level to 2006, providing increases only for inflation.  Ryan’s budget increases the spending level slightly more every year.  Consequently, Honest Solutions achieves an extra $712 billion in Medicaid savings over 10 years.


Medicare: Again, the RSC plan takes Ryan’s premium support proposal and accelerates it in order to achieve more front loaded savings.  Their plan fundamentally differs from the House plan in three ways.  First, their premium support plan would only be optional, thus offering the Medicare recipient the option to stay on the current system or opt for the more free market oriented plan.  On the other hand, unlike the House plan, this plan would allow even current Medicare recipients to opt for the premium support program any time after 2017.   More importantly, the premium support option begins in 2017, well within the 10 year budget frame.  Ryan’s version would delay the reforms for an extra four years.


Our friend Ms. Powers, however, is more concerned with the fake "gotcha" moment that the democrats managed to pull on the Republicans at the last minute by organizing a unified "present" vote, which would have allowed that budget to pass. however, for reasons I personally have not been made aware of as yet, they decided not to pass that budget and instead went along with the Ryan plan. 


"I find the RSC budget draconian and counterproductive, but the difference between the House Republicans and me is I won't lie to you and tell you that I support it just to get credit for doing something I never wanted to happen."


No, Ms. Powers, you'll just use Gallup polls to distort the reality of what the public wants as an excuse to raise taxes on small businesses and upper middle class households; and on the two budget plans, to Ms. Powers I say...so what? Either way the reforms happen, and either way the reforms are drastic. The only difference between these two plans is HOW DRASTIC THE REFORMS ACTUALLY ARE! Also, either way the reforms are NECESSARY! Ryan's plan will have the same effect as the RSC plan, albeit on a slightly smaller and more drawn out scale, but the result will be the same: a balanced budget and a U.S. economy brought back from the brink of insolvency, which is what both sides claim that they want!