Today was a watershed day in American politics. By unveiling his proposed 2012 budget, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan finally brought the GOP into the realm of walking the walk, rather than just talking the talk. It seems awkward not writing some sort of sweeping commentary, but I spent this entire evening rocking and bouncing around the room with an ornery three-week-old kid, so what you’ll get is Assigned Reading. I hope you don’t mind.
Ryan unveiled the plan, which can be found HERE in its entirety, alongside an excellent three-minute-long YouTube video:
My favorite quote from the video:
So they have these computer programs that simulate the U.S. economy. The computer program crashes in 2027 because it can’t conceive of any way in which the economy can continue because of this massive burden of debt.
Some of the highlights of Ryan’s plan, as noted by Jennifer at Cubachi:
- Cutting back spending to 2008 levels and frozen at those levels for five years, for for domestic government agencies.
- Cutting the $70 billion in waste at the Pentagon in the last two years.
- Reforming Medicare. Beneficiaries will receive, in 2022, the same benefits ongress currently has. Recipients would be provided a list of options to choose from, with Medicare subsidizing part of the cost via a “premium-support model.”
- Social Security will be reformed by building on proposals offered by the president’s bipartisan fiscal commission.
- Ends taxpayer support for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and putting a hold on “expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy.”
- Welfare reform, to get people out of the dole. And tax reform.
Congressman Ryan himself highlighted some of the major facets in the plan–reducing spending, welfare reform, health and retirement security, budget enforcement and tax reform–in an op-ed in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. The entire piece is worth a read for sure, but in the meantime, here’s an excerpt that compares Ryan’s plan with the new status quo, the latter courtesy of Barack Obama:
The president’s recent budget proposal would accelerate America’s descent into a debt crisis. It doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and triples it by 2021. It imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy. His budget permanently enlarges the size of government. It offers no reforms to save government health and retirement programs, and no leadership.
Our budget, which we call The Path to Prosperity, is very different. For starters, it cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president’s budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.
A study just released by the Heritage Center for Data Analysis projects that The Path to Prosperity will help create nearly one million new private-sector jobs next year, bring the unemployment rate down to 4% by 2015, and result in 2.5 million additional private-sector jobs in the last year of the decade. It spurs economic growth, with $1.5 trillion in additional real GDP over the decade. According to Heritage’s analysis, it would result in $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average of $1,000 in additional family income each year.