Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Brave New World

I just heard our own Mark Sanford bloviating on the House floor.  He likes to twist things around, he does.  He called Paul Ryan's proposed budget "brave."  Okay, are you all done doing your double-take?  Because I'm still stunned by the man's nerve.  I'm talking about Ryan.  Sanford's just an idiot.

Jim Clyburn spoke just before Sanford.  Talk about pearls before swine.  He listed all the things that would be cut from Ryan's budget.  For example, seniors would have to pay more for medication -- if you were happy with the donut hole of the Bush prescription boondoggle, it's back.

We know about Paul Ryan's program, because the republicans have been trying to cram it down our throats for years.  Children, that other group of takers, will be denied school programs, food and nutrition programs, health programs.  Working parents as well as the unemployed will see safety nets cut out from under them; in fact, in Ryan's (and Sanford's) ideal world, there would be no minimum wage, no labor regulations at all.  Remember Newt Gingrich's plan to put poor kids to work as school janitors?  And forget about affordable colleges.  In fact, let these guys have at education so that they can privatize it -- more profit for their corporate buddies, less actual quality education for the dollar.

You might wonder what is "brave" about the Paul Ryan budget.  Maybe Sanford's talking about having to face us all after he's cut out support for basic human needs -- what they derisively call "entitlements."  You heard Ryan's former running mate Romney:  he was just appalled that people think they, as Americans, should expect food, a roof over their heads, health care.

I guess it must be "brave" to suggest to 47 percent of the people whose lives you govern that they are unimportant.  Unmotivated.  Undeserving.  Imagine thinking, much less stating, that some of us deserve better schools based on what we earn, that some children should be denied health care and nutrition, that losing a job when the rich have run the economy into the ground is no concern of the government.  Imagine not giving a damn about people who struggle every day to do right by their families.  Quoting Ayn Rand and her mythological capitalist American hero as though it was anything other than right-wing fantasy.

That's Paul Ryan.  Don't even get me started on Mark Sanford.  This is the man who stole from the state government because funding laws were not meant for him.  Who walked away from the governor's office without being responsible enough to let his staff (or his wife) know he was off on an assignation.  Who is happy to let the government pay for any-damn-thing he can get away with, and then deride social programs as pork.  This is the man who just called Paul Ryan's budget "brave."

We need to make lists, as did Clyburn today, extensive lists, and let everyone know what they will lose if Paul Ryan and Mark Sanford get the government they have dreamed of.  Because there is something in there that affects all of us.  We need to document each benefit that will be lost, because for example, just saying Obamacare will be cut is not the same as telling people they will no longer be protected if they have a pre-existing condition, they will no longer be able to keep children on their health plans till they are 26, they will no longer have free preventive health care.

And we need to tally up the huge costs of Paul Ryan's budget as he continues to give fistfuls of money to the biggest and wealthiest corporations, tax breaks to billionaires. And does away with regulations that will end up costing us dearly whenever a bridge collapses or a food-borne pathogen creates an epidemic of illness or Wall Street is allowed to play wildly with mortgages and retirement funds.

If Paul Ryan and Mark Sanford are allowed to enact their plans for the future of America, then we will truly see a brave new world.

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