…than with a corgi puppy.
…than with a corgi puppy.
“Our Christian tradition teaches that we are to treat the poor with dignity and to prioritize the poor in our policies as a society. At a time when millions are struggling financially, it is degrading to talk about the ‘dependency’ of people hurting in this economy, as Gov. Romney did recently.” — The Franciscan Action Network (FAN), a Catholic faith-based advocacy and civic engagement organization, strongly criticizing Mitt Romney’s recent ads and rhetoric regarding welfare programs and welfare recipients. (via: azspot)
I would imagine, but I couldn’t say for sure, that this Christian tradition is similar between Mormons and Catholics. But the political agendas of Romney and Ryan — both of whom profess to be Mormon and Catholic, respectively — are not inspired by any of the teachings of Jesus Christ, as far as I can see.
It seems like Christianity only matters to far-right conservatives when they can use it as a weapon against a political enemy. Sometimes atheists can also be found wearing sheep’s clothing.
Ah, yes, Mr. Gingrich. Doesn’t matter if Willard Romney the Aristocrat would pay no taxes under the Ryan Plan… there could be so many jobs* he’d create with all those savings! (*It hasn’t happened yet with aristocrats saving federal taxes at historically low rates, but it COULD. And “could” is as good as “will” to many of you GOP voters.)
And by the way, Mr. Romney, where are your tax returns?
From 2011: “As Congressman Paul Ryan cracked a joke about him, Tom Nielsen found himself face down on the floor being handcuffed by police. The 71-year-old retired plumber from Kenosha was thrown to the ground, placed in handcuffs, and arrested for trespassing and resisting arrest after objecting to Ryan’s plans to gut Social Security and Medicare during his congressman’s only public appearance scheduled during the August recess — a $15 Rotary Club luncheon in West Allis on Tuesday. Nielsen repeatedly told police that he wasn’t fighting them and that he didn’t want to make any trouble. He also told them several times that he had a broken shoulder. Police officers ignored his comments as they wrestled him to the ground despite his howls of pain.”
Ryan: Most of our debt in the future comes from our entitlement programs.
Senior: Hey, what is this entitlement program all about mister congressman? I paid into that for 50 years. My unemployment, and my Social Security, and my Medicare. And now you’re gonna…
Ryan: I hope he’s taking his blood pressure medication.
Bob Cesca: Get it? He’s old and cranky! I hope he’s taking his medication!* (*The medication I want to deny him with my Vouchercare program.)
Welcome to the Republican States of America.
firstfamily: President Barack Obama talks on the phone with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India aboard Air Force One during a flight to Colorado, Aug. 8, 2012. The President called Prime Minister Singh to express condolences for victims of the attack at the gurdwara in Wisconsin, which took the lives of Indian nationals as well as Americans, and to convey the solidarity of the American people. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
“My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”
— Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
James Rainey at the LA Times reminds us that Paul Ryan’s political philosophy / religious beliefs have only conveniently (supposedly) changed just this year. In the past, as now, he has operated from his government office on a personal belief system that split Americans into the “makers” and the “takers”, or the “producers” and the “parasites.” That’s pure Ayn Rand and that’s also class warfare.
Back in 2005, an up-and-coming lawmaker named Paul Ryancredited the polemical novelist and libertarian Ayn Rand as a central inspiration for his entry into public life. Ryan toiled in those days in relative obscurity, a well-respected but low-profile member of the House of Representatives.
By the spring of 2012, the boyish congressman had become a Republican star, widely named as a possible vice presidential pick. He also had become considerably less comfortable being linked to the controversial Rand, an atheist with a tartly Darwinian world view.
[...] In an April interview with the National Review, Ryan said that the reports linking him to Rand were essentially “an urban legend.”
“I reject her philosophy,” Ryan told Robert Costa of the National Review. “It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview.” He added that he had merely “enjoyed a couple of her novels,” which also included another bestseller, “The Fountainhead.”
[...] Even three years ago, Tim Mak of Politico noted, Ryan channeled Rand. “What’s unique about what’s happening today in government, in the world, in America, is that it’s as if we’re living in an Ayn Rand novel right now,” Ryan said. “I think Ayn Rand did the best job of anybody to build a moral case of capitalism, and that morality of capitalism is under assault.”
[...] Jonathan Chait… cited Ryan’s 2009 remarks about the immorality of government attacking productive members of society.
“It is not enough to say that President Obama’s taxes are too big or the healthcare plan doesn’t work for this or that policy reason,” the lawmaker said. “It is the morality of what is occurring right now, and how it offends the morality of individuals working toward their own free will to produce, to achieve, to succeed, that is under attack, and it is that what I think Ayn Rand would be commenting on.”
Chait said that Ryan has frequently invoked Rand’s idea of “makers” subsidizing society’s “takers.” In the New York story, he summed up the writer’s libertarian philosophy as “a defense of capitalism in general and, in particular, a conception of politics as a class war pitting virtuous producers against parasites who illegitimately use the power of the state to seize their wealth.”
In April when Ryan said he rejected Ayn Rand’s atheist philosophy, he added: “If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.” He was getting criticism from Catholics because he says he’s a Catholic.
It’s one thing to say words which you believe should be said to appease people for votes, but it’s another thing entirely when your actions say exactly the opposite. Paul Ryan simply relies on people not paying attention to his actions — such as his budget plans for the “takers” and the “parasites” (the non-wealthy).
The Huffington Post reminds us that Paul Ryan tried to re-brand his idea for “privatizing” Social Security with the more positive-sounding ”personal retirement accounts”:
“Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate has already reignited the debate over the future of Medicare. Ryan has proposed ending the guaranteed benefit and instead giving individuals vouchers to pay for private insurance, which Ryan refers to as “premium support.”
“Ryan, in a March 2005 interview on C-SPAN, described his Social Security plan in detail. His bill would have allowed people under 55 to divert roughly half of their payroll taxes away from the traditional program and into a private account “owned” by the individual but managed by Social Security, and invested in stocks and bonds. But that plan did not cut any benefits, but brought such an astronomical price tag that the Bush administration called it “irresponsible.” [...] Ryan said his plan would work to guard against wild swings in the stock market by moving people out of stocks and into government bonds as they approached retirement. ”
It’s interesting that Paul Ryan has already collected and benefited from SS survivor benefits, so what he’s proposing is like saying, ‘I got mine but you’ll have to get yours another way.’ If you collect SS now and approve of Ryan’s “plan,” you’re basically saying the same thing to your children and grandchildren, and that’s pure Ayn Rand “Objectivism“, which Ryan believes in.
There was a time when the Republican Party wasn’t swarming with anti-government fanatics and zealots, when its members cared about average Americans, and thought government could be a positive foundation for the common good:
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are... a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."
--- from a letter President Dwight D. Eisenhower wrote to his brother Edgar on November 8, 1954.
“This summer the Internal Revenue Service released data from the 400 individual income tax returns reporting the highest adjusted gross income. This elite ultrarich group earned on average $202 million in 2009, the latest year available. And buried in the data is the startling disclosure that six of the 400 paid no federal income tax. The I.R.S. has never before disclosed that last fact.” — Can people as rich as Romney escape taxes? They can. | NYT (via: sarahlee310)
Matthew O’Brien calculates Romney’s taxes (on the ONE year we have) with Paul Ryan’s tax plan and finds: Mitt Romney would pay 0.82 percent in taxes under Paul Ryan’s Plan:
“In 2010 — the only year we have seen a full return from him — Romney would have paid an effective tax rate of around 0.82 percent under the Ryan plan, rather than the 13.9 percent he actually did. How would someone with more than $21 million in taxable income pay so little? Well, the vast majority of Romney’s income came from capital gains, interest, and dividends. And Ryan wants to eliminate all taxes on capital gains, interest and dividends.
“[...] It might seem impossible to fund the government when the super-rich pay no taxes. That is accurate. Ryan would actually raise taxes on the bottom 30 percent of earners, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, but that hardly fills the revenue hole he would create. The solution? All but eliminate all government outside of Social Security and defense — a point my colleagueDerek Thompson has made in incredible chart form…”
Steven Dennis at Rollcall agrees, saying Ryan’s plan “would have slashed Mitt Romney’s effective tax rate to about 1 percent in 2010″:
“The Ryan tax cut, which would shave about 90 percent off of Romney’s tax bill, would result from the Wisconsin Republican’s “Roadmap for America’s Future” proposal to eliminate taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest. Since about 95 percent of Romney’s $21.6 million income came from those sources in 2010, he would pay no taxes on the vast majority of his earnings. It’s not certain exactly how low Romney’s tax bill would go, but his income from other sources amounts to about $1 million, and Ryan’s plan would set a new top rate of 25 percent. Romney’s total tax bill would have dropped from the $3 million that he paid to a few hundred thousand dollars if Ryan’s plan had been in effect. Ryan also proposes eliminating the estate tax, which would benefit Romney’s heirs by tens of millions of dollars.”
Kevin Drum piles on:
“The Joint Economic Committee released an analysis today of the tax implications of Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity,” based partly on work from the Tax Policy Center, and you will be unsurprised at their conclusions. The chart [below], a rough conversion from JEC’s raw numbers into percentages, tells the tale: if you’re part of the middle class, your taxes will probably go up. If you’re rich, your taxes will go way, way down.
“[...] In any case, if Ryan thinks this is unfair, all he has to do is release a plan of his own that can be scored in the normal way. The fact that he consistently refuses to do so tells you all you need to know about how serious he really is about this stuff. Answer: not at all.”
If this chart doesn’t illustrate “class warfare” and bottom-to-top income redistribution, I don’t know what does.
“Clinton will have a starring role at the Democratic National Convention. George W. Bush won’t even be at the Republican one – the first time a national party has not given the stage at its convention to its most recent occupant of the Oval Office who successfully ran for reelection. The GOP is counting on America’s notoriously short-term memory to blot out the last time the nation put a Republican into the Oval Office, on the reasonable assumption that such a memory might cause voters to avoid making the same mistake twice. As whoever-it-was once said, “fool me once …” (and then mangled the rest).”
OFA rolled out that “Son of Boss” ad on Thursday. On Saturday morning, Romney announced Ryan as his running mate (it was actually leaked in the dead of night between Friday and Saturday). By the way, where are your tax returns, Mr. Romney?
I Love The Smell of Panic in the Morning: “Man, this tells us a lot about just how worried, weak, meandering, insular and politically inept the Romney campaign is.
“[...] Ryan is a indication of just how unfocused and off-message Romney’s campaign has become. The core Romney pitch was supposed to be that he’s the successful CEO who’s going to run the country the way he ran Bain and the Olympics, and that he showed us what he can do as CEO of Massachusetts. After the Obama campaign and the press got through demolishing those fables, everything about them is tarnished and off-limits. So instead of putting some interesting non-politician captain of industry on the ticket, we’ve get someone who thinks he’s John Galt but who has actually spent his entire adult life in Washington DC either working for politicians or being one.
“[...] If the Romney campaign had opened up their research filing cabinet and pulled out the “No Shit, Sherlock” folder, they’d have realized that people would rather have Medicare than some free market voucher fantasy cooked up at the last Heritage / Cato invitational circle jerk.”
It was called Son of Boss:
Reporter: “Was there ever any year where you paid lower than the 13.9%?”
Mitt Romney: “I haven’t calculated that. I’m happy to go back and look.”
Voiceover: “Did Romney pay 10% in taxes? 5%? Zero? We don’t know. But we do know that Romney personally approved over $70 million in fictional losses to the IRS as part of the notorious Son of Boss tax scandal. One of the largest tax avoidance schemes in history. Isn’t it time for Romney to come clean?”
And this guy wants to be president!
Image above / story below: liberalsarecool
A key troubling public manifestation of Romney’s apparent insensitivity to tax obligations is his role in Marriott International’s abusive tax shelter activity, as previously reported by Jesse Drucker in Bloomberg.
Romney has had a close, long-standing, personal and business connection with Marriott International and its founders. He served as a member of the Marriott board of directors for many years. From 1993 to 1998, Romney was the head of the audit committee of the Marriott board.
During that period, Marriott engaged in a series of complex and high-profile maneuvers, including “Son of Boss,” a notoriously abusive prepackaged tax shelter that investment banks and accounting firms marketed to corporations such as Marriott. In this respect, Marriott was in the vanguard of a then-emerging corporate tax shelter bubble that substantially undermined the entire corporate tax system.
Son of Boss and its related shelters represented perhaps the largest tax avoidance scheme in history, costing the U.S. many billions in lost corporate tax revenues. - CNN