The federal government spend approximately $10 billion per day. Four billion of that is borrowed. That is a level of spending and debt that is unsustainable. The problem has become so acute that former Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles co-chairs of the presidential commission on deficit reduction called it “the most predictable economic crisis in history.”
Republicans were elected in the 2010 landslide election to address this problem and they are. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-MN)the telegenic Chairman of the House Budget Committee put his cards on the table on Tuesday. Here's his outline of the plan. It's a short 3:15 presentation:
On the House Budget web site, you'll find the complete details of the plan along with a summary. Describing the plan in one sentence, the Ryan plan slowly reigns in spending and limits it to 20% of gross domestic produce. Wouldn't you think that 20% of EVERY good or service created in the United States every year would be enough? Apparently not for Democrats.
Two charts from the plan:
An editorial in the Washington Times described the plan this way:
For the first time in almost 50 years, a congressional budget is on the table that would make an actual spending cut. We’re not talking about a Washington “cut” that happens when government spends more money but less than it would have liked to have spent. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, gives a nod to the common-sense understanding of the term with an outline for federal expenditures in 2012 that would come in at $89 billion less than outlays in 2011. That’s a real 2.5 percent reduction.Democrats Cry Wolf Once Too Often
Even the “cuts” Republicans still want to make to the 2011 budget would, if enacted, represent an overall increase from last year’s spending. In that context, Mr. Ryan’s proposal brings the nation closer to solvency but not quite as much as the “$6 trillion in savings over a decade” headline might imply. Specifically, Mr. Ryan’s 2012 deficit would remain near $1 trillion. Over a decade, overspending would continue adding more than $5 trillion to the national debt. That’s a 46 percent improvement over the $9.4 trillion in overspending under Mr. Obama’s budget. Both figures are too much.
Ryan's plan basically rolls back spending to 2008 levels. Were people starving in the streets in 2008 when Democrats ran the House of Representatives? You might think so if you listened to Democrats this week talk about Ryan's plan with the same shopworn scaremongering that has become a cliche in Washington since the Reagan era.
Democrats didn't even wait for Ryan to unveil his plan before they trotted out their recycled rhetoric about hurting kids and seniors and tax cuts for the rich. Those lines were written long ago. They were not true during the Reagan years when the budget reached $1.1 trillion and they are not true now with a budget of $3.6 trillion.
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi topped the crazy cake by insisting that GOP cuts would mean "six million seniors are deprived of meals." Were those seniors starving when Pelosi's Democrat controlled congress approved 2008 spending?
Where is the Dem Plan for Fiscal Solvency?
Democrats had two years with overwhelming control of both houses of Congress and the White House. Instead of addressing the defict, as Obama promised, Dems went on a spending spree. Obama appointed a deficit commission to study the matter and promptly ignored their recommendations.
Rep. Ryan's plan is the first serious deficit reduction effort in many years. If Democrats succeed in demagoguing it to death with the usual lies then we will certainly face that future fiscal crisis completely aware of who is to blame!