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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ryan's "YouCut" pretty "YouseLess"

by folkbum

Another big, wet kiss to Paul Ryan (R-Galt's Gulch) from the daily paper this morning:
Instead of voting for your favorite "American Idol" or "Dancing with the Stars" contestants, you can now vote on your favorite federal spending cut - courtesy of the GOP.

House Republicans say their new "YouCut" program will give voters the chance to suggest budget-slashing proposals directly to members of Congress and see lawmakers act on their ideas. Republicans say they will try to force colleagues to vote on the cuts every week on the House floor.

"The majority of Americans would like to see less spending," said Rep. Paul Ryan, a Janesville Republican. "We want to give them the opportunity to convey that sense."
That's the same Paul Ryan, remember, who happily voted for the war in Iraq, every Iraq-funding supplemental (i.e., off-budget) spending bill, and Medicare Part D, which contained trillions in spending with no funding mechanism whatsoever.

But what's remarkable is not the naked hypocrisy--we are used to that by now from Ryan--it's that the options to vote for at this ridiculous "YouCut" site amount to, essentially, a sliver:
For example, participants in this little exercise can eliminate the Presidential Election Fund, saving $260 million over five years--but in the process making national candidates more dependent on outside fundraising. Folks can also vote to eliminate $200,000 a year in HUD grants for doctoral research on housing policy.

What's especially interesting, though, is that all of the proposals don't amount to much given the larger budget picture. Merit aside, if officials were to scrap every penny of the spending on [the] list, it would save taxpayers about $1.1 billion a year.
Remember, that's out of a budget of $4 trillion. $1.1 billion is less than the budget of the Milwaukee Public Schools alone. And at the link, Steve Benen goes on to remind us that last year, after President Obama offered a package of spending cuts that Republicans called laughable, Obama called their bluff and asked for their proposal. It came in at less than 10% of the cuts per year than the laughable Obama proposal.

It's clear that Republicans like Ryan are not actually serious about trying to govern responsibly. Stunts like "YouCut" are so dumb that even the rubes at RedState have caught on: "How stupid do they think we are?" that diarist wonders. Very, apparently.

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