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Sunday, May 28, 2017

If Paul Ryan had written A Christmas Carol, Scrooge would have gotten a massive tax break, paid for by taking away Tiny Tim’s health insurance. The obvious lesson of the tale would be that a small businessman had been rewarded for creating a job for Bob Crachit — who could enjoy working overtime on Christmas without the fear of additional compensation, as well as the freedom of knowing that he won’t be able to retire until he’s at least 70, if ever.

Ryan’s glorious vision of Christmas yet to come may sound like a nightmare to you — but if the Speaker of the House gets his way, that nightmare will become America’s reality by the end of 2017.

Let’s go through Scrooge’s wish list, step-by-step, like we’re a concierge Santa service for rich people’s most destructive urges — or as if we were Paul Ryan.

Ebenezer Scrooge may be Charles Dickens’ personification of everything that is wrong with unfettered greed. But to Paul Ryan, Scrooge — with his estimated net worth of $1.6 billion — is a proud example of those job creators known as small businessmen, which by Ryan’s definition includes all Americans who “file their business as individuals, as people.”

This class of taxpayer, New York Magazine‘s Jonathan Chait notes, allegedly includes Donald Trump, a man who seats himself in a gold throne and identifies as a billionaire. Though Trump evidently is not much of a taxpayer.

Ryan doesn’t like to point out that 76.1 percent of his proposed tax cuts go to the richest 1 percent in 2017, and that percentage rises to 99.6 percent by 2025, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

But who would? That kind of talk would only make rich people sad, which to Paul Ryan is a crisis almost as severe as America’s recent epidemic of poor people getting health insurance.

Sure, offering tax breaks that mostly benefit the rich blasts a $3.1 trillion hole in the deficit over the next ten years. But, as tattoo artists often lie to their drunkest customers, the Chinese character for “crisis” also means “opportunity.”

So 2017 will be an excellent opportunity to insure poor kids, like — say — Tiny Tim.

Under President Obama, America has hit a remarkable milestone with 95 percent of children covered by health insurance. Ryan has a plan to fix that with a repeal of Obamacare that will increase the number of uninsured kids by 4 million, nearly doubling the uninsured rate from 4 percent to 9 percent, according to a study by the Urban Institute. Ho ho ho!

In exchange for all those uninsured kids, we get a lot of happy Scrooges! We’ll be trading the insurance of about 4 million kids and some 16 million adults for $197,000 a year in sweet tax breaks for the richest .01 percent of people a.k.a. “small businesses” in RyanSpeak.

But, you say, Tiny Tim uses a crutch and an iron frame to support his sickly frame. He has a pre-existing condition! Surely Republicans will make sure he’s still insured.

Well, Scrooge doesn’t have to offer his employees insurance, meaning the Crachits have to get their own coverage. And since the GOP replacement bills all require people to maintain coverage, a few bad months for Bob and his family could leave poor Tim at the mercy of grossly underfunded high risk pools.

Or perhaps Scrooge will offer some of that great new non-Obamacare low-cost insurance that could cover as much as $2,000 a year, which would insure him for a whole day if he ends up in the hospital.

To make up for the hundreds of thousands of dollars that Crachit could end up owing for Tiny Tim’s care — given since Republicans will almost certainly aim to repeal Obamacare’s ban on insurance companies placing yearly or lifetime limits on care — Bob has got to work, all the time. So he does.

But Mr. Scrooge carefully makes sure his star employee earns just over the threshold where no compensation for overtime work is required. President Obama’s Labor Department wanted to raise that threshold from $455 a week to $913, meaning employers like Scrooge would either have to offer a raise or pay overtime. But Paul Ryan’s GOP will make sure that people earning more than $455 but less than $913 can be made to work all the overtime Scrooge wants for no extra compensation — even on Christmas. Just like the wise men!

And the best news of all is Bob Crachit and his son can look forward to working overtime every week of their lives until they’re in their 70s, when they can finally cut back to just working a 40-hour week so they can afford some Fancy Feast to go with the doctors’ bill.

Paul Ryan’s desires to privatize Social Security and Medicare — and pass the losses and costs on to you! — are about as well hidden as his passion for Ayn Rand. It’s what defines his career in public service — but it’s also what makes him repulsive to most Americans. So he tries to hide his passions or cloak them under code words.

Ryan’s plan to privatize most of Medicare and demand future retirees pay more is a part of his “Better Way” plan, which should be named “Better Way for Scrooge” plan. Donald Trump campaigned on preserving both of America’s retirement guarantees, but he has been quickly moving toward Paul and the two now seem to be fully aligned with the president-elect’s choice of Rep. Mick Mulvaney to be his budget director. The GOP congressman from South Carolina is one of the few politicians in America who eagerly declares his desire to cut Social Security.

How else can we afford to make Scrooge’s life easier?

Ryan and Dickens may have had different ideas of happy endings. The author of Great Expectations saw a Scrooge overwhelmed by the plenty with which he had been blessed and the need to which he had become blind. Ryan sees a Scrooge who is overburdened by tax and spend politics and exploited by greedy employees who want Christmas off every single year.

No wonder he prefers the works of Ayn Rand.

Both stories end with Scrooge being able to proudly say, “Merry Christmas!” But in Ryan’s tale, Scrooge is rushing home to inhale a whole turkey by himself. Just like a “small businessman” should.

IMAGE: Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) holds a copy of his party’s “A Better Way” reform agenda at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

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Copyright 2016 The National Memo

37 Responses to How Paul Ryan Plans To Teach Scrooge A Lesson

  1. Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand, Trump, and “Mr. Scrooge” have a lot of disturbing traits in common that highlight the dark effect of Materialism, a deadening philosophy that drains the character and soul by its emphasis on self and a parallel disapproval of the notion of empathy and disdain for religious concepts and a considerable lack of interest in developing the spiritual aspect inherent in all humans at the moment of conception.
    A cursory review of Ayn Rand’s objectivism philosophy reveals the genesis of a dark and sinister distortion of the human faculty for compassion, empathy, reciprocity, and other “politically correct” attributes—a distortion that has been studiously cultivated in the heart of Europe among many elites like Ayn and others who became intoxicated with their powers of “rationality”. This sentiment would grow year by year, resulting in a view that apportioned harsh treatment to those who would prove ill-suited to withstand materialism’s onslaught of a cold callous regard for the affairs of others less fortunate.

    Just consider one of the qualities that Ayn Rand and her “objectivism” touted:

    1) Ethical egoism—the normative ethical position that moral agents ought to do what is in their own self-interest (Trump and the GOP come to mind immediately).

    This feature is just one of numerous fanciful materialist delusions concocted by a mind that had divorced itself from the soul’s higher purpose in life. The quality of “ethical egoism” would put Trump, Ayn, Paul Ryan, and their supporters as more closely aligned with animal impulses for survival and less so with the God-given tendencies for concern for others, whether family members or complete “strangers”.

    Ayn Rand’s depraved philosophy, and that of her contemporaries and later, is a curious feature that the branch of the Human Family that migrated into Europe and Eurasia evolved—maybe due primarily to a confluence of environment factors leading to a development of a trend towards a more selfish way of viewing humanity. No other groups of the human family which dispersed across the globe had evolved such an attitude towards life and one’s self in the manner of Ayn, Paul, Trump, and those who share these tendencies. (The Irish during the “The Great Famine” were to be the recipients of this cold disregard for their welfare and suffering, as evinced by many of the British by their contemptuous regard for the Irish because the latter developed along a slightly different cultural path and demonstrated at the time a lack of technological advancement compared to their neighbors across the Channel.

    The GOP epitomizes this cold philosophy that has little to do with the spirit imprinted on humanity by God, and more in common with a disinterested Social Darwinian and it’s more animal-like perception of humanity.approach to life.

    Such a perception as Paul’s, Trump’s, Ayn Rand’s, and “Scrooges” is a direct contradiction to the spirit incorporated concisely and with depth in Baha’u’llah’s 1st epigram in “The Hidden Words” which states:

    “O Son of Spirit! My first counsel is this: Possess a pure, kindly, and radiant heart that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable, and everlasting.”

    The distance between this statement alone and what Trump, Paul, and Ayn propose is immeasurable. To even suggest that they are within the same neighborhood misses the point of what it means to be human.

    “Merry Christmas?” Such a statement and sentiment has no currency or meaning in a GOP/Trump/AynRand” universe with its insular egoistical outlook.

    • You’re right, Republicans are cold blooded reptilians. Ayn Rand by the way died, after having soaked up many public dollars for her healthcare. After living out her retirement years, regularly cashing her monthly Social Security checks.

      • Sadly when you’re a sick ignorant Con you are easily fooled by charlatans, Ex. #1 Ayn Rand, Ex.#Donald Trump, Ex.#Alex Jones, I could go on for days and days and days.

    • The wealthy have always found some philosophy or reason to justify their theft. In Victorian times it was Darwin’s theory of natural selection that they grasped to justify being sick criminals

  2. So Mr. Ryan is a Rand loving beam counter, and that’s good right? We need more bean counters in Washington, right? I mean, have you sen the debt? Well, only if he’s also a bill counter. Look, I can sit down at my kitchen table and say I have this bill coming in, and I’m not going to pay it. I’m going to shift it off on that guy over there, and I’ll have a lot more beans to count. Or, as in the case of Mr. Ryan, he wants to give the extra beans he saves on the poor, and indigent to his rich pals. And now he’s their hero!
    But he hasn’t yet done a thing about the bill that is still going to come in, and still has to be paid.. somehow…. That is, unless he has something really scroogy in mind. Something most would consider unacceptable, and immoral, and allow the vendors, in this case the doctors, and hospitals, and nursing homes, to refuse to provide their life saving services, if the customer is broke, and can’t pay. Or has no savings, or equity in their home, or bad credit. If they do have money, take that, and fix their hip. If they do not, politely ask them to leave. Or, simply carry them out to the curb, as the case may be, and have them arrested for vagrancy, or something. And while they are in jail give them a copy of “Atlas Shrugged,” to read! That should make Republicans out of them!

    • I usually boil over when I read about or think about these horrible people especially sick puke Paul Ryan. But some days it makes me smile because these sick pukes remind me that they really are stupid and so overcome by their sickness of being addicted to greed and selfishness that they can’t stop themselves or act rationally. Sadly, we will probably all suffer some until the time comes when Ryan and the other traitors are imprisoned for their treason and other crimes. But knowing that their hubris and insular nature makes it where they can’t help but screw up and go too far until finally the barbarians will be at their gates. And I laugh and laugh and laugh. The sooner we rid ourselves of these sick people the better off we will all be.

      • I totally agree! There is one truth in life that I’ve found as dependable as the rising sun. And it certainly applies to those who go out and regularly vote for these Cretans like Ryan. If you’re dumb, act dumb, or make dumb decisions, you’re going to need to be tough. I hope they’re tough.

    • Ryan is only a bean counter when Democrats are in charge. When Republicans have control, he is one of the biggest deficit spenders around. Same with “Old Pruneface” over in the Senate.

  3. Don’t forget that the Republican party is regressive. They want to go back to the days when daddy knew best and men were men and women were in the kitchen and bedroom only, blacks “knew their place” and real men ruled the world. They had all the marbles and that was as it should be in their little wonderland. Honestly I think they all want to see the poor in debtors prisons until they die of starvation. Rid the planet of dissidents and establish their little fiefdom with only the wealthy to worry about. I think we all try to make too much sense of what they want when it’s probably just that simple.

  4. According to the Federal Tort Claims Act, there are circumstance whereby the citizens can sue the Federal Government when physical harm results to the citizens as a result of certain government interventions.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/04/22/sue-the-government_n_7117462.html

    Since we’ve learned we can’t rely with confidence on our votes, we need to rally to exercise ways other than feckless whining and perpetual protest to directly and legally address grievance with a government that occasions stealthy means to deceive us and extort our “public funds” for the advancement of their policies that doesn’t protect us from the affliction that results from their schemes to comfort the comfortable

  5. WE in NJ are already paying 6 of Trump’s bankruptcies. We know Ryan has little power. He is NOT the US president. Even if Trump manages that status, Ryan still doesn’t get to make decisions on payroll deductions the government deducted from our paychecks for 4 or more decades.

    All we have to do is stand on our states’ rights and sue the federal government for every dime they took out of our Social Security over the last 30 years. States are EQUAL to the Federal government. That means that state AGs have the last word on what the feds can impose on states. If it violates preset states’ rights, the federal government can do nothing.

    Already NY’s AG and as soon as our Governor Fat Mouth in NJ is gone, will not fail to sue the federal government for our SS and Medicare payroll deductions.

    These are federal laws. They cannot steal money from paychecks and then repeal the very laws whle they stuff their Wall Street accounts with our money. Do that and they will rue the day they were born.

    Ryan’s face will be mashed potatoes.

  6. What we must all do now is keep our eyes and ears open and in steady contact with your state AGs.Remember, it was the very courageous, Eric Schneidermann, who FORCED Trump to settle that fraud case over his bogus Trump University that cost every one of his students $35,000 each. AG Schneidermann, the Governor of CA and several other governors have already told the federal government under Trump to “come and get us.” So, you bet there is already mass resistance.

    Remember, the Federal government is only as good as the unity between states. When the Republicans decided to play their divide and conquer games, they screwed themselves. Now, the Dems states will do what the GOP did for these last 8 years…Refuse to cooperate and worse, refuse to contribute to a massive corruption at the federal level using our tax dollars.

    Trump can do as he pleases until he is sworn in. Then, he steps outside the Constitution one tiny hair’s breath and he is going to find himself spending a lot of time in front of the SC answering a lot of questions that could see him impeached.

        • Mikeee of the Daycare Generation punks thinks he can just ramrod his misguided, parentless BS on the rest of us. While his McMommy and McDaddy were dumping his infant butt off at Daycare, he was struggling like hell for attention. One Daycare worker to 20 infants. By the time he became a toddler, the Great White Angry Man Syndrome already started. Fighting for a shred of attention. As a teen, he got used to being a bully. Now? He has to compete with a whole lot of very fit seniors who are growing less and less tired of the Daycare Generation’s struggle for power and covetous BS.

          • Posting more fictional BS makes you look mentally unstable.
            Your mental health continues to deteriorate. Maybe you should check yourself into mental health facility.

      • FACT: Constipational brains like yours think you can just take take take. Good. Do it. And when you take from others like Trump and get your face bashed in, consider it your ROI.

        FACT: You and your right wing constipation brains are nearing the edge of the cliff. Sure, get rid of SS. But, what do you plan to do with all the seniors whose payroll deductions were taken from their paychecks for over 4 decades? Hope your parents realize their son is a selfish little bastard who needed their SS and Medicare payroll deductions to fatten your Wall Street investments. When your parents are living on NOTHING, asshat, you get to take them in.

        FACT: There isn’t a single middle aged selfish, self-important ANGRY white man who earns less than any woman in the US today. What in the hell are you little bastards so angry about? Someone steal the dime off the string you use for the pay toilets? Someone steal your coal mining jobs? Your oil drilling jobs? Who the hell cares if you little bastards rot in hell?

        FACT: Men like you are lazy bums who text all day and then bitch they can’t find jobs. Course not. Lazy bums like you have no idea what the hell REAL work is. So long as your butts are all nice and cushy cushy, you think it’s time to refocus attention and keep the troops in line so you can fatten that beer gut of yours.

        You asked for the ball busting you are going to get moron. Keep flapping the big mouth until someone gets sick of hearing it and hands you a fist sandwich.

        • Fact: You said women would vote as monolithic block for Hillary. Wrong! Less women voted for Hillary than Obama.
          Fact: You just posted another of your man hating, ignorant posts.
          Fact: Since the election last month you grow more delusional
          Each day.

      • Actually, my plan now is to give what Mikee and his boys dished out for the past 8 years. I encourage ALL of my online friends to bombard the right wing sites and bash away until they get so fed up they shut their sites down and with it their stupid moron mouths.

  7. Hey Crachit! You elected these a$$holes. Now the party’s over and it’s time to pay the band.

    Good luck, Squire. You’re gonna need it.

  8. To those of you who are more enlightened than Paul Ryan and the GOP, I hasten to add that my previous post is not an indictment of all of those members of my human family who branched into Europe—only of those who have willingly chosen to adopt the GOP and Ayn Rand’s desolating and bleak philosophies which have contributed significantly in fracturing Europe and America. Similar perceptions of breaking up society into smaller components are found on the African, Asian, Australian, continents, and seen across the globe where tribal and ethnic pride reached intolerable degrees of influence resulting in destabilization and mistrust leading to preference shown to more powerful families and tribes at the expense of the less well-placed in societies.

    I also should point out that philosophies and outlooks of Ayn Rand, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump are also consonant with the motivations that led to racialism which in turn led to the establishment of the Eugenics movement. Eugenics is motivated by the same “objectivism” of philosophers like Ayn who felt no remorse for those not “Well-Born” and therefore could be seen as unfit to live and propagate their unfitness to their progeny. Eugenicists, that quasi-science developed to explain why many members in society didn’t function according to expectations and proposed laws to sterilize such because of the belief in the heritability of unfitness, was composed mainly of scientists and supported by many Christian clerics(not to be seen as an indictment of Christianity—God forbid!!!) and government officials who saw those requiring aid and assistance to be a nuisance, and burden on financial viability, and an impediment towards the false god of “Fiscal Responsibility” whose apotheosis is wholeheartedly accepted by the GOP today.

    Again, pointing to the moral bankruptcy of Conservatism and its satanic-like attitude towards those not fortunate to have the right skin color, unfortunate to have developed some debilitating medical condition, or its hostile attitude towards those who protest having the jackboot of the Right Wing placed on their necks. A pox indeed on Paul Ryan and his political house.

    • Here is the irony of that – in their “golden years” both Ayn Rand and her husband made copious use of the government benefits they accrued. Please remember, all of her Libertarian view books were written well before she became eligible to dine at the government trough.

  9. At least give Paul Ryan credit for agreeing to change the name of his plan to, “A Better Way.” I thought that his original name, “F*ck The Poor”, was a little harsh.

  10. Talk about Ebenezer Scrooge, how about Schumer firing the staff of the Democratic Media Center two weeks before Christmas.
    Kill the messenger!
    Merry Christmas!

  11. I wonder what the end game is for these masterminds?

    – They block sensible background check laws, despite 80% of the country wanting them.
    – They propose repealing Obamacare and destroying Social Security and Medicare, despite over 70% of the country wanting to keep them.

    This seems like an arrogant pattern… and I don’t understand what they think they are doing?

    Do they really believe they can continue down this path of “We are going to do what we think is best” and just outright lie to their voters… and continue winning elections?

    Surely there’s a point where blaming Mexicans and ISIS and poor people just doesn’t cut it?
    And what is that point?
    – When the 0.1% are charged no tax at all (like Pres-Elect Loser)
    – When children in poverty are not getting medical care at all?
    – When families are dying in the streets?
    – When there’s no social safety net for anyone?
    – When both parents are working two jobs each and not making enough to buy “Health Vouchers”?… Oh that’s probably true today, actually.

    How far does this need to go before the morons wake up?
    All the way to dystopia and “Thunderdome”?

  12. “Do they really believe they can continue down this path of “We are going
    to do what we think is best” and just outright lie to their voters…
    and continue winning elections?”

    Yes the Democrats have been successfully doing it for decades – why will they stop now?

    As for “repealing Obamacare and destroying Social Security and Medicare”, do try to have your 4th grade teacher help you read beyond the headlines, into the actual plans.

    The GOOD parts stay, the BAD parts go! If you haven’t noticed, with O’bastard Kare, the -=SENIORS=- health costs have risen by 3 or 4 times! No COLA either as that’s based upon those still in the workforce whose ‘costs of living’ are from a completely different list.

    “When children in poverty are not getting medical care at all?” They get better care than most of the seniors! Again Headlines, not facts!

    Remember too, the DEMOCRATS have fought tooth and nail against a Flat Tax. How else would Hillarity and Billarity ever amass their fortune?

    “How far does this need to go before the morons wake up?”
    I don’t know, what time is your alarm clock set for?

    • The main reason (unsubsidized) ACA-compliant policies are more expensive is because of the provision preventing people from being denied coverage (or charged more) for having pre-existing conditions. This applies to up to 52 million people nationally, or over 16% of the population. House Republicans, responding to criticism that repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave millions without health insurance, said that their goal in replacing President Obama’s health law was to guarantee “universal access” to health care and coverage, not necessarily to ensure that everyone actually has insurance.

      The GOP’s solution to this is to repeal the pre-existing provision of the ACA and then shove those people off to the side into a separate High Risk Pool, which they plan on funding with anywhere between $1 billion – $2.5 billion per year…except that it would actually cost anywhere from 70 – 180 times that much to actually pay for treating these people.

      A second major cause of premium/deductible hikes is that the ACA requires qualifying policies to cover 10 essential benefits as well as a bunch of preventative care services at no additional charge.

      Another reason for the rate hikes is that the ACA also removes the annual and lifetime maximums for claim payments by the insurance carriers. This is important if you’re undergoing expensive chemotherapy sessions, for instance, which could max you out within months prior to the ACA. The GOP’s solution is to strip away some, most or potentially all of the above coverage requirements, bringing things back to the days of Mini-Meds or junk policies.

      House Republicans, responding to criticism that repealing the Affordable Care Act would leave millions without health insurance, said that their goal in replacing President Obama’s health law was to guarantee “universal access” to health care and coverage, not necessarily to ensure that everyone actually has insurance. Yes, that’s what they said.

      “The GOOD parts stay, the BAD parts go!”, you said in regards to SS & Medicare. What are the bad parts of SS and Medicare that have to go? Privatizing and voucherizing Medicare will result in seniors receiving less affordable coverage in the private market. Depends on your level of affluence of course.

      “They (children) get better care than most of the seniors! Again Headlines, not facts!”, you said. 5% of kids are not covered by health insurance, and that will double with the repeal of the ACA — from the article. In contrast, 100% of seniors have health insurance.

      “Remember too, the DEMOCRATS have fought tooth and nail against a Flat Tax. How else would Hillarity and Billarity ever amass their fortune?”, you said. People who want to amass a fortune want the flat tax because it ensures that they’ll be paying less tax. The Clintons advocated a progressive tax system which would ensure that they’d be paying more taxes. What you said makes no sense.

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