Death By PowerPoint Point Two

Scene: Port Richey, Florida, Post Office.

Date: Saturday, August 11, 2012.

Dramatis Personae: My wife Lisa, two elderly women, Paul Ryan lingering on the airwaves.

First elderly woman, who had just heard about Ryan being picked, reaches the counter with the help of her friend. “Where are your voter registration forms? I need to make sure they have my right address. I have to vote against Ryan. He’s going to take away Medicare.”


The Obama campaign, despite the progress they’ve made lately showing Romney to be what he is, still can’t get the message clear and ringing. Even the new ad after the Ryan pick talks about “top down” economics. Wow, that’ll rally the troops. “No top down!” But the Republicans, with Ryan, have finally clarified the message for the Democrats. “They want to take away some of your Medicare and give the money that saves to rich people.”

Roosting Chickens: The Reagan Revolution is indeed trickling down. Part of the Reagan philosophy is to get spending, and the taxing that supports it, closer to the voters. Less Federal spending, more local decisions on spending. Ryan’s plan to cut Medicaid spending and turn it into block grants to the states puts spending decisions closer to home. Where taking care of poorer people’s medical needs (which if not taken care of results in either more and more public spending as poorer people become sicker poorer people, or in dead people in the streets) will compete with all the other things states spend on. And all states are short of money now, which means the local governments they help support are short of money. So, in effect, the Reagan Revolution, in which Ryan carries a big torch, is showing up more and more in states and local governments having less to spend on schools and roads and libraries and law enforcement. Everyone who isn’t a millionaire who says “no new taxes” better realize that means less of everything. You ride a bus, you drive on a road or over a bridge, you use the library for internet access, you hope the fire department will come — less, slower, worse. And how’s the One Percent doing in all this? Better, much better under Reagan-Ryan-Romney.

All We Need to Know About Ryan: From today’s New York Times, talking about Romney and Ryan — “The two men share an easy rapport and a love of PowerPoint presentations and policy details.” OMG.

— Bruce Benidt
(Image from