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August 14, 2012

So, you think Paul Ryan's plan is somehow 'radical,' right?

Topics: Political News and commentaries

If you've been taking-in the liberal Mediscare-Kool-Aid and believe that Paul Ryan's plan is somehow "radical," perhaps you might want to rethink that craziness and get a reality check:

We're hearing a lot of scaaaaaaaary things about Paul Ryan's budget proposal. Taxes will go through the roof on the poor! Budgets will get slashed to Calvin Coolidge levels! Federal spending on wheelchairs will go up -- only so we can push grandmas off of cliffs more efficiently!

Does any of this even approach reality? Investors Business Daily does what no other media outlet can apparently do, and actually reads Ryan's budget plan, which is so super-secret that it's part of the Congressional Record. (I hear that one can find the Lost Ark and the Charm of Making there, too.) Is the Ryan budget plan for long-term structural reform of federal spending and entitlement programs radical? Hardly:

His proposed spending and revenue levels are above historic averages. His Medicare reform has strong bipartisan support. His tax reform plan is similar to one proposed by Obama's own bipartisan debt reduction commission.

Ryan's budget, which passed the House last March, would set the federal government on course to spend an average of 20% of GDP over the next decade. That's slightly higher than the post-World War II average of 19.8%.

His tax plan would produce revenues averaging 18.3% of GDP. That, too, is somewhat higher than the 17.7% post-war average. What’s more, Ryan's plan would set tax and spending rates higher than every Democratic president before Obama.

IBD includes this handy chart to measure Ryan's spending and revenue plans against post-WWII historic averages:


The chart explains why some conservatives don't particularly like Ryan's approach. It's too moderate. In their view, it takes too long to bring the federal budget into balance (more than two decades), and it still spends too much money. Fiscal conservatives would prefer to see an 18% limit on federal spending, or perhaps even lower, as Congress eliminates entire departments of the federal government and devolves responsibility for their work to the states.

Much more here. As is pointed out at the link, there is an 'on the other hand' ... Ryan's budget actually works, and it plays in the arena of the possible, at least in today's political and media climate. Under Ryan's plan, Medicare spending in the near term would track levels set by Obama. Unlike Obama, however, Ryan wouldn't use any of those near-term savings to finance ObamaCare, but would direct all that to extending the Medicare Trust Fund. This, not to mention the fact that, as IBD points out, Obama's budget would increase federal spending to levels reached or exceeded only seven years out of the past 65 -- and three of those were under Obama.

Posted by Hyscience at August 14, 2012 1:34 PM

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