Economics, Pethokoukis, Taxes and Spending

Unleash Paul Ryan!

Image Credit: Tony Alter (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Image Credit: Tony Alter (Flickr) (CC BY 2.0)

Paul Ryan isn’t a backbencher, he’s chairman of the House Budget Committee. As such, the budget plan he released today is a document of politics, a document of compromise. Yes, the updated “Path to Prosperity” contains the core elements of Ryanomics — tax reform, premium-support Medicare, Medicaid block granting, patient-driven health care. On these rocks, Ryan has smartly built the GOP economic agenda.

But since Ryan’s PTP also serves as the fiscal 2014 budget resolution for House Republicans, the blueprint is far from ideal:

1.  If the GOP’s Medicare reform plan is such a good idea (and budget deficits are such a problem), it should be implemented before 2024. Ryan knows this, surely.

2. There’s no Social Security reform plan.

3.  The plan repeals Obamacare, which is highly unlikely. Better to have shown how the ACA can be fixed.

4. The plan lowers the top tax rate to 25%, which, like an Obamacare repeal, ain’t going to happen. The reduction — the path to which remains unspecified — also will require fiscal gymnastics so as to a) not lose revenue and b) not raise taxes on the middle-class. Tax reform is an opportunity for the GOP to show it is the party of parents and kids, not just the party of heroic entrepreneurs and CEOs. Better to have a higher individual rate and dramatically reduce the current tax code’s bias against investment capital and human capital.

5. Does nondefense discretionary spending need to be cut further? Again, this is a result of having to make the numbers work while also delaying Medicare reform.

6. Why does the budget need to balance in ten years? Debt reduction doesn’t require balance, just that the economy is growing faster than the debt. While the plan does put the debt/GDP ratio on a downward trajectory — rather than merely stabilized as Obama and the Senate Democrats would do — it probably doesn’t need to be quite as steep.

I would love to see Ryan set loose to create a plan far bolder and more innovative — even if it doesn’t reduce debt quite as quickly on paper — than what, apparently, many House GOPers are ready for.

103 thoughts on “Unleash Paul Ryan!

  1. I would love to see Ryan set loose to create a plan far bolder and more innovative — even if it doesn’t reduce debt quite as quickly on paper — than what, apparently, many House GOPers are ready for.

    Ryan is not the person you think that he is. He is just a politician who is looking for a way to get more votes. And the GOP is not what you think it is. By its actions it has shown to be a party of big government. Time to ditch both and give people who truly believe in small government a chance at making things better.

  2. Outside of the wingnut blogosphere, Ryan’s “plan” is being met with derision. And no wonder- he’s flip flopped so many times on Medicare cuts he can’t be taken seriously anymore, and as Jim has pointed out, balancing the budget in 10 years is reckless. This is the same plan he ran on- and lost- badly- in his own state.

    • “and as Jim has pointed out, balancing the budget in 10 years is reckless. ”

      Whereas borrowing $4-5 billion a day in perpetuity is the epitome of fiscal rectitude.

      Love how Ryan’s plan for growing the government only 3.5% per yr is reckless.

      • re: reckless..

        nope.. Ryan’s plan is not reckless. it’s just bogus.

        it won’t happen. It has no prayer of happening. It is not even an attempt to reach out to the other side.

        it’s just a dead mackerel delivered with all the flair you’d expect from recycling the previous dead mackerel.

        The GOP spent the last four years treading water until they got rid of Obama…. now they’re going to tread two more years in hope they can get the Senate…

        .. and if that don’t work…. they’ll continue to tread water… for 4 more years after that.

        they’re like the energizer bunny knocked on it’s side but it’s legs are still moving…

        • “it won’t happen. It has no prayer of happening.”

          But why? All Obama does is sign the checks. Oh, you also mean the Democrat controlled Senate? I guess we know who the problem is then, right Larry-who-swears-he-wants-to-balance-the-budget?

          “”It is not even an attempt to reach out to the other side.”

          The Democrats can always counter. But the Democrat Senate hasn’t produced a budget in 4 yrs. What’s that, Lar?

          “.. and if that don’t work…. they’ll continue to tread water… for 4 more years after that.”

          They did manage to hold the line on the sequester despite your boyfriend’s hysterical demagoguery. A small victory, but still a victory.

          “they’re like the energizer bunny knocked on it’s side but it’s legs are still moving…”

          You kinda have a point there. I do agree they, and productive Americans in general, are now outnumbered by bottom feeders like you.

          • Paul the Pejorative – Pejoratives won’t win the day boy.

            here’s a simple exercise for you:

            http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/12frusg/12frusg.pdf
            page 56

            look at the available revenues income and corporate taxes.

            now tell me what PERCENT of those available revenues you would PRIORITIZE FIRST to DOD + National Defense.

            Give me your number.

            How does Ryan deal with this problem? Be serious now. How doe Ryan deal with the fundamental problem that we have about 1.4 in actual revenues for DOD, National Defense, entitlements and the rest of govt?

            no boyfriends Paul.. just you.. step up and be a man on the real issue – because obviously Ryan is still a kid.

          • “Pejoratives won’t win the day boy.”

            Correct. I’ve already admitted the balance has tipped, Lar. You freeloaders “won the day.” Paul Ryan is simply trying to negotiate the surrender with the most favorable terms possible.

            “here’s a simple exercise for you:”

            F*ck you. I’m not here to dance for you, moron.

            “now tell me what PERCENT of those available revenues you would PRIORITIZE FIRST to DOD + National Defense.”

            Why? I’m just a commenter on a blog having fun with a nitwit.

            “How doe Ryan deal with the fundamental problem that we have about 1.4 in actual revenues for DOD, National Defense, entitlements and the rest of govt?”

            You keep repeating the same nonsense. There’s a whole pot of dough the comes out of my check just the same as income tax and gets dumped into the same pile. You buy into the shell game because you get a portion of it dropped off at your house each month around the same time as your midday nap.

            But I will concur with anyone the Ryan budget isn’t aggressive enough in cutting spending. The fact that it is “DOA” as you say speaks volumes to me how poisonous is the Democrats’ agenda.
            I’d love to see him whack away at current retirees with too much time on their hands like you. That said, it’s better than anything your boyfriend or the Senate Democrats have offered up.

            Yet you still can only muster up criticism of the GOP’s efforts.

            “no boyfriends Paul.. just you.. step up and be a man on the real issue – because obviously Ryan is still a kid.”

            Bahahahahaha. I love how you weren’t able to respond to a single one of my points, Larry.

            Is Obama just the guy who signs the checks, or is the GOP’s budget DOA because a spendthrift like Obama would never go for it?

            Which is, it Lar? You keep telling me you don’t play favs.

          • Re: % of budget for did/ND. No answer? So this not really about budget & deficits’ eh?

            Re:entitlements – DOD gets them also Paul

            Re:compromise – no middle ground=DOA?

            So GOP waits for when/if they win but then the DEMs play same game if GOP win? Permanent gridlock?

          • “Re: % of budget for did/ND. No answer? So this not really about budget & deficits’ eh? ”

            Huh? WTF is the Ryan budget about then?

            “Re:entitlements – DOD gets them also Paul”

            I’m all for entitlement reform. Warriors should get preference over chair warmers.

            “Re:compromise – no middle ground=DOA?”

            In other words, the GOP must agree to spend more to appease Democrat Senate, Obama, and other phony deficit busters like you.

        • larry

          see what you’re dealing with here? why don’t you come join us ” freeloaders” in rebuilding infrastructure and investing in a social safety net that America actually needs.

          otherwise you’ll be trapped here like Paul, insulting “morons” and losing elections for years to come. like an energiser bunny knocked on its side.

          reasonable republican ideas like means testing medicare, tort reform, amd entitlement reform will get a fair hearing by the Obama administration and will probably pass. so, my point being, why don’t you go where you can make a difference rather than stick around with the deadbeats and lifers like Paul here.

          • “why don’t you come join us ” freeloaders” in rebuilding infrastructure and investing in a social safety net that America actually needs.”

            Ah yes, more of that “rebuilding infrastructure” = yet more
            “stimulus” to Democrat tax eaters.

            Written like a true Obama voting freeloader.

      • People have been freaking out over the deficit since the nanosecond Obama finished his oath of office.

        And you know what? The deficit hasn’t hurt anyone or anything in all this time. Now, ultimately, it must be dealt with. But almost no one wants what Ryan is offering, and some simple moves on providing some tax equity will do the job.

        No one wants their entitlements slashed. No one.

        • “People have been freaking out over the deficit since the nanosecond Obama finished his oath of office. ”

          Funny how annual trillion dollar deficits raise the stakes.

          • “Funny how annual trillion dollar deficits raise the stakes. ”

            Right- the solution is to contract during a contraction.

            Any other shrewd economic advice you care to offer?

          • “Right- the solution is to contract during a contraction. ”

            AKA grow the private sector, reduce the dead weight of government.

            “Any other shrewd economic advice you care to offer?”

            Sure, stop bleeding private enterprise so a community organizer can dole out the $ to his deadbeat constituents.

          • “AKA grow the private sector, reduce the dead weight of government. ”

            WHAT “dead weight” of government? Or is your economic acumen limited to a few lame memes?

            “Sure, stop bleeding private enterprise so a community organizer can dole out the $ to his deadbeat constituents”

            Right- private enterprise is really being “bled” these days.

            People are clueless automatons.

          • “so what’s all this blather about the POTUS?”

            It’s called budget negotiations. I’m not the one claiming Obama is powerless in regards to the budget(but only when your argument works in his favor. )

          • No Max, the answer is “you don’t raise taxes during a recession”.

            Oh wait, that’s crazy talk and irresponsible.. who said that?

            Oh yes, President Barack Obama… before he wanted to raise taxes of course.

            Are we in a downturn where cutting spending is horrible? then WHY are you raising taxes?

            Are we in a recovery where raising taxes is acceptable? Then Why can’t we have some cuts?

            Claiming the economy is good enough for more taxes but not good enough for any cuts at all is just dishonest. Make your claim and stick to it, the story of the economy shouldn’t change from sentence to sentence.

          • “No Max, the answer is “you don’t raise taxes during a recession”.

            Oh wait, that’s crazy talk and irresponsible.. who said that?

            Oh yes, President Barack Obama… before he wanted to raise taxes of course.

            This is (less than) facile bullsh*t. Think it’s time to swear off these boards again.

          • Maxxed Stank,

            “WHAT “dead weight” of government? Or is your economic acumen limited to a few lame memes?”

            Astounding. You should have a team of researchers observing you around the clock. Did you time travel here from the 1930′s?

            Here’s a pic that might help illustrate: https://twitter.com/McConnellPress/status/311201887565271040/photo/1

            “Right- private enterprise is really being “bled” these days.”

            You must be under the impression all that dough comes from Obama’s stash he keeps in a coffee can.

            “People are clueless automatons.”

            Excellent summation of the 2012 election, Max.

    • Outside of the wingnut blogosphere, Ryan’s “plan” is being met with derision“…

      Yes, met with derision by the clueless, the foolish, and those who lie to themselves and others as a way of life…

      I can’t imagine what your whining would be like if the GOP (which would never happen) were pushing Sen. Rand Paul’s timid fiscal year 2013 budget ideas

      • Right on, Juandos. It’s being met with derision mostly by people who offer only more poisonous Obamanomics. I’d much rather Ryan cut more, but this is better than anything Reid or Larry’s boyfriend are offering.

        • That is the problem. The GOP has settled on bandaids and rhetoric for anything meaningful. Ryan is not a fiscal conservative. He has proven to be a fraud.

  3. Since the national debt is equal to 100%+ of GDP, and unfunded liabilities are $100+ trillion, we must stop borrowing until the debt is substantially reduced, and the future liabilities are set on a sustainable path. Beyond the financial reasons for stopping borrowing, there is the moral case: it is pure evil for a rich nation to be loading its lavish socialism on the children.

    Washington DC is an evil, socialist vote-buying machine which must be tamed.

  4. Vangel is right– we can’t “unleash Paul Ryan” on real-world economic problems any more than we can unleash Herman Cain. Paul Ryan’s plan is what it is, as it has always been, a series of magic asterisks with a weak relationship to real life or to Ryan’s own record. He’ll make no effort whatsoever to come to terms with all the stuff that he supported to turn our surpluses into deficits– Medicare Part D, changes to fiscal policy, the occupation of Iraq, etc.

    Paul Ryan is a Republican. So there’s no reason to believe, given the events of the past decade-plus, that he cares about the deficit.

    • That’s the dumbest thing written on the internet today.

      Which in-bred relative of Larry’s are you?

      Ryan’s plan, simply by existing, is preferable to the current “no budget” and $6 trillion expansion of spending under the most fiscally irresponsible administration ever.

      • Ryan pretends to be a fiscal conservative but voted for every debt ceiling increase and for every government expansion program that was asked for by Bush. He makes compromises and tries to get along instead of sticking to principles and proposing real cuts in spending. He is just a typical GOP fraud who is no different than all the frauds in the Democratic Party who pretend to care about the voters.

        • That is asinine reasoning.

          Ryan is the only one who has submitted any sort of plan, or even acknowledged that there is a problem.

          Something is far, far better than nothing, and the perfect cannot be the enemy of the good here (compromise, dontcha know).

          • Ryan is the only one who has submitted any sort of plan, or even acknowledged that there is a problem.

            First, Rand Paul proposed $600 billion in cuts as a start and pointed out that a lot more was possible in subsequent years. Second, during the election Ryan’s plan did not really have any cuts and was not all that different than Obama’s. He talks a good game but does not have the stones to actually propose a budget that a true fiscal conservative would approve of.

          • it’s not how much you’d cut – it’s what you cut and how you would cut it – and how many others in your own party would sign on to it.

            For the record – this is what Paul Ryan does:

            ” In some respects, the former GOP vice presidential candidate mimics the tactics of the 2012 campaign: Promise tax reform built around wildly ambitious but gauzy rate reductions without a word about how to pay for them.

            His plan aspires to collapse today’s seven-bracket individual income tax to a two-rate system that would raise the same amount of money as current law. It would set a top rate of 25 percent, down from today’s 39.6 percent, though it calls this merely a goal. He’d repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax and slash the corporate rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. He’d do all this while maintaining revenues at levels projected in the Congressional Budget Office baseline—19.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2023.

            Interestingly, this 19.1% target assumes a revenue base that includes the tax hikes on high income households from Obamacare and the New Year’s Day fiscal cliff deal (the American Tax Relief Act).

            Under the 2010 health law, high-income households will pay an additional 0.9 percent Medicare payroll tax and a new 3.8 percent levy on investment income such as capital gains and dividends. ATRA restored the old 39.6 percent tax bracket for top-bracket households.

            Ryan would repeal all of Obamacare, including its new taxes. And he’d roll back the top tax rates in ATRA. But by assuming the level of revenues both laws would collect, Ryan makes it easier to balance his budget in 10 years since current law brings in higher revenues.

            Thus this budget now accepts the extra revenues (though not the specific taxes) that Ryan and Hill Republicans so vehemently opposed just two months ago. This time last year, Ryan set a 2022 revenue target of 18.7 percent. Two years ago, he aimed for just 18.3 percent after a decade. Now, Ryan’s goal is 19.1 percent by 2023. ”

            http://taxvox.taxpolicycenter.org/2013/03/12/taxes-and-paul-ryans-budget/

            Now think about that. He would repeal the laws that generate the tax revenue that he then counts as revenue in his budget.

            Note that not a single GOP – not even Rand Paul points this out.

            rest assured that every single Democrat does know this though and their opinion on whether or not Ryan’s budget is truly serious is based on this knowledge – that he counts revenues from taxes that he’d repeal.

            as far as Rand Paul himself goes – this pretty much explains it all:

            Rand Paul’s misleading budget cuts …..

            link in next post

          • it’s not how much you’d cut – it’s what you cut and how you would cut it – and how many others in your own party would sign on to it.

            You have no clue what it is that you are talking about. Learn a bit about economics, stop acting like a political shill and you may get someone to pay attention to what you are talking about.

            Now think about that. He would repeal the laws that generate the tax revenue that he then counts as revenue in his budget.

            Note that not a single GOP – not even Rand Paul points this out.

            As I pointed out, Ryan is a fraud who talks a good game but does not really propose any material cuts. Paul did not too long ago when he outline around $500 billion in spending that could be cut as a first step towards a limited government.

            rest assured that every single Democrat does know this though and their opinion on whether or not Ryan’s budget is truly serious is based on this knowledge – that he counts revenues from taxes that he’d repeal.

            The Democrats are even bigger frauds so I do not have much time for them either.

            Rand Paul’s misleading budget cuts …..

            link in next post

            Good luck finding anything credible.

          • it’s not how much you’d cut – it’s what you cut and how you would cut it – and how many others in your own party would sign on to it.

            You have no clue what it is that you are talking about. Learn a bit about economics, stop acting like a political shill and you may get someone to pay attention to what you are talking about.

            we’re talking about political realities even if you don’t like them.

            “Now think about that. He would repeal the laws that generate the tax revenue that he then counts as revenue in his budget.

            Note that not a single GOP – not even Rand Paul points this out.

            As I pointed out, Ryan is a fraud who talks a good game but does not really propose any material cuts. Paul did not too long ago when he outline around $500 billion in spending that could be cut as a first step towards a limited government.”

            this is more than fraud since the GOP in general touts Ryan as a budget wonk.. what he did was at best amateur fools work or deeply hypocritical.

            “rest assured that every single Democrat does know this though and their opinion on whether or not Ryan’s budget is truly serious is based on this knowledge – that he counts revenues from taxes that he’d repeal.

            The Democrats are even bigger frauds so I do not have much time for them either.”

            they are pretty up-front about what they want – no shell games.. like Ryan.

            “Rand Paul’s misleading budget cuts …..

            link in next post

            Good luck finding anything credible.”

            Paul’s budget is even sillier.. he has a 17% flat tax in 2012 which means he’d dump any/all tax expenditures and he zeros Medicare totally in 2014.

            Not even the GOP is going to vote for that – or let’s put it this way -if they do vote for that – they turn over the entire govt to the Dems which as you say would be a even a worse disaster.

            What I hold against the GOP is that they are SUPPOSED to be legitimate fiscal conservatives and they blew that idea to smithereens under Bush and have not recovered.

          • What I hold against the GOP is that they are SUPPOSED to be legitimate fiscal conservatives and they blew that idea to smithereens under Bush and have not recovered.

            They are not fiscal conservatives. Bush certainly wasn’t. And neither was Reagan.

          • Rand Paul’s misleading budget cuts

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/rand-pauls-misleading-budget-cuts/2013/02/15/6f68014a-77b8-11e2-95e4-6148e45d7adb_blog.html

            excerpt: So, at best, Paul could claim to have found ½ of 1 percent of the needed savings.

            ” To be fair, Paul last year unveiled a budget plan that he said would balance the budget in five years, and it included many specific program reductions. In his response to the State of the Union, Paul said he would reintroduce the plan, but oddly he mentioned none of its proposals, such as eliminating four Cabinet agencies and cutting foreign aid from its current level of about $50 billion a year to just $5 billion.”

            so how many GOP support Rand Paul’s Plan?

          • “Now think about that. He would repeal the laws that generate the tax revenue that he then counts as revenue in his budget.

            Note that not a single GOP – not even Rand Paul points this out.”

            Obama keeps those taxes too, where’s his balanced budget?

          • re: Obama’s budget – he uses the proceeds from tax reform to pay off the deficit whereas Ryan and Paul won’t use it and have to resort to unrealistic, (won’t even get GOP votes) things like zeroing out Medicare…

            that’s the tradeoff. Even Ronald Reagan used tax reform to buy down the deficit.

          • Larry, you are the dumbest guy on the planet, probably the universe.

            Medicare is finished. It is already being cut.

            How much are you ignorant leftists willing to raise taxes to fund your failing welfare programs?

            Your answer (and Obama’s) is that you will raise taxes to 100%.

            That will fail. Raising them to 50% will fail. Raising them above 22% GDP will fail.

            So the question you need to ask yourself right now Larry is this: what can I live without? Because you are about to be living without Medicare, and likely Socialist Insecurity too.

            When you go above where we are right now, you will incite violence.

            You have already done so, in fact.

          • Larry, you are the dumbest guy on the planet, probably the universe.

            Medicare is finished. It is already being cut.

            How much are you ignorant leftists willing to raise taxes to fund your failing welfare programs?</b.

            Please save yourself the trouble. All debates with Larry, who is quite dumb (but not the dumbest guy by any stretch if you read some of the comments here), are two one-way conversations. Larry will never learn because his are faith based positions.

  5. Ryan’s “plan” is a DOA joke. He and the GOP STILL act like they did not lose the election!

    They keep saying that the Senate has not acted on their budget – but it has the repeal of ObamaCare in it?

    WTF?

    and interestingly – while he boots ObamaCare, he KEEPS the fiscal cliff tax increase…. he USES that to balance the budget!

    re: the deficit -we currently take in about 1.3T in available revenues. Do the math. It don’t work even if entitlements are cut unless you also cut DOD – AND raise some additional revenues.

    Ryan’s “plan” reaches “balance” in ten years What happens to the debt in the meanwhile?

    • And so after carefully and objectively studying the Ryan plan, Larry comes out against it. It’s a “DOA joke!” Darn! He swearsies he doesn’t play favorites!

      “He and the GOP STILL act like they did not lose the election!”

      Last I checked, the GOP retained control of the House.
      Oh, you mean Obama won? Why should that matter? According to Professor Larry G, all he does is sign the checks.

      “They keep saying that the Senate has not acted on their budget”

      You pretend like that’s in dispute.

      “he KEEPS the fiscal cliff tax increase…. he USES that to balance the budget!”

      Obama keeps the tax increases also. Where’s his balanced budget?

      “What happens to the debt in the meanwhile?”

      A fair question, but laughable coming from someone who worships Barack “prosecutors will release criminals from prison if the sequester goes through” Obama.

      • “Last I checked, the GOP retained control of the House.”

        GOP has control over the house due to gerrymandering safe districts, which is their only hope. The Democratic House got over 1 million more votes than the GOP Reps did.

        • “GOP has control over the house due to gerrymandering safe districts, which is their only hope.”

          That’s not the whole story, but there is some merit to that. I agree demographics have finally tipped the balance in favor of the takers. In 20 yrs, much of America will look like Detroit.

          • “That’s not the whole story, but there is some merit to that”

            Oh, that IS the whole story. The House is supposed to have proportional representation. That was short circuited.

          • “Oh, that IS the whole story. The House is supposed to have proportional representation. That was short circuited.”

            Umm, is your contention the GOP was behind some sinister gerrymandering plot all by themselves? I suggest you take a look at the Voting Rights Act, and other liberal efforts to ensure majority minority districts are forever represented by the likes of Jesse Jackson Jr and Raul Grijalva.
            http://civilrights.uslegal.com/voting-rights/minority-majority-districts/

          • “I agree demographics have finally tipped the balance in favor of the takers. In 20 yrs, much of America will look like Detroit”

            you should probably give up on America and dedicate yourself to making whiny comments on political websites. also, instead of proposing workable conservative policy, why don’t you make a point of insulting everyone too?

          • This aggregate-House-vote talking point is getting really tiresome. The primary reason for the slightly (0.26%) higher aggregate is that the winning margin in many Democrat districts (particularly urban districts) is higher than the winning margin in Republican districts (particularly suburban and rural).

            Here’s a simple illustration of how that works:

            Party A Party B
            District 1: 65 35
            District 2: 45 55
            District 3: 45 55
            Total: 155 145

            The result is that Party A gets more votes but gets only one representative while Party B, with fewer votes, gets two representatives.

            Representation in the House is proportional to number of districts won, not to aggregate vote. That’s how the system is designed – if you don’t like it, argue for system change.

          • @Paul – I frequent a number of places. Some are “free markets” in terms of comments..others have rules.

            At first, I was taken aback here but I’m starting to understand the environment which basically favors one or two whipping boys who do rotate here and if none are available sometimes they’ll turn on each other like cur dogs…

            that’s okay. that’s life…I try to use the golden rule – treat others like I’d like to be treated. but if that’s not in the cards… I’ll trade punches with them also.

            I learned in the 3rd grade that some bully types just have to be dealt with… and no they don’t reform. they need constant “reminding”.

            but I digress…

            On the budget, I keep pointing to this:

            http://www.fms.treas.gov/fr/12frusg/12frusg.pdf

            page 56.

            and I ask a simple question – how much of that 1.4T should we give to DOD/National Defense.

            I think if people were willing to answer that question – we can then move on to entitlements and non-entitlement discretionary spending.

            I simply don’t see how we can or should really spend more than 50% of our revenues on DOD/ND but any number that those of conservative leanings pick would be a start.

            What the Conservatives won’t do:

            1. – pick a number for DOD/ND

            2. – acknowledge that if they did pick a number – there’s not enough money from the current revenue stream to keep DOD/ND at a level they want.

            because of that, I consider the Conservatives not actually dealing with the issue and just playing politics – kabuki theater.

            I’m off to take a closer look at the Ryan budget and compare it to the basline referenced above.

          • The problem is not just demographics. It is principle. The GOP is not credible when opposing Obama’s huge increase in government after going along with Bush doing exactly the same thing. Voters do not trust the GOP because they all want something but because the GOP no longer has any principles that it stands on. Romney and Ryan did not propose any real material budget cuts. They played games by talking about spending less than the baseline increases, which is how Obama was able to claim cutting spending in the first place. The Democrats may be unethical thieves but they tend to look like they believe more in the principles that they claim to stand for than the GOP does.

          • ” The GOP is not credible when opposing Obama’s huge increase in government after going along with Bush doing exactly the same thing. Voters do not trust the GOP because they all want something but because the GOP no longer has any principles that it stands on. Romney and Ryan did not propose any real material budget cuts.”

            correct.

            the GOP likes to spend on DOD and National Defense and they have no number limit. It is “is, in essence, “as much as we need” and that number if independent of how much we actually have available in tax revenues and they proved that under Bush by uttering the incredible dumb statement that ‘deficits don’t matter”.

            they are no better than the Dems but they claim the high ground – totally without bonifides anymore.

            Ask Ryan how – after he ostensibly balances the budget in 10 years (using really irresponsible precepts) how he pays for the existing and additionally-created debt – which he and Romney and the rest of the GOP have vented their spleens over.

            the GOP vs Dem conundrum is about ideology more than anything else because the GOP has no real intention to balance, get rid of the debt and develop a true market-based health care system than the man-in-the-moon.

            Every night they troop onto Faux News to parrot their latest talking points and only of late has it got interesting when they now also chew on each other for ….of all things….hypocrisy!!!!!

          • But they are better in some respects. Most GOP politicians know that deficits and debt is bad. Their sin is cowardice that allows them to compromise principles so that they can stay in power.

          • ” Their sin is cowardice that allows them to compromise principles so that they can stay in power.”

            cowardice? how about feckless hypocrisy?

            where are the real budgets proposals that actually balance and pay down the debt instead of the lame flim-flam efforts from the likes of Ryan and Rand?

          • where are the real budgets proposals that actually balance and pay down the debt instead of the lame flim-flam efforts from the likes of Ryan and Rand?

            If you mean Rand Paul he had $600 billion in cuts dumdum. That is infinitely more than Obama.

          • Petard,

            “also, instead of proposing workable conservative policy, why don’t you make a point of insulting everyone too?”

            Ok, you’re a nitwit.

          • Hey Larry,

            “and they proved that under Bush by uttering the incredible dumb statement that ‘deficits don’t matter”.

            “Deficits dont matter” vs. the current President: “My goal is not chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.”

            How’s that for stupidity? Ask Obama how – after he never ever balances the budget- how he pays for the existing and additionally-created debt ? That line sound familiar? I’m just quoting your line about Ryan I tweaked to fit your hero Obama:

            “Ask Ryan how – after he ostensibly balances the budget in 10 years (using really irresponsible precepts) how he pays for the existing and additionally-created debt –”

        • Larry,

          “What the Conservatives won’t do:

          Blah, blah. Who cares? Ryan offered a budget already that, while nowhere near perfect, is better than anything your boyfriend offered up.

          “because of that, I consider the Conservatives not actually dealing with the issue and just playing politics – kabuki theater.”

          Here’s what your boyfriend had to say to George Stephanopolous regarding his own budget that was by law due to be submitted back in February:

          “Paul Ryan, today, put forward his budget,” says ABC, “and he says, he’s challenging you to come forward with a budget that also reaches balance. Are you going to do that?”

          “No,” Obama says. “My goal is not chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.”

          Get that, Larry?

          Now who is playing politics and kabuki theater?

          Dishonest, partisan hack.

          • re: ” Here’s what your boyfriend had to say to George Stephanopolous regarding his own budget that was by law due to be submitted back in February:

            “Paul Ryan, today, put forward his budget,” says ABC, “and he says, he’s challenging you to come forward with a budget that also reaches balance. Are you going to do that?”

            “No,” Obama says. “My goal is not chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance.””

            and the GOP does? hahahahahahhah

            the GOP has no real budget that actually balances. It takes 10 years to balance and it based on unrealistic assumptions – and it pays down NONE of the accumulated debt.

            so the GOP are hypocrites. they talk about a spending problem and a balanced budget but what they propose is a political document with poison pills embedded in it with no hope of gaining a single Dem vote in the House and none in the Senate.

            that’s lame and DOA… All Ryan is doing is “waiting” for the next election.. just like he did this one, nothing more.

            The GOP does not want to govern – they want to rule but how will they ever rule if they can win large enough majorities to push through budgets?

            answer – they can’t.

            so what the heck are they doing…?????

            are they waiting for the day far into the future when they will win so big that they own super majorities in both houses and the POTUS?

          • “so the GOP are hypocrites. they talk about a spending problem and a balanced budget but what they propose is a political document with poison pills embedded in it with no hope of gaining a single Dem vote in the House and none in the Senate.”

            And what are those poison pills, moron?

            Spending cuts.

            Your argument is the GOP are somehow hypocrites about the debt because they know Democrats will never agree to cut spending on their parasite constituents.

            Meanwhile, your boyfriend makes no attempt to balance the budget.

            Ever.

            Who are the deficit hypocrites again?

            Try and wrap your feeble brain around your own argument before you scribble more liberal talking point stupidity.

          • And what are those poison pills, moron?

            Spending cuts.

            repeal of Obamcare and Voucherizing Medicare – both non-starters… not a single Dem vote in the House nor Senate.

            Your argument is the GOP are somehow hypocrites about the debt because they know Democrats will never agree to cut spending on their parasite constituents.

            if they were serious about real spending cuts – they’d do it across the board and they’d not only reach a balanced budget but start to bring down the debt …

            so between the poison pills and the bogus budget – they’ve got ZIP!

            “Meanwhile, your boyfriend makes no attempt to balance the budget.

            Ever.”

            sure he does – it’s got spending cuts plus revenues from closing tax loopholes -which is EXACTLY what Ronald Reagan did.

            “Who are the deficit hypocrites again?

            Try and wrap your feeble brain around your own argument before you scribble more liberal talking point stupidity.”

            ha hh hahahahh the GOP are GOOBERs and you seem to be a GOOBER lover yourself!

            they’re feckless hypocrites guy.. you know it… they have no intention to balance the budget. Their goal is to starve the best except of course for DOD/National Defense …Oh and all those “parasites” that work for DOD/National Defense… they’re “good” parasites apparently.

            the GOP is headed for DODO bird status…as the party of angry white guys and little else.

          • “repeal of Obamcare and Voucherizing Medicare – both non-starters… not a single Dem vote in the House nor Senate.”

            So we know who are the problem.

            Speaking of hypocrites, once again here’s your “heads the GOP loses, tails Obama and Democrats wins” contradiction: Accordng to you, Obama is not to blame for the debt because he just signs whatever the GOP sends him. Also according to you, the GOP is not serious when they submit budgets Democrats would never agree to.

            Ever wonder why you are held in such low regard around here? It’s more your utter dishonesty than your appalling ignorance.

            “if they were serious about real spending cuts – they’d do it across the board and they’d not only reach a balanced budget but start to bring down the debt …”

            Oh, you mean like the sequester your boyfriend threw a hissy fit over?

            Who isn’t serious again, Larry? Your spendthrift boyfriend offers nothing but taxes that still wont balance, but gets nary a “tut tut” from you.

            “sure he does – it’s got spending cuts plus revenues from closing tax loopholes -which is EXACTLY what Ronald Reagan did.”

            YOU IDIOT, HE”S ON THE VIDEO I LINKED ANNOUNCING HE HAS NO PLANS TO EVER BALANCE THE BUDGET.

            Further, his 2014 budget is not even out yet, in violation of the law. So WTF do you know about it? Nothing. You’re just talking out your dishonest, hypocritical ass, as usual.

    • Ryan’s “plan” is a DOA joke. He and the GOP STILL act like they did not lose the election!

      They keep saying that the Senate has not acted on their budget – but it has the repeal of ObamaCare in it?“…

      LMAO! None of that made any sense at all…

      larry g still dancing around the edges of reality…

      • Larry isn’t even in the same time zone as reality.

        Unfortunately, he is exactly right that the tide is in his favor, but that tide will also swallow him, and the entire country. It already has, only he (and the rest of the left) is too stupid to realize it yet.

          • Yep.

            I’ve “debated” Larry on this and other sites, and he has shown himself to be one of the most economically ignorant people alive, yet he feels obligated to mouth off about his ignorance.

            The reason to despise and ridicule the Larry’s of the world is that they are literally destroying the only means of sustaining their precious welfare and entitlement programs: growth.

            By destroying growth when we most need it, like they are now, leftists like Larry are ensuring the destruction of those programs.

            Medicare is gone, Socialist Insecurity is basically gone, especially if we maintain .5 – 1.5% annual GDP growth, which we will (we are locked in, just like Europe).

            They have literally destroyed the country.

          • I’ve “debated” Larry on this and other sites, and he has shown himself to be one of the most economically ignorant people alive, yet he feels obligated to mouth off about his ignorance“…

            Well econoguy think of it as barry soetoro syndrome at work…

        • that picture perfectly captures the essence of a typical Obama voter“…

          You know paul it makes me just how many of those Obama supporters would buy into the message of this video clip??

  6. One of the things that I did not see in these bullet points is that Ryan gets rid of the cost of Obamacare, but keeps the tax increases and reductions in Medicare reimbursements that pay for it in his new budget. He also calls for more choice and a market for free market Medicare providers. If he is really serious about deficit reduction and wants more competition with Medicare he should embrace the Obamacare model and do two things. First include Medicare as a low cost option on state exchanges for low income Americans and younger Americans that just want some sort of catastrophic insurance plan. This puts more healthy people into this system and lowers the per user cost. The second thing he would do is move to include Medicare and any private sector competitors into these state exchanges. Then we should cut the subsidies for these programs and see if they can compete. Elderly patients would get a tax credit that covers the cost of Medicare. Personally I would like to take this whole system taken out of the general budget and paid for out of payroll taxes and have these taxes fund this system. Everyone pays a percentage of their income (including investment income) into the system and you receive a tax credit to purchase insurance. If someone want to purchase a supplemental or if employers want to offer one like many offer Alfac and other programs they can. Then you just make sure you collect enough payroll tax to fund this system. This will give legislators real incentive to finally address why our healthcare cost are double what they are in any other industrialized county.

  7. I googled “Pigov Ponnuru” this morning and got no results. Good! Now I can take credit for the Pigov-Ponnuru Plan: a corporate carbon tax in order to finance a massively increased per-child tax credit that applies to both income tax and payroll tax. This plan will reduce carbon dioxide emissions without punishing working families raising “little emitters”.

  8. U.S. Rep Paul Ryan pulled Sen Ron Johnson aside one day.
    “I saw you chasing a bus down Pennsylvania Avenue,” Ryan told his fellow cheesehead.
    “Yes,” Johnson replied. “As you know, I am also a fiscal conservative.”
    “But Ron,” Ryan responded. “You’d save a lot more money if you chased taxis.”

  9. “Better to have shown how the ACA can be fixed.”

    Is that really possible? Is it possible to fix 2,000 pages of convoluted wishful thinking – without just creating more confusion?

    That’s like trying to fix the current tax code with just a few more patches – that’s how it got to me the mess it is.

    When I was a programmer, it was well understood that, once a critical level of confusion and “spaghetti code” is reached in a program’s coding, the only efficient solution is to start writing a complete replacement.

    When one has a Rube Goldberg machine, one replaces it (if there was a useful purpose at all). Trying to repair it is silly.

    • ““Better to have shown how the ACA can be fixed.”

      Is that really possible? Is it possible to fix 2,000 pages of convoluted wishful thinking – without just creating more confusion?”

      that’s just blather.. other bills prior have just as many pages… it’s just a diversion from the real issue.

      “That’s like trying to fix the current tax code with just a few more patches – that’s how it got to me the mess it is.”

      just about every major program in the Federal code has been reformed and revised over time.. why is that a problem now?

      “When I was a programmer, it was well understood that, once a critical level of confusion and “spaghetti code” is reached in a program’s coding, the only efficient solution is to start writing a complete replacement.”

      yep.. wanna try that with the tax code or farm subsidies or the like FIRST?

      “When one has a Rube Goldberg machine, one replaces it (if there was a useful purpose at all). Trying to repair it is silly.”

      no more or less than any other program – unless of course you’re just so opposed that you won’t compromise for changes instead of outright repeal especially if the latter is simply not a viable option.

      this goes to the heart of governing. Governing requires compromise… if you cannot or will not compromise.. then why are you governing?

      • “other bills prior have just as many pages… it’s just a diversion from the real issue”

        Yes. The real problem is not the number of pages, it’s that the bill is a confused mess. This is becoming clearer as it’s consequences play out in implementation.

        “Governing requires compromise”

        Yes, indeed, but compromise is not an absolute good – depends on the circumstances. If one compromises between good sense and nonsense, what do you get?

      • “this goes to the heart of governing. Governing requires compromise… if you cannot or will not compromise.. then why are you governing?”

        Unless you’re the President. He just signs the checks, right Larry?

      • “that’s just blather.. other bills prior have just as many pages… it’s just a diversion from the real issue.”

        Other piece of sh*t bills do it too!

        “yep.. wanna try that with the tax code or farm subsidies or the like FIRST?”

        Leave it to Larry to unintentionally(and hilariously) make our point for us by lumping in Obamacare with farm subsidies and the tax code.

  10. Your point #4 brings up some interesting math. In the Bowles-Simpson Supercommittee Report, in order to get rates to a 9/15/26 split with corporate at 26, they needed to get rid of every deduction/credit except the child tax credit and EITC. Given that Ryan’s looking at 10/25 and 25, and we’re either going to see an honest and radical tax simplification proposal or some really funny math.

    Caveats: the Supercommittee raised extra revenue to add $80 billion in deficit reduction while also counting capital gains and dividends as normal income, and of course we don’t know where the bracket lines are drawn.

  11. This budget was not scored by the CBO it defies the laws of arithmetic.The GDP would have to grow by ten percent for this budget to reach balance.

  12. “1. If the GOP’s Medicare reform plan is such a good idea (and budget deficits are such a problem), it should be implemented before 2024. Ryan knows this, surely.

    Mr.Pethokoukis, Ryan knows that the elderly vote Republican.

    • here’s about all you need to know about Rand Pauls’s budget – and the reason why neither his nor Ryans are actually “scored” by CBO:

      17% Flat Tax
      2012 2,523
      2013 2,313
      2014 2,468
      2015 3,031
      2016 3,225
      2017 3,519
      2108 3,879
      2019 4,144
      2020 4,423
      2021 4,712

      http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/A%20Platform%20to%20Revitalize%20America.pdf

      right now our base revenues are about 2.3 which includes about 868B in FICA for SS.

      then look at page 94

      Medicare
      2012 = 481
      2013= 503
      2014= 0
      2015=0

      …..

      seriously ? this is going to get how many GOP votes, nevermind Dem votes?

      the two budges – Ryan and Rand are perfect examples that neither of them are truly serious about the budget.

      because – first the numbers have to actually add up – preferably with CBO scoring them and

      second, you have to AT LEAST get a majority of GOP votes

      what the POTUS is doing – basically – is letting the GOP further marginalize themselves in the eyes of the electorate… and they’re getting pretty good at it.

      • http://www.paul.senate.gov/files/documents/A%20Platform%20to%20Revitalize%20America.pdf

        Looks good to me. There are real cuts in spending and a move towards a limited government. That it all that you can ask given that you are starting with the country at the fiscal abyss. Rand Paul is a Harding/Coolidge type rather than an interventionist like Hoover/FDR. Given the fact that interventionism has been such a failure I think that Harding’s approach deserves a try.

        • ” Given the fact that interventionism has been such a failure I think that Harding’s approach deserves a try.”

          but if you don’t even get a majority of the GOP to support you… are you not irrelevant?

          the real question here is whether Paul’s budget is a political statement or a real attempt at governance.

          • The polls show that the two parties are irrelevant. They are seen as corrupt, power hungry charlatans that have no ideas that will work. All you need to do is to keep pushing the ideas that will work and those ideas will ultimately win out. Irrelevant is doing things that you do not believe in to buy a few votes.

      • what the POTUS is doing – basically – is letting the GOP further marginalize themselves in the eyes of the electorate… and they’re getting pretty good at it.“…

        Let me guess larry g, you didn’t feel the least bit idiotic or embarrassed putting that nonsene in your comment, right?

        Do some more homework larry g

        BTW a member of the party you seemingly favor has introduced his version of Stalinist Central Planning

    • I nominate Republicans: Unwitting ‘Socialists’ as the entertaining and even educational blog posting of the day…

      My one and only bone to pick regarding this blog posting, Winfrey seems to confuse Republicans for conservatives…

      Why is that?

      Winfrey wrote: “Most Republicans I come into contact with think Obama is a high-taxing, Spend-o-crat …“…

      Well that’s absolutely factual but the same can be said about the GOP…

      When was the last time a Republican president or any of the myriad GOP leaders over the last forty plus years tried to eliminate or roll back any entitlement or socialist safety net programs?

      None the less this Winfrey fellow I think makes some very valid observations…

      Thanks for the link…

  13. Ryan’s budget is total fantasy, it’s even more phoney than the previous two if that were possible. Assumptions that are never going to happen, magic asterisks as far as the eye can see…this guy would be fired if he worked in the private sector. The entire thing demonstrates the Republican party is abandoning all pretensions to being a serious governing party.

    • I agree. The GOP has abandoned principle because it believes that the voters will always choose the party that promises free goodies at no cost. Romney/Ryan showed that lack of principle is a huge liability so it is time that the GOP made clear exactly what it stands for or risk going the way of its predecessors, the Federalists and Whigs.

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