Paul Ryan has been put forth as the GOP’s intellectual leader and as a wonky budget wiz. When his plan(s) were put forward in the past, they were eviscerated. Since his nomination as VP, however, there seems to have been relatively little broad discussion of his budget plans in favor of some high level focus on specifics regarding Medicare and Medicaid.
Below is a review of the intellectual chops behind the purported budget wonk. In short, this budget plan is a god damn joke and should rightfully be an embarrassment to the GOP, not a gold standard. I’m very interested in hearing otherwise from anyone here.
Romney and Ryan have been asked when his plan achieves a balanced budget. They have twice answered that they have not yet “run the numbers” in order to find out! How can they not even have an answer that makes sense, let alone not have confirmed that their budget plan does what they purport that it will do?
Romney’s position on his plan vis a vis Medicare and its relationship to Ryan’s plan has flipped SIX TIMES, including going from “very different” to “identical” in 24 hours. Does that mean he was for Ryan’s plan before he was against it before he was before it before he was against it before he was for it…?
The Ryan plan relies on “magic asterisks” in order to get to an implausible bottom line. One of the more remarkable and implausible lines is the cutting of discretionary spending, including defense spending. Ryan’s plan relies on shrinking all discretionary spending to 3.5%. This is lower than defense spending alone, which is presently 4%.
The manner in which revenues will be increased is given the name of “broadening the base.” According to the CBO:
This cite includes the reminder that Ryan’s plan originally envisioned 2.8% unemployment. The US has not had an annual unemployment rate that low in the history of measurement of unemployment (since 1948). When Ryan was called out on this, this number was disappeared, but all the other calculations remained unchanged.