Rep. Ryan has proposed a budget that purports to present better solutions than the Dems have proposed. But it fails miserably. It privatizes social security, at a huge cost to the government to backstop market failures, and provides enormous tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. it is corporatism at its worst.
For a great point and counterpoint, you can read
- the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities' analysis of the Ryan plan, Ryan Budget's radical priorities provide the largest tax cuts in history for the wealthy, raises middle class taxes, ends guaranteed medicare, privatizes social security, erodes health care
- Ryan's response Rep. Ryan Responds to CBPP's Analysis of Road Map for America's Future, and
- the CBPP's "gotcha" response to Ryan's response: Ryan's Response to Center's Analysis of Roadmap is Off Base.
It is refreshing to see the Center call a spade a spade. The Ryan budget would provide immense tax cuts to the wealthy by eliminating all investment taxes while increasing the consumption taxes that are very regressive for poor and middle class Americans, for whom every penny counts. And even with the cut in benefits and higher taxes on ordinary folk, the huge tax breaks for the rich would cost the country dearly, leaving the country in much worse shape than would result from making the irresponsible Bush tax cuts permanent. Ryan's attempt to hide and obfuscate what his budget proposal really does shouldn't pass muster, but it will take strong analyses like the CBPP's to force people like Ryan from faking it with misleading statements about their own policy proposals.
And as Ezra Klein notes, one of the long term problems of this kind of legislative nonsense is that people will lose faith in the legislative process itself. Klein, Discrediting the Legislative Process, Wash Post Mar. 19, 2010. When winning an election becomes more important than serving the people, and getting people to support something even though it is not in their interest leads politicians to misrepresent and make claims that simply are not valid, we have a problem. It is not that government is too big. It is that the wrong people are being elected to hold office. It is, putting it mildly, ridiculous for the ranking minority member of the Budget Committee to make outrageous claims about solving the deficit problem with a budget that has the federal government bailing out all American retirees if their privatized social security accounts lose money, lowering taxes on the wealthiest Americans by millions annually, while raising taxes on ordinary workers by significant amounts.