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Ronald Reagan’s former budget director says Paul Ryan’s fiscal plan is an empty conservative sermon

David Stockman (above), director of the Office of Management and Budget during Ronald Reagan’s first term as president, SAYS Paul Ryan’s vaunted budget plan is mostly nonsense:

Paul D. Ryan is the most articulate and intellectually imposing Republican of the moment, but that doesn’t alter the fact that this earnest congressman from Wisconsin is preaching the same empty conservative sermon…

Mr. Ryan’s sonorous campaign rhetoric about shrinking Big Government and giving tax cuts to “job creators” (read: the top 2 percent) will do nothing to reverse the nation’s economic decline and arrest its fiscal collapse…

Mr. Ryan showed his conservative mettle in 2008 when he folded like a lawn chair on the auto bailout and the Wall Street bailout. But the greater hypocrisy is his phony “plan” to solve the entitlements mess by deferring changes to social insurance by at least a decade.

A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees. Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.

Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled. Shifting more Medicaid costs to the states will be mere make-believe if federal financing is drastically cut.

 

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12 Comments

  1. Neftali

    Interesting article. He was making some good points until he said that there was “no serious plan to create jobs.” And I about spit up my Diet Coke when I read he wanted a socialist-style value added tax. Most Democrats don’t even want to go that far.

    Of course, this is the same guy who, during his first year as OMB chief, said “None of us really understands what’s going on with all these numbers.” So it hard to take anything he says seriously.

  2. That’s not what it says here:

    http://money.cnn.com/2012/08/14/news/economy/ryan-social-security/index.htm?hpt=hp_t2

    “Due to the higher rate of return received by investments in secure funds consisting of equities and bonds, these accounts would allow workers to build a significant nest egg for retirement that far exceeds what the current program can provide,” he wrote in the proposal.

    Starting a private account would be optional, and their contributions would be guaranteed if the market goes south. The accounts also could be passed down to heirs.

    More recently, however, Ryan scaled back his plan. In the budgets he proposed this year and last, he now cites ideas put forth by the President Obama’s bipartisan fiscal commission, on which he served, that would strength Social Security. These include raising the retirement age and reducing benefits for wealthier retirees.

    Romney’s campaign website lists the same recommendations.

    Asked about the change, a Romney spokesman said the candidate has “a comprehensive plan to save Social Security with commonsense reforms

  3. Plus, Democrat Erskine Bowles thinks Ryan is pretty special.

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/erskine-bowles-praises-paul-ryan-budget-plan-video-003642883.html

    “I’m telling you, this guy is amazing. I always thought I was OK with arithmetic. This guy can run circles around me,” Bowles tells a class of students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    “He is honest, he is straightforward, he is sincere. And the budget he came forward with is just like Paul Ryan. It is a sensible, straightforward, honest, serious budget and it cut the budget deficit just like we did by four trillion dollars.”

    The video was shot on September 8, 2011, but was just uploaded to YouTube yesterday. What’s striking is that not only does Bowles, a former U.S. Senate candidate from North Carolina, praise Ryan’s effort, but he is also highly critical of the budget offered by President Obama. More from the video:

    “The president came out with his own plan. And the president, as you remember, came out with a budget. And I don’t think anybody took that budget very seriously,” Bowles continues.

    “The Senate voted against it 97 to nothing. He therefore, after a lot of pressure from folks like me, he came out with a new budget framework. And in that budget framework, he cuts the budget by four trillion dollars over twelve years. And, to be candid, this four trillion dollars cut was very heavily back-end loaded. So, that if you looked at it on a ten-year basis and compared apples to apples, it really was about a two and a half trillion dollar cut.”

  4. Luke Fredrickson

    How classic that Mr. Trickle Down is finally pointing his yellow stream at the GOP. My fave quote, which Pat elided:

    “Thirty years of Republican apostasy — a once grand party’s embrace of the welfare state, the warfare state and the Wall Street-coddling bailout state — have crippled the engines of capitalism and buried us in debt.”

  5. Neftali

    Luke – Deflect responsibility much? Democrats were in charge of the House of Representatives for 20 of the past 30 years.

  6. Truth About Energy

    For the record, Mrs. David Stockman is a pro-abortionist rag. They live in Greenwich with the other fakes.
    “A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees.”
    – Then why did they pay into it, abortion lover Stockman? Why should they work harder than the people who are below them? Supply Side worked, marvelously.

  7. Truth About Energy

    “Instead, it shreds the measly means-tested safety net for the vulnerable: the roughly $100 billion per year for food stamps and cash assistance for needy families and the $300 billion budget for Medicaid, the health insurance program for the poor and disabled.”

    – Yeah, that safety “net” that is assisting 100 million Americans. In case you didn’t know, our country only has 300 million people.

    Mrs. David Stockman loves abortion. She’s sick in the head.

  8. Luke Fredrickson

    I see no inconsistency with David Stockman’s views on reining in big government spending and his wife fighting to keep big government out of a woman’s body.

    There is no more intrusive role for the feds than limiting a woman’s reproductive rights. Of course, few so-called conservatives or libertarians object to this type of government overreach. Regulate my ol’ lady, but don’t touch my guns!

    If only men got pregnant…

  9. If only men had any control of the fetus they created and will be fully responsible for if the woman decides not to terminate it.

  10. kevind1986

    Typical hypocrisy from PC. Ryan “lacks courage” for not gutting social security in 10 years but is a hard hearted cold blooded typical Republican if he does. Pat’s a one note wonder and got boring a long time ago. How ’bout use some effort and actually make a point beyond nah nah nah nah nah nah. Next!

  11. With Ryan as his VP is it not plausible that Romney really doesn’t want to be elected? This along with his many inconsistencies, lies and gaffes can only mean one thing. He would rather be on the sideline making money while supporting the do nothing obstructionists in congress.

  12. kevind1986: Brilliant comment. I especially enjoyed the “nah nah nah nah” part.

    I think this is your best contribution here since the last time you treated us to a heaping helping of your global-warming denialism.

    Keep up the good work.

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