Ryan Plan Draconian?

If I'm hearing Ed correctly, and I think I am, he likes the phrase "grease the skids." Yes Mr. Johnston, that's what the GOP wants. "Take it from the working people, and the poor and the disabled and the children so the rich can have more. And then everything will be great." I think he left out the elderly, women, blacks, Hispanics, babies and cute bunnies. Johnston really missed an opportunity to hit that one out of the park.

This is reminiscent of how the left generally treats the right. It is like when Howard Dean said: "Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans', is we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night." Yes. Republicans want children to go hungry.

Can we put on our big boy pants and discuss issues without demonizing everyone who isn't on the show? Mysteriously, no talk about how working people, the poor, the children, the disabled, the elderly, the babies and bunnies will pay down the debt racked up by this generation. Any concern about the disabled in that regard?

Go ahead, stick it to the "rich". Take everything they have. Unfortunately, you could take everything and it wouldn't come close to solving the problem. See why.

If the territorial tax is a dodge, then let's get rid of it. Although how is this much different than how Hollywood (just one example) conducts business by going where the taxes and wages are lower to make movies. The left does not practice what they preach. If they preached what they practice, they would be conservatives.

The piece of this puzzle that Schultz and Johnston cannot reshape is that businesses will gravitate to states/countries that are the most business friendly. You would do the same thing. Unmentioned is that higher energy and tax rates will push companies overseas too. Will Schultz hammer the left about their energy and tax policies driving jobs overseas? (No answer needed. It was a rhetorical question.)

But hey, at least Ryan and the Republicans have offered a plan. It is a little odd that Schultz and Johnston aren't as concerned that a budget hasn't been passed for 1097 days even though it is against the law not to. And every Obama budget has been a voting blow out. Dems won't even vote for it. 414-0 on the last go-round. Why do you suppose that is? The President is a pretty smart guy. He should be able to propose something that at least one Dem would like.

But the GOP will get blamed for not reaching across the aisle - partisan politics and all that. Even while Dems refuse to vote for the Obama plan and then don't pass something of their own. As for the Obama budget - heretofore the only response to the Ryan budget - Mark Steyn sums it up thusly:
Have you seen the official White House version of what the New York Times headline writers call “A Responsible Budget”? My favorite bit is Chart 5-1 on page 58 of their 500-page appendix on “Analytical Perspectives.” This is entitled “Publicly Held Debt Under 2013 Budget Policy Projections.” It’s a straight line going straight up before disappearing off the top right-hand corner of the graph in the year 2084 and continuing northeast straight through your eye socket, out the back of your skull, and zooming up to rendezvous with Newt’s space colony on the moon circa 2100. Just to emphasize, this isn’t the doom-laden dystopian fancy of a right-wing apocalyptic loon like me; it’s the official Oval Office version of where America’s headed. In the New York Times–approved “responsible budget” there is no attempt even to pretend to bend the debt curve into something approaching reentry with reality.

As for us doom-mongers, at the House Budget Committee on Thursday, Chairman Paul Ryan produced another chart, this time from the Congressional Budget Office, with an even steeper straight line showing debt rising to 900 percent of GDP and rocketing off the graph circa 2075. America’s treasury secretary, Timmy Geithner the TurboTax Kid, thought the chart would have been even more hilarious if they’d run the numbers into the next millennium: “You could have taken it out to 3000 or to 4000” he chortled, to supportive titters from his aides. Has total societal collapse ever been such a non-stop laugh riot?

“Yeah, right.” replied Ryan. “We cut it off at the end of the century because the economy, according to the CBO, shuts down in 2027 on this path.”
The graph, in case you're interested:

The Ryan budget is demonized because it focuses on reductions in spending. Any sensible person knows that spending must be controlled in their own budget at home. However, even the supposedly horrific poor/children/disabled/bunny crushing Ryan plan doesn't "cut" spending - it increases it. From the Fiscal Times:
Neither President Obama nor Paul Ryan actually cuts government spending. Rather, both are playing the time-honored game of calling a reduction in the rate of increase a “cut.” Thus, the president would increase federal spending from $3.8 trillion in 2013 to $5.82 trillion in 2022. That might not be as big an increase there might otherwise be, but in no way can it be called a cut. Meanwhile, Ryan, who is being accused of “thinly veiled Social Darwinism,” would actually increase spending from $3.53 trillion in 2013 to $4.88 trillion in 2022.

The president warns that Ryan’s spending “cuts” would “gut” the social safety net. And, it is true that Ryan’s budget knife falls more heavily on domestic discretionary spending than does the president’s – but only relatively. Over the next 10 years, Ryan would spend $352 billion less on those programs than would Obama, an average of just $35.2 billion per year in additional cuts. Given that domestic discretionary spending under the president’s budget will total more than $4 trillion over the next decade, Ryan’s cuts look less than draconian.
$35.2 billion per year. That's only about 2.6% of the current annual deficit. Ryan's budget would have to cut another 38 times as much to even stop the deficit spending. It would be as if you were told that on your $50k income this year, you would only go in debt $24,500 instead of $25,000. Ryan deserves all that opprobrium for proposing a draconian horror show of that magnitude, don't you think?

Both the Democratic option and the Republican options are on the spend more side of the equation. Ryan just spends 'less' more than Obama. But the GOP is painted as raping, pillaging and burning.

No cutting. Not extreme. Not Robin Hood in reverse. (Although a good case could be made that Dems are actually Robin Hood in reverse since Robin Hood took what was taken by the tax collector and gave the people their own money back. Remember Friar Tuck's exclamation: "Praise the Lord and pass the tax rebate!") God only knows what Republicans would be called if they actually proposed austerity measures and cuts in spending (instead of slower increases).

This all boils down to the different visions of the left and the right. One is unconstrained, redistributive and egalitarian and the other is constrained and libertarian. Neither is perfect. Each has its downside. It is unlikely that proselytizing will change one or the other's mind so the best we can do is strive for clarity. Clarity before agreement.

But maybe a consumption tax could fix this. End all prebates, rebates, exceptions, loopholes and deductions. Just pay a tax on everything that isn't food or utilities. Then those who earn and spend more will pay more. Although they currently pay the majority of tax anyway, so it is hard to imagine they could pay any more of the "fair share".

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