Republicans Still Terrified of Paul Ryan's Budget Plan, Even After Voting For It


Come on guys. Back me up here.

House Republicans may have voted to pass Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan. But Republican leadership is still wary of Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, which includes an overhaul of Medicare and Medicaid:

Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said he was "not wedded" to the Ryan budget that his caucus passed with near unanimity. On Sunday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) described the Ryan budget that she voted for as an "aspirational document."

"What I'm saying with that vote is that we have to make decision, we're not saying every single decision in that bill — that aspirational document — will be the final result. What we are saying is that we have a conviction," Bachmann said on "Fox News Sunday."

Given the GOP's history of entitlement-reform anxiety, this isn't surprising: When I first started looking into an earlier iteration Rep. Ryan's budget plan last year, there were only nine GOP cosponsors. Rep. Boehner, along with several other high-profile Republicans, had explicitly distanced himself from the plan, and the loudest Republican criticism of the president's health care overhaul was that it cut Medicare by $500 billion. (The most recent version of Ryan's budget—the version that all but four House Republicans voted for—actually included these same cuts.) Rep. Ryan's staff had at one point been forced to officially clarify that the Ryan plan was not, in fact, the Republican plan, putting out a tersely noting in a statement that, "a Roadmap for America's Future is a legislative reform proposal offered by Congressman Paul Ryan. It is not the Republican budget." Now, in its updated form as the Path to Prosperity, it arguably is—at least in the House, where all but four Republicans voted for it. Yet even after voting for the plan, some of them, at least, are still not willing to stand behind it. Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are trying to avoid a vote on the plan entirely.

It's clear enough why Republican legislators are nervous about the Ryan budget: They worry that the public won't like it, and that Democrats will be able to wield the plan—especially the proposed Medicare overhaul—as a political weapon. But at this point, it doesn't make much sense to back away from Ryan's proposal. After all, nearly every Republican in the House has already voted for it. Stepping back, and looking uncertain about the plan in the process, isn't going to help. If Republicans were prepared to vote for it, they ought to have been prepared to defend their votes as well. It's not clear that that's the case. When I reported on the Roadmap last year, the Cato Institute's Michael Tanner told me that the Ryan plan represented a "test" for Republicans, and that, by failing to support it, Republicans (with a few notable exceptions) were failing that test. Roughly a year later, it looks like that's still true.

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  1. post a photo of a blue eyed husky dog next to RYan. Same face.

  2. Its like they are not only ignorant but uneducable. The Dems lost by doing timorous half-measures when they weren’t doing strong-arm, backroom deals. Cutting out the strong-arm backroom deals is neither necessary nor sufficient to maintain the Republican majority. Lib. disclaimer, I only care because: can’t anybody learn to play this fucking game?

  3. They should be perfectly aware of how easy it is to demagogue Medicare cuts.

  4. Who were the 4 GOP “nays”? Was Ron Paul among them?

    1. Oops. Just saw them in the article there. And Paul was among them, which is good.

  5. Why do they let Bachmann open her mouth? Everything she says is 100% crispy fried retarded. She’s making Pelosi and Boxer look erudite.

    1. Yeah. Republican woman with JD and Accounting backround = retard. Glad you’re towing the lion on this one. Too rich, too cold or too stupid. All Republicans must be one.

      1. Naw, all of the above is possible too.

      2. Funny I was gonna say that Pelosi and Boxer are erudite, but geniuses of the highest order compared to Bachmann, then speculate about Epi’s being kept up at night by the terror of the possibility that his religion of false equivalence might actually rest entirely on a fallacy.

        1. I didn’t give you permission to refer to me, sockpuppet.

          1. You’re an only child aren’t you.

            1. He is an only chromosome.

              1. Oh shriek, even your attempts at insults are unbelievably stupid. Maybe you should try again. We won’t count your airball here. I’m feeling generous towards the retarded today, I guess.

        2. If politicians haven’t proved beyond a doubt that the correlation between intelligence and education doesn’t approach one, I don’t know what has. I can think of only a handful of truly bright politicians in my lifetime. Frankly, the profession attracts the corrupt and the corruptible and generally frightens the intelligent.

          1. If you were intelligent enough to be successful in any other career, why the hell would you ever be a politician?

            Politicians are scumbag morons who are good at one thing: glad-handing.

            1. Generally, I agree. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule of dumb and venal, but they’re rare.

            2. Power and visibility. Look how many billionaires decide they want to be politicians. See: Whitman, Bloomberg, Romney, Forbes, etc.

              1. Romney is worth about $300 million, IIRC. And Forbes inherited his fortune and really doesn’t deserve a dime of it – talentwise.

                But Trump is the true wild card – he won’t run past the date a personal financial disclosure is legally due. He may have less net worth than Romney and will never allow the public to know.

              2. People like Bloomberg already have power, and they can be visible if they want to be; they have the money for any PR they want.

                Billionaires like Bloomberg think they know it all because they succeeded in making a shit ton of money. They think that they’re now qualified to make all the decisions for everyone because they did so well for themselves.

        3. By the phrasing of your comment, I gather you do not know what erudite means.

          1. This was directed at Tony, in case anyone was wondering.

      3. Republican woman with JD and Accounting backround = retard

        Bachmann = retard. Sorry if you don’t like it, but it’s true. But hey, you go and get your TEAM RED hackles up over her. Because she’s an absolute paragon of liberty.

        1. Just what has she said that is so retarded? I don’t follow the woman to be honest. Would it be too much to ask for you to give some examples?

          1. “Does that mean that someone’s 13-year-old daughter could walk into a sex clinic, have a pregnancy test done, be taken away to the local Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, have their abortion, be back and go home on the school bus? That night, mom and dad are never the wiser.”

            1. “So how was your day, Jenny?”

              1. Sucked.

          2. “I find it interesting that it was back in the 1970s that the swine flu broke out under another, then under another Democrat president, Jimmy Carter. I’m not blaming this on President Obama, I just think it’s an interesting coincidence.” -Rep. Michele Bachmann, on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president, April 28, 2009

            1. on the 1976 Swine Flu outbreak that happened when Gerald Ford, a Republican, was president

              And of course everyone know the swine flu actually broke out under Ford. It’s common knowledge. (*sheesh*) Sloppy research does not equal ‘retarded’.

              1. No, what’s retarded is her implication that the “coincidence” means anything at all – it’s just funnier that it’s based on her lack of knowledge.

          3. “It isn’t that some gay will get some rights. It’s that everyone else in our state will lose rights. For instance, parents will lose the right to protect and direct the upbringing of their children. Because our K-12 public school system, of which ninety per cent of all youth are in the public school system, they will be required to learn that homosexuality is normal, equal and perhaps you should try it. And that will occur immediately, that all schools will begin teaching homosexuality.” — Senator Michele Bachmann, appearing as guest on radio program “Prophetic Views Behind The News”, hosted by Jan Markell, KKMS 980-AM, March 6, 2004.

            More here.

          4. I have worked with probably over 100 JD/accountants. Arthur Andersen in Chicago was full of them. Most pretty bright but plenty of morons too.

            1. I went to law school and one of the dumbest guys in our class was #1 in the class. It came as a huge shock and ego-deflation to all of us.
              It’s possible we were all wrong about him, even after 3 years of knowing him really well, but I don’t think so. I also went to undergrad with his sister and she was the dumbest person I ever had in more than one class in college.

              Accounting is similar: getting the degree is much easier than doing the work.

              But whether she is a good lawyer or accountant, Bachmann has said a lot of really dumb things. She’s one of the death panel people, to use what is probably her most notorious example. You can tack on “Obama is a muslim and a Kenyan,” just to stick to the big ones.

        2. Labels are all that matter to some people. It’s like the president being labeled a genius because he went to Harvard. Despite an obvious lack of great intellect in pretty much everything we’ve observed. I simply do not get why people insist on acting like many of these people are intellectuals.

          This seems to be a particular problem for the left, which likes to delude itself into believing that it’s formed of intellectuals, which makes no fucking sense.

          1. Nobody’s saying Dems are composed of geniuses, but if you can’t tell the difference between Michelle Bachmann and Nancy Pelosi in terms of intellect, or Obama and Bush, then you’re probably the dumb one.

            1. Stupid is what stupid does.

            2. Frankly, all of them fall into the ‘kinda dumb’ box. I don’t differentiate much past that.

              And using Bush and Obama seriously undercuts your point. Similar educational background, exact same policies. If one of them were noticeably smarter than the other, maybe we’d see a policy change.

              1. I definitely take issues with the “exact same policies” talking point. Convenient way to excuse Bush if you ask me.

                But it doesn’t really matter who’s smarter, because policy will be moved in one of two directions depending on party. Incrementally more secure welfare state, or bludgeon-like imposition of a nightmarish darwinian hellscape.

                1. I definitely take issues with the “exact same policies” talking point. Convenient way to excuse Bush if you ask me.

                  Maybe because just about every policy of Obama’s is either identical to or a continuation of one of Bush’s?

                  But it doesn’t really matter who’s smarter, because policy will be moved in one of two directions depending on party.

                  The movement has generally been towards an increasingly powerful state at the expense of individual liberty since Theodore Roosevelt.

                  Incrementally more secure welfare state

                  I remember reading a report concluding that the future unfunded liabilities of the United States exceeds the world’s gross domestic product. I can track it down, if you’d like.

                  or bludgeon-like imposition of a nightmarish darwinian hellscape.

                  The laissez-faire United States of the late 19th century was truly a hell-hole, what with the massive increases in the standard of living and the high employment coupled with gradual deflation. An Orwellian nightmare indeed.

                  1. I certainly prefer Bush’s me-catching policy.

                    1. Ye gods, can we stop with the politics? The timing of this has almost certainly nothing to do with who is in the White House. Just like the attacks came without regard to which party was in power.

                      Buying into the game of politics is one of the worst things people do to themselves.

                    2. Responding to sockpuppets is probably the worst thing you can do to yourself.

                    3. Nah, they’re just optical illusions.

                    4. Pro Libertate|5.2.11 @ 6:10PM|#
                      Just like the attacks came without regard to which party was in power.

                      The attacks were based on US policies, which come from whoever is in power (or the companies we support abroad, which amounts to the same thing if you are a citizen in Africa or South America). However, the repercussions of those policies may take many years to manifest.

                      So if you mean that attacks against the US are not based on our leadership, you’re very wrong. If you mean that the timing specifically is irrelevant, that’s very right, and I wish more people would realize it.

                      Virtually our whole power structure (including mainstream media ratings) is based on fear. What nobody seems to realize is that we should be afraid of every candidate.

                    5. Oh.

                      Or if you meant that all administrations have equally shitty middle-east policies, then that’s also true.

                    6. Yes and yes. Not suggesting that what we do is irrelevant.

                2. …bludgeon-like imposition of a nightmarish darwinian hellscape.

                  You mean like when government takes control of the economy?

                  1. That’s never happened. It was secret capitalists that killed all those people.

                3. Tony, I think the whole “Obama is a genius compared to Bush” meme is a bit overstated and suffers from a fairly poor understanding of intelligence. Namely, intelligence =/= erudition. I’ll be the first to grant that Obama is a better speaker and has a better grasp of the English language than Bush (albeit that is hardly a high bar). But that doesn’t in any way shape or form imply a more rational mind. Logic is the ability to draw the appropriate conclusions from a set of facts or assumptions. A person can be remarkably articulate and dumb as a doornail when it comes to actual rational thought process. Conversely, a person can lack all social and speech skills and have the most solidly logical mind you’ll find (we usually refer to them as engineers). It gets a bit more complicated than that, and I recognize my oversimplification of the scenario here (for example, lots of times people will demonstrate solid logic within their fields of interest, professional life, etc. but fail the logic test in other areas of thought), but I simply intend to illustrate the point. This fundamental misinterpretation of intelligence is among my greatest peeves.

                  1. Sudden, I appreciate that point, although some of the most irrational “smart” people I’ve met are engineers.

                    I think Obama is eminently rational and have no reason to think otherwise, whereas Bush was an self-proclaimed gut-thinker.

                    1. And I’ll definitely concede the point on engineers, hence my conditioning the statement by saying that sometime people are rational within chosen discipline but fail to apply the same precepts across fields of knowledge.

                      As for intelligence, I’m perfectly willing to accept Obama is more worldly knowledgeable than Bush (again though, hardly a tough standard to excel). In fact, I’d say Obama is one of the more knowledgeable presidents we’ve had in my lifetime (can’t hold a candle to Bill Clinton though, dude was full of knowledge). In terms of actual rational thought processes, I’m underwhelmed with him. And I’m trying to really divorce my own policy preferences from this here and analyze him on the basis of aspects other than policy.

                  2. One conclusion that you might draw is that when New York City appears to be under attack, an intelligent, rational president would stop reading the goat story. Or wouldn’t try to massage a world leader.

                    You’re right about intelligence generally, but not in the case of Bush.

                    1. My point was not that Bush is smart, but rather that Obama is not necessarily smart simply due to being more of a verbal masturbator than Bush.

                      And tbh, of all things, I’d actually give GWB a pass on the reading during the first plane hitting. At the time, it wasn’t necessarily known that it was an attack. The second plan hitting was the real sign there.

                4. Convenient way to excuse Bush if you ask me.

                  Or Obama.

        3. I know little about Bachman’s anti-libertarian stands. Can you enlighten us? I guess she doesn’t pass “compassionate” muster with liberals; after all, she’s only helped raise 23 foster kids.

          1. She’s a conservative Catholic, if that helps. Religious conservatives eschew most libertarian stances.

            1. What the fuck am I talkin’ about? — She’s from a conservative Catholic district. Anti-abortion issues are very important.

              She’s Missouri Synod — Lutheran (the nutjob synod that I was raised in). They believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible.

              They think other Lutheran synods are devil-worshippers…

          2. Batshit Crazy Michelle Bachmann is also a Farm Subsidy Welfare Queen.

            Google it yourself – its true and has been reported by Reason.com.

            1. At least shriek knows Bachmann is “crazy” and not “dumb”. Keep those Team Blue pejoratives straight. She is a fierce opponent, by Congressional standards, of farm subsidies.

        4. I guess my point is, point to one who isn’t, in everyone’s opinion, so I can see the difference. I would definitely vote for her over Romney and Huckabee. Though probably not Satan. I could honestly give a shit about all the red meat, dog-whistle stuff. Tell me why she’s particularly stupider than Boehner, Reid, Pelosi, or Obama. Am I supposed to hate her more or less than Palin?

          1. I’ve paid little attention to her, but one thing to keep in mind is that her intelligence (or lack thereof) may be irrelevant to her saying seemingly idiotic things to pander to her constituency. We shouldn’t forget that we’re the real problem here, not the fools we put in office.

            1. The few times I’ve heard her, she came across as a typical politician with about the same number of redeeming qualities. Even Huckabee is higher on my list than she is.

              1. I have no doubt that she sucks on many levels. I just don’t pay much attention to her.

          2. You’re hopeless.

            The stupid bitch is a Bible literalist like Palin.

            Find a GOPer who isn’t into crap astrology.

            1. You know, shriek, it’s even worse when you’re on my side of something, because now I’ve been tainted by your mindless stupidity and blind, retarded partisanship.

              Thanks, asshole. Maybe you could go die in a fire?

              1. Peas in a pod.

                1. Sommebody’s got a crush on Bachmann! I guess you like them crazy and stupid.

            2. Find a GOPer who isn’t into crap astrology

              Considering the way things so often seem to turn out with ‘experts’ running things, I’m not so sure it wouldn’t in fact be just as well to rely on astrology.

          3. If you find Palin too intellectual, Bachmann is your candidate.

            1. If you find Tony too intellectual, Max is your troll.

  6. Last week, House Speaker John Boehner said he was “not wedded” to the Ryan budget

    I hope not, since marrying a piece of legislation would be a terrible insult to the institution of marriage. Plus, it’s just plain gross.

    1. Congress has lots of practice at boning documents, actually. I wonder if they let the Constitution put liptick on, so it can look pretty when it gets fucked.

      1. No HumancentiPad for you!

      2. I imagine the smeared lipstick and runny eyeliner look is the only thing that can get them off no matter what they are fucking.

        1. Pretty much nailed it (pun intended)

  7. If Republicans were prepared to vote for it, they ought to have been prepared to defend their votes as well.

    You’d think they’d have also learned from the Democrats in 2010. If you’re going to back something that becomes unpopular, stick to it. I think there are a lot of voters who would consider voting for someone from the opposing party if they showed a little backbone and were willing to defend their votes as something they did because of their values and because of what they think is best for the country and the voters who elected them. Rather than voting because they thought the bill was good politics at the time.

    I’m too naive aren’t I?

  8. As Marco Rubio basically said on MTP: If people don’t like the Ryan plan, let them propose another; otherwise, STFU.

    1. I watched that. I was impressed with Rubio.

      He was truly engaged in the real conversation and not talking points – rare for conservatives, #1.

      #2 – he categorically ruled out being a VP. He wants to build his cred.

      The guy is a future super-GOPer.

      1. He was truly engaged in the real conversation and not talking points – rare for conservatives

        He’s new. Give him time.

  9. Should be interesting to see how that turns out. Wow.


  10. Don’t worry, House Republicans don’t need Senate support. They can just say “if the Senate fails to pass this bill, it becomes law” again.

  11. How the hell did my post just get flagged for spam and this guy’s above me doesn’t?

    I had a link to the Economist for god’s sake. How likely is that to be spam?

    All I was saying is if you have the votes in the House, that’s all you need, thanks to the House GOP’s latest innovation in legislative logic: ignore a Senate no-vote.

  12. Given the GOP’s history of entitlement-reform anxiety

    Republicans are so fucking desperate to fill some magical middle economic ground that it is only less sickening then their hard line never budge stance on social issues.

    “We will fight to the death to save Shivo but we will compromise on an already compromised health care voucher plan….”


  13. The terrifying part is that Plan Ryan does not come close to what is needed to keep America solvent.

  14. I believe he needs to ensure that Congress is subject to the same revisions to health care and retirement benefits before he comes at folks born after 1955!

  15. Okay so Ryan wants to cut spending. How old is he?? Polls seem to support his goal, how old are those polled???
    I would be willing to bet these are totally people who are only in their 2nd or 3rd decade. These are NOT people, including Ryan who have contributed much into the Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security and who believe they can support themselves in their 70’s, 80’s, etc. Those who are in their 60’s and up who dedicated their lives to service to this country, who watched one adminstration after another dip their hands into these funds we contributed to for their “Pork Barrell” programs. Now when the current adminstration finds they have created a huge deficit in the budget they seem to think they can fix it by cutting out these programs they never even paid for and leave those of us who are supported by them (as promised over all these years). LEAVE these programs alone. If you want to balance the budget then cut out the spending of billions to countries overseas who never contributed anything to our poor or our disasters here. Be real and look at who you represent and consider their needs instead of people who hate us to begin with. STOP this laze-faire attitude toward our old. STOP this attack on our own people. It seems this attitude existed in the 30’s and 40’s in Europe, look where that went (WWII). We did not cause this problem, you,who are responsible for taking care of “OUR” tax money caused this problem. As if it is bad enough, now we are going to give another $2 Billion dollars more to Egypt. Save us not them. Be humanitarian to us, your own.

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