Ryan’s Budget Cut Hopes Fall Short

February 3rd, 2011 at 5:48 pm | 16 Comments |

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The $30 billion in budget cuts that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has come out in support of are probably achievable but, in many ways, seem awfully timid.

Although certain parts of the Republican Study Committee’s budget cutting plan simply weren’t workable or politically wise, about 80 percent of the plan made sense for a nation looking to tighten its belt. While a smaller round of budget cuts will let the GOP avoid some truly unworkable ideas in the RSC plan, it will also mean that certain choice bits of pork and needless spending are almost certain to survive.

While acknowledging that certain promised savings won’t, or couldn’t materialize, a party committed to fiscal discipline could have found more areas — subsides for ethanol, farm price supports, needless weapons systems — that would have more than made up for whatever doesn’t get pressed.

Ryan and all House Republicans will eventually have to compromise on any spending reduction plan if they hope to get it passed and signed by the president.  But starting with a plan to cut only $30 billion gives up too much ground before the battle really starts. Ryan and company should follow the sage advice of turn-of-the-century labor leader Samuel Gompers and ask for more (or, really in this case, less) to start with.

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16 Comments so far ↓

  • Watusie

    Given that Ryan thinks that defense spending can’t be touched and that Medicare can be replaced with a scheme that assumes senior citizens can get private health insurance for $6K a year, are you surprised?

    He is a complete fraud.

  • mikewaz

    Paul Ryan whined about the CBO analysis of ObamaCares because it didn’t take into account the doc fix to the Medicare sustainable growth rate that has been perenially passed to prevent doctors from not seeing elderly patients anymore. Yet his Roadmap plan and the Ryan-Rivlin Medicare reform plan would give people vouchers and caps the growth rate at GDP growth plus 1%, a rate that has perenially been lower than health care inflation. He didn’t take into account that legislators would likely be pressured to pass (and eventually would pass) an annual voucher fix when his plan was scored by the CBO. How can he consider himself even remotely close to non-partisan?

  • valkayec

    The latest issue of The Fiscal Times has some interesting takes and analysis on the looming budget battles. http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/02/03/Sorry-the-Federal-Deficit-Isnt-a-Spending-Problem.aspx

    Oh, and Bartlett has a particularly good column on corporate tax reform: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/01/28/Tax-Reform-Obama-is-Walking-into-the-Neutrality-Trap.aspx

  • Non-Contributor

    From the FT link above:

    “Does that mean “the deficit problem is a revenue problem?” No, it means the deficit is what it always is – a mismatch between revenues and spending. Policymakers can address it by cutting spending, raising revenues, or some combination of the two. What they choose to do is a political matter, nothing more and nothing less. ”

    The first time I have actually read an article that correctly states the deficit is a “…political matter, nothing more and nothing less”

    • mikewaz

      I may not have explicitly called it a political matter, but I have called it simply a mismatch between revenues and outlays several times. Of course, my conservative friends insist that I’m full of horse crap when I say that, but that just goes to prove it’s political since they also insist that the dirty pinko commies want to tax us into oblivion to take care of the deficit.

  • TerryF98

    The first time I have actually read an article that correctly states the deficit is a “…political matter, nothing more and nothing less”

    Of course it’s political.

    The Republicans when in power say “Deficits don’t matter” and spend like drunken sailors to prove it.

    When out of power then deficits suddenly do matter and matter a lot. Hence the last 2 years of bleating and the current situation where the GOP has no real plans to deal with the deficit.

    Fiscal Conservatives my ass.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    I remember nhthinker swearing up and down that Republicans would exceed that 100 billion dollar cut and that the American people would love them for it. I guess it is not much of a surprise why he is not around anymore, the poor guy set himself up to be greatly disillusioned.

    With unemployment above 9% cutting spending is precisely what we shouldn’t be doing, when unemployment gets down a few points then we can talk about serious entitlement reform (or we can talk about it now if you want as long as the cuts are phased in very slowly)

  • Rokker

    It was all showbiz before the election to get teanut vote.

  • busboy33

    Wow . . . so after alot of bold talk and big promises that the base swallowed (again), the GOP pusses out and instead goes for “do as little as possible then give grand speeches about how much we did”?

    Who’da thunk it?

  • TerryF98

    John Cloe as usual says it best.

    “This could accurately be summarized as “Yes, I had two double-bacon cheeseburgers with extra mayo and a large order of fries with gravy, but I would like to note my beverage was a diet coke.”

    If you are not going to raise taxes and seriously cut defense spending, you aren’t serious”

  • valkayec

    Mind if I ask you all to do me a favor and read the following article on defaulting on the debt? I’ve never heard of this writer before, and other than this articles and comments elsewhere I can’t find out anything about him. I don’t know if he’s a hack or for real.

    But if this article is truthful concerning what happened in Canada, I’m really scared!


    • busboy33

      If I had any expertise in the topic, I’d be glad to help.

      As it is, your opinion is probably as good or better than mine.

  • rockstar

    65 years after VE day, Europe can stand on its own. Close EUCOM now!!! Oh yeah, and rip 20% out of everything else, just for consistency’s sake.

  • DFL

    The Republicans have failed already.

  • armstp

    “Ryan’s Budget Cut Hopes Fall Short”

    Ryan never had any “budget cut hopes”. What he did have was a cheap BS public relations effort to attempt to convince Americans that he knows what he is talking about and that the GOP cares about the economy, the defict and the debt, which they don’t.

    Where are the jobs, jobs, jobs Boehner and Ryan?

  • Elvis Elvisberg

    Ryan never had a plan to do anything. The Roadmap projects deficits until something like 2063. And even that’s based on phony revenue assumptions.

    If we end a foreign occupation and return tax rates to 1990s levels, we’re most of the way to a balanced budget. See: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/11/13/weekinreview/deficits-graphic.html?choices=809205qv

    We have very low tax rates & receipts for an OECD country. Tax rates at 1990s levels won’t murder the economy, as people who lived through the 1990s know.

    In fact, anyone who cared about tax policy in the Reagan era, like Bruce Bartlett and David Stockman, have left the GOP, because today’s Republicans have no policy beliefs, merely a series of resentments and slogans they adopted 30 years ago. They’re mad at the government for making them desegregate their schools, so raising any tax anywhere regardless of context is politically incorrect.