The Republican budget is SO loony it’s even scaring the right-wing nuts! How often does THAT happen?

The Republicans are voting on their budget plan this week. The plan eliminates Medicare and guts Medicaid, guts the rest of the government (except the things their oil company and military-contractor sponsors make money from), while dramatically cutting taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Reporters are asking Republicans to comment publicly on the plan and the responses are not what you’d expect. When reporters use “tread cautiously” to describe ANYthing Republicans do, you know something’s up.

LA Times: Boehner treads cautiously on Ryan plan,

House Speaker John Boehner offered qualified support for Rep. Paul Ryan’s sweeping budget blueprint, which would convert Medicare into largely a private insurance system and transform Medicaid into a state-run block grant program. … Boehner said he believed the Ryan plan will reduce the debt and will preserve Medicare – but stopped short of singing its praises.

Washington Post: Republican presidential candidates tread carefully GOP budget plan,

Mindful of the political risks, most Republican presidential hopefuls treaded gingerly after House Republicans unveiled a budget plan that would slash federal spending by about $5 trillion over 10 years while revamping health programs for the elderly and poor.

“Revamping” is reporter-speak for eliminating, privatizing, abolishing, doing away with.

Several, including former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, praised the budget’s sponsor, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, but stopped short of fully endorsing the blueprint and didn’t indicate whether they backed the massive changes in Medicare and Medicaid.

“Massive changes” is more reporter-speak for wiping out, killing, destroying, sending to Heaven.

LA Times: House GOP faces risky vote on Medicare, Medicaid,

Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Palm Springs) commended Ryan “for his willingness to begin a long-overdue and critically important debate.” But she “continues to review this legislation,” including its effect on Medicare,

Even members of the freshman class, who ran on cutting deficits and upending political convention in Washington, are treading carefully. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican whose Pennsylvania district was held by a Democrat for nearly 30 years before his victory in November, declined to comment on how he would vote.

Rep. Sean Duffy, a Republican freshman from a working-class, erstwhile Democratic district in northwestern Wisconsin, also has praised Ryan but has not yet signed on publicly to the plan.

Politico: Some in GOP squirm over Paul Ryan budget,

Rep. Tim Murphy … is still undecided. Susan Mosychuk, Murphy’s chief of staff, said it’s a “high-profile vote” that they are “still taking a look at.”

Rep. Gus Bilirakis … is “still looking it over and trying to decide.” …

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) … said he’s undecided.

Rep. Steve Southerland … is in the same place as Bilirakis.

So is Ohio freshman Rep. Jim Renacci. “He’s still reviewing it,” …

Even The Base

In Plurality of Republicans want Medicare left alone, Ezra Klein cites a Gallup poll showing that even Republican voters don’t like the Republican budget.

The most popular position in the GOP’s coalition isn’t that Medicare needs a complete overhaul, as Ryan thinks. It isn’t that it needs major changes, or even that it needs minor changes. It’s that we shouldn’t try and control costs at all. That’s not true for the Democrats’ coalition, where both “minor changes” and “major changes” beat “no cost control,” and it’s not true for the independent coalition, where “minor changes” at least tie cost control.

And in more bad news for the GOP, elsewhere in the poll, raising taxes on the rich turns out to be very popular, while a plurality further cuts in programs.

Even Bachmann!

Saving the best for last, from the above-cited House GOP faces risky vote on Medicare, Medicaid,

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), who is considering a presidential bid, said the plan “merits our full attention,” but didn’t go further.

Whoa, even Rep. Michelle Bachmann thinks it’s nuts! When Michelle Bachman thinks something is nuts, you are waaaayyyy past nuts and into full-on, screaming, idiotic, crazy, frothing, hallucinating, straight-jacket-wrapped, padded-cell, chasing-with-a-net budget lunacy.

This post originally appeared at Campaign for America’s Future (CAF) at their Blog for OurFuture. I am a Fellow with CAF.

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About the Author

Dave Johnson

Dave Johnson (Redwood City, CA) is a Fellow at Campaign for America's Future, writing about American manufacturing, trade and economic/industrial policy. He is also a Senior Fellow with Renew California. Dave has more than 20 years of technology industry experience including positions as CEO and VP of marketing. His earlier career included technical positions, including video game design at Atari and Imagic. And he was a pioneer in design and development of productivity and educational applications of personal computers. More recently he helped co-found a company developing desktop systems to validate carbon trading in the US.

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