Friday, June 17, 2011

Democrats Working Overtime to Cut Social Programs, Greece Makes a Lineup Change, Again, Pawlenty Goes After Mitt As Long as Mitt is Not Around

And Other News That Needs Commenting On

In a move to show that Democrats can be just as devastating to low income Americans as Republicans, The Wall Street Journal reports that VP Biden is working on a plan to cut $4 trillion out of Federal spending on social programs over the next 10 years.  This averages about $400 billion a year, or about 40% of all Federal social welfare benefit programs.   Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said

the talks Thursday involved "non-health care" programs. The biggest ticket items likely to be affected by a budget agreement are subsidies paid to farmers and the federal employee pension scheme.

Leaving aside the federal pension plan, where benefits are probably set for the next several decades, the entire Agricultural budget is only $19 billion a year.  Eliminating all of it, and that will not happen, would still leave 95% of the $400 billion per year goal still to go.

In a related story, an unnamed Republican legislator said that since $4 trillion was at least $2 trillion more than required, there could be a $2 trillion tax cut for the wealthy under the Biden plan.

As a policy change to deal with the Greek Debt and fiscal crisis that threatens to engulf not only that country but the entire European economy as well, Greece fired its Finance Minister.  This is a repeat of a spectacularly unsuccessful  policy move  that was taken in January 2009.     Someone apparently forgot to tell the Greek government that one accepted definition of insanity is repeating an action and expecting a different outcome.

Now that he is no longer facing Mitt Romney in person, Tim Pawlenty, candidate for the Republican Presidential Nomination is again attacking Mr. Romney.  As reported in the WP

“I should have been much more clear during the debate,” Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, acknowledged in an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity. “I don’t think we can have a nominee that was involved in the development and construction of Obamacare and then continues to defend it.”

Later, Pawlenty added: “I don’t think you can prosecute the political case against President Obama if you are a co-conspirator in one of the main charges against the president on a political level.”

Pawlenty later explained his reluctance to confront Mr. Romney in person by noting how until the debate and he got to see him in person he did not realize how much bigger and stronger Mr. Romney is than he is.

A Conservative group that supports the Ryan Plan to privatize Medicare is running an ad, (see link above) that

features video of Ryan, who says that the changes don’t affect seniors who are currently enrolled in the program.

prompting The Dismal Political Economist to once again ask his frequently asked, never answered question “If the Ryan Plan is so good, has such great benefits, has no downside, why wait 10 years, why not put it into place today?”

Still waiting.

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