The Ryan budget, Part I: Social Security

House Republicans today released a budget plan drafted by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, that claims to cut government spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade, lower the top tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans to 25 percent, cut the debt by $4.4 trillion, raise real GDP by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, restore Social Security and Medicare to solvency and bring the unemployment rate down to 4 percent by 2015.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (AP photo)

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (AP photo)

Other than that, it doesn’t really promise much.

Given the importance of this debate, I thought I’d start a series of posts looking into those and other claims. And I want to begin with Ryan’s plan for saving Social Security, in part because it’s pretty quick and simple.

You see, the much-ballyhooed “Path to Prosperity” doesn’t even address the issue. Here are its recommendations regarding Social Security (p.47):

“– Force policymakers to come to the table and enact common-sense reforms to keep the program solvent for current beneficiaries and make it stronger for future generations. Social Security must be reformed to prevent severe cuts in future benefits.

— Set in motion the process of reforming Social Security by establishing a requirement that in the event that the Social Security program is not sustainable, the President, in conjunction with the Board of Trustees, must submit a plan for restoring balance to the fund. The budget then requires congressional leaders in both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to put forward their best ideas as well.

– Move the conversation to solutions that save Social Security, thus providing the space to forge a bipartisan path forward and ensure that Social Security remains a key part of retirement security for the future.”

In effect, it is merely a plan to someday force other people to come up with a plan. To my mind, that falls a little short of bold and forthright.

In the budget document, Ryan does attempt to set the parameters for debate over Social Security’s future, and he makes two essential points.

First, he takes tax hikes off the table as any part of the solution. More specifically, he opposes any attempt to levy Social Security taxes on income above the current FICA ceiling — set at $106,800 in 2010 — claiming that such a move “would create a significant drag on economic growth, job creation, productivity and wages.”

Second, Ryan dismisses the notion that Social Security has a trust fund it can draw upon to pay future benefits, saying the claim is “derived from dubious government accounting.”

“From 1983 to 2011, the trust fund collected more in Social Security taxes than it paid out in Social Security benefits,” he acknowledges. “But the government borrowed all of these surpluses and spent them on other government programs unrelated to Social Security.”

In other words, he argues, the $2.6 trillion paper surplus doesn’t exist. The funds that working Americans thought they had been socking away through their weekly FICA taxes in preparation for retirement have already been spent on other things, and the idea that FICA taxes were truly separate from income taxes, with the revenue being set aside for separate purposes …. well, that was merely an unfortunate illusion.

Sorry about that. You were betrayed; get over it and suck it up.

However, there’s a fundamentally important contradiction between Ryan’s two points, a contradiction that strikes at the heart of fairness and equity.

If the Social Security surplus really doesn’t exist, if it was just an illusion that government has no obligation to honor, then the extra FICA taxes that working and middle class Americans have been paying for the past 28 years were also an illusion. In effect, since the money was being siphoned off to fund general government, those taxes were just an income tax by another name. That’s the real effect of Ryan’s claim.

However, if you accept that harsh reality, how do you justify exempting income above $106,000 from those taxes? If the money really isn’t going into Social Security, then why do working and middle class Americans have to pay it while more affluent Americans are largely protected?

Ryan and his GOP colleagues can’t have it both ways. They can’t justify the income cap on FICA taxes by claiming that the revenue is being set aside for Social Security, and then turn around and claim that it wasn’t being set aside for Social Security after all. There’s no consistency to those positions.

Well, let me take that back. There is one consistent thread between those two claims. The argument in favor of preserving the FICA cap protects upper-income Americans at the expense of the middle and working classes. Likewise, the argument that there is no Social Security surplus, and that benefits will have to be cut as a result, also favors upper-income Americans at the expense of the middle and working classes.

The path to prosperity indeed.

– Jay Bookman

318 comments Add your comment

WOW

April 5th, 2011
2:19 pm

“House Republicans today released a budget plan drafted by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, that claims to cut government spending by $6.2 trillion over the next decade, lower the top tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans to 25 percent, cut the debt by $4.4 trillion, raise real GDP by $1.5 trillion over the next decade, restore Social Security and Medicare to solvency and bring the unemployment rate down to 4 percent by 2015.”

So what’s Obama’s budget plan? Oh that’s right, he and the Democrats never proposed one.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:21 pm

Jay, I should not be surprised. But it is wholly disingenuous to roast Republicans for cutting discretionary spending, saying its only a small part of the budget, and then roast them for working on the bigger entitlements.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:22 pm

“lower the top tax rate on the wealthiest of Americans to 25 percent”

Actually it lowers the top tax rate on ALL Americans to 25%.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:24 pm

Oh and Jay, there’s a full detailed plan. The details, not to be released, because you’ll just use it as ammunition to shoot the rescue squad.

Jay

April 5th, 2011
2:24 pm

Wow, let’s at least try to address this with some level of seriousness, shall we?

President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget is right here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview/

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:25 pm

“In effect, since the money was being siphoned off to fund general government, those taxes were just an income tax by another name.”

True. Money is fungible.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
2:25 pm

“Actually it lowers the top tax rate on ALL Americans to 25%”

Really? If you “lowered” MY taxes to 25% that would be a tax RAISE for me.

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:25 pm

As I see it with the Ryan budget we are finally getting the trickle down
we were promised….

Sadly they are p!ssing all over 95% of Americans….

Jay

April 5th, 2011
2:26 pm

jm, I quote from the “full, detailed plan,” available at the link.

But I’m a little curious about your claim — are you saying we have to wait until it’s implemented until we learn what’s in it?

Peadawg

April 5th, 2011
2:27 pm

Yawn…

Jay is whining about spending cuts that the GOP wants.

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:28 pm

Jay….

Screen cleaner please…..

WOW

April 5th, 2011
2:28 pm

“President Obama’s proposed 2012 budget is right here:”

216 pages, huh. So he wants to cut 8 billion. That’s all???????????????????????????

“Sadly they are p!ssing all over 95% of Americans….”

What a disgusting an immature statement, Granny.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:29 pm

Doggone – you’d be shocked by the volatility of the net worth and income of those in the upper income brackets.

In other words, people often wildly succeed, then rapidly lose that capital. It is both an argument for a flatter tax system and a solid social safety net for those that are the least fortunate.

The middle class does not need a social safety net, they can build their own if they so choose. Not that Republicans are even 1/2 proposing removing the safety net. But I’m in favor of a stronger safety net, but one a little bit lower to the ground.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:29 pm

Jay 2:26 – it will never be implemented. So don’t worry. Obama has that veto pen handy and ready. And Reid wouldn’t let it see the light of day even before.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
2:30 pm

Does Ryan’s plan include getting rid of the charitable contribution tax deduction, like Georgia’s Republicans did.

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:31 pm

“Sorry about that. You were betrayed; get over it and suck it up.”

Pretty much sums up the Presidential election result of 2008, doesn’t it?

It’s not as if many Republicans and too few Democrats haven’t admitted the fallacy of a trust fund for YEARS, Jay. Why the poutrage now?

And if you really want a serious debate about the budget and cutting deficits, the LAST thing you want to cite is Hope & Punt’s 2012 budget.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
2:31 pm

Is jm Nancy Pelosi’s long lost step sister.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:31 pm

Jay 2:26 – the CBO can’t score what you put above, and the CBO has been scoring his plan. So, whether you read them or not, or have access to them or not, those details such as are needed by the CBO obviously exist.

hahaha!!!

April 5th, 2011
2:32 pm

Yet you find forcing everyday Americans to pay $5 a gallon “bold and forthright” since that is merely supposed to “force other people to come up with a plan?”

As usual Gay, how very hypocritical of a Neo-Comm.

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:34 pm

WOW

Disgusting yep, but true.

The budget should be balanced on the back of those responsible for the economic meltdown…..and it’s not the 95% it the 5%.

Shame on you

Peadawg

April 5th, 2011
2:34 pm

Jay, how much does Obama budget cut? I don’t time to read the entire thing. Thanks.

Jay

April 5th, 2011
2:35 pm

No, jm, the CBO is not scoring his plan, as I’ll point out in a later piece. He used the Heritage Foundation to “score” his plan.

I wonder why.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:35 pm

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
2:36 pm

“I don’t time to read the entire thing. Thanks.”

sorry, I don’t have time to read it to you. You’ll just HAVE to do your own homework

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
2:36 pm

“The budget should be balanced on the back of those responsible for the economic meltdown….”

OK, let’s tax liberals more.

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:37 pm

“The budget should be balanced on the back of those responsible for the economic meltdown”

The budget should be balanced on the backs of CONGRESS??? I did not know that! ;)

Peadawg

April 5th, 2011
2:37 pm

I figured he’d know off the top of his head. No need to be a jackass, Doggone.

Libertarian

April 5th, 2011
2:37 pm

Man I thought Jay was going to praise the plan. Shocker, you don’t like it.

That’s all you got out of 73 pages?

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
2:37 pm

Ryan and his GOP colleagues can’t have it both ways.

Jay! How can you say such a thing!

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:39 pm

Jay 2:35 – coulda sworn I read on Politico they were waiting for a CBO score…. I’ll dig….

Scott

April 5th, 2011
2:39 pm

@hahaha -

BINGO!

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:39 pm

F Sinkwich and Dave R

Shame on you two too.

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:40 pm

“He used the Heritage Foundation to “score” his plan.

I wonder why.”

Because the Heritage Foundation has smarter people working their mailroom than Congress has in their Budget Office? :D

WOW

April 5th, 2011
2:40 pm

“Shame on you”

For what? I’m not the one going around writing about how my uterus is a god and how the GOP pi$$es on people.

You are one nasty nasty person.

Libertarian

April 5th, 2011
2:40 pm

Most of the evil rich that you lefties hate don’t get paid their millions in the form of a salary. They make it from dividends and investments. So the SS cap is kinda moot.

I still don’t know why the employee’s contribution was lowered this year. That was a dumb move.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
2:40 pm

jm,

you got a link to the CBO scoring of Ryan’s plan so I can read it.

Reality

April 5th, 2011
2:42 pm

If the farleft nutjobs really thought government was the end all, be all answer to the world then they would gladly tax themselves 75% like good little Marxists and give it all to Uncle Sam

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:42 pm

Well, there’s no doubt CBO produced a score for the “roadmap”, see below.

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10851/01-27-Ryan-Roadmap-Letter.pdf

But that’s from January. Still scouring…

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:42 pm

WOW keep digging….

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 5th, 2011
2:43 pm

While Granny’s assessment may have a crude reference (with the dramatic feigned “oh my goodness, such language” from the drama queen), it is indeed an accurate portrayal.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
2:43 pm

“I figured he’d know off the top of his head.”

And YOU need to get it out of your head that Jay hangs around here just WAITING to answer inane questions from you.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
2:43 pm

Bernie Sanders: “This plan does away with every trace of security that working people have fought for over last 70 years”.

Yep, straight up common sense right there.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:44 pm

NOTICE chart on page 7 of the “Roadmap” CBO score. (from the link at 2:42)

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:45 pm

And Jay, since you love such charts, maybe you should consider posting it in your heading above.

Peadawg

April 5th, 2011
2:45 pm

“And YOU need to get it out of your head that Jay hangs around here just WAITING to answer inane questions from you.”

Again, sorry you’re having bad day(obviously). No need to be a jackass.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
2:46 pm

Why do I come away from reading this that Ryan’s plan can be summed up like this: they’re going to fix Social Security as soon as someone tells them how

Granny Godzilla

April 5th, 2011
2:46 pm

Thanks Keeps….I wouldn’t let old whats’ his name use the fainting couch….just let him hit the floor and we’ll work around the lump..

I’m a nasty nasty Granny…..Mr. G you lucky dawg….

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
2:47 pm

Libertarian 2:40: “Most of the evil rich that you lefties hate don’t get paid their millions in the form of a salary”

Yeah exactly, it’s what I’ve been ranting about on these pages for some time now. Hedge fund managers, for example, eating the marrow from the bone of the American nation.

And I want my grubby little socialist hands on that money …

… and it’s so much more than the wealth envy of the FOX News set. I want the money to return it back to help to secure the future of he American nation. Sing it, brothers and sisters … let’s get our grubby hands on that money … stop the wealth envy of the right wing .. :)

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:47 pm

“Bernie Sanders: “This plan does away with every trace of security that working people have fought for over last 70 years”.

Yep, straight up common sense right there.”

Really? So all traces of security were done away with in the Democrat-controlled budget of 2008, LWM? Because that is the spending level the Ryan Plan starts with.

I do believe that Screw-Loose Sanders voted for that budget, did he not?

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:47 pm

Hell, even this statement gets a “half true” from Politifact. See link

“The Congressional Budget Office has this economic model where they measure the economy going forward, and they are now telling us that the entire economy crashes in the year 2037 because their computer simulation can’t conceive of any way in which the U.S. economy can continue.”

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2011/mar/21/paul-ryan/paul-ryan-says-cbo-model-self-destructs-due-rising/

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:49 pm

“And I want my grubby little socialist hands on that money … ”

Socialists. Always wanting what they didn’t earn.

WOW

April 5th, 2011
2:50 pm

Jimmy Carter 2.0

This is what defines Obama. Bye bye!

Obama: Everybody Has To Make Some Sacrifices And Take A Haircut

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/04/05/obama_everybody_has_to_sacrifice_and_take_a_haircut.html

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
2:51 pm

The Ryan Plan for cutting one trillion dollar in Medicaid costs:

The 16 million seniors and people with disabilities now on Medicaid would likely be at the greatest risk from these cuts. They constitute just under one-quarter of Medicaid beneficiaries but account for two-thirds of all Medicaid spending because of their greater health care needs and because Medicaid is the primary funder of long-term care services and supports, including nursing home care.

Dump ‘em. Dump ‘em all. Look at the savings! That Ryan’s really lookin’ out for us. Ain’t he a sweetheart. And that just the beginning of the GOP plan to save us from ourselves via their group rate death panels. How civil.

seriously?

April 5th, 2011
2:52 pm

The party of no ideas and empty, fantasy land promises is seriously trashing an actual good idea? No wonder your cult is losing thousands of members a day

jconservative

April 5th, 2011
2:52 pm

“From 1983 to 2011, the trust fund collected more in Social Security taxes than it paid out in Social Security benefits,” he acknowledges. “But the government borrowed all of these surpluses and spent them on other government programs unrelated to Social Security.”

So the deadbeats owe $2.6 trillion dollars and plan on lying and cheating their way out of paying off the debt?

A deadbeat by any other name is a dadbeat.

jm

April 5th, 2011
2:52 pm

Jay, yes, it does appear Ryan is using Heritage and not the CBO. Though, as I demonstrated before, the CBO has scored the “roadmap”.

I would not be surprised if there are more details than what has been show above. Ryan is anything but stupid and knows you have to craft specifics to solve the problem. But arming the enemy at this stage is not their intention, obviously.

Libertarian

April 5th, 2011
2:55 pm

@left wing

“And I want my grubby little socialist hands on that money … ”

At least you admit it.

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:55 pm

“The party of no ideas and empty, fantasy land promises is seriously trashing an actual good idea? No wonder your cult is losing thousands of members a day”

What are the Democrats trashing now? :)

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
2:56 pm

Dave R: “Really? So all traces of security were done away with in the Democrat-controlled budget of 2008, LWM? Because that is the spending level the Ryan Plan starts with.”

It’s about the revenue, Dave, the revenue, not the spending. As any freshman in a business management class knows, the key is the revenue.

Hey listen up:

According to a Wall St Journal / NBC News poll, the percentage of people who support the following:

Placing a surtax on federal income taxes on people earning over one million dollar a year: Totally support (55%), Mostly acceptable (26%), Mostly unacceptable (11%), Totally unacceptable (6%).

I don’t know righties, looks like the American people got them a mean case of wealth envy.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

April 5th, 2011
2:57 pm

But arming the enemy at this stage is not their intention, obviously.

When did the American people become the enemy? I guess your feigned cries about transparency don’t apply to a Congressional leader?

Thulsa Doom

April 5th, 2011
2:58 pm

We could just stick with Obama’s projected 1.6 trillion dollar deficit for 2011 and his own administration’s projected deficits through 2020. If we do that then we can just solve govt runaway spending by saying “Yes.We can!” and “hopey changey” and “Change you can believe in!”. Just repeat these slogans over and over and everything will be all right!

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
2:59 pm

Leaders don’t govern by polls, LWM, they govern by principle. I’m sure you don’t recognize that since no one in Congress has done so for decades, but this new crop of GOP fiscal hawks is doing so, and quite brilliantly, I might add.

And you have it completely backwards as usual,. We don’t have a revenue problem. We have always had a spending problem.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:00 pm

JB: Republicans are just trimming around the edges
R’s: You have to start somewhere.
JB: But you’re not meaningfully doing anything
R’s: Well we’re going to cut discretionary first, then go after the bigger fish.
JB: Well now you’re destroying all those good things, our seed corn, etc.
R’s: Too bad. Not everything is seed corn. Some of it is just corn syrup.
JB: Well, you’re still not doing anything about the big budget pieces.

A month Later….

JB: You’re cutting those uber important safety nets and invalidating the SS Trust fund!?!?!
R’s: We said we’d get to it.
JB: But you can’t cut that, and if you want to fix SS, you should just tax the rich more by raising the cap.
R’s: We’re not going to do that, we’re going to make minor adjustments and grandfather in existing and close to retirees 55 and over.
JB: Well that will just destroy people.
R’s: You said you wanted us to address the big items.
JB: But not by hurting people
R’s: There’s a $1.5+ Trillion deficit Jay.
JB: Well isn’t the trust fund worth something?
R’s: Nope

Jay, I’m sorry to parody all this. But do you see how ridiculous this line of argumentation the left is making is? Everyone from the moderates to the right does.

Libertarian

April 5th, 2011
3:00 pm

“I don’t know righties, looks like the American people got them a mean case of wealth envy.”

Yes, they do.

Left wing…are you currently in a freshman college class? You certainly come across that way.

paul ryan | CokiTrends

April 5th, 2011
3:00 pm

[...] Read more [...]

Honest question

April 5th, 2011
3:01 pm

Using Chuck Shumer’s deranged logic, in a kook’s warped mind were the participants of the original Tea Party “extremists” while Hilter was just misunderstood?

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:02 pm

Jay, as I mentioned the other day, the media’s rhetoric (yours included) is not helping solve the problem. Judgment should be reserved until a final plan is crafted and up for a vote. Then you can shed all the light on it that you want.

In the meantime, you and your brethren should let those on the left and right that are trying to save our country proceed in as much sanity and breathing room as you can stand to give them.

F. Sinkwich

April 5th, 2011
3:03 pm

Here’s something admirable:

“The Republican proposal says one of its aims is “making sure that not a penny goes toward implementing the new [health care] law” ”

That’s a flag I can salute!

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
3:04 pm

Ryan’s road map is essentially to treat the Medicaid recipients like road kill and to push them off on the side of the road for the buzzards to feast on. Then again, we would not want the GOP to go hungry, would we.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:06 pm

TaxPayer 3:04 – that was a very fact based argument supported with lots of documentation. Well thought out.

Southern Comfort (aka The Man)

April 5th, 2011
3:06 pm

This will be a bunch of mumbo jumbo over a piece of legislation that will never be enacted. Wasted energy…

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
3:06 pm

Pelosi wants to know if Ryan is single. She thinks they have a lot in common.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
3:08 pm

jm,

I’m sure Ryan thought long and hard about his plan to toss the Medicaid recipients to the buzzards and it is quite obvious to anyone reviewing Ryan’s piece of work that the buzzards won, hands down.

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

“Ryan’s road map is essentially to treat the Medicaid recipients like road kill and to push them off on the side of the road for the buzzards to feast on.”

If only any of that statement were true or backed up with, you know – facts?

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

TaxPayer – hyperbole much?

The dumb get dumber

April 5th, 2011
3:10 pm

Taxpayer,

Educate yourself on what the original intent of Medicaid, Medicare and SS were. Maybe then you wont appear so foolish

josef nix

April 5th, 2011
3:11 pm

However, if you accept that harsh reality, how do you justify exempting income above $106,000 from those taxes? If the money really isn’t going into Social Security, then why do working and middle class Americans have to pay it while more affluent Americans are largely protected?”"

Good question….now, all y’all who keep carping about how “unfair” the taxes on the upper income brackets are…doesn’t this fit the paradigm? If not so, how?

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:11 pm

TaxPayer – just so you know, the plan includes shifting Medicaid to block grants so states can be more intelligent and flexible in how they deploy Medicaid money.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
3:12 pm

Dave R: “And you have it completely backwards as usual,. We don’t have a revenue problem. We have always had a spending problem.”

C’mon Dave, why did Ryan sidestep the issue of continuing lavish subsidies to utility industries even as we roll back taxes even further on the top brackets?

It’s cause he’s a little mouse peeking out from somebody’s coat pocket, that’s why. A little mouse in the pocket of the big man who writes the checks. A mouse with a clipboard and calculator and who knows his figures.

So don’t tell me about the Republicans governing not by polls but by principle. The previous president touted that – but was there ever a more slavish cow towing to polls: surreptitiously, stealthily, slavishly.

Here’s what’s gonna happen right here I bet: those principled, pint-sized revolutionaries you call your side are gonna be the ones to take a haircut when that carpet bomb they’ve been carrying around finally goes off in their suitcase. They’ll be soot-covered and teeth all a clattering when this one blows up, just watch.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:13 pm

josef nix 3:11 – the rich don’t benefit from SS. In other words, benefits are capped since the taxes are capped. Perfectly logical. Means testing is a better way to go than raising the cap.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:14 pm

“continuing lavish subsidies to utility industries ”

You must mean the solar power and wind companies.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
3:14 pm

Hmm, is Paul Ryan the new GOP playboy? Or should I say “Idiot Messiah?” since he is effectively issuing a plan of hocus pocus that isn’t really a plan at all, just kicking the can down the road as you conservatives like to say.

BlahBlahBlah

April 5th, 2011
3:14 pm

Can anyone on the left explain why going back to 2008 spending levels is allegedly “Draconian”

mm

April 5th, 2011
3:15 pm

The rightwing ignorance is maddening. To this day, it has been proven that banks and wall st. caused the recession, but still the wingnuts want to blame Obama and the Dems.

Whenever a wingnut opens their mouth, you can rest assured the opposite of what they said is true.

Raise the FICA cap and SS is solvent forever.

Now move on to a “real” issue. Like the 1.2 trillion we spend on defense every year.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:15 pm

Obama is such a utter and complete pansy it is ridiculous. For all W’s faults, he wasn’t a pansy.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
3:16 pm

As for the idea of us not having a revenue problem, if you believe that then happy Ditto-head day to you! Because that’s bunk. We have more of a revenue problem than a spending problem, and any plan that refuses to deal with one side of the issue is not taking the deficit seriously at all.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:16 pm

“To this day, it has been proven that banks and wall st. caused the recession”

Wherehow? mm, you have your head screwed on backwards.

If home buyers hadn’t defaulted on their loans, there would not have been the recession we had. Instead, government subsidized housing policies caused the collapse.

Smeat

April 5th, 2011
3:16 pm

Dave R.

April 5th, 2011
3:17 pm

“This will be a bunch of mumbo jumbo over a piece of legislation that will never be enacted. Wasted energy…”

Not so, SoCo. Here’s what I think will happen. Hope & Punt won’t do anything (as usual) and let the Senate do his blocking for him in 2011 and 2012. November 2012 comes around and the people see who is really blocking fiscal reform and boot out more than enough Democrats from the Senate to control that body as well as the House. I think you and others are completely mis-reading the electorate’s angst about deficits and debt.

If Hope & Punt does get re-elected, he might see the tea leaves (pun intended) and go along, or he becomes a lame duck for the next 4 years. The last thing he wants to be is dismissed as irrelevant. His ego couldn’t take that. So maybe he jumps on board the fiscal bandwagon so as to attach his name to it.

Or maybe he doesn’t get re-elected after all. Either way, the GOP still control both houses of Congress and reconciliation (budgetary item, you know) is used to pass the plan.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
3:17 pm

Just so you know, jm, I read your link and I can see the impact on Medicaid. It is essentially eliminated with Ryan’s plan. Do you deny that. Perhaps you would like to compare notes taken directly from your link just to see if we are on the same page. How about looking at Table 1 or Figure 3. Those buzzards sure are getting a treat, thanks to Ryan. Yum, yum.

Doggone/GA

April 5th, 2011
3:17 pm

“u must mean the solar power and wind companies.”

And General Electric:

“The company, led by Immelt, earned $14.2 billion in profits in 2010, but it paid not a penny in taxes because the bulk of those profits, some $9 billion, were offshore. In fact, GE got a $3.2 billion tax benefit.”

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/general-electric-paid-federal-taxes-2010/story?id=13224558

Blitz Wolfer

April 5th, 2011
3:17 pm

Obama’s budget “plan” is nothing but a bunch of lies.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:17 pm

Oh, and mm, we don’t spend $1.2 Trillion on defense. Try 1/2 that.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
3:19 pm

Likewise, if you believe that government has no place you may as well call yourself an anarchist, or a libertarian if you want to strip it down to nothing EXCEPT _____. You’re certainly not a conservative if you think government has no place in regulations at all. Recent big government initiatives have proven that.

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:19 pm

TaxPayer 3:17 – see this

“beginning in 2011, Medicaid spending per beneficiary would grow at a prescribed rate.1″

Translation: no cuts, just actually trying to manage the rate of growth.

TaxPayer

April 5th, 2011
3:20 pm

The Dumb get Dumber. It would appear that you have a bright future ahead of you given there is no place left for you to go but up.

Left wing management

April 5th, 2011
3:20 pm

But to answer you on the 2008 spending levels : “Really? So all traces of security were done away with in the Democrat-controlled budget of 2008, LWM? Because that is the spending level the Ryan Plan starts with.”

In word, yes, the security was already in grave danger then with the Bush tax time-bomb ticking away. Well, it just went off. And instead of facing it head on, our president dove under the couch, taking a rain check on all-out ideological war. Well, the wolf’s at the door again.

Adam

April 5th, 2011
3:20 pm

Dave R: If the GOP ever DOES get the Senate and the House at the same time, they might have to actually GOVERN instead of punting to the President like they are doing right now.

BlahBlahBlah

April 5th, 2011
3:21 pm

The Democratic Party’s idea of a great budget = $1 trillion annual deficits into perpetuity. WINNING!

jm

April 5th, 2011
3:21 pm

TaxPayer – apparently your reading comprehension is lacking. what, in any of that, says anyone is throwing Medicaid recipients under the bus?

Hell, they’ve got Medicaid in place forever, through the year 2090.