on tuesday, republican paul ryan released a federal budget proposal that would, among other things, slash taxes on the rich, abolish medicare and replace it with vouchers, and do something similar with medicaid.
since that time, the internet has been awash with commentary, as a million commentators with a million keyboards point out a million flaws with ryan's plan. for example:
- it ignores unfavorable numbers from the nonpartisan CBO (a government agency devoted to analyzing the potential budget impact of legislation) in favor of numbers from right-wing think tank the heritage foundation.
- using those numbers, it assumes unemployment will drop to a literally-impossible 2.8% (when bloggers started mocking this impossibility, heritage silently deleted the information).
- it assumes more upper-class tax cuts will somehow increase revenue.
- it depends on trillions of dollars' worth of unspecified cuts—i guess there must be a couple trillion dollars' worth of "fluff" in the budget.
- it eviscerate programs for the poor and elderly while simultaneously rewarding the rich with tax cuts.
- it doesn't cut military spending.
i could go on, but i think you get my point: ryan's budget is a joke, a fantasy. it could never pass, it relies on numbers that have been called "insane", and most absurd of all, under the plan, the debt would be higher than if we did nothing.
so i was flabbergasted when i saw the headline to today's lead editorial in the indy star:
Finally, a serious plan to cut deficit
this would've been humiliating enough if it had run wednesday morning. if it had, it would've shown that, like too many in the media, the star ed board is easily impressed by "bold" plans that take drastic measures, even if those plans rest on fallacious premises and rely on magical thinking. it would've shown that screwing the poor is all you need to do for the ed board to brand you as "serious".
but the fact that this ran today—after the internet has been tearing the ryan plan to shreds for three days—is mortifying. today, as the threat of a federal government shutdown looms, the star runs an editorial praising a budget plan that was shown to be sham days ago. they are shockingly, disgracefully behind the times. ¶