Ryan budget vs. Reagan budget

Of course, it’s long been pointed out that Ronald Reagan’s policies were much to the left of the contemporary Republican party.  The Reagan so beloved by modern Republicans is largely a projection of their own fantasies, not a reality.  Nice column blasting the Ryan budget from Matt Miller:

Ronald Reagan ran the federal government at 22 percent of gross domestic product when the country’s population was much younger and health care consumed about 11 percent of GDP.

Put another way, Ronald Reagan ran the federal government at 22 percent of GDP when the country’s population was much younger, and health care consumed about 11 percent of GDP.

Did I mention that Ronald Reagan ran the federal government at 22 percent of GDP when the country’s population was much younger, and health care consumed about 11 percent of GDP?

Now Paul Ryan says we can run the federal government at 19 percent of GDP as the massive baby-boom generation retires and when health costs (largely for seniors) have already soared to 18 percent of GDP.

Sorry, but Ryan is either deeply confused or doing his best to snooker us.  [emphasis mine]

In the sandstorm of commentary on what’s wrong with the Wisconsin Republican’s budget, its easy to lose sight of the few central facts that should make people of all political stripes scratch their heads. The most important is that Ryan wants to shrink government precisely when we have an unavoidably costly demographic tsunami bearing down on us and when per capita health costs have spiraled. (These costs must be challenged, but the medical industrial complex’s current level of loot has to be the starting point for the debate.)

In 1989, when President Reagan left office, there were 34 million people on Medicare and 39 million on Social Security. In 2025, according to these programs’ trustees, there will be 73 million on Medicare and 78 million on Social Security.

Yowza.  That’s quite the demographic/policy factoid.  And as for the bold text, hearkens back to my common question– lying or stupid.  I’m not quite sure what utterly self-delusional and completely blinded by (nutty Randian) ideology counts as.  Probably both.

Photo of the day

Lots of really interesting images in this Big Picture set of photos by photojournalists under 25.  I found this particular one irresistible:

Historically reserved for sharp shoot’n cowboys and outlaws, now the pool room at Doc Holliday’s Saloon in Glenwood Springs, Colorado is occasionally dominated by Mennonite women who drop in to take a few shots of their own, while on holiday at the nearby hot springs and spa. This image received an Award of Excellence in the Feature category from the 2012 College Photographer of the Year competition. (Beth White)

The personal and the political

So, GOP Senator Rob Portman has come out in favor of gay marriage because… his son is gay.   Am I supposed to be impressed?  Does anybody think for a single second Dick Cheney would’ve given the slightest damn about gay rights if not for his lesbian daughter?  What an utter failure of imagination and empathy among GOP politicians that they can only seem to care about some particular group of people once they are directly related to somebody.  Truly pathetic.   To sum up, as I just saw somebody respond to this on FB: “Quick! Someone give Portman a kid that is (variously): minority, handicapped, unemployed, uninsured, etc”

The mother of all blog posts

Okay, this won’t be.  But it’s tempting.   Huge and hugely fascinating Pew report on how adults use their time– broken down by gender, marriage, and parental status.  I could choose at least a dozen really intriguing charts to show.  You should at least check out the overview.  This is the headline chart:


What I think is most interesting is the roughly equitable distribution between all forms of “work.”  And, of course, the fact that mens’ household work and parenting has increased dramatically (a very good thing) while women’s paid work has increased dramatically.  And to nobody’s surprise, women still bear most of the burden at home.  When you look at the context of all “work” though, it doesn’t seem so bad.  I have read a number of times about men having more leisure time, though, and you can see that in this table:


You know what, though?  They are getting more of a leisure bonus than the total division of work would suggest.  The conclusion?  Men’s greater leisure time comes, in large part, from sleeping less.  That seems fair.  Also, looks like I can expect my “total work time” to drop a good 14 hours/week in a mere 16 years when Sarah is 18.  Whoo-hoo.

Also plenty of charts showing that it is amazingly better to be a married mom than a single mom.  Damn, single moms have it tough.  I’ve been a little obsessed with happiness lately, so I did find this chart intriguing:


And, lastly, two more parent-related charts I cannot resist:




Apparently, life s a lot less rushed and a lot easier to find a balance when there’s not children in the home (though, as discussed earlier, not actually “happier”).

The actual data from this poll will be available in a year.  And they actually have a few political questions.  So, you better believe I’ll be coming back to it.

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