In the days since Gov. Mitt Romney chose U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate on the GOP presidential ticket, liberals have been arguing just how awful Ryan’s budget proposal is, i.e., it will destroy Medicare, forcing seniors to spend their golden years in abject poverty, it will eliminated the middle class, and, as a side benefit, probably bring about the apocalypse.
Most of the liberal claims about the Ryan budget plan are flat-out false, as should be expected from today’s liberals. However, on one thing they are right. The Ryan plan, when viewed in a vacuum, sucks, to use a technical term.
First, though, let’s get it straight. The so-called Ryan budget is more properly called The Path to Prosperity: A Blueprint for American Renewal and is the budget proposal for fiscal year 2013, which begins Oct. 1, put forth by the Republican Party. While Ryan played a pivotal role in its drafting, he was not the sole author.
Second, Romney has not adopted the budget plan as his own proposal.
That being said, let’s look at Ryan budget.
As noted above, the plan is awful. While it is embarrassing that this is considered a serious plan, it is even more embarrassing that members of Congress, as well as the president, see this plan as extreme. The problem with the plan is not that it is extreme, but that it does not go far enough.
For example, the left’s criticism of how it will destroy Medicare is laughable.
It simply replaces Medicare with another plan called Medicare that uses vouchers. However, it doesn’t even begin to kick in until 2022, when it will begin to raise the age of eligibility by a whopping two months a year until it hits 67 in 2033.
And the changes only take place for those who have not already enrolled. New enrollees would simply received a voucher to buy private insurance at a federally mandated price based on income and age.
The budget also eliminates many tax deductions and flattens the system somewhat.
Here’s the real problem. The budget, according to Ryan, reduces the 10-year deficit to $3.13 trillion.
That means, even under this extremely austere budget, as the Dems laughingly like to portray it, the federal government will still spend $3.13 trillion more than it brings in. The number would likely be higher as some of the figures in the budget, such as the amount of tax revenue and the unemployment projections, appear to be unrealistic.
However, as bad as this budget is, it is brilliant when compared to President Barack Obama’s proposal for 2013.
In fact, Obama’s budget proposal was so bad, that not a single lawmaker voted for it. It was defeated by a 99-0 vote in the Senate in May (the second year in row the Senate unanimously rejected the president’s budget proposal). This was after he House of Representatives rejected it in March by a vote of 414-0.
While Ryan’s budget brings spending down to 20 percent of GDP by 2015, Obama’s proposal never drops below 23 percent during the next decade.
Federal spending should never be above 18 percent of GDP.
Another key thing to remember when comparing the plans is that Ryan’s plan is actually a serious proposal. It is clear by the unanimous votes rejecting it that Obama’s budget is not a serious proposal. The last time the federal government enacted a real budget was in April 2009 and that was an omnibus bill for the budget year that begin in October 2008.
Since then, the Democrats have refused to even put forth a budget beyond what the president is required to submit by law in February of every year. Even for fiscal year 2013, the Congress and the president have already tentatively agreed to a continuing resolution to fund the government through March so as to prevent a bruising budget battle during the presidential elections.
Our government irresponsibly has been operating without a budget since Oct. 1, 2009.
It is unconscionable that the men and women we send to Washington are incapable of passing a budget let alone crafting a responsible, balanced budget. That is exactly why no incumbent deserves to be re-elected.