Deadbeat: "How many AMGers are ready to give up their Medicare? Sign up now!"
Hey deadbeat! Whatever you do, do NOT read the piece before commenting on it, ok?
Everyone who bothered to read the piece: I would be very very happy to abandon my Medicare right now if they offered what Ryan is talking about.
But I guess we have to wait now while liberals and lazyass people on forums and blogs pretend that Ryan and the republicans are trying to pull the rug out from seniors. Par for the course.
In 2002, the GWB administration explicitly told the American people we are engaged in a Global War of Terror.
It would be fought militarily, covertly, on the financial front, through law enforcement, and so on.
Americans can argue about the wisdom of that, but they can't argue that it's not happening.
We also can't deny that the Muslim terrorist organizations have declared war on us. One response would be to ignore them and not try to defeat them. It's not the response I would choose.
You seem so pessimistic about any chance of turning things around.
If I had your outlook, I would have to unplug from all sources of information so as not to become incurably depressed.
As usual, libertarians are useful in reminding us dullards of political man's gross imperfections.
Meanwhile, anyone who thinks that Ryan's plan isn't good enough should check out the graphs and commentary here.
When will the politicians lead by example and begin cutting their own retirement and medical benefits? I'm not suggesting that the cutting of entitlements isn't needed, just that real leadership should involve leading instead of cowering behind the troops to protect yourself.
Commenting on the commentary economike linked, lest folks think Ryan is dodging social security reform --
Paul Ryan said on CNBC that Social Security is the easiest fix, and for that reason there is going to stand-alone legislation introduced this year to make the needed changes. He expects there will be bipartisan support for a fix.
...Ryan's...blueprint...suggested the government should stop being a provider of services and instead become a limited entity that collects taxes and passes them to state governments or private enterprises to administer.
Source: Wall Street Journal, "Budget Talks Head to Brink," April 6, 2011
....the government should stop being a provider of services and instead become a limited entity that collects taxes and passes them to state governments or private enterprises to administer.
This is a knife aimed at the heart to the Democratic Party's big government modus operandi - an example of how Ryan's plan tilts the exercise of power away from Washington and toward the states. A huge federal bureaucracy won't be necessary to direct the Medicaid program if the states run it themselves.
Richard Fernandez examines Paul Ryan's gambit.
The administation’s advantage lies in the slow-acting but nevertheless fatal effect of the deficit poison. ...a reduction in the deficit would bring instant discomfort which only be offset by a gradual and sustainable improvement. All the tactical advantages in the coming fight lie with the Democrats. There is therefore a political limit to which the Republicans can slash at the deficit without yielding. What they can achieve within those bounds is their chief problem.
If you consider me pessimistic it is because I believe that DC is controlled by crooks or worse
The only spending plan that matters in DC is what will be spent this year.
No Congress has ever followed a 10-year plan. If any budget plan beyond the pending fiscal year were followed, then there would be no debates over the annual budget year after year. Does anyone supporting the Ryan proposal honestly think that there will be no budget debate next year, because that Congress will simply follow through with the 10-year plan adopted by the previous Congress?
In the upcoming ficsal year--the only year that counts--Ryan's plan proposes to cut the deficit by a mere 1.5%. Wow. That's around $18 billion. That's a fraction of the proposed cuts in the Republican plan to get us through the rest of this fiscal year, which they can't even agree on.
Passing a budget for 2012 on the idea that the real savings will be realized over the following nine years is simply kicking the can down the road. Saying such a plan will work is either fantastical optimism or a lie. No one really believes this plan will be enacted as proposed, because it won't be. No one really believes Congress will enact a multi-year budget plan, year after year, over the next ten years, because it won't.
10-year plans are gimmicks. Why doesn't Congress just enact a 100-year plan, and we'll be set for life! The federal government operates on an annual budget. The only spending a Congress can control is in the annual budget. Any talk of cuts or taxes or spending in the out years is smoke and mirrors.
Virgil Kane seems to argue that if we can't turn the Titanic's trajectory away from the iceberg in the next ten yards, there's no point in turning the wheel. Of course, he's correct to note that (1) Ryan's plan won't be enacted as proposed and (2) even if enacted, it will be changed by the next Congress. But
Any talk of cuts or taxes or spending in the out years is smoke and mirrors.
this is demonstrably false. The recognition that government is changeable and unreliable doesn't lead to a conclusion that its policy directions are so random as to be incredible.
It's not just smoke and mirrors. The individuals who create economic activity depend on the trajectory of fiscal policies well into the future, that is, on their projections of the out years.
It is an empirical fact that credibility attaches to government policies, which can easily be seen if we compare, say, private economic planning in 1972 with 1982: people make decisions based on the direction government seems to be taking.
To follow your analogy,
Proposing a 1.5% reduction in the astronomical budget deficit is not "turning the wheel."
Paul Ryan goes to the weekly Weight Watchers meeting:
Ryan: "I feel great! I cut my caloric intake 50% this week!"
WW: That's excellent Mr Ryan, please get on the scale"
Ryan: "Sure. How is my weight, after my caloric cutback?"
WW: "Well Mr Ryan, you gained 20 pounds. What did you eat?"
Ryan: "Oh I ate a double fudge chocolate cake every night this week."
Ryan: "Yes, I just love cutting my caloric intake 50% !"
WW: "By eating a double fudge chocolate cake every night? What?"
Ryan: Oh yes, but you don't understand. When the week began, I really wanted to eat two double fudge chocolate cakes every night! But I didn't! I only ate one. See? A 50% caoloric intake cutback. And it was delicious!".
Why bother with comparison figures based on GDP? 2010 federal spending breakdown: Defense Department 20%, Social Security 20% , Medicare and Medicaid 23%, discretionary spending 18%, other mandatory spending 12%, net interest 6%. My point is that GDP does not measure government spending.
Libero here's the flaw in your point.
You can reallocate spending among the components of the budget as priorities change.
Cut defense to 18% of the spending, for example. what is ideal? Who's to say?
I guess in a static comparison, the "elephant in the living room" would be whichever component takes the biggest portion of the money, today.
But to see how spending stacks up dynamically - that is, how is spending on any component changing with respect to the whole economy - you need to show how the numbers fall relative to GDP, now and looking backwards.
That's where you see defense is not growing relative to the broader economy, while mandatory spending is.
Virgil Kane, you're right about the propsects for Ryan's plan, though I suspect that Rep. Ryan would be more hopeful about getting something passed.
But to your broader point, you have to look at the Ryan plan as more than just a budget resolution.
It would involve legislation that changes the way entitlements work, and therefore, it would carry forward into the future.
You have to look at why the savings are in the out-years.
That's when the effect of bringing discipline to Medicare kicks in.
This aspect of the resolution is more than just a budget.
It's a piece of reform legislation that changes the way Medicare is administered and how its benefits work.
You could pass the reform today and not realize the savings until my age cohort begins to retire.
That's not an argument against passing the reform today. The sooner we reform it, the sooner the savings will materialize.
It's true that a future Congress can undo the reforms, but that's different from saying the only year that matters is the current year.
If Medicare reform goes through, it will affect mandatory spending in the out-years.
We must couple anything regarding budgets with a commitment to vigorous economic expansion. A yearly 2% GDP rise means doom. We need 4% expansion, sustained, with no coupled rise in gov't spending.
We must couple anything regarding budgets with a commitment to vigorous economic expansion.
The Ryan proposal caps U.S. personal and corporate tax rates at 25%. This is a signficant supply-side improvement.
The numbers used to generate the savings in the out years are pulled out of thin air. For example, the data supporting his projections include a statistic that unemployment will be at 2.8% in 2021. Smoke and mirrors.
Number 1, how can anyone pretend to know precisely what the unemployment rate will be in ten years, right down to the tenth of a percent?
Number 2, with current trends, a 2.8% unemployment forecast for 2021 seems a tad unrealistic.
If Congressman Virgil Kane - or some other equally wise and trustworthy politician - introduced legislation to reform the fiscal policies of the U. S. government, can we agree that Congressman Kane's projections would be similarly dubious?
What is your argument? Do you think that Ryan's initiative is either so phony or of such trivial difference with the status quo that it doesn't merit your support, at least your qualified support?
2.8% is pie in the sky impossible exactly.
When have we ever had a low of 2.8% unemployment? Even during the best of times unemployment hovers around 4 %.
I've got to see what the unemployment was during ww2, because then it might be connected to reality.
From 1948 on best year 1953 2.9 %, Now that was a very good year, some of the brightest minds on AMG were born that year. lol
And from the link above from 1920 on, drum roll please................ 1944 1.2%
Michael Barone applauds and provides political context.
Ryan’s budget is a brave attempt to reverse the Obama Democrats’ vast increase in the size and scope of government. The premise of their policies was that people can’t make rational choices to take care of themselves and are better off depending on centralized experts to limit those choices.
For example, the data supporting his projections include a statistic that unemployment will be at 2.8% in 2021. Smoke and mirrors.
Coming up next from the left's echo chamber: Paul Ryan is a liar!
Beach said that the focus shouldn’t be on the new baseline unemployment rate which is generated by the model, but by the magnitude of job creation that comes from the Ryan budget (the percent figure that brings the baseline down.)
When asked why he included the unemployment figures at all if he was concerned about the baseline, Beach responded, “I could have chosen not to [have] chosen the unemployment rate, but then people would have asked for them” suggesting that Heritage was in a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.
The whole left Vs right is a yawn when it comes down to DC politics
Not everyone has attained your Olympian disinterest in the sordid rivalry of crooks and even worse. Good for you.
And thank God for that, because if everyone bought into my mindset, instead of the Snowe factor, we all would be marching down to DC not with placards but with 2nd amendment on our minds.
Maine Mom says: "In 2002, the GWB administration explicitly told the American people we are engaged in a Global War of Terror. It would be fought militarily, covertly, on the financial front, through law enforcement, and so on.
Americans can argue about the wisdom of that, but they can't argue that it's not happening...We also can't deny that the Muslim terrorist organizations have declared war on us. One response would be to ignore them and not try to defeat them. It's not the response I would choose."
It's this kind of Fox News/WSJ editorial page/Weekly Standard/Bill Kristol-led type of thinking which has trapped the Republican Party into stupid, expensive, unwinnable wars and excessive Defense spending. We are not engaged in a "war on terror". That's like saying WW II was a war on blitzkreig. We were attacked by 19 Islamic terrorists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, because we let most of them in the country (poor decision) and lost track of them, despite our 60 billion dollar/year intelligence budget. The war is against Islam and is nothing new. Western Civilization has been in conflict with this 7th century Christian heresy since the 7th century. Luckily, we are richer and technically superior to them, but they have not changed; we have. We have let them invade our country by the millions, most legally.
We don't have "to ignore them". Our response to attacks should be to attack their bases abroad via special ops and drones, deport and/or prosecute the hostile and criminal Islamists from America (the Major Hasan's of Ft. Hood types), and restrict any further Islamic immigration. We should not invade their countries and attempt to turn them into Jeffersonian democrats, which is the Neo-Con project. We need strict border security and a sane immigration policy, not interventionist nation-building wars without end. The USAF/US Navy/USMC can guard the air/sea lanes. That doesn't require the gigantic defense budget we currently have. Europe and Japan can guard their own.
Ryan doesn't incorporate this thinking into his budget projections. Why? He buys into the failed GWB/BHO war and foreign policy model. That 20% of the Federal budget which is for "Defense" can be drastically reduced if some visionary GOP candidate has the courage to break from failed and expensive Neo-Con group-think. Others beyond Ron and Rand Paul need to start having second thoughts. Empire is no longer sustainable.
Paul Ryan for President! He's our only hope!
I think you are grabbing a phrase from the young or ignorant Obama crowd that still says the same today
I take your point. This proposal entails changes to legislation that go beyond simply appropriating spending for the fiscal year, as do all budget proposals.
But when they start talking about savings that will be realized in the future, they can't be taken seriously.
Every time government implements a cost-savings measure, those savings get spent on something else. Clinton and the Democrats reminisce about the "budget surpluses" of the '90s like that was a good thing. Even then--when an R-controlled congress successfully created a spending plan with cash left over at the end of the day, they still kept our money. How is that "savings" to the people that pay the taxes? Ryan's proposing an annual budget averaging $4Trillion over the next ten years. That's more than Obama's spending now-- a third of which is borrowed money. How is that "savings"?
If there were some equally wise or trustworthy congressperson proposing legislation to reform the fiscal policies of the U.S. government, he'd have a better shot of being taken seriously by me if he hadn't voted for Bush's largest expansion of the entitlement system since LBJ, if he hadn't voted for the TARP bailout money, and if he had proposed something like what he's proposing now during any of the six years that his party controlled both houses of Congress and the White House.
The track record and the context are highly suggestive of political grandstanding. He and the rest of his party had years to enact real fiscal reform. Instead, they doubled the debt with Bush. If Ryan was serious about this, he would have done something like it--instead of doing the opposite--between 2001-2006.
Two years ago last month, the national debt broke throug $11T. Now we're over $14T. Ryan's proposal puts the national debt in 2021 at over $23 Trillion. How is this different than current fiscal policy?