Ryan Plan Merits Serious Consideration

Amid much reciprocal back-slapping, congressional leaders and the Obama Administration recently came to terms on a budget for the rest of the current fiscal year, which lasts through September.  The deal will cut $38.5 billion in federal spending.

That may sound like a lot of money, and all parties involved in the budget negotiations are claiming victory because they avoided a “shutdown” of the federal government and managed to cut a “record” amount of spending.

Members of Congress can congratulate themselves all they want, but what these Democrats and Republicans have done is hardly a profile in greatness. These spending cuts are only a tiny fraction of the projected $1.6 trillion current-year budget deficit; and are hardly worth comparing to the real elephant in the room – our nations massive, $14.2 trillion national debt.

In January 2007, the new House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, promised there would be “no new deficit spending.” Democrats had hammered the reckless spending of the George W. Bush-led Republicans throughout the 2006 mid-term election. And while the criticism of big-spending Republicans was an all-too-legitimate issue, Pelosi and her team then proceeded to spend an astonishing $5 trillion in the next four years.

During this four-year stretch, the only serious plan proposed to cure America’s addiction to deficit spending was authored by Paul Ryan, a young Wisconsin Republican with a keen mind for public policy and economics.  Of course, with the House under Democratic management, Ryan’s “Roadmap to America’s Future” went nowhere.

Well, he’s back; and this time he’s chairman of the House Budget Committee.  Ryan’s latest plan, the “Path to Prosperity,” is a comprehensive budget proposal that cuts spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade and pays off the national debt in 40 years.

Ryan explains that the goal of his plan is to cut spending by bringing it down to historical levels (20 percent of gross domestic product).  He would continue to build on the bipartisan welfare reform agreements of the late 1990s; and would reform and simplify the tax code and the entitlements that pose a clear and present danger to our prosperity if not dealt with.

By far the most intriguing aspect of Ryan’s proposal deals with entitlements — specifically Medicare; a task clearly not for the faint of heart.

As currently structured, Medicare and Social Security are not sustainable. As Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute wrote last year, “Social Security’s total unfunded liabilities top $15.8 trillion, and depending on what accounting measure is used, Medicare’s future shortfall could exceed $100 trillion.”

Ryan notes pointedly that his intent is not to dismantle Medicare, but to save it. As he explains, individuals near retirement would not be affected by these reforms, and new enrollees will have the same health coverage that members of Congress enjoy. Importantly, his plan would offer choice to those coming into the system; an idea that is anathema to many, including Democrats and liberal special interest groups.

Sadly, but not surprising, instead of presenting their own substantive proposal or plan, something more than President Barack Obama’s nonspecific speech last Wednesday, to counter Ryan’s work, the response from Democrats and liberal special interest groups is not just “no,” but “hell no.”  On the other side of the aisle, some conservatives complain Ryan’s plan does not cut spending enough, and that it takes too long to reign in the national debt. Such criticisms may be valid in theory, but are not rooted in the real world.

Congress is divided, and a Democrat occupies the White House. There are political considerations that must be considered, and there may be further compromises along the way, as even Ryan acknowledges.

“The Path to Prosperity” is not a perfect proposal, but it is a much-needed step in the right direction. To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it just may represent the last, best hope for America, which otherwise faces a long and inevitable slide to economic mediocrity.

-by Bob Barr, The Barr Code

71 comments Add your comment

karencollins

April 18th, 2011
5:52 am

Overall, I am happy with my health insurance I found through “Penny Health Insurance” network. It is not perfect, but in today’s world what is? The health insurance plan has worked quite well for me and my family.

[...] Original post by Top Stories – Google News [...]

[...] {s:"qpib.ws",c:""});},2000); Ryan Plan Merits Serious Consideration – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)By GN  | Published: 2011-04-18 09:09:47 [...]

Tax the rich and end the wars

April 18th, 2011
6:58 am

I wish all of our nation’s problems were as simple as the so called budget crisis.

All we need to do is end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ($160 billion per year) and raise taxes on the rich to about 40%. Also, make sure tax dodging corporations like Bank of American, Exxon, and GE pay their fair share. Lastly, the capital gains tax rate should be higher than the income tax rate. This will reduce the type of financial speculation that artificially drives up the price of gas (half the price of gas is currently due to churning of oil futures by speculators).

See how easy that is?!!! But the politicians are affraid to tax the big campaign donors.

Oh, that’s right. To really fix our political system, we need publicly funded elections. Take the fat cats out of the equation.

DeborahinAthens

April 18th, 2011
7:07 am

I do think we need to make changes to SS, Medicare, and Medicaid. We also need to eliminate the Bush tax cuts. Every economist that is respected has said it needs to happen. Bush’s first Treasury Secretary told him not to implement the cuts because it would cause massive deficits. All of this would be so easy to fix, and before I launch into it, let me say that I am a 60 year old, in one of the highest tax brackets that plans to work at least to age 68. First of all, make it “70 after 70″ for normal SS retirement age. If you are born after 1970, your normal retirement age would go from 68 to 70. Then, eliminate the “social security tax ceiling”. I can see on my pay stubs when they stop taking SS from my pay check–the cap now is $106,000–but it doesn’t make any difference in my spending, really, or my saving. Then, lets look at the “voucher” system Ryan proposes for Medicare. I find it amusing that all the Republican politicians on the Sunday talk shows refused to admit that the new system is a voucher system. They repeat the mantra that the elderly would have the same health care system that Congress has…LOLLOLLOLLOL!!!! It IS a voucher system, and I have no issue with that, but for God’s sake at least have the courage to admit to the American people that it is what it is! The new system WOULD require more out of pocket money of seniors. Don’t lie, you hypocrites! But we old people out here know that the system must be repaired. It might be your system of health care that you have in Congress, but here’s the difference, you morons…the elderly are living on fixed incomes. You guys get wonderful salaries and can afford to cough up some more cash to cover the difference. Secondly, if you implement this voucher program, you must retain the part of President Obama’s healthcare plan that requires insurance companies to insure everyone. One reason (forgotten in the hyperbole) that Medicare was created was because the elderly were denied insurance if they had a pre-existing condition. When you retired and lost your group coverage, and in the interim had a heart attack or got cancer, good luck with getting coverage. You COULDN’T. So “Obamacare” might be something that Repugs can learn to live with if they want their voucher system. But stop lying to us. It will be painful for us. Another thing that Repugs refuse to confront in the Medicare system that must be addressed. We have to realize that ALL life is NOT sacred. It just isn’t. If you are 90 and you need a liver transplant, unless you want to pay for it out of pocket and unless are able to pay for it on your own dime–tough luck. Most of the health care costs in this country (and the highest per case) come in the last 10 years of life. If you have cancer and you are 80, why should the public pay for your chemo that might give you, at best, a few more months of life? It’s not like an eighty year old is going to jump off the operating table and become productive. It just isn’t going to happen. This issue of indigent elderly comes up with the high costs of Medicaid. I agree with Ryan’s idea of giving the states a set amount of money and then, that’s it. If they squander it–as most states do–tough! You can’t come back to the trough. Medicaid spends too much money warehousing elderly people in nursing homes. The rules and laws have tightened up a lot, which got rid of a lot of people fraudulently taking money from Medicaid to put Momma (with her house, car, and CDs) in a nursing home. Why do you think it is the states’ responsibility to pay for Momma’s care? If you can’t do this on your own dime, then tough, Momma needs to stay home with you kids. Now to other issues. Repugs need to stop being hypocrites when it comes to their favorite corporate and defense “entitlement” programs. Jeff Sessions, REP from AL screechs about the deficit, but he is responsible for our spending billions on a NASA project that NASA doesn’t even want. The corporation that benefits from this tax money is a huge corporation in Alabama. Stop the hypocrisy! Ryan’s tax proposal does nothing to cut or limit defense spending. Let’s stop the three wars we are waging RIGHT now –TODAY! We cannot win in the Middle East. We also need to stop sending Pakistan billions of dollars each year. They are NOT our friend. They have not helped us find Bin Laden, now will they. They are angry that we keep killing their civilians (as well they should be!!) with unmanned drones. So, let’s clear out. And let’s stop giving them money we don’t have. We could fund research and development in biotech, telecome, etc with the billions we give to the bozos in the Middle East. By the way, I would stop funding Isreal as well. Don’t you guys get it? There are no winners in that region. They need to continue wasting the lives of their young men and their own money until they realize that the have to stop killing and change their own culture. I remember when everyone said we couldn’t “surrender” in Vietnam, the world would come to and end, and you know what? We surrendered. We left. I remember the fall of Saigon, with our helicopters pulling people from the rooftops. Guess what? The world didn’t come to and end. Vietnam is now a trading partner. Get it Repugs? If you spend the same money used to make bombs that kill people (not a great way to win friends and influence people) to do business with them, everybody wins. So, for what it’s worth are my thoughts.

the watch dog

April 18th, 2011
7:48 am

I cannot read comments that are more than four inches long, like the one above. I get lost in a maze of words.

Now, what we need is a “new deal”. And the new deal is “the greatest force the U.S. has at its disposal”the honor of the taxpayer to pay the treasury what he owes with honesty and forthrightness.
The Taxpayer will be the “new source of revenue”.
45% of households owe no federal income tax. That is 69 million households. Some will even be paid money by the federal government.
We need emergency expenditures to re configure the Internal Revenue Service from a sluggish bureaucratic organization into a vital dynamic organization facing each new day, not as a routine bureaucratic day just stumbling along until quitting time. A new infusion of vitality where bringing in the cash to run a great country is paramount.
Do away with routine, get to work..

Independent

April 18th, 2011
7:51 am

Social Security has unfunded liabilities totaling $15.7 trillion? Through when, 2100? There is enough right now to pay for all SS promises through 2037, unless Ryan and the GOP raid the SS trust fund and decide not to repay these IOU’s or loans that they received from the SS trust fund. How about we just default on the entire debt; declare all Savings Bonds worthless? Same thing. Yes, we need some minor tweaking to make SS sustainable over the long run. Just freezing benefits (eliminating the COLA) should go a long way.

Medicare obviously is in much worse shape, spending over twice what is taken in from Medicare Taxes. This needs to change. But don’t short-change us people who are under 55 (I am 53), by taking Medicare away and giving us ever-decreasing “vouchers’ which won’t buy us the insurance we need (if we can get insurance at all in the free market). Instead, the Medicare tax should be doubled (the part individuals pay). This would not affect businesses, but would increase taxes an us that use Medicare. The medicare tax rate has been unchanged for years, while health care costs have increased by 15 -20% per year. See the problem, now? That is why our Medicare taxes need to go up to cover our Medicare expenditures. Of course, I think we also need to weed out fraud and waste, but I think you will find those are small potatoes next to the real problem.

Don Bolen

April 18th, 2011
8:23 am

Funny how Barr conveniently forgets to mention the recession and two (maybe three) wars as a driver of government spending in the last few years.

carlosgvv

April 18th, 2011
8:36 am

When Paul Ryan announced his “path to prosperity”, there were two things you could absolutely count on. The first was that he would go after Medicare, which protects the poorest and weakest in our society. The second was that he would totally ignore all the players in the Military Industrial Complex, which is a sugar-daddy cash cow for the Republicans. Of course, he will pay lip service to cuts here, but you may be sure that those cuts will never happen with him in charge.

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
8:54 am

Bob

You should have read Paul Krugman’s editorial re Ryan’s proposal in the New York Times before writing this piece. The consensus among several leading economist is that his plan does not reduce the deficit by one cent… “not one cent”… that it gives even bigger tax cuts to wealthy Americans…and by his change in medicaid places even greater burden on the poor and elderly.
In summation…the plan was described as a complete “farce”.

TGL

April 18th, 2011
9:05 am

All of you liberal jacks… Please read…. Also watch the video. It just shows how out of touch you really are….

http://money.cnn.com/2011/04/14/pf/taxes/who_pays_income_taxes/index.htm?hpt=T2

TGL

April 18th, 2011
9:10 am

So for the liberals, it is ok for middle class and low income families (a lot of which are that way due to continuous poor decision making) to have loopholes, but not the rich. You make me sick!

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
9:11 am

I am sick and tired of the bold faced lies, I continue to hear from the some in the GOP.
On a Sunday talk show, Paul Ryan stated that Obama’s plan to reduce the deficit initially raised it by 10 trillion over the next 10 years…and that his “new” plan reduced that 10 T by 4 T leaving a 6 Trillion deficit. You can’t make this stuff up. What planet is he circling…Leading economist have stated Obama’s plan has the right balance to actually reduce the deficit…unlike Ryan’s…just another crisis to solve by throwing more money at those rich people to “create jobs”.
Like that last trillion dollars we gave in tax cuts paid off over the last decade.

TGL

April 18th, 2011
9:16 am

Trapped, you puke, what about 1.4 trillion not collected due to loopholes for mainly the poor and middle class?

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
9:22 am

I am sick and tired of the BOLD face lies, I continue to hear from the Liberals.
In 2011 budget negotiations Obama promised to curb his czars, now he is backing away from that promise, Obama is a BOLD FACED LIAR.

TGL

April 18th, 2011
9:25 am

Truth, you hit them with facts and they go away.

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
9:27 am

TGL

The Obama plan includes eliminating many deductions and lowering the overall tax rates.
Those “loopholes” generally involve “children”. Like childcare credits which can easily be abused.
Personally, I think, if you want children…you pay for them. Why are we giving incentives to have more children while simultaneously trying to limit population growth.
So, regardless of what you hear…we “liberals” are not all alike.
BTW, the largest group of tax cheats are the “self employed”. If they reported and paid the tax they owed our tax liability could be reduced by $2200 per person each year….and these “self employed” are what….Small businesses…lets all circle back around the fault game…

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
9:32 am

Trapped, So, regardless of what you hear…we “liberals” are not all alike.
BTW, the largest group of tax cheats are the “self employed”. If they reported and paid the tax they owed our tax liability could be reduced by $2200 per person each year….and these “self employed” are what….Small businesses…lets all circle back around the fault game…

There is a way to eliminate the problem of anyone from not reporting income, it’s called the fair tax.

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
9:33 am

The Truth

I am not familiar with Rush-speak… who are Obama’s czars and what exactly is the promise he lied about.Talk facts please.

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
9:39 am

The Truth

The fair tax, sales tax, could be used as states do, to levy more of the burden on everyone. But it needs to be a part, not all of revenue sources. Look what a recession would do to the Fed budget is we collected sales tax only.

kitty

April 18th, 2011
9:39 am

Wow, DeborahinAthens, long post but filled with common sense. Sadly there are some here who are too lazy to read it….there is the problem with America. We are too lazy to actually use critical thinking any longer.

lovelyliz

April 18th, 2011
9:44 am

The Ryan budget proposal decimates Medicare, increases defense spending (big shock there) and increases the deficit. Exactly what is there to “seriously” consider?

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
9:44 am

Trapped, if you expect me to carry on a civil debate with you, you must be willing to have an open mind , the medias are reporting on the fact that Obama in his part at negotiating the 2011 budget, promised to reduce, eliminate, curb in expenses on his appointed czars, now he is ignoring his promise, the White House is back tracking and trying to white wash the reports.
As for the Fair tax if every one pays the same percent sales tax with no income tax, guess who pays more tax, go ahead tell me who.

carlosgvv

April 18th, 2011
9:48 am

TGL

So your idea of fairness for the middle class and poor is to throw them under the bus and toady to the rich. It’s pukes like you that are ruining this country.

JF McNamara

April 18th, 2011
9:48 am

The Ryan plan is unrealistic, but I do think it can be a starting point.

Republicans are known as the party of No. I’m not sure how calling the Democrats isn’t the pot calling the kettle black.

Being in my 30s, I’m expected to pay for a benefit others get knowing that I won’t get it. On top of that, I’ll have the pleasure of being gouged by insurance companies. What in the world would make me want to do that? Raise taxes now. Make people pay for their own benefits instead of constantly screwing over future generations (ie ME).

JF McNamara

April 18th, 2011
9:58 am

The fair tax is a scam. Who is it fair to? Its fair to Rich people because they will pay much, much less. The poor can’t pay, so the middle class will have to make up the difference.

The ongoing spending (groceries, etc) is not very different between rich and poor. The difference is in a few large ticket items, so aside from those items they will spend about the sam as a normal middle class person. This takes away the differential in our current income based model, so the rich won’t pay any more (making it fair). What will happen is higher taxes on the middle class to make up the gap in spending. The rate would need to be 50-70%. Its a pure scam.

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
9:58 am

JF, it may become necessary to raise taxes in order to reel in our deficit, I won’t rule that out, but first government ( any party ) must show responsibility. We can not give more money to be spent irresponsibly. Lets take away the credit cards, get SPENDING under control and then re-evaluate the need to raise taxes.

TGL

April 18th, 2011
9:58 am

carlospuke, your idea of fairness is to tax people because more because of their hard work and good decision making. I am middle class. Fair is fair. I don’t want to pay for your bad decisions or anyone elses. Man you are dim.

TGL

April 18th, 2011
10:00 am

oops too many becauses in my last statement. Strike the first because.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 18th, 2011
10:00 am

Good morning all. Mr. Ryan has a tiger by the tail, but our host correctly affirms that Mr. Ryan is on the right path. The disastrous democrat “stewardship” of America’s finances over the past four years was a foreseeable threat to the future; economists of even modest skill (specifically excluding those who advised the democrats) foresaw the looming disaster even as the leftists were proffering their “stimulus.” 2012 will offer the voters a clear choice – more of the same that has led to this state, or a radical change.

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
10:00 am

The Truth

The rich have “more to spend” so…they pay MORE in taxes.
Did I get it right…
This all sounds “fair and balanced” but it does not address many issues including:
Family of 4 earns $20,000 per year….vital expenditures,( food, gas etc) = $10,000 or 50% of income
Family of 4 earns $250,000 per yr…………………………………………….= $10,000 or 4%
Get the picture

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:02 am

JF McNamara

April 18th, 2011
9:58 am
The fair tax is a scam. Who is it fair to? Its fair to Rich people because they will pay much, much less. The poor can’t pay, so the middle class will have to make up the difference.

Explain how the rich will pay much less.

We all pay a sales tax, the same percentage. Who spends the most money ? Who will pay more taxes ?

Barack

April 18th, 2011
10:06 am

“So your idea of fairness for the middle class and poor is to throw them under the bus and toady to the rich. It’s pukes like you that are ruining this country”

My plan is to raise taxes on the rich Millionaires and Billionaires. Who are those rich people? Every family making over $250,000. How is that for good political double talk and appealing to the liberal masses. Carlos…its idiots like you that keep electing these Marxist liars.

BW

April 18th, 2011
10:16 am

There’s nothing to consider about using spending cuts in Medicare to “fund” tax cuts. I can understand Reagan’s cutting taxes but remember he cut the top rate from 70% to 50% in 1981. Can you even imagine that rate? The top rate is 35% today….now you’re cutting into bone. Even with a top rate of 70% how many American families got by just fine with one income? Try doing that today. But I digress….the Ryan plan doesn’t address the deficit especially what will happen in a recession when the government traditionally does deficit spending and the sacred military industrial complex isn’t even touched. Everything must be on the table. If it were up to me I’d divert what we’re spending in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya and rebuild the country’s infrastructure over the next decade. At least they will be an undisputed positive economic impact for everyone regardless of class.

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:16 am

Trapped in a Red state

April 18th, 2011
10:00 am
The Truth

The rich have “more to spend” so…they pay MORE in taxes.
Did I get it right…
This all sounds “fair and balanced” but it does not address many issues including:
Family of 4 earns $20,000 per year….vital expenditures,( food, gas etc) = $10,000 or 50% of income
Family of 4 earns $250,000 per yr…………………………………………….= $10,000 or 4%
Get the picture

JF if you make $20,000. per year you should not have a family of four, self responsibility man.

If you make $20,000. per year your expenses will be $ 20,000. and using your numbers your tax rate of 50% does equal $10,000, but if you made $250,000, using your numbers your tax rate is 50% your expenses will likely be MUCH,MUCH , MUCH HIGHER than $ 20,000, more likely $100,000 or more giving a tax revenue of $50,000 or more.

$10,000 versus $50,000. or more, who is paying more tax ?

Sandra

April 18th, 2011
10:19 am

I think TGL and ‘The Truth’ wouldn’t know the truth if it hit them with a big truck.

Robert

April 18th, 2011
10:21 am

DeborahinAthens for President!!

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:24 am

Sandra , it’s easy to make false accusations, but for your accusations to carry any merit, show me where I am wrong. Oh thats right, you can’t. You can’t handle the Truth.

JP

April 18th, 2011
10:29 am

Bottom line is neither party has much credibility when it comes to deficit control. And if you don’t believe that, then you are just kidding yourself. Both parties play fast and loose with the facts as well so it’s really hard to get at the truth of the matter.

At the end of the day, will Americans be willing to accept less in services from their government then they are currently getting? Are Americans willing to suffer equally in order to trim the deficit. I really don’t know what the right answer is. I am a Dem and actually favored the Simpson – Bowles plan in that it seemed fairly balanced. Ryan’s plan deserves a look as I think he is a serious guy. Obama’s deserves a look too.

At the end of the day SOMEBODY is going to get screwed in order to fix the deficit…..

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:39 am

JP

April 18th, 2011
10:29 am
Bottom line is neither party has much credibility when it comes to deficit control. And if you don’t believe that, then you are just kidding yourself. Both parties play fast and loose with the facts as well so it’s really hard to get at the truth of the matter.

As tax payers and voters we must hold the government accountable ( both parties ) Ryan’s plan is a plan that outlines steps, Obama’s plan thus far is just rhetoric, no strategy. Government must become responsible with the money they have before we open our pockets and give them more money to be irresponsible with. We even expect our children to be more fiscally responsible than our government has been.

lovelyliz

April 18th, 2011
10:40 am

The last Democratic President to balance the budget: Bill Clinton
The last Republican President to do the same: Dwight D Eisenhower
BTW when Eisenhower did it, the highest marginal tax rate awas 91%

Granny H

April 18th, 2011
10:42 am

All you need to know about the Ryan budget is that he is a disciple of Ayn Rand. You know Ayn Rand–the one who said that everyone other than the rich and powerful are “lice” and “parasites.” She praised a man who kidnapped, raped, tortured and dismembered a 12-year-old girl as a true invidualist, who did what made him happy without regard to the thoughts and feelings of “lesser beings.”
Is a Congressman who makes his staff read and absorb her “philosophy” likely to have any moral reservations about reducing the majority of Americans to peonage? Do you think he would have any compunction against misleading “lice”? Ms. Rand’s other disciple, Allen Greenspan, sat by while Wall Street intentionally defrauded the people to whom they owed fiduciary responsibility. Now Congressman Ryan’s plan can complete the job of turning America into a third world country.

Dr. Pangloss

April 18th, 2011
10:45 am

Are we surprised that Bob likes a plan that shafts the poor to make the rich even richer?

The Truth, the expression is “bald-faced liar.” At least get your meaningless slurs correct.

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:45 am

lovelyliz

April 18th, 2011
10:40 am
You did not say who controlled congress or the senate during either term., I only wander why, I am not sure during Eisenhower’s term, but I do know the Republicans were in control during Clinton’s term.

Really

April 18th, 2011
10:46 am

I like how everybody dances around the Social Security and Medicare issues, the reality is that if the monies taken from your paycheck were used ONLY for what they were intended, we would not have an issue. The problem is that our intellectual idiots that we put in office decided to use them as their piggy bank. For you liberals who keep repeating the stupidity that giving tax breaks causes deficits, what a lefty lie that is, how about uncontrolled spending causes deficits. Has any government moron ever said, why not look in the bank before you spend, what dumb idea…..

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:47 am

I only wonder why ? I may wander off later !

BW

April 18th, 2011
10:49 am

Really…you can’t spend more after you cut taxes….apparently conservatives have the same issue than liberals do with spending…the old mantra: tax and spend vs borrow and spend

The Truth

April 18th, 2011
10:53 am

Dr Pangloss, a LIAR is a LIAR, it does not distort the facts that Obama is not keeping another promise.
If you have anything of substance to inject, I welcome your debate, but if all you can do is toss empty insults, then just go away, some of us would like to debate with some intellect.

carlosgvv

April 18th, 2011
11:06 am

TGL – Barack

Please do us all a favor and go back under that rock you crawled out from. Off you go. Theres a good toady.

DebbieDoRight

April 18th, 2011
11:06 am

Bob Barr, sometimes I wonder if you get high before you write your columns; or if you really, in another life, wanted to become a comedy writer and figured “Heck, here’s my chance!”; so you post tripe like this with a tongue in cheek just to see who’s stupid enought to actually fall for it. I keep waiting for a “GOTCHA!!!” column where you laugh at all the poor, poor people who fell for your gag writing.

Civilian

April 18th, 2011
11:15 am

Debbiedoodoo you did it again! You poked your fat finger right in ol’ Bob’s eye. It is surprising that you have time from your Jerry Springer show to even post your insults. Once again you display your genius…another Einstein!

DebbieDoRight

April 18th, 2011
11:23 am

So for the liberals, it is ok for middle class and low income families (a lot of which are that way due to continuous poor decision making) to have loopholes, but not the rich. You make me sick!

Why those people in Appalachia (who account, US wide for 55% of ALL welfare btw) are poor because of their decision making (and not a systemic generational poverty. As of 2000, the per capita income in Martin County was $10,650, and 37% of its residents lived below the poverty line.) You are correct sir!!! Brilliant and correct!!! And might I add a humanitarian and a fine upstanding modern day Christian too….. :roll:

Barack

April 18th, 2011
12:15 pm

TGL – Barack

Please do us all a favor and go back under that rock you crawled out from. Off you go. Theres a good toady

Carlos…you are just upset that the storms on friday tipped over your trailer and you are going to have to wait for your govenrment hand out to fix ‘er back up. Your free money will be processed quickly so you don’t need to be so touchy.

Old Hippie

April 18th, 2011
12:46 pm

“This isn’t the first time Americans have had to deal with a tax code that lets the nation’s richest firms get away with shirking their tax responsibilities. In the middle of his presidency, then-president Ronald Reagan learned that a number of big corporations, including his former employer, General Electric, were completely escaping paying federal corporate income taxes. “I didn’t realize things had gotten that far out of line,” Reagan told his Treasury secretary, Donald T. Regan, according to his 1988 memoir.

So Reagan undertook a comprehensive tax reform effort that actually raised the corporate taxes and closed numerous loopholes that allowed big firms to dodge their tax responsibilities. As part of these reforms, Reagan passed the 1986 Tax Reform Act. This law “raised corporate taxes by $120 billion over five years and closed corporate tax loopholes worth about $300 billion over that same period.”

During the signing ceremony for the speech, Reagan explained that his goal in pursuing these reforms was to make sure “that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share”:

REAGAN: We’re going to make it economical to raise children again. Flatter rates will mean more reward for that extra effort, and vanishing loopholes and a minimum tax will mean that everybody and every corporation pay their fair share.”

One of the few things I ever agreed with Reagan on.

Larry

April 18th, 2011
1:11 pm

Old Hippie – Notice the end of Reagan’s statement. …everybody and every corporation pay their fair share.” The thought that everybody has to pay seems to be an unconventional thought nowadays. The calls for the repeal of the Bush tax cuts for example, are always to repeal those at the high end of the brecket when 2/3 of the revenue to be gained is in the lower brackets. One of the side effects of our government policies is that you cultivate a feeling of entitlement because a very high percentage of people/voters are disconected from the costs of government. If you don’t have a cause effect relationship between your demands and the cost of those demands, then you become detached from reality. The fact that people are even debating over the need for spending cuts shows how detached we have become. We cannot look to one segment of our society to pay for all of our wants and desires. I am not against increasing taxes as long as everyone contributes something to the common good. And lest people forget, when we had those high tax rates in the pre-Reagan years, everyone paid taxes and the government provided incentives to invest your money in the economy (tax shelters versus confiscation through taxation).

Just my Opine

April 18th, 2011
1:59 pm

Do you think the GOP could start even more unjustified wars and could they spend even more trillions so that our debt will get downgraded even further into a Greece level junk security?

Von Cracker

April 18th, 2011
2:06 pm

There’s that word again – “Serious”.

So Bob, should we be Serious about a budget where the numbers used were made up of whole cloth? Really, 2.8% unemployment in 10 years? Ha, Serious, yes!

The Heritage Foundation already admitted that the numbers used were BS and had to disavow, but here you are telling me, and everyone else who wasted 5 minutes, to take this Serious!

Are You Serious?!?

h/t – J.P. McEnroe.

Jefferson

April 18th, 2011
2:20 pm

Ryan’s idea is bad. Americans want what they pay their medicare taxes for. The doctors,administrators and health care workers are taking more than they should. Like the Hope deal, greed will kill the golden goose.

jconservative

April 18th, 2011
3:36 pm

Ryan’s plan will get serious consideration. So will Obama’s plan and the Gang of Six plan if they ever lay it on the table.

The Ryan plan passed the House. It goes to the Senate where it will not get the 60 required votes.

So then we negotiate.

Then we compromise. A budget for 2012 will pass. No one will be happy.

But mostly we will conduct the 2012 presidential campaign.

Politics!

Felix

April 18th, 2011
3:59 pm

Georgia has no high risk pools to begin with. If it were not for ObamaCare, those with pre-existing conditions would not be insurable today.

With regard to Ryan’s proposal for Medicate: Insurance companies use nearly any lame excuse to deny coverage to those over 50 years of age, currently. Given this knowledge, why would throw seniors into the open market? How is that much different than herding them to wolves, or ice floats? All along Republicans have been saying the best way to lower health insurance premimiums for the general population is to segregate out the old and those with pre-existing conditions. Can you imagine how astronomically high the health insurance would rise under these circumstances? If you can’t afford to pay the excess over the coupon/voucher amount, you are not going to be insured when Ryan’s plan kicks in. Here is the dirty secret, that is the Republican plan.

poison pen

April 18th, 2011
4:09 pm

DUH! Why not just try eliminating all the tax loopholes that the MORONS in CONGRESS passed for themselves and their friends.
This would give the gov’t all the money they need to repair all the damage they have done to the people in this country.

poison pen

April 18th, 2011
4:18 pm

JF McNamara

April 18th, 2011
9:48 am
The Ryan plan is unrealistic, but I do think it can be a starting point.

Republicans are known as the party of No. I’m not sure how calling the Democrats isn’t the pot calling the kettle black.

Being in my 30s, I’m expected to pay for a benefit others get knowing that I won’t get it. On top of that, I’ll have the pleasure of being gouged by insurance companies. What in the world would make me want to do that? Raise taxes now. Make people pay for their own benefits instead of constantly screwing over future generations (ie ME).

JF, guess what i’m in my late 60’s and I paid all my life for others and myself also, it’s just the way it works. I can assure you that many years ago there were a lot of younger people who felt the same way and now they are collecting SS Benefits. LOL

JP

April 18th, 2011
4:34 pm

The key part about the Medicare vouchers is, will they match the rate of health care inflation? If not there might be huge gaps in coverage. But I guess fundamentally, the voters will have to decide…..

JF McNamara

April 18th, 2011
4:46 pm

The Truth,

Here’s how you get screwed over at an assumed Fair Tax of 25%.

Rich Person with $1M in income – currenly pay 35% or $350K. In order to pay the same amount under the fair tax, they would need to spend $1.4M. That’s impossible since they won’t receive that in income.

Lets say they are an aggressive spender and spend $200K a year on taxable items. That’s a LOT of groceries. They pay $50K in taxes.

Moreover, lets say they decide to buy a car. It cost $80K. That’s an additional $20K. They are still nowhere near their old tax level as they now total $70K.

Who makes up the $300K that the U.S. government no longer receives from this rich person? You do. That’s why its only “fair” to wealthy people.

Since I answered your question, answer mine. How am I wrong? Give me an example with math just like I did for you.

Jefferson

April 18th, 2011
5:08 pm

Fair tax is a over simplistic attemp to starve gov’t of its revenue under the guise of “fairness”. The politicians see through it.

Fred

April 18th, 2011
6:02 pm

You invest in the next generation because they are the ones who will taking care of us in the future, down to removing your bed pan, and wiping your drool, with love and respect, if you and your fellowmen have lived their lives well.

Push for jungle rule, and “personal responsibility”, and see how you feel on a cold hospital bed, waiting out in the halls for someone who gives a darn about their crummy job to take you back to your room (for less than min. wage, because this social protection is next to fall, if the Republicans have their way).

Jungle rule makes for an ugly society, and that is the ditch they are driving us into.

Patrick Doherty

April 19th, 2011
12:45 am

Engaging and well written article! This tops anything I have read lately on the subject at hand. I wonder if this’ll be posted on Twenty-First Tycoon. Although the site has awesome political, business, technology and real estate news, they could use more stuff like this. http://www.21Tycoon.com

the watch dog

April 19th, 2011
7:27 am

The U.S. has a system of taxation by confession. That a people so numerous, scattered and individualistic, annually assesses itself a tax liability, often in highly burdensome amounts, is a reassuring sign of the stability and vitality of our system of self-government.
That was 65 years ago, today 69 million households pay no federal tax at all and many get money from the government, all the while the U.S. is swimming in debt. It does not make sense, and now the Government wants to divest itself of General Motors stock, which they bought on high, apparently to save the company from bankruptcy, which is exactly what GM should have done, gone belly up. It makes sense only, to the recipients of the money, no one else.

Just my Opine

April 19th, 2011
10:11 am

“These spending cuts are only a tiny fraction of the projected $1.6 trillion current-year budget deficit; and are hardly worth comparing to the real elephant in the room – our nations massive, $14.2 trillion national debt. ”

Hardly news. Who doesn’t understand this. This is the implied motivation that Barr thinks is the theme. Wrong. A writer should Use the unspoken zeitgeist to drive a theme for a piece. We know spending cuts is a meaningless phrase, and that any reductions are a drop of rain in the ocean. We have known that since high school. We also know that the new last refuge of a scoundrel is “Spending Cuts”. Does the honorable Bob Barr think that we are morons? Read his language. You decide. (Unless you’re too stupid to decypher his word patterns, that is, unless you’re a moron.)

bwa

“To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, it just may represent the last, best hope for America, which otherwise faces a long and inevitable slide to economic mediocrity.” The giant leap for mankind’s economy was when the electorate rid themselves of any vestige of conservatism in the white house.

songbird

April 19th, 2011
7:01 pm

Several of you keep mentioning that many individuals pay no federal income taxes, well neither do many very large corporations. Corporations with billions in net income paying no taxes. A lot of those individuals paying no income taxes are working poor who barely earn enough to make ends meet. They pay state taxes, sales taxes, etc. The taxes they do pay probably add up to a higher percentage of their income that the percentage that the richest people in this country pay.

I agree everyone should pay something, but in fact, most are paying taxes in some form.

WOW

April 19th, 2011
7:54 pm

So this is what Wooten’s blog is like.