Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), chair of the House Budget Committee, and all but four of his fellow Republicans passed a budget for fiscal 2012 on April 15. No Democrat voted for the Ryan budget. The Senate, controlled by the Democrats, will not approve Mr. Ryan’s “path to prosperity.”
Mr. Ryan’s blueprint, a “Path to Prosperity,” is the foundation for his budget proposal. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed on April 5th, Ryan wrote: “For starters, it [“The Path to Prosperity] cuts $6.2 trillion in spending from the president’s budget over the next 10 years, reduces the debt as a percentage of the economy, and puts the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt. Our proposal brings federal spending to below 20% of gross domestic product (GDP), consistent with the postwar average, and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion.”
Other highlights of the Ryan plan include: bringing “spending on domestic government agencies to below 2008 levels, and it freezes this category of spending for five years;” rooting out inefficiencies in the Pentagon; “converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant that lets states create a range of options;” “starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy,” subsidized by taxpayers; strengthening Social Security; and making “sure government spends and taxes only as much as it needs to fulfill its constitutionally prescribed roles.” (Emphasis added)
Mr. Ryan also proposes to make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
In short, only in Washington DC can a budget increase annually for ten years and be called a reduction in spending. The sleight of hand is accomplished by projecting spending for the next ten years that grows markedly and then proposing to cut the growth in spending making believe that your proposal actually cuts spending.
In the Alice in Wonderland world of federal budgets the choice before the American people is spending increasing at “50 MPH” versus Obama’s projected “65 MPH” spending proposal for the next ten years.
Moreover, Mr. Ryan states the federal government should spend “to fulfill its constitutional prescribed roles.” How about ending (phasing out) two Ponzi schemes—Social Security and Medicare for starters? The federal government has no constitutional duty to create a retirement program or a health care program for senior citizens. In addition, there is no constitutional requirement to provide health care for poor Americans (Medicaid).
Mr. Ryan’s proposal can be summed up in a few words, a GOP welfare state for the 21st century—“a secure safety net” as he calls it to maintain Ponzi schemes. Instead, Mr. Ryan should call for phasing out Ponzi schemes as soon as possible. Otherwise, members of Congress are complicit in perpetuating a fraud on all the American people.
Rep. Ryan raises several important issues about the role of the federal government but does not address the massive military spending that is also undermining sustainable prosperity. Nevertheless, as uninspiring as Ryan’s proposals are, they seem breathtaking compared to President Obama’s goal to expand the welfare state and raise taxes on wealthy Americans. However, Obama wants to reduce projected military spending.
Neither Ryan nor Obama call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve. The FED is the nation’s legal counterfeiter. By debasing the dollar, manipulating interest rates and causing economic misery in the country, the FED is the most anti-free market institution ever created.
The debate over America’s future centers around a simple choice—a GOP welfare-warfare state versus a Democratic welfare-warfare state. There is an alternative, which must be implemented as soon as possible, free markets, limited government, a noninterventionist foreign policy and a noninflationary monetary policy.
It is spring—a time of renewal. We need to renew the principles of the Declaration of Independence before the welfare-warfare state overwhelms what is left of our free enterprise economy.