It’s Top Ten List season, and here’s a newly-discovered favorite of mine:
“Top Ten Ways the Right Will Wreck the Recovery.”
4. Dismantle Medicare (and Give Seniors “Vouchers”)
“Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who is successfully positioning himself as a thought leader among conservatives, is pushing a plan that would end the Medicare program for seniors and replace it with vouchers that seniors would use toward the cost of private insurance … Ryan’s voucherization of Medicare, however, would control costs not by restraining insurance companies or health-care corporations but by keeping the value of the voucher below the increase in health care costs, thus shifting increasing out-of-pocket costs onto seniors themselves. Conservatives say this means government won’t be rationing care to seniors. With vouchers, seniors will forced to ration care on their own.”
5. Undo Financial Reform, and Let the Predators Run
“Rep. Spencer Baucus, the Republican who will take over the House Financial Services Committee, has said that the primary function of government financial regulation is not to protect the consumer but to “serve the banks.”
9. Starve Public Education
“Here is an easy way to keep the rich rich and the less well-off part of the permanent underclass: continue the decades-long conservative-led assault on public education. In just the past month, one report says U.S. children lag behind those in China, Finland, South Korea, Canada, Japan, Switzerland and New Zealand in educational achievement, and another says one in four youths fail the Army entrance exam.
“Our inability to provide a quality education to all of our children is a risk to our national security as well as our economic well-being and competitiveness. Yet many conservatives in Congress want to respond to this national crisis by abolishing the national agency charged with addressing the problem, the Department of Education. That’s on top of the continuing push for school privatization and private-school vouchers, the scapegoating of teachers and their unions, and the shifting of funding burdens to states that simply can’t handle the load.
10. Don’t Ask the Rich to Help Reduce the Deficit; Ask Low-Income Americans Instead
“Cutting taxes on the rich and increasing military spending caused the deficit. But the solutions offered by the conservative elites all center around cutting the things government does for the people.
“Republicans want to make their “cutgo” scheme the law of Congress, in which new spending authorized by Congress must be offset by cuts elsewhere but cannot be offset by tax increases or fees on anyone. But new tax cuts would not have to be offset by spending reductions. That should finish off any molecule of credibility they had left on their feigned concern about the deficit.
“If the wealthy aren’t being asked to sacrifice something, guess who is.”