George Graham

The Frightening Alternative Offered by the GOP

So far, the Republican Party has managed to trash President Obama’s agenda by just saying no to everything he has tried to accomplish. Then they point to his lack of achievement as proof that the Democrats are inept and the American public should put the GOP back in power.

It’s not a clever strategy, but it has worked. As someone said, nobody has ever gone broke by underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

I would add: Or the intelligence of the American media.

But even the slow-witted “pundits” on those television “news” shows have finally figured out that a political party should stand for something, that saying no is not a system of governance. And they’re finally asking Republican candidates what they would do if they were in charge.

The Republicans have had no answer. Until now.

As President Obama has been pointing out, they would do just what they did before – let Big Business run roughshod over consumers and help the Wall Street crowd loot and pillage at will. And look where that got us. Republican policies ate up the Clinton surplus and replaced it with a record deficit, plunged the world into economic chaos, and left Americans mired in two debilitating wars.

But the media gurus need grist to gnaw on, so they’ve been casting about for someone on the right who actually has a “new” plan.

They’ve come up with a guy named Paul Ryan (photo above).

This Ryan character is the darling of Big Business. The Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector has just shoveled $1,908,465 into his campaign coffers– despite the fact that his most serious electoral challenge so far has come from an unknown pianist.

Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, the 40-year-old politician has done nothing of note in six terms in Congress. His claim to fame is that he keeps trying to pass legislation abolishing Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and children’s health insurance.

Two years ago, he came up with a “Roadmap for America’s Future,”   which included a plan to abolish the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. His proposed legislation didn’t get out of the committee room.

Last year, he introduced the GOP alternative to the 2010 federal budget. This plan would have lowered the top income tax rate to 25 percent, introduced an 8.5 percent national sales tax, and imposed a five-year spending freeze on all discretionary federal spending.

It would also have replaced the Medicare system with partially subsidized private health insurance. He also wants to allow taxpayers to opt out of the current income tax system and instead pay a flat tax of 10 percent up to $100,000 and 25 percent after that.

Ryan didn’t offer any numbers to back up his “budget.”  And, of course, the proposals got nowhere.

Not to be deterred, Ryan has released a new version of his “Roadmap.” Key provisions include reducing income tax rates; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax.

The plan would also privatize part of Social Security, end tax breaks for employer-sponsored health insurance, eliminate Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program. In their place, Ryan proposes a voucher system that would provide less and less help over the years.

In effect, the GOP’s “idea man” wants to wipe out all the social programs that generations of Democrats have won for the American people.

I don’t know what kind of “voodoo economics” Ryan uses to justify this wicked nonsense. His plan looks like a road map to disaster to me. It would not only destroy all traces of humanity in American society, it would also expand the already huge deficit to astronomical proportions.

But it’s a plan. And it’s “new.” And it’s the best the GOP has been able to come up with. So, in the interests of “fairness,” you can expect to hear more and more about it as the pundits cast about for “opposing views” to counter the actual measures that the president and his allies in Congress are trying to introduce in a desperate effort to rescue America from the sinkhole that Bush and the Republicans left the country in.

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for