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  • The New Party of “No”

    WASHINGTON, DC - March 24: Rep. Paul D. Ryan, ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, criticizes the amount of spending and debt in President Obama's budget proposal.

    Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently introduced the “Roadmap for America’s Future”, a plan to reduce federal spending, pay off the national debt, and ensure future American prosperity.  The Roadmap would create long-term fiscal solvency in the three federal entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—which otherwise promise to drive the nation into bankruptcy.  Rep. Ryan’s legislation is currently the only comprehensive proposal to reverse the federal government’s budgetary woes.

    The only acknowledgment Democrats have offered of Rep. Ryan’s proposal has been largely criticism.  Alternative solutions heard from the left amount to little more than a weak executive-appointed committee to explore budget reform.  This implies a preference to maintain the status quo rather than truly address America’s fiscal future, and will result in nothing short of prolonged change and protection of unsustainable federal spending.

    And what exactly is the status quo?  According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), without Rep. Ryan’s proposal, entitlement spending will more than double by 2050, reaching 18.1% of Gross Domestic Product.  If current tax rates are held constant, spending on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will consume all federal revenue by 2052, so that all other government programs and defense spending would be paid for by staggering deficit spending.  Social Security will experience red ink this year and will run permanent deficits beginning in 2016.  Under the current trajectory, total government spending will reach 67 percent of GDP by 2082.

    Attacks have mainly focused on Rep. Ryan’s changes to Medicare, claiming they reduce benefits for seniors.  This argument dismisses the fact that, as the population ages, unfunded Medicare obligations threaten to drive the program into the ground.  This would clearly be detrimental to those who expect to receive benefits in old age, but would also cripple generations to come with insurmountable new debt.  Refusing to act is thus morally bankrupt on two levels: first, it promises aging Americans benefits which may not exist; second, it does so by piling debt onto future generations.

    The Roadmap directs entitlements towards long-term solvency to ensure their existence for decades to come, recognizing that runaway spending cannot be reversed by tax hikes alone.  If entitlements are left untouched, CBO predicts tax rates would double to cover the cost.  By 2080, some Americans would pay up to 88 percent of their income in taxes, and even the lowest tax bracket would pay 25 percent.  William Gale of the Brookings Institute estimates new revenue sources, such as a value-added tax of 15 to 20 percent, would be necessary to close the budgetary gap. The economic ramifications of this level of taxation would be tremendous.

    If President Obama’s 2011 budget is any indicator, Democrats will not get serious about spending any time soon.  The proposed budget will put the country $2.5 trillion further into debt by 2020 than would current law, leaving annual deficits above $1 trillion. This alone is irresponsible, but criticizing a solid proposal while offering no solutions of their own marks Roadmap opponents as the foe of a sustainable and economically viable future for America.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    7 Responses to The New Party of “No”

    1. John Roane Sarasota, says:

      In our past the US Congress did not meet in DC all year long, but rather in thier home districts. If we, with our current communications technology which they didn’t have, moved back to the way it was it would lower the carbon foot print of Congress, make members more accessible and responsive to constituency, make it more difficult for the lobbyist to monopolize Congress’s time and attention. It would also improve employment at the local level, which is far less expensive then D.C. pay levels.

      Just think a world where Congress listens to its people, small carbon footprint, less lobbyist interference and more time doing the job they were elected to do. That would go a long way in reducing our national debt and improve our world image.

      This approach has something for all, environment, employment, reducing debt isn't it great we should all be able to agree. Oh, not true lobbyist wouldn't like it but that sounds like a plus.

      John Roane

      Sarasota, Florida

    2. Ozzy6900 says:

      Here are some ways the Federal Government could save some money:

      1. Close the Federal Department of Education

      2. Close the Federal Department of Housing

      3. Close the Federal Department of Urban Renewal

      4. Close the Federal Department of Labor

      These are items that are already based in the Cities and States so why does the Federal Government have to repeat these departments. It's like the City plowing the snow on your street followed by the State, then by the Federal plows! Pretty ridiculous, isn't it?

    3. paul says:

      The gov't needs to go bankrupt in order to get out from under all its (over-extended) obligations. It should never have made all those promises in the first place. But now it needs to stop its spending addiction. I'd equate Congress (both parties) to crack adicts but I wouldn't want to insult crack adicts.

      As for health care the gov't needs to just stop paying for uninsured people, period. No crisis and no debt. No insurance (or means to pay for yourself) no health care.

      Remember the preamble to the US constitution uses two very different and very important words and you need to know the difference; promote and provide. They do not mean the same things and were used on purpose by the founding fathers.

      gov't will,

      1) provide for the common defense, and

      2) promote general welfare (not provide general welfare)

      stop spending us into debt

    4. Bobbie Jay says:

      Excellent, feasible, and workable comments! Excellent article. Will it break the ignorance?

    5. Dexter60, San Franci says:

      It is high time for the law-abiding to make the laws and enforce the laws — the government (as the current crop of social engineers have made it) is going out of business. They must be evicted.

      Only the People can make the Constitution work; it has been adequately demonstrated it's not a job for this government any longer.

      Let's make the real Change ourselves, starting now.

    6. Deane Davenport - De says:

      I hope the Republicans in this Health Care "Meeting" today have the depth of knowledge that is in this article. Since all of the Democrat "meetings" up till now have been done in secret; this can only be seen as Presidential posturing. I hope the opposing party is smart enough to ask spending questions over and over again without giving the President the negative sound bites he is looking for.

    7. M Cassel, Utah says:

      I am voting for the party of "Hell No"

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