Ryan’s Burden

Ryan’s burden will be the necessity of having, as Steven Hayward termed it, an adult conversation with America about our budget situation:

Ryan wants to have an adult conversation with America about the looming insolvency of the welfare state, and he has a serious plan to fix it.

Some of our own commenters have noted that cutting entitlements is not something that will go down well in the battleground state of Florida…and that would be true if what Ryan had proposed were actual “cuts” – but they aren’t – they are D.C. “cuts” which are reductions in the rate of increase. Ryan’s budget actually continues a trajectory of increased funding, just not as much as currently planned. His plan also includes the provision for individuals to divert funds to private retirement accounts – which will draw the ire of the statists – because as we have noted, the Ponzi scheme that is Social Security needs the current inflow of revenue to pay current benefits. It can’t tolerate any diversion of funds for any reason or the chicanery that is being used to disguise its true condition will be revealed.

We also have to recognize this fact, one noted in 2010:

This year, the feds will spend $2.39 trillion in PFIs [payments for individuals], amounting to nearly two-thirds of all federal outlays — now over 24 percent of GDP under the Obama-era spending explosion. And we’re running a huge deficit — tax collections, due to recession-reduced incomes, are now only 14.8 percent of GDP.

And, for the first time in history, PFIs — at 16.4 percent of GDP — exceed federal revenues. The difference — 1.6 percent of GDP — amounts to about $228 billion.

That is, the feds are spending $228 billion more than they collect per year in taxes — on just PFIs.

This was 2010, but 2 years on, change has come – but only for the worse.

People are already decrying that defense spending needs to be cut, but defense spending pales in comparison to the entitlement spending:

Defense spending is less than that of Social Security alone.

Those crying about Medicare should look to what Obamacare plans to do to it – and this isn’t a budget, because the Senate hasn’t passed one in over 3 years, this is law:

Altogether, ObamaCare cuts $818 billion from Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) from 2014-2023, the first 10 years of its full implementation, and $3.2 trillion over the first 20 years, 2014-2033. Adding in ObamaCare cuts for Medicare Part B (physicians fees and other services) brings the total cut to $1.05 trillion over the first 10 years and $4.95 trillion over the first 20 years.

These draconian cuts in Medicare payments to doctors, hospitals and other health-care providers that serve America’s seniors were the basis for the Congressional Budget Office’s official “score”—repeatedly cited by the president—that the health-reform legislation would actually reduce the federal deficit. But Mr. Obama never disclosed how that deficit reduction would actually be achieved.

There will be additional cuts under ObamaCare to Medicare Advantage, the private option to Medicare that close to one-fourth of all seniors have chosen for their coverage under the program because it gives them a better deal. Mr. Foster estimates that 50% of all seniors with Medicare Advantage will lose their plan because of these cuts. Mr. Obama’s pledge that “If you like your health plan, you will be able to keep it” clearly does not apply to America’s seniors.

Ryan will have to speak forcefully to rise above the demagoguery that has already started – but he is the man to do it. William Saletan (no right winger, he) notes at Slate (via AOSHQ):

A wonderful thing has happened for this country. Paul Ryan will be the Republican nominee for vice president.

Ryan is a real fiscal conservative. He isn’t just another Tea-Party ideologue spouting dogma about less government and the magic of free enterprise. He has actually crunched the numbers and laid out long-term budget proposals.  My liberal friends point out that Ryan’s plan leaves many details unclear. That’s true. But show me another Republican who has addressed the nation’s fiscal problems as candidly and precisely as Ryan has. He’s got the least detailed budget proposal out there, except for all the others.

Ryan refutes the Democratic Party’s bogus arguments. He knows that our domestic spending trajectory is unsustainable and that liberals who fail to get it under control are leading their constituents over a cliff, just like in Europe. Eventually, you can’t borrow enough money to make good on your promises, and everyone’s screwed. Ryan understands that the longer we ignore the debt crisis and postpone serious budget cuts—the liberal equivalent of denying global warming—the more painful the reckoning will be. There’s nothing compassionate about that kind of irresponsibility.

Long ago during the Republican primaries, I predicted that this election would be won or lost on economic issues. Romney’s pick of Ryan guarantees that the conversation will turn away from the likes of Sandra Fluke and return to the dismal Obama economic policy record – such that it is. In actuality, Obama’s policies have been based on noting other than the government taking tax revenues and borrowed money and redistributing it. That’s not an economic policy, it is political patronage and cronyism.

The Marxist Utopia contemplated by the “progressives” is an impossibility in America but that will not stop them from trying to bankrupt our Republic so that they can gain popular support to confiscate all of the private assets and property in the country. As we noted a while back the “soak the rich” mantra as a solution to our issues is pure, unadulterated BS:

Conservatives have written and posted at length about how theupper 50% of taxpayers pay 97% of all income taxes and the top 25% pay 86.3%. Liberals see this as just an indictment that the top has the money, therefore they must pay more. Mary Katherine Ham raised the most devastating counterpoint to this argument:

The grand total of the combined net worth of every single one of America’s billionaires is roughly $1.3 trillion. It does indeed sound like a “ton of cash” until one considers that the 2011 deficit alone is $1.6 trillion. So, if the government were to simply confiscate the entire net worth of all of America’s billionaires, we’d still be $300 billion short of making up this year’s deficit.

It is true that government revenue inflow is a part of the discussion – but it can’t be the only discussion. While the Democrats whine about Republicans refusal to entertain tax rises, they exhibit by word and deed, their intent to keep increasing the spending when we are already at unsustainable levels. Perhaps the way to generate more tax revenue is to broaden the tax base by reviving a moribund economy so that more people pay fewer individual taxes rather than squeezing fewer to pay more. “Soak the rich” is the last mantra of a dying free society.

Demagogic attacks on Ryan will be part of the Democrat campaign process because he represents the two greatest enemies that these statists/collectivists have – facts and truth.

I agree with IowaHawk’s tweet:

David Burge@iowahawkblog

Paul Ryan represent Obama’s most horrifying nightmare: math.

I would also add that Ryan graduated from Miami University as a double major with a B.A. in economics and political science in 1992 – he has another attribute that they should fear – competence.

Seniors may want more funding for entitlements in exchange for votes, welfare recipients may favor more funding, Obamacare supporters want full implementation – but all of these have a cost that are being borne by a declining tax base. These are the facts – and the sooner they are faced, the faster they get fixed. You can fool many people with rhetoric and platitudes for a while but every rational person knows that when someone is out of money, they must stop spending and prioritize their finances to cover the basics of food, clothing and shelter – not cell phones, flat screen TVs and cigarettes.

Our government is the equivalent of being unemployed right now and is living on benefits. It has lost its job.

We shall see. I think that Ryan’s entry into the race makes things even more interesting. It will certainly make for some interesting VP debates.

Talk Amongst Yourselves:

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