The Ryan Budget: New and Not Much
Made popular 1260 days ago in Opinion — Imagine a politician held a press conference in order to boast about a plan that would take health insurance away from tens of millions of people, while effectively eliminating the federal government except for entitlements and defense spending. You probably can’t, because no politician would ever do that.

Except Paul Ryan just did.

No, he didn’t put it in quite those terms. Instead, Ryan on Tuesday unveiled the latest version of his proposal for the federal budget, which he calls the “Path to Prosperity.” He vowed that it would reduce deficits, promote economic growth, and strengthen the safety net. The first two claims are dubious, at best. The third is just dishonest—and, if taken literally, morally bankrupt.

From afar and even up close, the new Ryan budget actually looks a lot like the old Ryan budget. It calls for a reduction in taxes that, if implemented, would likely give a disproportionate share of benefits to the wealthy. It calls for radically reducing discretionary spending, so that it is less than 4 percent of gross domestic product by 2050. And it calls for transforming Medicare into a voucher system.

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User Comments
Posted 1260 days ago
1 up votes, 0 down votes
Keep dreaming. Your desperation is deafening. Nice try. :-)
Posted 1260 days ago
0 up votes, 1 down votes
Posted by Daniel Horowitz (Diary)
Tuesday, March 20th at 4:38PM EDT
The much-anticipated Ryan budget for FY 2013, which also contains a blueprint for the next ten years, has been released. The headline figures of the proposal include the following factoids: it will spend $5.3 trillion less than Obama’s plan and cut $2 trillion more in taxes over the next ten years; it will spend $4.15 less than CBO baseline; spending will be reduced from 24% of GDP to 19.8% and the debt held by the public will decline from73.2% of GDP to 62.3%.

The lion’s share of the savings come from welfare and other mandatory spending reforms ($1.9 trillion), block granting Medicaid to the states ($810 billion), and repealing Obamacare ($1.6 trillion). There are also $33 billion in much-needed cuts to farm subsidies (some Republicans are already grumbling about that).

While the budget calls for just $350 billion in discretionary cuts relative to Obama’s budget and only $200 billion relative to CBO’s pre-sequester baseline, Ryan embraces more cuts through the sequester. He calls for a reconciliation act to parry the sequester cuts away from defense on onto the other undesirable branches of government. The motion would instruct 6 committees to find $261 billion in non-security discretionary cuts to offset the first few years of the sequester. Over 10 years, the sequester will cut $548 billion from defense (on top of the $500 billion already cut). The full impact of the sequester on defense spending will have to be addressed in future budgets.

This budget represents a good start and a path forward in the goal towards a balanced budget. However, the budget resolution in itself will never lead to a balanced budget any time within the next ten years. In fact, it would not balance until around 2040. Under Ryan’s plan, spending would still increase by about 3% a year after 2015. Here are some of the areas to improve upon for future budget proposals, such as the RSC budget:

Medicare: This is the 800-pound gorilla. Once again, defers the transition to premium support until after the 10-year budget frame. This is too late to achieve real savings and balance the budget in a reasonable amount of time. Also, I would have preferred that he stick to the original premium support plan that fully eliminates the government run-option, instead of the Ryan-Wyden plan which retains the traditional fee-for-service system as an option within premium support.
Social Security: Ryan left off Social Security reform from the ‘to do’ list of entitlement reform, as he did last year. It’s certainly tough to tackle both SS and Medicare, but we will be forced to reform both programs if we even desire something close to a balanced budget. Any conservative reform would include at least a partial privatization option, along with a reduction in the growth of benefits for those opting to stay in the current system.
Medicaid: Spending for Medicaid is out of control.
Posted 1260 days ago
0 up votes, 1 down votes
However it beats the Hell out of the democRAT budget proposal that they have been too cowardly to even present in over three years. How can you liberals and democrat sheeple defend the actions of your Congressional Senators and Reps who are so shallow and cowardly that they cannot even fulfill their legal obligations for fear they will have to run on the merits of whatever they propose. CHICKEN is the word!
Posted 1260 days ago
0 up votes, 0 down votes
Considering that Bush expanded and grew government to twice its size in order to avoid the recession that republican policies caused. Ryan and his comrades know nothing about managing government and even less about economics. This budget that hasn't changed very much only verifies one thing. REPUBLICANS HAVE NO IDEAS, NO PLANS AND NO WAY TO HELP, IMPROVE OR MOVE AMERICA FORWARD. They only know how to destroy.
Posted 1260 days ago
0 up votes, 0 down votes
@hank10303 Boo hoo. You are such an idiot. Your desperation and Bush bashing to keep your pretend president in office isn't going to work. The Americans will take it from here. :-)
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