I wasn't the only guy happy with it. Matt Taibbi continues his run as the finest journalist in America by backing Biden's tactics, and further exposes the emptiness of Romney/Ryan's plans.
Think about what that means. Mitt Romney is running for president – for president! – promising an across-the-board 20 percent tax cut without offering any details about how that's going to be paid for. Forget being battered by the press, he and his little sidekick Ryan should both be tossed off the playing field for even trying something like that. This race for the White House, this isn't some frat prank. This is serious. This is for grownups, for God's sake....Some (tightie-righties) may complain about the tone that Biden gave, openly mocking and confronting Ryan when Pau-LIE would try to throw out one of his numerous deceptions. I say fuck that. Respect is something that is earned, not given, and when someone is throwing out factless crap to your face, the proper reaction is mockery and humiliation, to show innocent bystanders what a dimwit this person really is. This keeps the bystanders from being confused and potentially tricked by snake oil salesmen like this.
Sometimes in journalism I think we take the objectivity thing too far. We think being fair means giving equal weight to both sides of every argument. But sometimes in the zeal to be objective, reporters get confused. You can't report the Obama tax plan and the Romney tax plan in the same way, because only one of them is really a plan, while the other is actually not a plan at all, but an electoral gambit.
The Romney/Ryan ticket decided, with incredible cynicism, that that they were going to promise this massive tax break, not explain how to pay for it, and then just hang on until election day, knowing that most of the political press would let it skate, or at least not take a dump all over it when explaining it to the public. Unchallenged, and treated in print and on the air as though it were the same thing as a real plan, a 20 percent tax cut sounds pretty good to most Americans. Hell, it sounds good to me.
The proper way to report such a tactic is to bring to your coverage exactly the feeling that Biden brought to the debate last night: contempt and amazement. We in the press should be offended by what Romney and Ryan are doing – we should take professional offense that any politician would try to whisk such a gigantic lie past us to our audiences, and we should take patriotic offense that anyone is trying to seize the White House using such transparently childish and dishonest tactics.
It was offensive to hear Paul Ryan try to say Social Security is "bankrupt," when Social Security's own report says it can pay full benefits for the next 20 years without any changes at all. After that time, there would have to be cuts to keep it going...for the next 50 years.
Redemption of trust fund assets from the General Fund of the Treasury will provide the resources needed to offset the annual cash-flow deficits. Since these redemptions will be less than interest earnings through 2020, nominal trust fund balances will continue to grow. The trust fund ratio, which indicates the number of years of program cost that could be financed solely with current trust fund reserves, peaked in 2008, declined through 2011, and is expected to decline further in future years. After 2020, Treasury will redeem trust fund assets in amounts that exceed interest earnings until exhaustion of trust fund reserves in 2033.... Thereafter, tax income would be sufficient to pay only about three-quarters of scheduled benefits through 2086.Biden rightfully ridiculed Ryan's false alarmism, and reminded people of how screwed they'd be if Ryan and Bush and company got their wish in 2005 to sell off part of Social Security and leave people's retirements up to the market instead of with the stability and promise of the current system.
And of course, if millionaires like Paul Ryan paid the same percentage I did in Social Security, the system wouldn't have to change anything else for several decades- in fact it could cover more people, encouraging earlier retirements and decreasing unemployment. Amaing how this obvious reality never comes up in the "liberal media."
Also amazing is how Ryan tried to argue that the current economic recovery is proof of Obama/Biden failures. As evidence, Ryan said that the job gains were lower in September than August (and they were, 114,000 vs. 162,000), but the average of the last 3 months is just over 145,000, right in line with the 12-month average of 150,500 jobs. And the chart of the last 3 years of job numbers sure doesn't indicate a stalling out to me.
Ryan has seen these numbers, but continues to try to lie to the public because he thinks they'll be ignorant enough to buy it. But when you see consumer confidence at its highest level in 5 years, I get the feeling that Ryan's whinin' about the "slow" economy is going to fall on deaf ears outside of the conserva-bubble.
Same goes for Ryan's crocodile tears about the deficit and national debt. As Biden pointed out, Ryan sure didn't give a shit about this when he was voting for two wars, two Bush tax cuts, and the Medicare Part D spending explosion in the early 2000s. These moves are the largest reasons behind our current structural deficits, and the financial crisis made it a double-whammy with deeper deficits (a crisis brought on by policies that Ryan favored).
Know something Ryan didn't say about the deficit? It it went down by more than $200 billion in the fiscal year that just ended on Sept. 30. Sure, it's still at $1.09 trillion and it needs to go down further (with raising taxes on the rich being the best way to do this), but it's at least the deficit's going in the right direction, and it's a decrease of more than 15% from last year. One of the biggest reasons why? Increased jobs and increased profits, as revenues were up more than 6% compared to fiscal 2011.
In contrast to the rising unemployment and recessions in austerity-afflicted Europe, U.S. deficits are going down while jobs are going up. So why are Romney/Ryan asking for European-style solutions for our growing U.S. economy?
Good question, and one I'd love to hear Obama make Mittens have to answer at the next debate on Tuesday the 16th. Obama was shown a lesson in how to treat these GOP charlatans from old master Joe Biden last night, now it's time for Barack to turn that lesson into action.