Truth or consequences

Facts have never gotten in the way of the conspiracy frenzy against President Barack Obama.

There’s a Chinese proverb which states, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while truth is putting on its shoes,” How could ancient Chinese wisdom have foreseen the impact of today’s technology?

DemWit has long railed against those undocumented and unattributed emails which people accept as gospel and cannot wait to pass along. The ones which always admonish the naïve: “This ia a must-read” and “Send this to everyone on your list.” And, let's face it, this is a phenomenon of the right-wing.

Sadly, it seems, these emails are the primary source of information for those just too damn lazy to think and research for themselves.

From such naivete was born the “birther” idiocy, and no amount of proof has shut down this vicious red herring.

In order to get on with the nation’s pressing business, the president of the United States decided enough is enough. Here are his remarks at a press conference yesterday:

OBAMA: Hello, everybody. Now, let me just comment, first of all, on the fact that I can't get the networks to break in on all kinds of other discussions.


I was just back there listening to Chuck. He was saying, it’s amazing that he’s not going to be talking about national security. I would not have the networks breaking in if I was talking about that, Chuck, and you know it.

Q. Wrong channel. (Laughter)

OBAMA: As many of you have been briefed, we provided additional information today about the site of my birth. Now, this issue has been going on for two, two and a half years now. I think it started during the campaign. And I have to say that over the last two and a half years I have watched with bemusement, I've been puzzled at the degree to which this thing just kept on going. We've had every official in Hawaii, Democrat and Republican, every news outlet that has investigated this, confirm that, yes, in fact, I was born in Hawaii, August 4, 1961, in Kapiolani Hospital.

We've posted the certification that is given by the state of Hawaii on the Internet for everybody to see. People have provided affidavits that they, in fact, have seen this birth certificate. And yet this thing just keeps on going.

Now, normally I would not comment on something like this, because obviously there’s a lot of stuff swirling in the press on at any given day and I've got other things to do. But two weeks ago, when the Republican House had put forward a budget that will have huge consequences potentially to the country, and when I gave a speech about my budget and how I felt that we needed to invest in education and infrastructure and making sure that we had a strong safety net for our seniors even as we were closing the deficit, during that entire week the dominant news story wasn’t about these huge, monumental choices that we're going to have to make as a nation. It was about my birth certificate. And that was true on most of the news outlets that were represented here.

And so, I just want to make a larger point here. We've got some enormous challenges out there. There are a lot of folks out there who are still looking for work. Everybody is still suffering under high gas prices. We're going to have to make a series of very difficult decisions about how we invest in our future but also get a hold of our deficit and our debt - how do we do that in a balanced way.

And this is going to generate huge and serious debates, important debates. And there are going to be some fierce disagreements - and that’s good. That’s how democracy is supposed to work. And I am confident that the American people and America’s political leaders can come together in a bipartisan way and solve these problems. We always have.

But, we’re not going to be able to do it if we are distracted. We’re not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other. We’re not going to be able to do it if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts. We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.

We live in a serious time right now and we have the potential to deal with the issues that we confront in a way that will make our kids and our grandkids and our great grandkids proud. And I have every confidence that America in the 21st Century is going to be able to come out on top just like we always have. But, we’re going to have to get serious to do it.

I know that there’s going to be a segment of people for which, no matter what we put out, this issue will not be put to rest. But, I’m speaking to the vast majority of the American people, as well as to the press. We do not have time for this kind of silliness. We’ve got better stuff to do. I’ve got better stuff to do. We’ve got big problems to solve. And, I’m confident we can solve them, but we’re going to have to focus on them - not on this.

Thanks very much, everybody.


Every American has the right and the duty to criticize our elected leaders when they need it, but this issue has been shameful.

Now, back to those circulated emails: those of you who read and pass them along, without any verification, are doing great harm to your country. I mean that. Just yesterday a friend shared with me one which maliciously took words out of context from Obama's book, The Audacity of Hope. The original author of the email was counting on those who had not read the book to spread the propaganda. And spread it they did, and the lie it contains has been circulating since the book was published.

The Intrnet and the World Wide Web are such powerful tools. There are facts at our fingertips, and I simply do not understand why people choose to spend time, which might otherwise be put to research, reading and forwarding lies.

In doing so, you are doing the bidding of politial hired guns who soullessly sit at computer banks and play off your gullibility.

Or, hasn’t that ever crossed your mind?

I leave you, dear reader, with these words from German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer:

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”


Easing into a second childhood

Yesterday I turned 69 and, as planned for some time now, began to ease into my second childhood. To mark the passage, I have for the last couple of weeks. with a selection of books, celebrated those carefree days of youth.

With special thanks to the talented readers at Talking Books Services for the Visually Impaired, I recommend:

J. K. Rowling

For the third time, I listened to the seven books comprising J. K. Rowling’s unsurpassed and ultimate children’s saga. Her genius lies in letting her books “grow up” with her readers, and what emerged was a story for all ages.

For me the most magical words in these magical works were those spoken by brave little Neville Longbottom during the battle fought in the Ministry of Magic’s Department of Mysteries.

With five friends lying injured or unconscious, Harry is cornered by ten of Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Lucius Malfoy tells him, “You are not in a position to bargain, Potter. You see, there are ten of us and only one of you. Or, hasn’t Dumbledore ever taught you how to count?”

Neville staggers into the Death Chamber, his wand at the ready, and through his bloody nose shouts, “He’s dot alone! He’s still god be!” (“He’s not alone! He’s still got me!”)

And me. And a world of readers.

A. A. Milne

The author based “Winnie the Pooh” and “The House at Pooh Corner” on his own son, Christopher Robin Milne, and the boy’s collection of stuffed animals. Milne gave his wife full credit for suggesting his stories, and dedicated the first book, “To her: Hand in hand we come, Christopher Robin and I, to lay this book in your lap. Say you’re surprised, say you like it, say it’s just what you wanted, because it’s yours, because we love you.”

From the book jacket: “Elegant yet simple; whimsical yet wise.”

Milne takes you to “an enchanted place” and leaves you there.

Kenneth Grahame

“The mole had been working very hard all the morning, spring cleaning his little home, first with brooms, then with dusters, then on ladders and steps and chairs with a brush and a pail of whitewash ‘til he had dust in his throat and eyes and splashes of whitewash all over his black fur and an aching back and weary arms.

“Spring was moving in the air above and in the earth below and around him, penetrating even his dark and lowly little house with its spirit of divine discontent and longing. It was small wonder, then, that he suddenly flung down his brush on the floor and said, ‘Bother!’ And ‘oo-bloo!’ And also, ‘Hang spring cleaning!’ and bolted out of the house without even waiting to put on his coat. Something up above was calling him imperiously, and he made for the steep little tunnel which answered in his case to the graveled carriage drive owned by animals whose residences are nearer to the sun and air.

“So, he scraped and scratched and scrabbled and scrootched, and then he scrootched again, and scrabbled and scratched and scraped, working busily with his little paws and muttering to himself, ‘Up we go! Up we go!’ ‘til at last – pop! – his snout came out into the sunlight. …”

These opening words about a little blind animal, tired of cleaning, grabbed my heart in a personal way. It’s terrible to clean and not be able to see the results of your labor. He escaped from drudgery into a world where he – and I – can behold the wonders Grahame’s word pictures create.

Harper Lee

Although I’ve seen the film many times, I had never read this modern-day classic. I added it to my reading list because it is primarily the story of children, learning about life from the adults around them. So, once more, here are Scout, Jem, Dill, Boo Radley and Atticus Finch, this time in Miss Lee’s words.

C. S. Lewis

And finally, in the days ahead, 31 hours of listening to “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and the six other stories in C. S. Lewis’ fictional fantasy.

All of these books transport you to another world - whether Hogwarts, The Hundred-Acre Wood, Toad Hall or a small Southern town – where children are brave, animals sometimes talk, magic in all its senses is real and goodness prevails.


If I don’t achieve a second childhood, I will have at least achieved a degree of purification – armor against realities and the ever-stifling effects of commiserating with the elderly.


Foaming at the mouth

“The Don” must be eating his “Success by Trump” bubble bath, because the man seems to be foaming at the mouth these days, quite literally running himself into the ground.

Ticked off over Karl Rove’s criticism of his “birther” obsession, Trump lambasted the former Bush strategist on Fox News last night.

CNN’s “Political Ticker” quotes the presidential-waters tester:

"Karl Rove has a loser issue...[he] is the man that ran Bush into the ground. Bush finished so weak that we ended up getting Obama. He ran the man into the ground.

"The more I see about Karl Rove, the more I realize: maybe it wasn't completely Bush's fault,The fact is that Abraham Lincoln couldn't have beaten Obama because Bush finished so weakly, so I don't want to listen to Karl Rove."

With vivid memories of the smirk on Rove’s face as he dodged reporters’ questions about Valerie Plame Wilson, I am no fan of Bush’s so-called “Architect,” but it’s hardly fair to blame him for the obvious.

A Gallup poll yesterday reported Trump is the favorite presidential hopeful among “liberal Republicans.” Liberal Republicans could hold a convention in a phone booth, so let’s hope these numbers don’t go to Trump’s coifed head.

It’s almost a letdown that we won’t be seeing a Trump-Obama debate. I’d pay good money for that. I suspect Karl Rove would, too.


Oops, there goes another lie, kerplunk!

”Taxes: Myths, Lies and Deception.” That’s the intriguing title of The Progress Report, Center for American Progress, for Tax Day, 18 April 2011. I’ll summarize it for DemWit readers:

MYTH #1: Americans are unhappy paying taxes (as the Tea Party Movement would have us believe). A number of recent polls, including the Associated Press, Fox News and Gallup, show the majority of Americans say their taxes are "fair" and understand they pay for vital government programs and projects. The Fox News poll shows 43 percent say taxes are "unfair," while the majority say they are fair.

MYTH #2: The working poor don't pay taxes. Well, yes, they do. They pay payroll taxes just like everyone. And on the state and local levels, they pay a higher percentage of taxes than the rich. In Alabama, the working poor pay 11 percent in taxes. while the rich pay only 4 percent.

MYTH #3: Obama has raised taxes. Not true. "Federal income taxes under Obama are the lowest they have been since 1950."



For Part 1 of this lies v. truth thing, see Demwit's previous post.


GOP BS: myth vs. math

These figures don’t lie, so if you’re tired of the harangue, homily, hysteria and hypocrisy about which presidents have run up the national debt, read on.

The following figures show the national debt percentage of the gross domestic product (GDP) at the beginning and the end of the terms of American presidents since WWII. Source for figures: Congressional Budget Office.

Franklin D. Roosevelt/Harry S. Truman (D) 1945-1949: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 117.5%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 93.1%.
Change: Down 24.4%

Harry S. Truman (D) 1949-1953: Debt/GDP at beginning of term, 93.1%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 71.4%.
Change: Down 21.7%

Dwight D. Eisenhower (R) 1953-1957: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 71.4%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 60.4%.
Change: Down 11%

Dwight D. Eisenhowerr (R) 1957-1961: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 60.4%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 55.2%.
Change: Down 5.2%

John F. Kennedy/Lyndon B. Johnson (D) 1961-1965: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 55.2%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 46.9%.
Change: Down 8.3%

Lyndon B. Johnson (D) 1965-1969: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 46.9%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 38.6%.
Change: Down 8.3%

Richard M. Nixon (R) 1969-1973: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 38.6%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 35.6%.
Change: Down 3%

Richard M. Nixon/Gerald Ford (R) 1973-1977: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 35.6%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 35.8%.
Change: Up 0.2%

Jimmy Carter (D) 1977-1981: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 35.8%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 32.5%.
Change: Down 3.3%

Ronald Reagan (R) 1981-1985: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 32.5%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 43.8%.
Change: Up 11.3%

Ronald Reagan (R) 1985-1989: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 43.8%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 53.1%.
Change: Up 9.3%

George H.W. Bush (R) 1989-1993: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 53.1%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 66.1%.
Change: Up 15%

Bill Clinton (D) 1993-1997: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 66.1%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 65.4%.
Change: Down 0.7%

Bill Clinton (D) 1997-2001: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 65.4%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 56.4%.
Change: Down 9%

George W. Bush (R) 2001-2005: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 56.4%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 63.4%.
Change: Up 7.1%

George W. Bush (R) 2005-2009: Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 63.4%. Debt/GDP at end of term: 83.4%.
Change: Up 20%

Barack Obama (D) 2009 -. Debt/GDP at beginning of term: 83.4%.


So, there you have it, boys and girls, every Democratic president since Harry Truman has reduced the public debt share of the GDP. And, what's amazing, still managed to push through legislation beneficial to all Americans.

The last four Republican presidents – Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush – have overseen increases in America’s debt, clearly marking a shift from true conservatism.

If I were a gambling woman I’d place my bets on Obama to pull us out of this fiscal mess.

And, to those who trust cureent GOP leaders to do their research and their thinking, read my lips:



Middle ground or a morphed America?

A few words from CNN’s cover story of the president’s fiscal policy address today at George Washington University:

“Obama's approach seeks to carve out a political middle ground between conservatives -- who are pushing for deficit reduction based solely on spending cuts and expected economic growth -- and liberals, who are generally resisting entitlement reform and seeking higher corporate and personal taxes.

“He called for political leaders to put aside orthodox party ideology and work together for the good of the country, saying ‘we can solve this problem’ while noting that ‘any serious plan to tackle our deficit will require us to put everything on the table, and take on excess spending wherever it exists in the budget.’

“At the same time, Obama blasted the House Republican 2012 budget proposal unveiled last week, saying it would ‘lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we've known throughout most of our history.’

"‘These are the kind of cuts that tell us we can't afford the America that I believe in and that I think you believe in,’ Obama said of the plan by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, who sat in the audience Wednesday. ‘I believe it paints a vision of our future that's deeply pessimistic.’"

Read about Ryan’s proposals linked at the top of DemWit’s sidebar.

TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS: LINK (Note: For easy access to beginning of speech, go to the top of your screen, click on “edit,” then “find in top window” and type in: Here’s the president)


DemWit's words made plainer

I don’t have a Nobel Prize in economics, but this guy does. If I haven’t made myself clear over the last few days, along comes Paul Krugman in The New York Times to reiterate exactly what I’ve been saying in both my posts and my comments on the posts.

Only plainer.

Few political gambits have made me angrier than that pulled off by Republicans Friday night, so I wasn’t too receptive to President Obama’s words of praise for bipartisan accomplishment. And frankly, with so much at stake for so many Americans, all that BS about the Washington Monument turned me off.

As "Frodo" said in his last comment here, it’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re stupid than to open it and remove all doubt. So, let me shut up. Let a Nobel laureate say it:

“The President Is Missing,” Paul Krugman, The New York Times, 10 April 2011: LINK


Don't call Boehner 'stupid'

When John Boehner and House Republicans pushed through a last-minute bill demanding cuts to Planned Parenthood and stripping the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to control greenhouse emissions – as discussed in DemWit’s last post – they knew exactly what they were doing.

This was ideological trickery at its best. In addition to titillating his base, Boehner’s “social issues” scheme had America holding its collective breath, but, hey, a group of eighth-graders will now get to visit the Washington Monument.

The front page of The New York Times (LINK) sums it up nicely:

“Although both sides compromised, Republicans were able to force significant spending concessions from Democrats in exchange for putting to rest some of the vexing social policy fights that had held up the agreement.”

In his 11th hour comments to the nation, Obama continued to express his desire for both parties to work together for America’s future, calling spending cuts “painful” to many Americans and saying WE must begin to “live within our means.”

Now, whether the president means an editorial “we” referring to the government or to me as a citizen is unclear. (The New York Times article interprets the "we" as meaning Americans.) I have always lived within my means. My problem is, like so many Americans, my means ain't keeping up with the times.

I am not yet clear on how “painful” the historic $38 billion spending cuts deal will be. That requires further reading on my part, but I am clear on one thing.

Don’t call Boehner "stupid."


Read or view President Obama’s late-night remarks on the budget deal HERE.



It’s not enough that House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduced a highly controversial spending proposal during budget negotiations - one that would compromise healthcare needs for 100 million Americans - but now House Republicans have pushed through a bill which makes it look to the less-than-informed as if the GOP wants to keep the government running.

But, in the bill which passed the House today by a vote of 247 to 181, the GOP doubled down with a couple of tried-and-true measures to rile the low-end of their base and satiate the high-end.

When all else fails throw in the hot-button issue of abortion and, by all means, let business know the environment will never trump profits.

In what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid correctly deems “ideological,” Republicans “are no longer on how much savings we will get on government spending."

Today, they have thrown in provisions that would strip all funding from Planned Parenthood as well as prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

President Obama, won't you use your bully pulpit, look into the cameras and tell the American people just how lowdown and dirty this ideological trickery is? Don’t let the Republicans come out smelling like a rose while the naïve blame a government shutdown on Democrats.

Enough, already!



Messing it up!

My son Michael entered first grade about the time this country began to be aware of the environment. The word “ecology” had just entered the lexicon.

Michael came home from school one day with an assignment to make a poster about the environment, and I left him to his own devices. The finished poster had drawings of a few stars, the moon, the sun surround by rays, a fish, a bird in flight, a cat and a banana. All this resulted in a colorful work of art, but it was the words of a six-year-old, meticulously printed, which hit home:

“God created Heaven and Earth. Don’t you mess it up.”

Massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Dying honeybees.

More and more animals on the endangered species list.

Depleted rain forests.

Natural habitats destroyed.

Global warming.

A glut of medical waste, nuclear waste and unrecycled garbage.

Deadly chemicals in our lakes, rivers, streams and aquifers.

Acid rain.

And now this:

“Water gushing into the Pacific Ocean from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has radiation levels millions of times above the regulatory limit.”

In 1976, my biology professor was comparing our environmental challenges to a stack of cans at the grocery. One by one, he said, the cans would be removed until the whole stack crumbled.

I raised my hand and asked, “When will the last can be removed?”

“Fifty years ago,” he answered.

Earth isn’t going away. Our hermitage was here eons ago and will be here eons more.

How long before Homo sapiens are added to the endangered species list?

Now, it’s time for some smart ass Republican to call me a “tree hugger.”

PHOTO: NASA's "Blue Marble Earth"


Earth Day is coming on April 22. This year's theme is "A Billion Acts of Green." Go HERE to find out how YOU can help.


To a friend on Monday morning

My buddy Chris and I didn't let up all weekend, most of the time spent cooking my 16-quart boiler full of stuff for the freezer. Plus lots of little chores he helps me with. When his folks picked him up at 7:30 Sunday night, I opted to sit and relax and listen to my book, then slept from midnight until 8 this morning.

For that reason, I didn't get a chance to read the news articles I had saved to Word until this morning, including the ones about the killings over the Quran burning. While what Terry Jones did is despicable, there is no excuse for passion that leads to the deaths of innocent people. I agree wholeheartedly with this quote from President Obama:

"The desecration of any holy text ... is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry. However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity."

You and I, my friend, would not go out and kill a bunch of innocent people if we witnessed the Holy Bible being burned. These killings are the result of fanaticism on both sides - Terry Jones' church and Muslim protesters. Looks like the "Crusades" are going to last forever. Terry Jones has had his "15 minutes of fame," but Americans will see these killings as one more excuse to condemn Islam. I swear ignorance just seems to prevail, doesn't it?

Just thought I would get back to you on this. When you initially emailed me about the killings at the UN compound, I had not been able to keep up with what's happening in the world. Many days now I don't get much in the way of news at all, other than scanning headlines. I am just so limited now in what I can read, because it just takes me so long to do so.

Last week I spent most days reading all those comments (76, so far) about Obama on Parsley’s Pics (because I was interested both in what the "hard left" Obama-bashers and his defenders were saying) AND reading Obama's address to the nation on Libya as well as reactions - pro and con. For that reason I didn't get around to the news. I wish I could find a Web site which would email a daily briefing on all the IMPORTANT news stories of the day, rather than insignificant crap and the latest antics of Sarah Palin!

I get a lot from the Center for American Progress' daily Progress Report, but quite often at the end of the week, I find myself deleting all of them without even opening them. I sure hate that.

I did manage to read the CNN article about Ryan's proposed Medicare, Medicaid cuts and decided to put it on DemWit. I swear I believe Republican leaders would be happy if all poor folks just died and got out of the way. I will never understand their lack of empathy and sympathy for the poor. Then, they claim they love Jesus. Can’t make that work in my head. Haven’t they read The Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes?

I am babbling, aren't I? I hope you have a good week, Ever think about taking a week off from the computer? Believe me, I have!

Love you, BJ


In the post that follows, Ryan’s proposals to cut Medicare, Medicaid while continuing to push permanent benefits for the wealthy are discussed. Full text and audio of Jesus' Sermon on the Mount containing the Beatitudes HERE.


The known unknowns of Ryan's plan

DemWit shares the following CNN.com article in the hopes of educating readers to the known unknowns of House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan, to be announced Tuesday.

In preparing GOP leaders for his very controversial proposals, Ryan uses fear, pointing out that without his plan:

"By the time my kids are my age, just those three programs - Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare - will consume all federal revenues. There will be no room for anything else in the federal budget."

Despite claims that no one over the age of 55 will be affected by Paul’s healthcare entitlement cuts, take a close look at $1 trilion in Medicaid cuts, which will eviscerate assistance for low-income American families.


House GOP budget to call for big changes to Medicare, Medicaid

by Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh
April 2, 2011

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's spending plan is to be unveiled Tuesday

Washington (CNN) - House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, will unveil a highly anticipated 2012 Republican budget next week that proposes dramatic changes to political lightning rods: entitlements.

The plan, to be released Tuesday, calls for a controversial overhaul of Medicare, the health care program for seniors, and imposes deep cuts in Medicaid, which provides health benefits to low-income Americans, according to House Republican sources with knowledge of the proposal.

Starting 10 years from now, in 2021, Americans would no longer enroll in the Medicare program, but instead receive vouchers for private insurance, according to the GOP sources, who stressed anyone 55 or older now would not be affected by the change.

The plan is modeled after one Ryan proposed last year with Alice Rivlin, budget director under President Bill Clinton.

Details of how Ryan's Medicare voucher program would work are still unclear, but the Ryan-Rivlin plan said the amount of the voucher -- a lump sum payment from the government -- would be calculated in part by taking the average federal cost per Medicare enrollee.

The GOP aims to save billions of dollars in revamping Medicare, a large contributor to the massive federal deficit and debt.

Sources said they did not yet know how much savings Ryan would project by drastically changing the Medicare program.

On Medicaid, Ryan's plan calls for deep cuts, as much as $1 trillion. The program would also fundamentally change -- the federal share of the Medicaid system would become block grants to the states.

CNN has been told that the House GOP budget plan does not call for significant change to the Social Security program. Republicans argue that while Social Security is a factor in the nation's fiscal crisis, it doesn't contribute as much to the soaring debt as Medicare.

Two House GOP lawmakers briefed on the proposal told CNN they and others on the House Budget Committee believe it's a mistake not to tackle Social Security.

As for so-called discretionary spending, one of the sources -- who would not speak on the record before the plan is publicly announced -- said Ryan's proposal promises to roll back spending to 2006 levels.

It's unclear how much that would slash, but it is expected to be far more than the roughly $61 billion in spending cuts House Republicans passed in February.

Ryan is expected to give specifics on how much savings the plan would create when it is unveiled Tuesday.

One GOP source said even with the major cuts and changes in Ryan's proposal -- essentially a blueprint that guides spending decisions and does not go to the president for his signature -- it would not bring the budget into balance for many years.

Still, GOP sources briefed on the plan said it would save hundreds of billions of dollars more than the president's proposed 2012 budget, and trillions over the next 10 years.

The budget would also cut the corporate tax rate, but at the same time do away with tax loopholes for corporations.

Ryan's plan also provides for a permanent extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts, which under a compromise with President Barack Obama were extended last year through 2012.

House Republican leaders have been signaling for some time that they plan dramatic and controversial changes to entitlement programs in order to rein in the budget deficit and debt.

Knowing that the proposed changes will be politically risky and elicit an onslaught of criticism, Ryan and Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy have been holding sessions two or three times a week with House Republicans to try to arm them with information about the gravity of the debt problem and why it needs to be fixed.

CNN was allowed into one of these meetings last month, and heard Ryan lay out for his GOP colleagues in stark terms what he calls the "tidal wave" of debt the country is facing.

"The Congressional Budget Office has this economic model where they measure the economy going forward, and they are telling us that the entire economy crashes in the year 2037 because their computer simulation can't conceive of any way in which the U.S. economy can continue," Ryan told the GOP group.

"By the time my kids are my age, just those three programs -- Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare --will consume all federal revenues. There will be no room for anything else in the federal budget," Ryan said.

When Ryan proposed a version of his Medicare overhaul idea last year, known as his "road map," Democrats skewered it and tried to use it as a campaign weapon against Republicans across the country.

Obama has often said it is important for Washington to address entitlement spending. But the president has not offered any specific proposals, and Republicans suggest he wants them to take the first risky steps.

Multiple GOP sources admit the timing of Ryan's 2012 budget proposal is tricky. It will be released in the middle of down-to-the-wire, contentious negotiations with Democrats about a spending measure to keep the government running for the rest of this 2011 fiscal year.

CNN has been told that GOP leaders considered delaying the release of Ryan's budget until this year's spending differences are resolved. However, they decided to go ahead with it in hopes showing major cuts and reforms planned for next year will calm rank-and-file conservatives who feel the leadership is too compromising on spending cuts.


This is another GOP effort to privatize entitlement programs, putting the private business sector ahead of the healthcare of Americans. I cannot put it any clearer.

Low-income Americans - indeed, all Americans - should listen closely to the echo of Ryan’s announcement Tuesday. His words to the poor and to anyone with the heart to care will reverberate across this nation: If you can't afford medical care without this help, "Just die!”