Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Analysis of Ryan's "The Path to Prosperity"

Here is his full plan. Path to Prosperity

Here are some critiques.

Robert Wensel writes:
Mainstream media will portray him as a big government slasher for this proposal. He is nothing close

Ryan's "radical" budget would only reduce government spending to 20% of GDP by 2015. Obama wants to cut it to 23%. It is currently at 25%. In other words, there's only a 3 percentage point difference between Ryan's proposal and that of wild spending Democrats. And, this of course is before all the Congressional horse trading that goes on that would surely boost spending levels...

Ryan's plan does not touch the Empire.

Nick Gillespie and Veronique de Rugy write:
the GOP's plan written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) "is refreshingly engaged with reality. Unfortunately for taxpayers and citizens, Ryan's plan looks better when standing in the shadow of Obama's. Neither budget provides a good way forward for a country still battling the effects of recession and the non-stop, self-inflicted spending binge that began with George W. Bush and has proceeded unabated since then. Ryan's budget is indeed a positive break from past efforts by Republicans and Democrats alike, but it doesn't provide the solutions the American people deserve."

Jacob Sullum writes:
Instead it lays out "a path to prosperity–by limiting government to its core constitutional roles, keeping America's promises to seniors, and unleashing the genius of America's workers, investors, and entrepreneurs." From this I gather that Ryan thinks sending retirees a check every month and paying for their health care are among the federal government's "core constitutional roles." Judging from the programs that Ryan wants to cut or consolidate rather than eliminate, so are a lot of other activities that one would be hard pressed to locate under any of Congress' enumerated powers, including medical coverage for poor people, agricultural subsidies, college scholarships, and job training.

Ryan is on firmer ground when he says "the first responsibility of the federal government is to provide for the defense of the nation." But that should not mean that anything labeled "defense" gets a free pass. One of the plan's notable weaknesses is its failure to question the premise that defending the nation requires the U.S. government to spend as much on military programs as the rest of the world combined—and more today in real terms than at the height of the Cold War.

The 19 Percent Solution: How to Balance the Budget Without Raising Taxes

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