How radical is Ryan’s budget plan?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson's picture

Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while increasing Uncle Sam’s annual expenditures by $1.1 trillion? If so, you’re in luck. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently unveiled just such a plan.

Naturally, Democrats immediately denounced Ryan’s plan as “radical.” They think the increases in spending and debt should be much larger. It shows how far the goalposts have been moved in American politics that adding multi-trillion-dollars of debt is the most conservative proposal anyone in government has made. How would you like your government debt, Mr. or Ms. Citizen — gargantuan or astronomical?

The Ryan Plan, if implemented (more on that in a moment), would cut $179 billion from President Obama’s planned spending in 2012 and another $241 billion in 2013.

Why is it not “radical” to raise spending by $787 billion in one year, like Obama did in 2009, but “radical” to propose a decrease of $179 billion?

Ryan proposes to reform Medicare and Medicaid so that they don’t bankrupt the country.

Why is that demonized as “war on the elderly and poor” (the phraseology of Illinois Democrat Jan Schakovsky), but nobody talks about waging “war on the young” by saddling the rising generation with trillions of dollars of debt?

Ryan’s plan is bold in comparison to the status quo in Washington, but it isn’t radical. You want “radical?” How about getting government out of the medical field entirely?

Since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, medical costs have soared far beyond the rate of inflation. More than that, market competition has been diminished and fraud and inefficiency have ballooned apace with the growth of these two medical bureaucracies. (Why do liberals rant and rave about the Pentagon’s inefficiencies, but remain silent about the similar inefficiencies of Medicare and Medicaid?)

Ryan’s plan is statist to the core, promising seniors large government subsidies with which to choose from a slate of government-regulated health care plans.

At this stage, Ryan’s plan is academic. Its combination of spending cuts, tax cuts, and devolution of administration of government programs from the federal to the state level — while a significant improvement over the fiscal insanity of recent years — is dead in the water until at least 2013.

If you doubt that, look at the recently concluded “government shutdown” soap opera. The government is going broke, the Republicans were asking for a giveback of less than 10 percent of the Obama/Pelosi/Reid spending increases, but the Democrats — famous for extolling bipartisanship — threatened to shut down the government rather than make such a modest compromise.

It will be interesting to see how long Ryan’s fellow Republicans in the House stand by his proposals. The coming vote is largely symbolic. The real test will be when Republicans have to face the voters in close re-election races next year.

A majority of Americans may say that they favor reduced federal spending and smaller deficits, but when push comes to shove, how many will vote for a legislator who actually shrinks programs from which voters benefit?

Even if Ryan’s plan, by some miracle, were to be enacted, nothing fundamental would change. Uncle Sam will remain a gigantic, meddling nanny, interfering with our lives and progressively eroding our liberty, entangling us in a corrupt network of special privileges that murder justice and bury the rule of law.

Ryan’s plan is a futile attempt to square the circle. He is trying to find a way to preserve an inherently flawed system — a democratic transfer society — whereby government somehow takes care of all of us without eventually spending itself into bankruptcy.

The Ryan Plan is not radical; that is, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It never questions the legitimacy of government redistribution of wealth. The mechanisms, rationale, and justification for Big Government remain unchallenged. Although a significant step in the right direction (i.e., less federal spending), Paul Ryan’s plan ultimately is not a cure for what ails us.

[Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson is an adjunct faculty member, economist, and fellow for economic and social policy with The Center for Vision & Values (www.VisionAndValues.org) at Grove City (Penn.) College.]

Chris P. Bacon
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Ryan's "plan" is radical...
Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while increasing Uncle Sam’s annual expenditures by $1.1 trillion? If so, you’re in luck. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently unveiled just such a plan.

Given "Doctor" Mark's estranged relationship with the concept of "truthiness", let's see the details before answering!

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Naturally, Democrats immediately denounced Ryan’s plan as “radical.” They think the increases in spending and debt should be much larger. It shows how far the goalposts have been moved in American politics that adding multi-trillion-dollars of debt is the most conservative proposal anyone in government has made. How would you like your government debt, Mr. or Ms. Citizen — gargantuan or astronomical?

If you have a simple solution to a complex issue, "Doctor" Mark, we'd love to hear it!

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

The Ryan Plan, if implemented (more on that in a moment), would cut $179 billion from President Obama’s planned spending in 2012 and another $241 billion in 2013.

Why is it not “radical” to raise spending by $787 billion in one year, like Obama did in 2009, but “radical” to propose a decrease of $179 billion?

Because these cuts basically affect only the poorest and weakest members of society and are contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan proposes to reform Medicare and Medicaid so that they don’t bankrupt the country.

No, what he actually proposes is "catfood conservatism", where seniors are forced to make a hellish choice between medicine and food.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Why is that demonized as “war on the elderly and poor” (the phraseology of Illinois Democrat Jan Schakovsky), but nobody talks about waging “war on the young” by saddling the rising generation with trillions of dollars of debt?

Quite simply, the "war of the elderly and poor" is an accurate description, and your pathetic retort is a non-starter. The young will not see increased numbers sicken and die under Ryan's proposal....the elderly will.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan’s plan is bold in comparison to the status quo in Washington, but it isn’t radical. You want “radical?” How about getting government out of the medical field entirely?

Good luck stormin' that castle. Remember the motley dyspeptic bunch known as the "Tea Party"? One of their core values was opposing universal healthcare because they were told that universal healthcare might adversely impact their God-given RIGHT to Medicare. Come to a Peachtree City Tea party meeting...count all the government-supplied Hoverrounds and motorized wheelchairs.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, medical costs have soared far beyond the rate of inflation. More than that, market competition has been diminished and fraud and inefficiency have ballooned apace with the growth of these two medical bureaucracies. (Why do liberals rant and rave about the Pentagon’s inefficiencies, but remain silent about the similar inefficiencies of Medicare and Medicaid?)

Your statement presumes that Medicare and Medicaid were the cause of rising medical costs. There were many, many other factors, but you conveniently leave them out. That's textbook case of intellectual dishonesty, but you DO teach at Grove City College...

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan’s plan is statist to the core, promising seniors large government subsidies with which to choose from a slate of government-regulated health care plans.

The HUGE fallacy here is presumin' that dat ole "magic hand of the market" will swoop in and scads of insurance companies will rush in to compete for the slimmest-profit margin cases of all: the very elderly.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

At this stage, Ryan’s plan is academic. Its combination of spending cuts, tax cuts, and devolution of administration of government programs from the federal to the state level — while a significant improvement over the fiscal insanity of recent years — is dead in the water until at least 2013.

It's dead in the water, period. It's a showpiece of propaganda.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

If you doubt that, look at the recently concluded “government shutdown” soap opera. The government is going broke...

Ah, that old focus-group tested canard: "The gummint is goin' BROKE!". Newsflash: It's not.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

It will be interesting to see how long Ryan’s fellow Republicans in the House stand by his proposals. The coming vote is largely symbolic. The real test will be when Republicans have to face the voters in close re-election races next year.

Virtually everything the Republicans do is "symbolic", because they are not interested in the best interests of America, only in political power. "Party first, country second".

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

A majority of Americans may say that they favor reduced federal spending and smaller deficits, but when push comes to shove, how many will vote for a legislator who actually shrinks programs from which voters benefit?

Competing priorities, my boy. Your highest spending priorities may be on my "cut" list, and vice versa.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

The Ryan Plan is not radical; that is, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It never questions the legitimacy of government redistribution of wealth. The mechanisms, rationale, and justification for Big Government remain unchallenged. Although a significant step in the right direction (i.e., less federal spending), Paul Ryan’s plan ultimately is not a cure for what ails us.

The Ryan plan IS radical, and cannot be taken seriously. Not unlike one of your columns!

Observerofu
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Radical? Not hardly it doesn't go far enough
Chris P. Bacon][quote=Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Question for those of you concerned about the size of federal debts and deficits: Would you endorse a plan which would add another five or six trillion dollars to the federal debt over the next decade while increasing Uncle Sam’s annual expenditures by $1.1 trillion? If so, you’re in luck. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) recently unveiled just such a plan.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Given "Doctor" Mark's estranged relationship with the concept of "truthiness", let's see the details before answering!

Well, here is a good example of the pot and kettle metaphor. Now Bacon ole boy do you have any evidence that DOCTOR Hendrickson is anything but truthful or are you just casting aspersions in order to attempt to deflect from his argument? You know attack him personally instead of arguing his points?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Naturally, Democrats immediately denounced Ryan’s plan as “radical.” They think the increases in spending and debt should be much larger. It shows how far the goalposts have been moved in American politics that adding multi-trillion-dollars of debt is the most conservative proposal anyone in government has made. How would you like your government debt, Mr. or Ms. Citizen — gargantuan or astronomical?

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

If you have a simple solution to a complex issue, "Doctor" Mark, we'd love to hear it!

Why is it when someone opines on an issue the left almost always goes with the “Well what’s your solution” tact? What’s your solution? Do nothing? Keep spending? Ignore the debt and HOPE it will CHANGE for the better?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

The Ryan Plan, if implemented (more on that in a moment), would cut $179 billion from President Obama’s planned spending in 2012 and another $241 billion in 2013.
Why is it not “radical” to raise spending by $787 billion in one year, like Obama did in 2009, but “radical” to propose a decrease of $179 billion?

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Because these cuts basically affect only the poorest and weakest members of society and are contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

Well, I could say what do you mean “going against the Teachings of Jesus” as if you have much experience in them but I cast no aspersions against people who CLAIM they are Christians but fail to act the part. Now as to the plan you would note, if you had of actually read it, that the poor will not be affected much at all. Instead of the Federal Government controlling the funds and parceling it out as they see fit it will actually go to the end user instead.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan proposes to reform Medicare and Medicaid so that they don’t bankrupt the country.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

No, what he actually proposes is "catfood conservatism", where seniors are forced to make a hellish choice between medicine and food.

Blah, Blah, Blah. Scare Granny; starve kids and breathing dirty air. You guys need some new material.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Why is that demonized as “war on the elderly and poor” (the phraseology of Illinois Democrat Jan Schakovsky), but nobody talks about waging “war on the young” by saddling the rising generation with trillions of dollars of debt?

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Quite simply, the "war of the elderly and poor" is an accurate description, and your pathetic retort is a non-starter. The young will not see increased numbers sicken and die under Ryan's proposal....the elderly will.

Rhetoric and hyperbole. More of the let’s go scare Granny BS.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan’s plan is bold in comparison to the status quo in Washington, but it isn’t radical. You want “radical?” How about getting government out of the medical field entirely?

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Good luck stormin' that castle. Remember the motley dyspeptic bunch known as the "Tea Party"? One of their core values was opposing universal healthcare because they were told that universal healthcare might adversely impact their God-given RIGHT to Medicare. Come to a Peachtree City Tea party meeting...count all the government-supplied Hoverrounds and motorized wheelchairs.

Well thankfully most Americans agree that Government has no business in our Healthcare. When it comes to Abortions you guys are the first to scream get Government out of “our” wombs but when it comes to having Government decide what treatments we can get you guys are all in for that one.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, medical costs have soared far beyond the rate of inflation. More than that, market competition has been diminished and fraud and inefficiency have ballooned apace with the growth of these two medical bureaucracies. (Why do liberals rant and rave about the Pentagon’s inefficiencies, but remain silent about the similar inefficiencies of Medicare and Medicaid?)

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Your statement presumes that Medicare and Medicaid were the cause of rising medical costs. There were many, many other factors, but you conveniently leave them out. That's textbook case of intellectual dishonesty, but you DO teach at Grove City College...

Where do you teach Bacon? The Guy has a PHD and your secondary education is?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

Ryan’s plan is statist to the core, promising seniors large government subsidies with which to choose from a slate of government-regulated health care plans.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

The HUGE fallacy here is presumin' that dat ole "magic hand of the market" will swoop in and scads of insurance companies will rush in to compete for the slimmest-profit margin cases of all: the very elderly.

The Free Market always has before why is it now that it won’t? History shows us that the Market will correct unfair competition and the consumers decide on what works, but why use reason and logic we you can just scare Granny some more.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

At this stage, Ryan’s plan is academic. Its combination of spending cuts, tax cuts, and devolution of administration of government programs from the federal to the state level — while a significant improvement over the fiscal insanity of recent years — is dead in the water until at least 2013.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

It's dead in the water, period. It's a showpiece of propaganda.

Not unlike Obama’s plan bacon?

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

If you doubt that, look at the recently concluded “government shutdown” soap opera. The government is going broke...

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Ah, that old focus-group tested canard: "The gummint is goin' BROKE!". Newsflash: It's not.

Let’s noodle this one out. We are over $14 Trillion in debt. We have over $113 Trillion in unfunded liabilities.
The current resident in the Whitehouse wants to continue spending….uh…errr…Investing to the tune of $10 Trillion more over the next decade.
Now we may still have the lights on but the bank account is empty. Just how is it we are not broke bacon? Oh you mean we can digitally print more money. Well yes we can, up to a point, after that we reach a tipping point and Inflation will become uncontrolled.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

It will be interesting to see how long Ryan’s fellow Republicans in the House stand by his proposals. The coming vote is largely symbolic. The real test will be when Republicans have to face the voters in close re-election races next year.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Virtually everything the Republicans do is "symbolic", because they are not interested in the best interests of America, only in political power. "Party first, country second".

Rhetoric and hyperbole again. The same can be and is said for the Progressive left.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

A majority of Americans may say that they favor reduced federal spending and smaller deficits, but when push comes to shove, how many will vote for a legislator who actually shrinks programs from which voters benefit?

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

Competing priorities, my boy. Your highest spending priorities may be on my "cut" list, and vice versa.

Well you finally said something of substance.

Dr. Mark W. Hendrickson wrote:

The Ryan Plan is not radical; that is, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. It never questions the legitimacy of government redistribution of wealth. The mechanisms, rationale, and justification for Big Government remain unchallenged. Although a significant step in the right direction (i.e., less federal spending), Paul Ryan’s plan ultimately is not a cure for what ails us.

Chris P. Bacon wrote:

The Ryan plan IS radical, and cannot be taken seriously. Not unlike one of your columns!

...and a perfect end to a rambling post. Bacon not one response of yours went to the merits of Dr. Hendrickson’s points. Talking points are not cogent arguments.

Spyglass
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Are saying nothing should be cut?

I'm more for across the board cutting myself. I would can the Education Dept tomorrow...let the States handle it. Then next year look at other major departments for the chopping block.

10% across the board otherwise....get it done.

Mike King
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Good Day Chris...

...Hope all is well within Swineland. You make good points, but what if we took a more senseable and simplistic approach and cut 10% from the previous years budget, 11% the next year, 12% and so on. I know that some 535 elected Members of Congress would end up with the vapors at the task of making such hard choices, but I believe we would agree that something this "radical" will be required.

Observerofu
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Events will force it rather the left wants to or not

They can pi$$ and moan all day long but this year will see a major change in our economic future. The spineless politicians in DC don't have the stones to make the cuts necessary to save our economy.
Standard and Poors downgrading us to a Negative is only the beginning.

Bacon's response is the typical progressive styled whimpering we will be hearing every time one program gets put on the chopping block. They will have their union thugs and radical youths out in the streets fomenting chaos.

It's already happening and the cuts have not even begun.

NUK_1
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Ryan plan not "radical" enough

Where are the necessary cuts in the Defense budget to start with?

Next, too much of the $$$ "cut" fall into nebulous categories like "waste" that are not defined at all and just rather imaginary.

I do like Ryan's blueprint because it's a good starting point at least about time to grow up, be mature adults, and deal with this total financial wreck that will get much worse over time.

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