Hypothetically, if you wanted to distill every form of right-wing economic lunacy into a 100-page document, then hypothetically, it would be the Ryan Budget.
I thought of Russell Conwell's bizarre nineteenth-century theological glorification of wealth this past week when the Supreme Court removed one of the last remaining limits on the amount of money wealthy donors could spend in political campaigns.
Democrats, from this point on, should adopt a very simple technique to disarm Republican squabbles about Obamacare numbers. To every figure quoted for people gaining health insurance, Democrats should end with "... and counting."
Paul Ryan has issued a new proposal to cut the budget even further, to the point where most unemployment programs will be half the size that they were during the Reagan administration. This is a cruel, counterproductive path we are on, and that is not a statement of mere opinion.
On issue after issue, party leaders spew egregious factual falsehoods. They're doing so only secondarily because they are so often misinformed. Instead, their overriding goal is to appeal to what they understand to be the biases and prejudices of their evermore authoritarian base.
These disproportionate cuts -- which likely account for at least $3.3 trillion of the budget's $4.8 trillion in non-defense cuts over the next decade -- contrast sharply with the budget's rhetoric about helping the poor and promoting opportunity.
Paul Ryan has come up with his latest Republican budget proposal, and it changes nothing. It neither promotes economic growth nor reduces the budget deficit, as with past proposals. That's because its real target is to win some Senate seats by targeting Obamacare, for starters. And it can't do that without telling some whoppers.
You think there is gridlock in Washington now? If the GOP wins both houses of Congress in November, nothing meaningful will get done for two years, and many good social programs will come under crippling attack.
New York's progressives are confronting a tough decision. Stick with Cuomo in spite of his economic policies? Split off and run a third-party candidate? Sit in their hands?
Budgets are about priorities. Despite Chairman Ryan's rhetoric on fighting poverty and boosting opportunity, no fair-minded observer can claim that his proposals actually reflect those priorities -- or sugarcoat their harsh impact on tens of millions of low- and moderate-income Americans.
We knew before the meeting that economic inequality would be a topic of discussion, and afterwards we were told it was part of the conversation. Yet, I'm pretty certain that the elephant in the room was not discussed.
Someone needs to remind The Big Man that Americans don't elect angry, arrogant bullies as president, especially those from New Jersey who are embroiled in revenge scandals.
Ryan and Reilly can cry crocodile tears as they pretend to be having an "adult conversation" about "what's really going on," but the truth is nothing pleases them more than the continuation of the status quo.
Basic budget arithmetic suggests that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's coming budget will be at least as extreme as his budget last year, and likely more so.
The Ryan report grimly concludes that federal programs are "failing to address" poverty. Poverty certainly remains too high. But the report seems determined not to recognize the long-term successes of existing programs even when the evidence is in plain sight.
Economic policies often rest on assumptions about human motivation. What conservatives are saying to you is this: working for your money is not as good as instead of inheriting it.