Paul Ryan's Republican Tax/Deficit Plan: A Cruel Joke — Brooklynian

Paul Ryan's Republican Tax/Deficit Plan: A Cruel Joke

The Paul Ryan plan is simply unreal. And best of all, most of the country, and especially our televised idiots, are taking his proposal seriously.

Let's talk about health care, one of the single biggest costs to Americans and the government alike...

April 8, 2011, 9:48 am

Ryan and Taxes

Paul Krugman



Today’s column
didn’t even mention the tax part of the Ryan plan — 800 words, you know. So, a bit about that.

The Ryan plan calls for cutting the top marginal rate to 25 percent — lower than it has been at any time in the past 80 years. That in itself should tell you that this is a deeply unserious proposal: anyone who tells you that we have to face hard truths, that everyone must sacrifice, and by the way, rich people will pay lower taxes than they have at any time since the 1930s, is just engaged in a power grab.

Beyond that, has anybody besides Bruce Bartlett noticed that Ryan still hasn’t gotten an independent estimate of the revenue losses from his tax plan? Last summer I pointed out that he was getting a free pass on tax cuts that appeared likely to lose a lot of revenue; his defenders came up with all sorts of excuses about how he couldn’t get anyone to do a proper estimate.

But that was 8 months ago, and his plan is now the official plan of the Republican party. At this point, the absence of any independent verification of the claim that he will collect 19 percent of GDP in revenue clearly reflects a deliberate evasive strategy: Ryan and his colleagues don’t want anyone looking at their numbers independently.

The truth is that his plan would almost surely lead to a large rise in the deficit.

Ezra Klein, health care blogger for WaPo:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/the_democrats_have_a_plan_for_controlling_health_care_costs_paul_ryan_doesnt/2011/04/08/AFeF9f1C_blog.html?wprss=ezra-klein

Democrats don’t just have a proposal that offers a more plausible vision of cost control than Ryan does. They have an honest-to-goodness law. The Affordable Care Act sets more achievable targets, and offers a host of more plausible ways to reach them, than anything in Ryan’s budget. “If this is a competition betweenRyan and the Affordable Care Act on realistic approaches to curbing the growth of spending,” says Robert Reischauer, who ran the Congressional Budget Office from 1989 to 1995 and now directs the Urban Institute, “the Affordable Care Act gets five points and Ryan gets zero.”

The bottom line is this: The Affordable Care Act is actually doing the hard work of reforming the health-care system that’s needed to make cost control possible. Ryan’s budget just makes seniors pay more for their Medicare and choose their own plans — worthy ideas, you can argue, but ideas that have been tried many times before, and that have never cut costs in the way Ryan’s budget suggests they will.

That’s why, when the Congressional Budget Office looked at Ryan’s plan, they said it would make Medicare more expensive for seniors, not less. The reason the deficit goes down is because seniors are paying 70 percent of the cost of their insurance out-of-pocket rather than 30 percent. But that’s not sustainable: We’ve just taken the government’s medical-costs problem and pushed it onto families.

No one who knows health-care policy will tell you that the Affordable Care Act does everything we need to do in exactly the way we need it done. That’s why Resichauer gave it a five, not a 10. But it does a lot of what we need to do and it sets up systems to help us continue doing what’s needed in the future.

Ryan’s proposal, by contrast, does almost none of what we need to do. It appeals to people who have an ideological take on health-care reform and believe we can make Medicare cheaper by handing it over to private insurers and telling seniors to act like consumers. It’s a plan that suggests health-care costs are about insurance, as opposed to about health care. There’s precious little evidence of that, and when added to the fact that Ryan’s targets are so low that even his allies can’t defend them, the reality is that his savings are largely an illusion.

Comments

  • Pundits calling Paul Ryan budget "courageous" also call Mr. Potter's attack on George Bailey's Building & Loan "gutsy."

    --Frank Conniff (on twitter)

  • Pundits calling Paul Ryan budget "courageous" also call Mr. Potter's attack on George Bailey's Building & Loan "gutsy."

    --Frank Conniff (on twitter)

  • I am no fan of Dems, and I admit to not knowing the science behind the economics of Health Care, but the GOP has been acting like a bunch of douchebags when it comes to getting this country back in fiscal shape. In fact, ever since Obama took office, it seems that every common sense approach, or just approach in general, has been demonized by the GOP and their Dem lackeys.

  • I am no fan of Dems, and I admit to not knowing the science behind the economics of Health Care, but the GOP has been acting like a bunch of douchebags when it comes to getting this country back in fiscal shape. In fact, ever since Obama took office, it seems that every common sense approach, or just approach in general, has been demonized by the GOP and their Dem lackeys.

  • The GOP has openly stated that their governing policy is to oppose every. single. agenda. that Obama has, even ones that were originally designed BY REPUBLICANS.

    I hope nobody is under any other impression.

  • It appears that every single Republican legislator's vote is for sale to the corporate lobbyist with the biggest war chest.

    It seems that Republican policy consists of two goals:

    1. Reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy;

    2. Reduce spending intended to benefit the poor and the middle class.

    You have to admire how consistently they adhere to these precepts, and how adroit they are about persuading the working and middle classes that these policies somehow benefit them.

  • It is policies such as these that have led me to decide that I will be born to a wealthy family in my next life.

    (sorry Mom and Dad)

  • That is my goal also. It seems only fair!

  • booklaw said:

    It seems that Republican policy consists of two goals:

    1. Reduce taxes for corporations and the wealthy;

    2. Reduce spending intended to benefit the poor and the middle class.

    No question about it.

    This is explicitly spelled out in their "budget" proposal.

    Or their support for the Bush Tax Cuts for Rich People.

  • whynot_31 said:

    It is policies such as these that have led me to decide that I will be born to a wealthy family in my next life.

    (sorry Mom and Dad)

    Pretty sure you just hit on the Republicans' 2012 campaign slogan.

    Or, their health care plan.

    "don't get sick" or "be born wealthy"

  • It could work.

    When you think about it, the ability of people to believe that they will be rich in the lifetime is waning.

    So, it only makes sense that they begin telling people that they will be reincarnated as a rich person, and it is therefore wise for them to keep taxes on rich people very low. After all, my next life is going to be longer than the time I have left in this life, so I should focus on it, right?

    it all makes sense.

  • The meek will inherit the earth?

  • sshhhh, don't tell anyone I'm not meek.

  • This is a bit much, even for me.

    With the mess we're in now, the only direction ANYONE's tax burden should be going is up.

    Why the govt works to appease such a small segment of the population is beyond me. Does this dude understand how democracy works? Is his constituency comprised entirely of the kind of people his goofy plan will benefit?

  • Even politically, it is beyond me.

    I can't even see what angle they're playing.

    My best guess is simply that they want to pull the debate so far to that extreme, that there will be net gains over all, whenever a "compromise" is made?

  • Welp, chalk this one up as a Republican political failure.

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/do-do-that-voodoo/

    So Paul Ryan gave his big speech defending his plan — and demonstrated, in case you were wondering, that there’s no there there (and there never was).

    Remember how everyone declared that Ryan was a serious person, truly willing to face up to our deficit problem? Well, now he’s out there denouncing the way “the budget debate has degenerated into a game of green-eyeshade arithmetic” — in other words, enough with all these numbers. And his answer to the deficit now is that we have to grow our way out.

    There’s a name for that: voodoo economics.

    Basically, again, what we’re getting here is standard right-wing voodoo. Ryan turns out to be an empty suit, parroting the usual line. What’s remarkable is that for a year or so this empty suit was hailed — by self-proclaimed centrists as well as the right — as a brilliant, brave champion of fiscal responsibility.

    full blog post:

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/do-do-that-voodoo/

This discussion has been closed.