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My Favorite Parts of the Ryan Plan

By John Martin - Posted on 05 April 2011

I’m glad Rep. Ryan put together his proposal. I agree with those who think it could lead to some serious conversation about our budget problems.

I don’t generally regard Ryan as a gimmicky sort of Republican, and he usually seems to know what he’s talking about, but his plan has a few glaring question marks that seem more focused on raising eyebrows than anything else.

Here are my favorites:

  • Of the $4 trillion Paul Ryan promises his plan would save taxpayers, over a third comes from the savings we’d supposedly get from a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Where he comes up with these numbers, nobody seems to know. I could have sworn the CBO estimated the Act would cut the deficit by over $100 billion over 10 years.
  • The Ryan plan would allow health insurance companies to deny patients coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Add to this the removal of everything else contained in the Affordable Care Act, of course, regardless of whether it’s bad policy or not.
  • It once again allows the federal government to take hundreds of billions of dollars from taxpayers to bail out failed financial firms. Dodd-Frank wasn’t good legislation, but anything that might prevent the government from taking hundreds of billions of dollars from honest, hardworking taxpayers and giving it to irresponsible and unpatriotic failures is decent law in my book.
  • Although the Ryan plan graciously lowers the highest marginal income tax rate for individuals to 25% (the lowest since the 1920’s. Reminder: we’re currently running a $1.3 trillion deficit), who knows what effect it would have on everyone else. Once the current six brackets are consolidated to just three or four, millions of unlucky Americans might be left holding the bag. This plan is 60 pages long. I guess there wasn’t enough room for Ryan to spell out what he thinks the rest of America should be paying.

One more thing-- the Ryan plan ends Medicare for those born after 1956.

But he has a pretty name for it, so it's GOT to be good.  "Path to Prosperity."  It's not about substance but the packaging. (So what's new in politics, right?)

The two integral parts of the trouble with Medicare are demographics and health care inflation.  His plan tackles the former by eliminating coverage for my generation and younger; the latter he doesn't tackle at all.

At best the plan gives 2012 candidate Obama plenty of ammunition. 


Ryan to 32M Americans: No Insurance for You

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan has published his proposal for downsizing the federal government. In the hours and days to come, you're going to hear a lot of different numbers from his proposal. But let me draw your attention to a figure that's not in there: 32 million. Based on the available information, that's roughly the number of people likely to lose health insurance, relative to current law, if the budget were to become reality.

~This is an actual death panel.

This is a good read:

An Alternative to the Ryan Budget

Perfect.  All he's proposing is:

"Cutting back the military to pre-Bush levels, and reverting back to the Clinton-era tax rates."

And that takes care of the deficit. I believe it.

The Clinton years were good years (for our economy). Miraculously, rich people were able to invest and create jobs, even with a Democrat in the White House and even after getting their taxes raised a small amount in 1993. 

What a great read! I understand the complexities of the defense budget and the potential harm in "ending" a war without planning, but it certainly would do the trick. I vote for this plan!!!

Hands off my Medicare!

I go on Medicare next year... I got a dog in this hunt.
Me too, Misty!! I can't wait...and I'll hurt anyone who tries to mess it up for me.  lol
I'm probably more at risk being that I'm 40 years old. Ryan is too scared to include current seniors or those close to the age, but he is ready to throw my age group and below under the bus. But I think most will protest enough to ensure this is dead in the water. Knowing that, I am surprised he dared to bring this up in such a blatant, open way. It will make for great conversation during the debates!

Democratic Governors want no part of the Ryan budget, by the way, particularly the Medicaid changes.

Sen. Baucus Rips Paul Ryan Budget: "Not On My watch"


I understand Ryan gave the CBO specific figures to work from. ;-)  Even so, the CBO, at this point, doesn't score this budget very favorably for the Republican Party.  I guess means they will dismiss, or spin, the CBO report.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office's initial analysis of the House GOP budget released today by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) is filled with nuggets of bad news for Republicans.

In addition to acknowledging that seniors, disabled and elderly people would be hit with much higher out-of-pocket health care costs, the CBO finds that by the end of the 10-year budget window, public debt will actually be higher than it would be if the GOP just did nothing.

Under the so-called "extended baseline scenario" -- a.k.a. projections based on current law -- debt held by the public will grow to 67 percent of GDP by 2022. Under the GOP plan, public debt would reach 70 percent of GDP in the same window.

In other words, the spending cuts Republicans would realize in the first 10 years would be outpaced by deficit increasing tax-cuts, which Ryan also proposes. After that, debt projections under the plan improve decade-by-decade relative to current law. That's because 2022 would mark the beginning of the Medicare privatization plan. That's when, CBO finds, "most elderly people would pay more for their health care than they would pay under the current Medicare system."

Will Democrats actually seize the moment? Are they really on message in fighting this "GOP cause." For once, maybe!


You might find this analysis of Ryan's vs. Obama's plans interesting.

He makes a side-by-side comparison of the two plans (warning: many graphs were killed in the making of this article.)

A quote: Apparently, in one document..., Heritage has simply disappeared the line item in which the unemployment rate falls to 2.8 percent by 2021.  The document states: ”Updated as of April 6, 2011 at 11:04 a.m. EST,” which update was presumably the removal of the unemployment rate projections.  At this moment (13:30 Eastern), it still appears — for now – in this document (which I have saved in multiple spots).  It is, frankly, remarkable to me that they would take such an action.  Apparently when one’s analysis does not stand up to even the most cursory examination, the solution is simple:  Delete the offending data."


Bernie Sanders calls the plan an attack on working families.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) took to the Senate floor Wednesday and warned that the Republican budget plan would tip America toward oligarchy by giving tax breaks to the wealthiest citizens while slashing aid for the neediest.

Sanders said the GOP plan was to "stick it to working families in a horrendous way," and that the GOP's proposed cuts would decimate the middle class and further increase the gap between the rich and everyone else.

"At a time when the middle class is in decline and poverty is increasing," Sanders said, "what our Republican friends are saying is, 'let us attack virtually every significant program that improves lives for low income or moderate income people.'"

"Rich get richer, they get more. Poor get poorer, they get less," he added. "Maybe that sense of morality makes sense to some people."

Sanders assailed Republicans' cuts to health care, Head Start, and Pell Grants, all of which he said would render many services cost prohibitive for needy Americans. He also addressed the specific impact to his constituents, noting that a proposed GOP cut to heating oil subsidies would directly impact those he represents -- particularly senior citizens struggling to get by on Social Security -- in a state with notoriously cold winters.

"While I applaud [Republicans] for being straightforward, about that vision, I think the more the American people take a hard look at that vision at where they want this country to go, the more outraged will be millions and millions of citizens," Sanders said.


NYT: Paul Krugman

Richard Rubin and Stephen Sloan direct us to a new Tax Policy Center (TPC) assessment of the tax cuts in the Ryan plan (all, repeat all, of which go to top incomes and corporations) which has been posted but not yet advertised on the TPC home page — you have to know that it’s there.


Looking at this massive tax cut — NOT taken account of in the CBO estimates — might almost make you think that (a) the Ryan plan would actually increase the deficit and (b) the whole goal is not to reduce the deficit, but to transfer income upward. In fact, it so happens that the estimated cost of those tax cuts is almost exactly equal to the proposed cuts to Medicaid, food stamps, and other programs helping lower-income Americans.

Comment from article:

Someone pointed out this gem from the Heritage Foundation regarding the Bush plan in 2001. The federal debt was supposed to be virtually paid off last year, according to their projections.

I guess the Ryan Plan is their do-over.

Kaiser Health News reports that "seniors and the disabled would pay sharply more for their Medicare coverage" under Ryan's proposal.

Link from TPM. This will be devastating for Paul Ryan. Former Reagan OMB Director rips the plan and stresses that extending tax cuts or refusing to look at revenue building in any budget is unrealistic.

Former Reagan OMB director David Stockman on Paul Ryan's long-term budget plan:

While the government teetered on the brink of a shutdown last week over short term funding, economists across the ideological spectrum weighed in on the GOP's long-term plan with negative reviews. The biggest shock came from high-profile economists with GOP leanings, who also criticized it on the merits.

"It doesn't address in any serious or courageous way the issue of the near and medium-term deficit," David Stockman told me in a Thursday phone interview. "I think the biggest problem is revenues. It is simply unrealistic to say that raising revenue isn't part of the solution. It's a measure of how far off the deep end Republicans have gone with this religious catechism about taxes."

Stockman, who directed Ronald Reagan's Office of Management and Budget, approves of Ryan's entitlement proposals, but breaks faith over taxes and the GOP's unwillingness to slash defense spending. And he laughs off the notion that the plan will do anything about unemployment, let alone dramatically reduce it, which Ryan and his plan claim it will. "This isn't 1980. It's not morning again in America. it's late afternoon, or possibly even sunset."

"It's kind of a pitiful commentary on our state of fiscal malgovernance when you consider the two leaders that we have that are trying to face down this issue," Stockman said. "One of them is so ready to compromise that he folds faster than a lawnchair (that's Obama). And the other is ready to sob at the drop of a hat."

More of what Stockman said in an interview with TPM here.


Former Bush and McCain economic advisor Doug Holtz-Eakin and libertarian economist Tyler Cowen also skeptical of Ryan's plan.

On this score, Doug Holtz-Eakin -- a former McCain and George W. Bush economic adviser -- told Huffington Post Ryan's plan is "implausibly optimistic."

The libertarian economist Tyler Cowen wrote up a point-by-point critique of the plan. His principle objections are that the plan doesn't do anything to control health care costs, and cutting Medicaid is neither good policy, nor urgent. Indeed, he notes, "Medicaid should be one of the last parts of the health care budget to cut." Emphasis in the original.



From Politico. Many in GOP starting to squirm over Ryan Budget Plan. He's put them in a very tough situtation.

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