Federal budget: Democrats say $40 trillion isn’t enough

Paul Ryan, the House GOP’s budget chief, wants Washington to spend $40 trillion during the next decade, including $5 trillion that America would have to borrow.

For this, he is being demonized as “radical” and “extreme” — not by the tea party, but by Democrats.

If you thought the debate in Congress about whether to cut 2 percent of this year’s $1.4 trillion budget deficit (Democrats) or 4 percent of it (Republicans) was borderline farcical, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

A fiscal-hawk Republican is proposing merely that government grow more slowly, along the lines of the recommendations of two celebrated, then quickly forgotten, bipartisan commissions. And how have Democrats reacted? By declaring Ryan’s plan a “path to poverty for America’s seniors and children,” as ex-Speaker Nancy Pelosi put it.

If there’s anything “extreme” going on here, it’s the leftist refrain that all’s well on the entitlement front, and that just a few tweaks are needed here and there.

In fact, the picture is far more dire.

Consider that current law requires all income-tax brackets to rise to Clinton-era rates after next year along with the full implementation of ObamaCare, while leaving entitlement programs untouched. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that following this course would, within 10 years, add $6.7 trillion in debt to the trillions we already owe.

Under that scenario, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and interest on the debt would eat up a whopping eight of every 10 dollars of federal revenue.

To balance such a budget without cutting entitlements or other domestic spending, we’d have to either reduce military spending from $700 billion a year to $0 — that’s right, not one penny for defense — or increase taxes on “the rich” by four and a half times the amount Democrats are willing to admit they want to take.

Matters only gets worse with President Barack Obama’s budget request.

His budget would raise taxes on the top two income brackets, still wouldn’t touch entitlements and would increase spending compared to current law. And keep in mind that current law already includes ObamaCare and bakes stimulus-level spending permanently into the federal cake.

The damage: $9.5 trillion more on the already tapped-out national credit card by 2021.

Under the Obama plan, entitlements and interest on the debt alone would consume nine of every 10 tax dollars during the next decade.

To balance his budget, the president would have to cut every dime of defense spending as well as half of all domestic spending (education, transportation, etc.). Either that, or raise taxes on “the rich” by more than six times the amount he’s previously called for.

Worse, both scenarios assume a rate of economic growth that’s unlikely to occur in a country where government consumes more and more resources. If growth falls short, the deficit will be even larger.

Does all this sound like a “scare tactic”? You’re darn right it’s meant to be scary. The indebted future that we’re careening into ever so blindly is a very, very scary one.

Folks, the kinds of changes envisioned in Ryan’s plan — a defined-contribution approach to Medicare, giving states less money for Medicaid but more freedom in how to spend it (a la the successful welfare reforms of the 1990s), accepting common-sense cuts in defense, and so on — are just a start.

They still leave us a long way, in both time and dollars, from balanced budgets. But they bring us far closer than anything else that anyone else in Washington dares to suggest.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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79 comments Add your comment

arnold

April 6th, 2011
7:29 pm

It doesn’t matter. Don’t you understand the Republicans just want to shut down the government?

bill

April 6th, 2011
8:01 pm

Arnold, there you go reactionary politics. No, the Republicans don’t want to shut down the govt. They are giving two options 1) deficit reduction by 40 billion or 2) proposing a two week budget to keep govt. running. No, Arnold it’s the democrats who are responding that they want 33 billion or NO two week budget amendment. In their eyes, another budget amendment is “not the way to run govt”. Well, let me see a two week budget amendment is worse than shutting the whole system down? Sounds as logical as Arnold’s comments.

Glenn Beck's Black Mistress

April 6th, 2011
8:16 pm

–crickets–

:lol:

Matt

April 6th, 2011
8:19 pm

Paul Ryan’s budget assumes 2.8% unemployment in five years. I want whatever he had to be on to write that thing.

that's goofy

April 6th, 2011
8:28 pm

am I the only one growing tired of the my party is better than your party commentary? Does anybody actually believe either party puts the best interest of America before the best interest of Party and self?

The House of Representatives is the Jerry Springer Show of government.

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2011
8:33 pm

This defined-contribution approach to Medicare (as I understand it) is a Democrat idea. What the Democrats really want is what they did previous: Don’t have a budget, just borrow, tax and spend without end. America spoke last November and we said NO to the Democrats out of control spending, growing the government and the government taking on a bigger role in our everyday lives.

Remember, as your comrade dear leader said: Elections have consequences… and we won.

Go ahead DEMwits, shut the government down. The ball is in YOUR court, as they say. :)

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

April 6th, 2011
8:38 pm

CALLER: Yeah. Anyway, I had an idea. In the meantime, from your last caller (about the elderly dying from Republican budget cuts,) it reminded me of the Monty Python scene where they go through the streets and call out, “Bring out your dead!” and ring that bell. I don’t know if you remember that scene, but that might be one way to solve the –

RUSH: Yeah, I was never a big Monty Python guy, but I vaguely remember that.

CALLER: Okay, yeah. It would also create some jobs, I thought. So if we could get something like that going, we could solve that problem.

~~~~~

CALLER: I told Mr. Snerdley I’m in a quandary. I’m a senior citizen.

RUSH: Yeah.

CALLER: When I do drop dead out in front of my house, do I do it on general garbage pickup days, recyclables, or yard waste?

I might die from laughing and I’m not even old.

Meanie Republicans!

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2011
8:54 pm

am I the only one growing tired of the my party is better than your party commentary?

I’m tired of a couple of socialist liberal Democrats on this blog pretending telling the same old lies: It’s just those old Republicans and that old Tea Party, as if 2010 never happened. If America was content with the socialist Democrats or the traditional Republicans there would never have been a Tea Party and this new breed of Republicans pushing against the old guard of that party.

I posted something a few days back written by a guy from the Constitution Party that accurately tells the tale correctly: The Democrat Party was Hijacked by Liberal Socialists and the Republican Party was hijacked by Liberal Libertarians. The old liberals and conservatives no longer fit in with this NEO- crowd of the major political parties.

MrLiberty

April 6th, 2011
9:41 pm

If there was a republican in the white house and he wanted to spend another $100 trillion over the next decade a republican house would be crying over any cuts the democrats proposed. Both parties are the enemy of the american people and their future. We would be far better served if every politician had to stand up for what they actually believed instead of being able to hide behind empty and worthless political party banners.

The sooner we shut down the federal government, bring ALL of the troops home to defend americans from their government, and close all of our foreign bases and embassies, the safer and more prosperous this country would be.

MrLiberty

April 6th, 2011
9:45 pm

Michael, there is nothing libertarian about the neoconservatives that have hijacked the republican party. And historical truth be told, both parties were hijacked by the progressive movement at the end of the 1800’s but the historical democratic party followed the libertarian-leaning ideas of Jefferson at one time while the republican party has always been a decendent of the big government merchatilistic ancestry of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and the biggest warmongering imperialist, Abraham Lincoln.

Rafe Hollister

April 6th, 2011
10:15 pm

The pretense is getting very old. barry and the Dems pretending they want to cut spending, when in fact any cut in spending is a threat to Big Government. Big Government creates more dependency which creates more Democrats. There is no significant cut, other than to DOD, that the Reps could propose that the Dems would embrace.

We are wasting our time with this game. The only way to reclaim our country is to defeat the Dems in elections. Once we get the Senate and the WH back, we must deliver for the people and not pander to the Media and Hollywood like before. Republicans need to remember that when in power they are going to be ridiculed, despised, and made fun of, and their efforts to be moderate are for naught.

Martin Williams

April 6th, 2011
10:15 pm

Does Ryan have any clue/or concept on how much the World Police spend on DEFENSE? All the cuts is about poor people. Tell you this, without poor people there will be NO RICH people. Think about it, Kyle.

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2011
10:16 pm

MrLiberty, that maybe your take on things, it is not mine. We disagree.

Liberalism encompasses several intellectual trends and traditions, but the dominant variants are classical liberalism(Libertarian Neo-Con), which became popular in the eighteenth century, and social liberalism(Democrat Socialist or Neo-Lib), which became popular in the twentieth century.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberalism

killerj

April 6th, 2011
10:20 pm

Go Tea Party.

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2011
10:24 pm

GROW TEA PARTY, GROW!

Michael H. Smith

April 6th, 2011
10:41 pm

Roughly half the spending is in the so-called entitlements, roughly one third is in defense spending. The “real money” is in Medicare and that is were the greatest cuts are likely to take place. The federal government is obligated to defend the nation from all threats under the Constitution. The federal government is NOT obligated under the Constitution to provide a national or “nationalized” safety net, which is a right or responsibility of the individual States reserved under the Constitution. (Article 1 Section 8, “limited powers of the federal government” and the tenth amendment, the remaining enumerable powers of the States)

The defined-contribution approach to Medicare (even if it is a Democrat idea) is a good one. The States should be in control, it is their role to serve under the Constitution as it is written. Same said for a great number of things the federal government is doing that it should not be engaged in that it has NO CONSTITUTIONAL AUTHORITY act upon.

Jefferson

April 6th, 2011
11:21 pm

Your federal taxes are going up. Politicians never cut spending, just reduce the growth.

I Report :-) You Whine :-( Thee Magnificent!!! Just sayin...

April 7th, 2011
5:41 am

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin voters sent Republican Gov. Scott Walker a clear message about their unhappiness with his muscling an anti-union rights bill through the state Legislature by sending a once runaway state Supreme Court race toward a near-certain recount-Urinal

Yeah, one of the most pinko states in the country, ate up with cheese heads, home of Feingold.

And it was a 50/50 split.

Delude yourselves, liberals.

Buzz G

April 7th, 2011
7:43 am

The Tea Party is awesome. I hope I see the day when the big spending GOP is a minor part of the Tea Party.

GB

April 7th, 2011
8:18 am

It is interesting that the words “cut” and “slash” are repeated used to describe Ryan’s proposal, when it actually shows only $34.9 trillion in revenue to go along with the $40 trillion in spending. So a plan that would INCREASE the national debt by $5.1 trillion is called a reduction in the debt. Do words have no meaning?

And what is all this foolishness about “over a ten-year period.” Is there anyone who really believes budgetary projections that purport to tell us what is going to happen that far in the future?

True Deficit/Debt Reduction

April 7th, 2011
8:21 am

If this idea doesn’t seem extreme to everybody, then there is something seriously wrong.

To end all the negative spending and completely eliminate the debt, what we need to do is this.

First, remove all funding for ALL overseas bases and the wars, leaving only enough to bring all troops on foreign soil home.

Second, eliminate all discretionary domestic spending with corresponding dollar for dollar reductions in defense spending, and remove the limit on the income subject to SS tax.

Third, once discretionary domestic spending is eliminated, even cuts would be made to defense, medicaid, medicare, and SS benefits, until spending is at or below revenue.

Only once the entire debt was paid would taxes be able to be reduced, but only in a Revenue neutral manor, meaning for every decrease, a credit or loophole sufficient to cover the decrease must be made; if the revenues did not match in the subsequent year, the credit or loophole would remain closed and the rate would automatically return to the previous level.

I don’t believe this is a viable idea, but please rant away.

JP

April 7th, 2011
8:36 am

I am a Dem and will admit we have dropped the ball from a deficit perspective from 2009 to now. Ryan’s proposal, while I don’t agree with some of it deserves attention, not an out of hand dismissal. Dems need to step up. However, will one conservative on this blog admit that 2000-2006 was a complete joke of fiscal discipline displayed by Rs? Seems like many folks on here have amnesia. The bottom line is, and the electorate will continue to decide – do you trust the guys that drove the car in the ditch or the guys that kept driving it deeper in the ditch?

John

April 7th, 2011
8:36 am

Love your spin on this Kyle. Of course you’ve left some very important information out. Paul Ryan got his projections from the right leaning Heritage Foundation. The 2.8% unemployment came from the Heritage Foundation. Never mind, we’ve never had unemployment that low in our history. After economist said it doesn’t add up and can’t be achieved, the Heritage Foundation took it down from it’s website, admitted it doesn’t add up and are reworking it.

This plan would reduce taxes on the wealthy and corporations at the expense of the elderly and poor. According to the CBO, it will not balance the budget and changing Medicare to a voucher system in the private market would cost those on this new Medicare more. As the CBO states, private insurance cost more than current Medicare since private insurance pays more to doctors and have more overhead. According to the CBO, this voucher plan would pay less than 1/3 of the premiums in this voucher system and as medical costs rises, the amount the vouchers would cover would be decreased.

It would also bring back the “doughnut hole” for seniors’ prescription drugs that was in Bush’s drug plan which was fixed in the current health care law passed last year.

jconservative

April 7th, 2011
8:41 am

“They still leave us a long way, in both time and dollars, from balanced budgets.”

So why bother?

The Ryan plan leaves me with the impression that taxes are more important than spending controls, and that attitude is how we got the $14.4 trillion National Debt that we “enjoy” today; 30 years of worrying about taxes and ignoring spending.

Why not take on the big spending items individually? For example a bill that does not contain the word taxes. A bill that is just concerned with spending. After spending is under control, then look at taxes.

Item one – go through the Defense budget looking for cuts by examining the role of the US military in the world. Make those decisions first.
Do we want to continue to be the World Nanny? Do we want to continue
to favor a Big Government Defense? I find it hard to see how a supporter of small government can be a supporter of a big defense used to police the world. What happened to letting people be responsible for themselves? Does that only apply to domestic policies?

Item two – look at entitlements. I recommend looking a the newest entitlement that is already in place – the Medicare Part D entitlement from 2003. Cancel that and there is a $3.5 trillion savings in the next 30 years.

Item three – tie the eligibility age for Medicare and Social Security together – same age for both. Again, trillions in savings that would go a long way toward “saving” both programs, and the votes of the 50 million people on those programs.

Spending is the problem, not tax policy.

Georgia Voter

April 7th, 2011
9:14 am

KW is so confused it’s not even funny. The CBO has repeatedly reported that the health care law will reduce the deficit by approximately a trillion dollars over twenty years, primarily because of how it reigns in the the rising costs of health care (”bends the cost curve”). KW has been complaining about this CBO assessment for months. Yet, somehow, today he informs his readers that the CBO suddenly says the opposite about the Affordable Care Act. They, it seems, just woke up and changed their minds? No. KW linked to a CBO analysis of an entire budget. Take out the health care law and the debt goes up.

The CBO has also repeatedly reported that the Bush tax cuts INCREASED the deficit and allowing them to expire would reduce the deficit.

The CBO also reported yesterday that Ryan’s plan would INCREASE the deficit by 2022 over what the call an “extended baseline scenario” which means doing nothing. Why? Because he keeps the Bush tax cuts, reduces the top rates even more, and repeals the health care law.

The savings that Ryan’s plan does provide, such as they are, come from cutting Medicare/Medicaid benefits and shifting the cost associated with these plans from the public sector to the private sector (that means, you and I still pay). He doesn’t reduce the cost of health care, just shifts it. And in the process, leaves million more uninsured.

Down is not up and one plus one does not equal two. Ryan’s “Path to Propsperity” is a scam, regardless of how handsome the guy is or how many pushups he can do.

John

April 7th, 2011
9:18 am

Wasn’t one of the Republican talking points about the health care law passed last year was that it reduced the amount of money sent to the states for Medicaid, yet now, they’re embracing a plan that would reduce it even further.

JoeFann

April 7th, 2011
9:18 am

JP–As a relative conservative, I will admit that 2000-2006 was a joke from true conservative standards. Both parties have had total control, and both parties spent too much time congratulating themselves and too little time addressing real issues, while screwing America in the process. I think that Rs and Ds are two sides of the same coin, only with different talking points. No leadership, no statesmanship, no ownership of issues–only spin and vitriol. We need an “American Party,” or a “Patriot Party.” America was built on shared values, shared responsibilites, and shared sacrifice. It’s time for term limits. Four terms for the House, two for the Senate. Give elected officials a definite time period in which to accomplish real solutions, them send them back home to work again. Until that happens, I recommend we fire them all, and start over, every time, until they listen to we, the people.

Fix-It

April 7th, 2011
9:25 am

Funny how the idiots like Pelosi and Reid say the GOP has no plan, then when they give them a real plane to spend less than we take in they go ballistic. Everybody says we can’t continue to spend money we don’t have but the dimacrats block any plan to cut anything……Can they really be that stupid? I think I am going to call my creditors and tell them I am too busy spending my way out of debt to pay them…..Why not our government thinks they can….

JF McNamara

April 7th, 2011
9:32 am

The Ryan plan is unrealistic, but it would be a start if Republicans would negotiate. They won’t, so it’ll be trashed in 3 months.

Fix-It

April 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Georgia Voter,
Are you really that stupid? Do you really believe that we can cover 30 million people with healthcare and spend less than we do now? Sheepole like you are the reason we are going broke. Do you even know how the CBO calculates their numbers? Well let me give you a sixth grade education, the CBO ONLY calculates their numbers on the numbers that the people proposing the bill give them. So in reality you can predict the outcome by giving ONLY the numbers they want to. Gee that sounds stupid way of doing things, but then again that is the government that you love and believe in right?

bob

April 7th, 2011
9:37 am

Georgia voter has drunk the kool-aid. “When Obamacare was passed into law, its proponents touted the Congressional Budget Office’s analysis showing that it would reduce the deficit. A lot has changed since then. Heritage research reveals that “a close examination of what CBO said, as well as other evidence, makes it clear that the deficit reduction associated with [Obamacare] is based on budget gimmicks, sleights of hand, accounting tricks, and completely implausible assumptions.”

Now, a recent hearing held by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health has further revealed that the cost of Obamacare will be higher than expected. Douglas Elmendorf, Director of the Congressional Budget Office, highlighted that CBO’s March 2011 updated analysis of the health care legislation shows its coverage provisions costing $1.1 trillion between 2012 and 2021. This is $90 billion more than the prior month’s estimates for the same time period

bob

April 7th, 2011
9:40 am

JF McNamara, Why should the repubs be the ones blamed ? You do know that this budget should have already been passed when dems held the house don’t you ? They did not do their job when they had all of the power.

Georgia Voter

April 7th, 2011
9:44 am

Bob,

Heritage Foundation are the same people who said that Bush’s tax cuts would add 1.6 million jobs by 2011. That’s about how many jobs the economy LOST under trickle-down economics. Now they claimed that Ryans plan would magically reduce unemployment to the historically low level of 2.8 percent.

The Heritage Foundation is operated by professional con artists. Quoting them is like quoting Bernie Madoff.

John

April 7th, 2011
9:49 am

bob…you do realize the Heritage Foundation is a right leaning organization, don’t you? That would be like the Democrats basing their projections from moveon.org. If you read my earlier post, the Heritage Foundation, after being embarrassed, admitted their projections are wrong, pulled it off their website and said they will rework it.

As Jay Bookman pointed out in his post…”Heritage claimed that if the Bush tax cuts were approved, the economy would grow so quickly that by 2010, the entire federal debt would effectively be eliminated.

Not only that, “The plan would save the entire Social Security surplus and increase personal savings while the federal government accumulated $1.8 trillion in uncommitted funds from FY 2008 to FY 2011, revenue that could be used to reform the Social Security and Medicare systems and reduce the payroll tax,” Heritage claimed.”

Here we are in 2011 and yet entire federal debt has not been effectively eliminated.

Georgia Voter

April 7th, 2011
9:55 am

Bob,

You’re seriously misinformed.

The Democratic House passed a budget last year. But Senate Republican filibustered it. That’s right. They blocked an up-or-down vote on the budget. That’s why we’re in this mess.

Dirty Dawg

April 7th, 2011
10:00 am

Some of you may choose to forget why we’ve got such deficits, but not me. Virtually all of the ‘deficit’ we currently are enjoying are due to three things – two big-ass wars that were listed as ‘off the books’ for the entire Bush Admin…a TARP and Stimulus programs that became necessary when a certain previous administration failed to see to it that our financial system had sufficient checks and balances that we could avoid the near meltdown that occurred and made the TARP/Stimulus necessary, and to dramatically cut it now will endanger whatever ‘recovery’ we’ve got going…and, finally, the tax-cuts from 2000 (that were positioned as ‘giving back’ since we were enjoying a surplus at the time, yes a surplus) along with the continuation of those damn reduced rates for those that have pretty much got all the damn money in the first place.

Deal with all that crap and lets see how jobs and the economy responds…and as for why there hasn’t been a budget passed up til now, if you people can’t acknowledge the damn foot-dragging of the Republicans as a strategy to make sure this administration is seen as a failure, then you’re delusional or ‘in on the deal’. Fact is the ‘O’ in GOP stands for Obstruction.

JF McNamara

April 7th, 2011
10:01 am

Bob,

What are you talking about? I was talking about approaching spending and entitlement reform. The Ryan plan would be a start to that, but its unlikely to be anything but a short term media football since the Republicans won’t negotiate on anything. If you’re going to be hard line, you’re not going to get anything other than attention.

Swede Atlanta

April 7th, 2011
10:02 am

Michael Smith

Many of the voters that voted last Fall don’t know what they were voting for. Many of those “enraged” voters were seniors that attended the town hall meetings during the Health Care Reform debate. They were opposed to the reform bill and didn’t want any government involvement in their health care but they themselves were on Medicare. Either they were just stupid and didn’t know Medicare was a government system or they are delusional.

The same is true here. The voters will all chime in they want to reduce the deficit (all voters recognize that over the long term the deficit must be reduced) but when it comes to cutting or changing one of their pet programs they will oppose it.

There will be a hue and cry about the proposed changes to Medicare. I am totally opposed to it because it will mean that I will have a choice between purchasing health care or eating. Nice choice.

Bookman-Tucker-Luckovich

April 7th, 2011
10:05 am

Raise taxes! Spend money!! Grow Government!!

John

April 7th, 2011
10:06 am

As the Tea Party would say…Paul Ryan, keep your government hands off my Medicare.

BW

April 7th, 2011
10:07 am

Kyle

I’ll believe that the plan is a “good start” when I see unemployment at 2.8%….a number that has never been reached in the history of unemployment stat tracking. Let the CBO score the plan with more realistic growth numbers then we can have a “good start.” Here’s the deal…it’s not that the President or Democrats don’t know that our entitlement spending is unsustainable it’s that they have never had the Republicans bargain in good faith to implement a solution. I’m not saying that the Democrats have not broken promises or missed their budget projections but clearly this is not an environment where say Medicare would be passed in true bipartisan fashion like it was. Both sides are dug into their trenches and that only means that the American people are caught in the crossfire in No Man’s Land. If the American people want Medicare turned into a voucher program then the Republicans have no message issue and will win every branch of national government next year. But looking at recent history on Social Security privization or personalization as Luntz deemed it, the American people are not going to be friendly to that idea. Medicaid spending will be reduced because as the funds will be turned into block grants for the states and the states will ration care by eliminating services covered or lowering the income requirement. There’s nothing new on that front…any company will make more money betting on outcomes with a higher probability of success. Finally I think Heritage is starting to lose its credibility among non-liberals at this point. They published rosy economic numbers from the tax cuts enacted under Bush that didn’t come to pass as Jay notes on his blog and now they predict unemployment will be under 3% in ten years. In the meantime the status quo of foreign intervention and the military industrial complex goes unchecked and unquestioned at near a trillion dollars. I sometimes wonder what will happen to this country if the economic numbers don’t change under Obama and then under a future Republican administration….what happens when people decide to walk away from their underwater homes like so many have from multi-million dollar homes…what happens when gas hits $5 a gallon and Obama isn’t in there to blame? I don’t know what the solutions will ultimately but it won’t look anything like this “conversation starter”.

Boehner Tears

April 7th, 2011
10:21 am

I have a Man Date with Paul. We are planning to drink tea together in celebration of the shut down. No Black tea for us, White tea only.

Pelosi's Botox

April 7th, 2011
10:38 am

I’m an idiot. I LOVE spending other people’s money! I’m sooo full of bull, I couldn’t run a lemonade stand.

Jefferson Jackson

April 7th, 2011
10:41 am

We need a new model for federal government in the U.S. Neither the Democrats nor the Republicans have the brains God gave a lowly slug. It’s pitiful, is what it is.

Swede Atlanta

April 7th, 2011
10:48 am

Jefferson Jackson, I agree. The current system favors the entrenched two-party model. A parliamentarian system would open offer a real opportunity for additional parties and force parties to take and follow-through with defined positions.

JP

April 7th, 2011
10:52 am

I still can’t figure out why not cut everything acorss the board, say 25% to begin with (or whatever the rigth number is). That way everyone can say they have shared in the sacrifice. In the R’s plan and Dems plan (if and whenever they get one) it always seems like someone gets worked over more than others.

No Artificial Flavors

April 7th, 2011
11:04 am

Yo Pelosi, most seniors and no children pay taxes, so stuff it.

Your Pal,

NAF

No Artificial Flavors

April 7th, 2011
11:05 am

Thanks iPhone for a poorly worded letter. You get the gist.

Uncle Billy

April 7th, 2011
11:11 am

The real “crisis” is in health care. Social Security can be brought into balance by a few tweaks.
Health care costs in the USA are far higher than they are in any other industrialized country. In 2009 health care costs equaled 17.6% of GDP. Most other countries come in at less than 10%. They are no less healthy than we are based on fundamental statistics of health. Here the VA, a totally Federal Government funded system, spend less per patient than the private health insurance system, even though their average patient is older and less healthy. Medicare has been more effective at keeping costs down than the private insurance companies have. On today’s front page the health insurers are complaining about having to spend 80% of revenues on actual benefits. Medicare’s overhead is much lower.
Overhead costs are one of the main drivers of health care costs. Treatments which do the patient no good are another. Failure to coordinate care is another. A patient sees a number of different physicians who do not communicate or coordinate with each other. Health care has taken advantage of information technology less than any other part of the American economy.
Mr. Ryan’s plans addresses none of these problems. He prefers to take most of the uncertainty off the Federal government and throw it on to the elderly beneficiaries who will thrown onto the tender mercies of the health insurance companies, a recipe for disaster which will never come about (I hope).

redneckbluedog

April 7th, 2011
11:46 am

BE THE CHANGE YOU SEEK….If government is so evil, then do not participate in it..!!! Do not vote, do not run for office…If you are angry or paranoid, this is not the government’s fault…seek help for your personal problems…The government can’t make you happy…If you want to participate in government, then do so with the country in mind…make the country better…You can’t vote your personal problems away….Unions have the same rights as militias…..