March 12, 2013 |
I'd like to offer my thanks to House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) for doing so much to validate my list of the five biggest lies about "entitlement" programs published on Sunday. Ryan's proposed federal budget , released Tuesday, uses four of them. As a dividend, he exploits a few that I didn't mention. The ones from my list are: He uses the thoroughly discredited "infinite horizon" projection to claim that Social Security and Medicare are "tens of trillions" of dollars in the hole; he suggests that retirees aren't paying their fair share for their benefits; he suggests that the programs are hammered by benefits going to the wealthy; and he treats Medicare and Social Security as though they're similar programs with similar issues.
March 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Fired up as once-unimaginable spending cuts start to slice the federal budget, Republicans are launching a new phase in their austerity campaign - resurrecting the party's cost-cutting plan to turn Medicare into a voucher-like system for future seniors. Despite public uncertainty Saturday about the $85 billion in so-called sequester cuts, Republicans now believe they have momentum to ask Americans to make tough choices on Medicare, as rising healthcare costs combine with an aging population to form a growing part of future deficits.
January 27, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- Reemerging as a party spokesman following a self-imposed post-election hiatus, Paul Ryan this weekend called upon Republicans to remain united against a president he sees as bent on "political conquest" in his second term. Ryan, in a pair of public appearances, said the GOP must continue to challenge President Obama on areas of principle but also be prepared to work with him on other areas. Notably, on NBC's "Meet The Press," he signaled he might be open to the president's push to expand background checks on gun purchases, but not other proposals the administration has put forward in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.
January 23, 2013 |
Now that two months have passed since the 2012 election, what does Rep. Paul Ryan think the voters' message was? It wasn't a rejection of the Romney-Ryan platform or of the "Ryan Budget" that would have turned Medicare into a voucher plan, Ryan told reporters on Wednesday. "I don't see this [election result] as a rejection of our principles," Ryan said at a Wall Street Journal breakfast. Instead, the message Ryan heard was that Republicans need to make it clear that they're not the party of the rich -- that they're as intent on ending poverty and increasing opportunity as Democrats.
January 21, 2013 |
In the weeks after President Jimmy Carter lost his reelection bid to Ronald Reagan, when I was a young reporter at the Washington Post, I was assigned to cover a luncheon on Capitol Hill honoring Patricia Derian, Carter's assistant secretary of State for human rights. Reagan's inauguration was days away, and Derian was facing a room full of dejected Democrats and longtime human rights activists. Some were nearly in tears. And since Derian was relinquishing her post, she had every reason to be the most bummed in the room.
January 21, 2013 |
Had things gone his way, Mitt Romney would have raised his right hand Monday and sworn an oath to serve as the nation's 45 th president. Instead, the vanquished Republican nominee spent the day at home in La Jolla, out of sight if not quite out of mind. Former campaign aides said they had no details on how Romney spent his day, or whether he was among the millions of TV viewers who watched the events in Washington from afar. But his absence from public view was consistent with the low profile Romney has kept since being soundly defeated by President Obama in both the Electoral College and popular vote.
January 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The House voted Tuesday to roll back income tax increases on the vast majority of Americans, finalizing a deal on the so-called fiscal cliff after weeks of gridlock. The approval, in a session that stretched late into the New Year's holiday, came after hours of closed-door debate among Republicans, with conservatives threatening to derail a bill that had overwhelmingly passed the Senate in the early hours of the morning. The final tally, 257 to 167, included support from 172 of the chamber's Democrats and just 85 of the majority Republicans, far fewer than half.
December 30, 2012 |
London calling The queen's Diamond Jubilee was a chance to look back at 60 years of colorful suits and hats. And everyone seemed more than eager to hop aboard the royal train, including Pantone, which color-coded her highness' most iconic outfits, and Taschen, which published a coffee table book chronicling the royal family. (February) So long, Sassoon Vidal Sassoon, whose modern, wash-and-wear geometric haircuts changed the rules - and women's lives - died in Los Angeles at age 84. (May)
November 20, 2012 |
On Monday, investors on Wall Street sent stocks soaring on the airy hope that the president and Congress will come up with a deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff" that looms at the close of the year. This only proves that the masters of finance have all the emotional sophistication of 13-year-old Justin Bieber fans. Apparently, investors so want to believe that a budget deal will be struck to keep the U.S. from falling back into a deeper recession that they have abandoned informed skepticism and opted for wishful thinking.
November 19, 2012 |
In a postmortem of his campaign, Mitt Romney blamed his loss on President Obama's "gifts" to key voting groups, thereby demonstrating, one last time, how he does not understand the country he hoped to lead. Meanwhile, Paul Ryan's poor showing in his own hometown indicates how out of touch he is with the community he claimed to know so well. Maybe that lack of perception is one reason why these two aspirants for the highest offices in the land fell short of their goal. As many pundits have noted, Romney's characterization of government programs as gifts was an echo of his earlier disparaging remarks about the 47% of Americans who pay no income taxes.