Don't kick the can --- cut costs

Ryan's budget proposal is the best on the table so far

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U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal isn’t perfect. But it appears to be the best proposal out there so far.

It’s certainly not the “stinkburger” that President Obama derisively referred to during his Obamacare sales-trip stop at a Michigan deli recently.

Regardless, many pundits believe the Wisconsin Republican’s budget plan likely will go nowhere, primarily because it would compel politicians to try something that millions of American households outside the Beltway do all the time – rein in superfluous spending and keep balanced budgets.

What a shame that fiscal responsibility isn’t more fashionable in Washington, because the country would be fortunate to see the House Budget Committee chairman’s budget enacted.

At a macro level, Ryan’s plan would cut $5.1 trillion in government spending during the next decade with no tax increase. The spending cuts, coupled with forecasted economic growth from lowering the corporate tax rate to 25 percent, would balance the federal budget by 2024.

Adjusted for inflation, Ryan’s spending plan would be a 29 percent reduction from today’s bloated levels.

What draws liberal ire and prompts name-calling is in the details. The Ryan budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act (an estimated $2 trillion in savings); increase defense spending; allow people to opt out of Medicare; and impose new work requirements for food stamp and welfare recipients.

Liberals attack the plan for cutting too deep. Rock-ribbed fiscal conservatives say it doesn’t cut deep enough.

It would be edifying to debate the merits and shortcomings of the Ryan proposal if there was a competing plan. But there isn’t. Senate Democrats already have said they do not intend to draft a budget this year.

Yet this plan gets thanklessly labeled as “mean,” a “joke,” a “stinkburger.” Say what you will about the proposal, but at least Ryan’s doing something.

Every member of Congress, underneath all the populist touchy-feely rhetoric, understands that out-of-control government spending and the failure to meaningfully reform entitlement programs have led to this nation’s fiscal crisis. Yet year after year, nearly all shirk fiduciary responsibility and kick the can farther down the road.

In that respect, politicians are like many of the people they represent. They say they support balanced budgets and fiscal reform, yet vigorously oppose nearly every measure necessary to do so.

Unfortunately, the clock in that game is running out. It’s time for a new play. Ryan’s isn’t perfect, but at this point in the game, it’s certainly good enough.

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Riverman1
94351
Points
Riverman1 04/11/14 - 05:11 am
5
2
Crazy Uncle Joe Biden With OUR Checkbook

The indelible sight during the Vice-presidential debates of Paul Ryan trying to talk economic fiscal sanity while Joe Biden laughed hideously and inappropriately demonstrates the attitudes of the two parties perfectly. Calling those who add up the numbers derogatory things doesn’t change the rules of math. Of course that’s the type comment that would have Biden mugging and laughing like a hyena trying to distract the public from the reality.

robaroo
886
Points
robaroo 04/11/14 - 05:55 am
2
2
Maybe It's Too Late Anyway

I applaud any politician who proposes a balanced budget, even if I don't like all the details.

My guess is that it is already too late to try. The US is already past the point where it can recover. Politicians know that, so why make anybody mad now? Get elected one more time and live the high life in Washington while you still can.

Bodhisattva
7340
Points
Bodhisattva 04/11/14 - 06:43 am
4
7
Ryan's budget is either bad math or magic

According to his "magic budget", by 2050, the US will spend no more than 3.75% on EVERYTHING except Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. That's ALL GOVERNMENT SPENDING! Defense, veterans benefits, education, energy, environmental protection, national parks, honeland security, the judiciary, transportation, all research and development, the FDA, OSHA, keep going, EVERYTHING! Yet he's going to increase defense spending? IN 2013, THE US SPENT 4.87% OF GDP JUST ON DEFENSE! That's not including all of the defense spending buried in other departments. He's making this stuff up. He's trying to kill Social Security, Medicare, and any other social program he can get his hand on and pass off this "budget" that in no way will remotely work.

"The Ryan budget would repeal the Affordable Care Act (an estimated $2 trillion in savings" Oh really? The Chronicle tells another whopper. From the CBO to Joh Boehner as they tried to pass one of God know how many bills to repeal the ACA:
"Deficits would be increased under H.R. 6079 because the net savings from eliminating the insurance coverage provisions would be more than offset by the combination of other spending increases and revenue reductions. In total, CBO and JCT estimate that H.R. 6079 would reduce direct spending by $890 billion and reduce revenues by $1 trillion over the 2013–2022 period, thus adding $109 billion to federal budget deficits over that period." The ACA reduces the long term debt because it also brings in revenue. There's the problem. Ryan tried to get the nation out of debt with no new revenue. Since the right wing likes to compare the nation to a household all of the time (which it in no way is similar, unless you declare war on your neighbors and spend trillions attacking them), it's like trying to get out of debt by not buying any groceries and not eating, and turning off your water and electricity instead of getting a part time job and bringing more money into the household. We've cut taxes to the bone on the only people who are making money, and they're making out like bandits. From 2009-2012, the top 1% made 95% of all of the income growth in this country. You cab bet your bottom dollar they didn't pay 95% of the taxes. Welcome to the oligarchy of America. If the Ryans of the country get their way, there'll be no safety net left for those who need it, for the elderly, for the sick. To paraphrase the crowd cheer at the Tea Party Express Republican debate, "LET THEM DIE!

corgimom
38777
Points
corgimom 04/11/14 - 06:56 am
3
6
If the US operates on a

If the US operates on a balanced budget, Augusta will die an immediate death, it would decimate Augusta.

Why would the ACES be FOR this?

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 04/11/14 - 07:51 am
2
2
Funny Dems always ask Rep

Funny Dems always ask Rep where is your counter plan to the ACA. Obama has made no pretense or plan to reduce spending or our national debt-fact the keynesian plan is to increase both. The CBO has stated the ACA will not produce 200 billion in savings in ten years but trillion dollar deficit. The ACA does not rein in spending, has not reduced health care cost-it is escalating. No the top earners paid 70% of taxes-we have a progressive tax system. Dang Bod this is pitiful. Obama plans to increase spending and increase our national debt will definitely not decrease the debt-that would be completely illogical. Since the top 10% basically fund the govt and all our benefits perhaps it would be "fair" if they had a greater say too-seems to be the logic of Dems anyway.

Scratch
150
Points
Scratch 04/11/14 - 08:01 am
4
2
No Whopper

Bod, The Chronicle merely reported what the AP stated re Ryan's proposal to repeal the ACA. You also accuse Ryan and the House of trying to "kill Social Security, Medicare, and other social programs..." but the proposal, according to the AP, "leaves Social Security untouched." Your argument seems merely to demean Ryan, his plan, all Repubs, and offers no solution to the enormous debt and huge annual deficit spending. Might you propose only enormous tax increases like Congressional Dems? Now there's some faulty math!

Bizkit
35764
Points
Bizkit 04/11/14 - 08:48 am
2
1
The ACA should be repealed

The ACA should be repealed because it doesn't achieve a single goal as promised-no 200 billion in savings, no reduce health care cost, still 30 million uninsured, and it will decrease our workforce and reduce revenues-which we need to pay for the law. It's ridiculous to support the law it is a blatant failure=Dems will refuse to admit despite the evidence to the contrary and it would be politically devastating-so they continue to support a failed law for the most ridiculous of reasons. If the law worked I'd support it-but it doesn't nor can it. One reason is allowing states to opt out, then the law had a timetable that was part of it too-that's been changed. The patient is on life support but it is dying-the only goal achieved that would make Dems happy is buying supporters who now get free health care.

dichotomy
37659
Points
dichotomy 04/11/14 - 08:53 am
4
1
Bod......."If the Ryans of

Bod......."If the Ryans of the country get their way, there'll be no safety net left "

A safety net does NOT provide more money than what you would get if you were actually working. A safety net provides subsistence level support. If we truly had a safety net, nobody would complain. What we have is a welfare rocking chair that comes complete with Cadillac Escalades, flat screen TVs, free health care, and free cell phones. Yes, we want a safety net.....no, we do not want what we have today.....total life support at middle class levels for those who will not lift a finger to support themselves.

During the depression the safety net was soup kitchens, government cheese, tent cities, and a centralized water spigot. I guess nowadays we could throw in a few porta-potties. People actually wanted to go to work so they could get out of the safety net. I recommend we try that again. Seemed to work, nobody starved, and it was an incentive to get a job and get off of the government dole.

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/11/14 - 09:02 am
0
3
Editorial

The entitlement programs are going to have to change. My mom doesn't need SS, but as long it is offered, WHO is going to turn it down??!! It has been said many times, "Mean testing!!"

Rhetor
1082
Points
Rhetor 04/11/14 - 09:09 am
2
4
good luck

I think it's sad that all the elderly voters who supported the Republicans because they were scared of Obama will now see their Congress attempt to make massive cuts in their Social Security and Medicare benefits. The purpose of these cuts is to finance huge giveaways to a few hundred billionaires. Next time, read the news before you vote. Good luck, guys.

itsanotherday1
48420
Points
itsanotherday1 04/11/14 - 09:26 am
1
0
SS means testing

It already is, indirectly. It is taxed over a certain threshold of income; so the folks making more, pay more, netting less of their SS check.

itsanotherday1
48420
Points
itsanotherday1 04/11/14 - 09:27 am
4
0
Rhetor

Can you point us to specific proposals that would do what you claim? I would like to educate myself.

burninater
9948
Points
burninater 04/11/14 - 11:55 am
2
1
dichotomy, you completely

dichotomy, you completely misunderstand the primary beneficiaries of extraneous "safety net" spending.

The average single-earner couple that hits 65 in 2010 will receive $859,000 lifetime Social Security and Medicare. They will have paid $367,000 into these programs.

The average double-earner couple that hits 65 in 2010 will receive $970,000 lifetime Social Security and Medicare. They will have paid $734,000 into these programs.

The average single male that hits 65 in 2010 will receive $458,000 lifetime social security and Medicare. They will have paid $367,000.

The average single female that hits 65 in 2010 will receive $512,000 lifetime social security and Medicare. They will have paid $367,000.

http://www.urban.org/UploadedPDF/412660-Social-Security-and-Medicare-Tax...

And rather than talk about this, we simply hear AM radio nonsense about cell phones and Escalades. Why? Because people like their own free stuff.

One of the very demographics screeching about poverty programs is the primary benefactee of the largest distribution of free taxpayer money to private individuals.

Wake up and smell the hypocrisy.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 12:27 pm
2
1
"Can you point us to specific
Unpublished

"Can you point us to specific proposals that would do what you claim? I would like to educate myself."
It won't happen. Typical liberal tactic, say something that is untrue then go away.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 12:38 pm
3
1
"The average double-earner
Unpublished

"The average double-earner couple that hits 65 in 2010 will receive $970,000 lifetime Social Security and Medicare. They will have paid $734,000 into these programs."
burn, obviously you do not understand investments. If the gov't had not stole the $734.000 from my wife and I we could have make a lot more than $970,000. Even the basic investments would have returned much more than that. Also the gov't took our money and gave a lot of it to a bunch of deadbeats so they would keep voting for the democrats.
'Wake up' and cut back on the liberal kool-aid.

burninater
9948
Points
burninater 04/11/14 - 01:15 pm
2
2
"burn, obviously you do not

"burn, obviously you do not understand investments. If the gov't had not stole the $734.000 from my wife and I we could have make a lot more than $970,000. Even the basic investments would have returned much more than that."
-------
More obviously, you have slept through the last decade.

The premise that "even the basic investments would have returned more than that" is only true some of the time. The market collapse and housing bubble from 2006 - 2009 wiped out vast amounts of investment value for many Americans. Even savings accounts, theoretically one of the safest investments out there, are only guaranteed safe through federal deposit insurance.

That's the point of Social Security and Medicare -- they are intended to be forms of insurance, protecting investors from the fact that investment returns are variable and NOT guaranteed, as you mistakenly claim.

So, ask yourself: does insurance work if insurance companies decide to pay out to all insured more than they paid in, regardless of claim status?

--------

"Also the gov't took our money and gave a lot of it to a bunch of deadbeats so they would keep voting for the democrats."

And funneling non-means tested SS and Medicare overpayments to seniors keeps people voting Repub. Above and beyond that, taxpayer moneys are used to subsidize entire Republican-majority ECONOMIES. The CSRA middle class would collapse if there was a sudden withdrawal of public money. This entire region sucks the government teat -- you'd have to be completely blind to pretend that wasn't the case.

So why the selective focus? Why accuse people of drinking kool-aid if you are going to continually ignore the vast private benefits reaped from public moneys in "fiscally conservative" areas like the CSRA, and similar communities? At least I have the ability to acknowledge that people in poverty benefit from public monetary support. What is wrong with the reality-observing abilities of "fiscal conservatives" that continually deny the vast private benefits accrued to the middle and upper classes by unearned taxpayer subsidy?

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/11/14 - 01:32 pm
1
2
edcushman @ 1:38

"$734.000 from my wife and I we could have make a lot more than $970,000. Even the basic investments would have returned much more than that"

The FORCED taking of wages for Soc. Sec. is exactly why the lawers have such a very good track-record of getting people their SS Disability!

t3bledsoe
14291
Points
t3bledsoe 04/11/14 - 01:35 pm
0
2
Editorial

Let's get real, people would not save anywhere near as much as the government with-holds for SS!

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 01:45 pm
2
1
"More obviously, you have
Unpublished

"More obviously, you have slept through the last decade. "
burn, sorry to disappoint you but I have had All of my 401k and my retirement lump sum invested for the last 10 yrs. and have done pretty well. As I said over the last 45 yrs. I would be way ahead if the gov't had not stole my money.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 02:16 pm
2
1
"Let's get real, people would
Unpublished

"Let's get real, people would not save anywhere near as much as the government with-holds for SS!"
Spoken like a true socialist, the gov't has to watch out for the poor dummies not capable of looking after themselves.

Jon Lester
2480
Points
Jon Lester 04/11/14 - 02:01 pm
1
1
Everyone on your side wants to cut "entitlements" first,
Unpublished

yet both sides of the aisle refuse to even talk about subsidies and other corporate welfare. We need to arrive at a system where no entity is subsidized for any reason, and in the absence of tax deductions, everyone could pay lower marginal rates.

We should also get out of the foreign aid business, and considering the State Department sank $5 billion into Ukraine to make a far bigger mess, and can't account for another $6 billion allocated to pay contractors, that appropriation should be slashed by at least $11 billion next year alone, and every subsequent failure to deliver value for money should be matched in kind with more cuts. The world would not be any worse for it.

Darby
29544
Points
Darby 04/11/14 - 02:41 pm
3
1
Stinkburger

more accurately describes the last five years of occupancy in the Oval Office.

Riverman1
94351
Points
Riverman1 04/11/14 - 04:19 pm
4
0
EdCushman, You Are Right

EdCushman, you are absolutely right about private investments vs. Social Security. Money invested 45 years ago through today would have grown to an astronomical amount. The rate of return in the stock market has averaged 12% since 1928. That meant anytime you invested money it would on average double every 6 years. Plus, the lump sum would be there if you needed it.

Then there's this philosophical question. Since the government did not invest the money you gave them and did not get a return on investment, how are they able to pay you a little more than you invested? Answer...by borrowing and printing more money.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 04:08 pm
3
1
Riverman, I find it
Unpublished

Riverman, I find it frustrating trying to understand the liberal's faith in the gov't which is run by a bunch of self severing bastards.

KSL
144844
Points
KSL 04/11/14 - 04:13 pm
2
1
Not to mention the buying

Not to mention the buying power of the dollars we are collecting versus the buying power of the dollars paid in. When we started paying FICA , gas was .29 a gallon and ground beef was .39 or less.

KSL
144844
Points
KSL 04/11/14 - 04:17 pm
1
1
Our investments have

Our investments have recovered, as well. Think of all the booms over the last 45 years.

T3, we could have chosen not to invest in our SEPs and IRAs.

Riverman1
94351
Points
Riverman1 04/11/14 - 04:20 pm
2
0
I added to my above comment,

I added to my above comment, Ed, to demonstrate the ROI.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 04:29 pm
2
1
"Since the government did not
Unpublished

"Since the government did not invest the money you gave them and did not get a return on investment, how are they able to pay you a little more than you invested?"
Riverman, not only did the gov't not invest our money they stole it from the so called lock box and gave it to a bunch of democrat deadbeats for their votes.

edcushman
7930
Points
edcushman 04/11/14 - 04:34 pm
2
1
Riverman, maybe burn will
Unpublished

Riverman, maybe burn will come back and example how we got this all wrong.

fedex227
11187
Points
fedex227 04/11/14 - 05:02 pm
2
2
"Money invested 45 years ago ... would have grown ... "
Unpublished

While this may be true, at the same time you would had to have passed a law mandating that individuals invest a portion of their income into an untouchable retirement account. Otherwise you'd end up back where we started and it would prompt the introduction of a government run social secuity system.

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