A community of NPR critics monitoring NPR for its corporatist, Pentagon friendly, pro-US foreign policy coverage of the news.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Man of Ideas

According to Guy Raz, Republican Paul Ryan is "a rising star in his party," and so on Sunday's ATC he gets a fact-check free four minutes to promote his Bushrehash plan to slash taxes on the rich, cut Medicare, and redirect Social Security revenue to the stock market. For those of us dwelling on planet Earth, this all sounds vaguely familiar - but to our NPR villagers its dazzling innovation:
"But if there's one Republican who Democrats can't accuse of having no ideas, it's Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

He's written a plan called 'The Roadmap for America's Future,' and in it, he outlines his proposals to reform Medicare, Social Security and taxes." [Raz]
Since Raz concludes this man-of-ideas introduction by noting that Ryan's plan is "controversial, even a little radical," you might expect to learn details of Ryan's roadmap - you know the basics of how extreme his tax policies will be, how it will end Medicare as we know it, and divert revenue away from Social Security. Not a chance. Raz does compare federal debt problems to climate change (curious) and asks how moving Social Security funds into a government guaranteed private market fund is still not a government-run program, but that's it. There's a good reason not to challenge Ryan's mythical revenue stream, because it reveals that Ryan's plan is nothing but a Trojan Horse that won't reduce any debt anytime in the foreseeable future.

Another good reason for NPR and Raz to stick to vague generalities and phony promises - "I think it's important to have a safety net in this country, so that nobody's in poverty in old age, so that people who get sick get the care they need..." [Rep. Ryan] - is because, as Paul Krugman noted in his take down of Ryan's non-ideas, Ryan can get kind of testy when his actual numbers are held up to scrutiny.

So instead of the-devil-in-the-details scrutiny, NPR offers us Republican Moses leading his party (and the country) with a Roadmap to the promised land of debt-free governance AND a robust safety net for the poor, the sick and the aged. In fact the new Moses' ideas are so thoughtful and strong that NPR titles the report "A Republican Plan to Save the Safety Net."

Holy smokes! I think someone's been talking to a burning bush again!


gDog said...

Perchance the management at NPR will read this devastating take down of Raz and Moses will find himself moseying along to new employment. I'd say the chance of that is an infinitesimal rhyming with "hero," but, hey, it could happen!

Anonymous said...

OMG! Great picture of Guy!


larry, dfh said...

Nice that 'roadmap' cliche. In the age of GPS, npr is pushing a roadmap. I guess they think it'll work as well for us as it did for the Palestinians, and as well for npr mgt. as it did for the Israelis.

Boulder Dude said...

I think Alicia is teasing us.

"It's not a matter of me weighing in whether NPR should or shouldn't do it. NPR needs something to meet the timepost. For all those who think the Dow is useless, what would you suggest that NPR could use instead given the realities of radio?"


gDog said...

I'm reminded of Raz razz-ma-tazz covering the demise of Ariel Sharon's good health. Sharon has been in a vegetative state ever since: more than 4 years now.

But even in his own country, Sharon had his critics: those on the left who could never forgive his military campaign in Lebanon; those on the right who regard him as a turncoat for abandoning Jewish settlements in occupied Gaza.

Pap, crap and zap: right down the middle.