Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged, begins with a simple question: Who is John Galt?
The answer comes in the last third of that 1957 book, where Galt emerges as the champion of capitalism and defender of Rand’s Objectivism philosophy, which has opposed:
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Federal Housing Assistance
- Food Stamps
- Head Start
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- Medicare & Medicaid
- Nationalized Health Care
- School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
- Social Security
- Special Supplemental Nutrition Program
- State Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
- The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
- Title XX Social Services Block Grant Program
- Trade Adjustment Assistance
- Workers’ Compensation
Galt was not real, but he was a hero to the children of many wealthy families. These sheltered capitalists-in-training saw Ayn Rand as a hero, because she espoused that caring for nobody but yourself was not selfish, but a virtue.
If you think such a cruel philosophy has no dedicated followers today, except for a few oddballs like Senator Rand Paul, you aren’t familiar with the ideas of the Speaker of the House.
Paul Ryan, who lost as vice presidential candidate under John McCain, once required all his staffers to read Atlas Shrugged, and supplied copies to them. He is the ultimate establishment stooge, opposing worker’s compensation, while being only one of 20 GOP reps who voted for $700 billion to pay off banks in the TARP fiasco.
Known as Paul “Gaunt” by some colleagues, because of his sunken eyes and horribly low six percent body fat, Ryan sides with Ayn Rand on every issue listed above.
His current House tax bill is nearly identical to proposals that Ryan has promoted for more than a decade – cut corporate taxes, eliminate ATM and Inheritance Tax, remove middle class tax deductions, and finally, starve the government of revenue in order to slice so-called entitlements.
Ryan announced last week that in 2018 the Republicans will be ready to put Medicare on the chopping block to pay for his tax cuts:
We’re going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform, which is how you tackle the debt and the deficit.
In Washington, entitlement reform means cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. Ryan’s proposed budget for this year already replaces Medicare with vouchers for those under 56, and cuts tens of billions from Medicaid and Social Security. He also plans to raise the retirement age for Social Security to 70, hike early retirement age from 62 to 65, and move the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65.
In 2016 older voters, who need Medicare to pay for their health care, put Donald Trump over the top. According to Election Day exit polls, Mr. Trump had a nearly 20-point margin among white seniors, a 28 percent lead among white voters ages 45 to 64, and a 37-point victory with white working-class voters.
Trump promised in 2013:
It’s not unreasonable for people who paid into a system for decades to expect to get their money’s worth – that’s not an ‘entitlement,’ that’s honoring a deal.
Now, Ryan is sounding like a guy who thinks he’s convinced the President to take a 180-degree turn on Medicare. Ryan has announced that he has been speaking privately with President Trump, and that the president has started to agree to cutting entitlements.
As Ryan explained:
I think the president is understanding choice and competition works everywhere, especially in Medicare.
Ryan has strong support in the House for cutting benefits, but nothing will take effect in 2018, an election year. In early 2019 the elite’s push will begin to cudgel seniors.
The big money is on Ryan and gang. The Koch boys – Davy and Charley – spent some $800 million on GOP candidates opposing “entitlements” last year. Their father, Fred Koch, was a founder of the John Birch Society, which also opposes all government programs, except the Defense and Justice departments. (The rich need protection and are willing to pay for it.)
And Ryan also has supplicants in the Senate. Marco Rubio has been foaming at the mouth over benefit cuts he says are needed next year, and the Tea Party is drooling on its bib at the same prospect.
On the evening of the 2014 State of the Union address, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell begged President Barack Obama to:
allow us to save and strengthen Medicare and to cooperate with both parties to save Social Security.
Save and strengthen means extending eligibility age, reducing or eliminating cost of living adjustments, lowering formulas for initial benefits, and transferring FICA taxes into Wall Street investments.
Not to worry? After all, during the Primary, Mr. Trump tweeted:
There will be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid.
Ryan doesn’t agree, and neither do the Wall Street vets in the White House, who urged these cuts before their appointments, but now hide their opinions – just like alligators pretending to have no teeth.