The problem with the Paul Ryan plan: It's not nearly radical enough
Paul Ryan's budget plan is not radical. In fact, it adds 5 to 6 trillion dollars to US debt. More important, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem bankrupting America: government redistribution of wealth. Unless we make fundamental changes to government, we'll stay on the road to ruin.
Grove City, Pa.
Here’s a question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan that would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while also increasing Uncle Sam’s annual expenditures by $1.1 trillion? If so, you’re in luck. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin has put forth just such a plan.Skip to next paragraph
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Initially, Democrats denounced Mr. Ryan’s plan as “radical.” From their perspective, adding “only” 5 or 6 trillion dollars of new debt is radically stingy. From a conservative perspective, adding that much debt seems radically irresponsible, if not dangerous.
More recently, perhaps recognizing that more and more voters understand that an ever-ballooning national debt is unviable, Democrats have floated an embryonic plan to increase the federal debt over the next decade by $4 trillion less than is currently planned. They plan to do this through a combination of tax increases and different spending cuts than what Republicans envision. Call it Gridlock 3.0.
The fact that Ryan’s plan to add multi-trillion dollars to the national debt is the most fiscally “conservative” deficit and debt-reducing proposal on the table today shows just how far the goalposts have been moved in American politics. How would you like your government debt, Mr. or Ms. Citizen – gargantuan or astronomical?
What about the 'war on the young?'
The Ryan Plan, if implemented, would cut $179 billion from President Obama’s planned spending in 2012 and another $241 billion in 2013. Why is it “radical” to propose a decrease of $179 billion but it was not “radical” to raise spending by $787 billion like Mr. Obama did with his stimulus package in 2009?
Ryan’s plan is bold in comparison to the status quo in Washington, but it isn’t radical. You want “radical?” How about getting government out of the medical field entirely? Since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, medical costs have soared far beyond the rate of inflation. More than that, market competition has diminished and fraud and inefficiency have increased in lockstep with the growth of these two medical bureaucracies.
Ryan proposes to reform Medicare and Medicaid so that the programs don’t bankrupt the country. Why is that demonized as a “war on the elderly and poor” (the phraseology of Illinois Democrat Jan Schakowsky), but nobody talks about waging a “war on the young” by saddling the rising generation with trillions of dollars of debt?