The Odious Mr. Brooks
Bobo is simply gushing like a schoolgirl over Rep. Paul Ryan’s deficit reduction plan, which actually increases the debt through the first 10 years and then takes another 40 to bring it into line…assuming that our moribund economy can achieve and maintain a 2.8% unemployment rate. That’s only slightly less likely to happen than for the band of happy monkeys who have taken up residence in my ass suddenly deciding to fly out of it.
…The country lacked that leadership until today. Today, Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, is scheduled to release the most comprehensive and most courageous budget reform proposal any of us have seen in our lifetimes. Ryan is expected to leap into the vacuum left by the president’s passivity. The Ryan budget will not be enacted this year, but it will immediately reframe the domestic policy debate.
His proposal will set the standard of seriousness for anybody who wants to play in this discussion. It will become the 2012 Republican platform, no matter who is the nominee. Any candidate hoping to win that nomination will have to be able to talk about government programs with this degree of specificity, so it will improve the G.O.P. primary race.
The Ryan proposal will help settle the fight over the government shutdown and the 2011 budget because it will remind everybody that the real argument is not about cutting a few billion here or there. It is about the underlying architecture of domestic programs in 2012 and beyond.
The Ryan budget will put all future arguments in the proper context: The current welfare state is simply unsustainable and anybody who is serious, on left or right, has to have a new vision of the social contract.
I’ll agree that Ryan’s Randian wet dream of a “plan” is comprehensive, in the sense that it more shamelessly spells out Republican ideals in a single document than anything we’ve ever seen in our lifetimes. There aren’t any new ideas here, but back in the Reagan era and through the 90s, the GOP was always more careful to decouple screwing the proles from giving the wealthy a nice Invisible Handjob. Reagan cut income taxes, and then turned around and raised FICA taxes – which of course meant that the wealthy paid less while the rest of us paid more. These days, they don’t even bother to try to cover up the shell game.
As for reframing the debate, try this one on for size, Bobo: FDR gave us the New Deal during this country’s last period of economic crisis…today’s GOP is promising to give us a Raw Deal.
If by “seriousness” you mean believing in the fantasy that the debt can be eliminated while taxes on the wealthy are cut even further, then…I do not believe that word means what you think it means. And I don’t know what GOP you’ve been watching when you claim that the party’s eventual nominee will have to be able to discuss the budget with a great degree of specificity, because the rest of us watching have noticed that no one gets out of that clown car alive without embracing Birtherism, racist dog-whistling, and constantly lying their ass off. Actually knowing jack shit about anything ceased to be a Republican litmus-test for high office 30 years ago. These days, it’s a handicap.
But the rubber really meets the road in the bolded paragraph. Having already asserted that Ryan’s proposal will reframe the debate, Bobo goes in for the kill: it naturally follows, then, that what we have is “unsustainable” because, of course, asking wealthy people to pay taxes is not an option. Therefore, if you want to be considered “serious”, you have to have “a new vision,” preferably one that includes making it impossible for old, disabled, and poor people to get health care and if at all possible, food or shelter.
Problem there is, this isn’t a new vision. Charles Dickens presented this vision over and over and over again – literally in serial format – over 150 years ago.
Pieces like this remind me why I hate David Brooks. He’s a slimy jerk who typically starts from a premise that he’s pulled out of his ass and which oddly enough always favors the interests of the social and economic class to which he belongs; then he builds his pile of shit ever higher with the presumption that his premise is the only starting point a “serious” person would work from. This op-ed alone should eternally secure his place on Dickipedia.
I saved the best – his closing, or money shot, as it were – for last:
Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands. He’s forcing everybody else to do the same.
Uh…I don’t know what Paul Ryan has in his hands, Bobo, but look down…reality is not what you’re tugging on there.
Let me close by being serious, since that’s the most important thing:
Go fuck yourself, Mr. Brooks, you fucking wanker. Seriously.