The Widdershins

The joke’s on us…

Posted on: April 4, 2014

Good afternoon Widdershins. What a week! Since I try to limit myself to Eight Hundred words or so, let’s just look at Tuesday — April 1st.

Unlike cheese, not everything from Wisconsin ages well...

Unlike cheese, not everything from Wisconsin ages well…

The day began with some promise. CNN, the Consistently Nonsensical Network, actually spent eight minutes, that’s eight whole minutes, covering something other than holographic airplanes, a guy in a plaid shirt trapped in a flight simulator, and Don Lemon prolifically musing about a hybrid Rapture and alien abduction regarding Malaysian Air Flight 370.

The President and grinnin’ Joe Biden announced 7.1 Million Americans had purchased policies through the ACA exchanges. Just as important, those millions were joined by almost another 7.0 Million covered by the Medicaid expansion. All this while aggregate health care costs dropped for the first time in decades.

Then there was a tidbit lost in the shuffle — most likely by design. It was an event with an extraordinary punch line, “Let’s strengthen the gazillionaire safety net.”

Tuesday, Paul Ryan released his latest homage to Ayn Rand also known as the House Budget. You have to admit, releasing such a hollowed-out, callous document on April Fool’s Day is a bit cheeky. Sounding much cooler than I am, Ryan “dropped it like it was hot“. Throughout the press conference, Ryan’s pained expression looked as if he had just gone to a dentist who performed root canals via a colonoscopy.

Without glazing your eyes, here are the highlights. Ryan proposes cutting $4.3 Trillion over the next ten years. Three Trillion Dollars comes from programs for the poor and working class. He doesn’t touch the military spending. He wants to privatize Medicare. Oh, and he says “April’s Fool” to the aforementioned 14 Million who just acquired health care for the first time.

Mitt Romney with BenNow here’s the head-exploding part. In order to save gazillionaires from the ravages of destitution by merely being billionaires, he proposes massive, I’m talking Kardashian-butt-sized massive, tax cuts of $6.0 Trillion over the next ten years. And to make all this mishegas balance out — he forecasts fantastical economic growth despite overwhelming data to the contrary. The only thing that would have made the presentation more magical might have been a unicorn and a flurry of pixie dust.

It is without a doubt the beleaguered gazillionaires breathed a collective sigh of relief. For instance, they no longer have to worry about the three different kinds of subsidies for their private jets. They will still have their accelerated depreciation, total avoidance of any private taxes, and continue to receive free airport rights and air traffic control courtesy of us “takers” flying commercial thereby paying all the taxes.

If you were worried about those pilloried hedge fund and private equity managers, don’t. They get to keep their “special, super-secret carried interest” allowing them to reclassify their outrageous salaries and automatically erase 17% off their tax bills.

And those poor Wall Street bankers — not to worry, they get to continue their arbitrage windfall of $83 Billion a year by continuing to enjoy an implicit “too big to fail” guarantee underwritten by us working stiffs.

Roughing it Billionaire style...

Roughing it Gazillionaire style…

After all they have been through, these tycoons will undoubtedly need a vacation. Conveniently, their yacht and beach home tax subsidies will remain in effect.

Corporations can sleep soundly too (if they have free speech and religious rights, they deserve sleep too) since the grand shell game of parking profits abroad can continue. For instance, Caterpillar, Inc. evaded $2.4 Billion in taxes by shifting U.S. profits to Switzerland — no word if they received any chocolate delivered by a Swiss Miss driving a bulldozer.

Remember about a year ago when the Republican Party released their autopsy report — fitting name since something has to be dead before an autopsy can be performed.  They said they had to modernize their policies on gun control, immigration, gay marriage, healthcare, climate change, unemployment benefits, minimum wages, and most importantly taxes and spending. The Ryan Budget resoundingly declared — not so much.

This season, don't dare be caught in anything other than a $65 Million G6...

This season, don’t dare be caught in anything other than a $65 Million G6…

To their credit, there were Republicans who wanted to do the right thing like Sen. Tom Coburn and Rep. Dave Camp. Both are retiring in the face of the protection afforded gazillionaires by the marionettes of the sycophantic power brokers.

As incongruent as it seems to subsidize steaks, caviar, and liquor with $12 Billion in corporate tax write-offs while cutting aid to women with infant children, those are the exact options being offered. The Ryan Budget finds it more palatable to swaddle a fat cat in a Gulfstream VI than to feed an avarice infant who had the audacity to not be born rich.

Tuesday was April Fool’s Day alright, but the punchline of the Ryan Budget was neither funny nor clever. It was just plain cruel.

This is an open thread.

 

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7 Responses to "The joke’s on us…"

Prolix, great post. I love the way you can phrase things:

a Swiss Miss driving a bulldozer.

I dare say Mr. Ryan knows that his “budget” is D.O.A. even in the House.

Lil Booby released a health care plan, just to prove he can play with the big boys, Except, it got universally panned even by the folks on the right.

They get to keep their “special, super-secret carried interest” allowing them to reclassify their outrageous salaries and automatically erase 17% off their tax bills.

That’s the one that just busts my…well you know the rest.

I still haven’t got past Ryan lecturing Pope Francis. What’s he going to do next, subpoena Francis before a congressional committee? Did he forget this Jesuit survived Argentina?

I know Lil Bobby’s not too bright, but did Ryan actually think we didn’t already know “trickle-down economics” is a rabbit out of hat trick?

Great phot of the “gazillionaire” house!

Mary Luke said: I know Lil Bobby’s not too bright,

Sadly Mary Luke he’s a Brown graduate and was a Rhodes Scholar. It’s a shame he didn’t get more out of his education. 😦

@5: Yep. and if we are to believe it, Dubya is an Ivy grad, too – including business school.

Reaching way back, but let’s remember that Dan Quayle graduated from law school and couldn’t spell potato.

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