Sunday, March 25, 2012

Will Ryan's Song Put the Debt Monster to Sleep?

In a word, no.

...Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, for whom I have a high regard, was among those representatives who appeared at the Heritage Foundation to express misgivings regarding the Ryan plan’s timidity. They’re not wrong on that: The alleged terrorizer of widows and orphans does not propose to balance the budget of the government of the United States until the year 2040. That would be 27 years after Congressman Ryan’s current term of office expires. Who knows what could throw a wrench in those numbers? Suppose Beijing decides to seize Taiwan....

Steyn concludes:

...given the dollar’s decline over the last decade, that most Americans can no longer afford to flee to any place worth fleeing to. What’s left is the non-flee option: taking a stand here, stopping the spendaholism, closing federal agencies, privatizing departments, block-granting to the states — not in 2040, but now. “Suddenly” is about to show up.

"Suddenly" is a reference to Hemingway's novel.

We have a great deal of work to do in re-reforming Congress, (and for that matter, the State of Wisconsin.)

More on the ugliness of Ryan's proposal:

...we are opposed to how the budget dismantles the annual sequestration spending cuts enacted into law by last year’s Budget Control Act (also known as the debt-limit deal). As you may recall, the debt deal established annual discretionary spending caps for the next ten years. But the debt deal also required additional cuts (both discretionary and mandatory) because the supercommittee failed. Therefore, for the upcoming year, the real number that needs to be achieved, beyond the spending cap, is $110 billion in cuts in total spending authority. But Ryan’s budget achieves less than that: $19 billion in discretionary cuts and $53 billion in cuts to mandatory authority, of which only $18 billion would be included in budget reconciliation, a fast-track process requiring committees to actually pass implementing legislation.

House leaders know that they are $39 billion short — and thus, are breaking the terms of the BCA — but they overcompensate for this by promising deeper spending cuts in the out years.

In other words, they are kicking the can down the road . . . again. Congress made a solemn promise last year that they would abide by the spending restraints in the Budget Control Act. But already, House Republican leaders are breaking that promise. This is now more than a fiscal problem. It’s a credibility issue. Like we said in our original press release, “It is hard to have confidence that our long-term fiscal challenges will be met responsibly when the same Congress that passed the Budget Control Act wants to ignore it less than one year later.”   --Camp of the Saints quoting Club for Growth

Seems that we need more than a little gentle prodding here.  A good kick in the ass might be helpful, but it's possible that these people will have to be removed from office, one way or another.


neomom said...

From the comments on the Steyn column at Althouse...

"... We need a plan that eases us out of the debt/deficit syndrome, and in fact easing out of it is the only way we will get out of it. A sudden retrenchment would make the problem worse and generate political chaos as well. All it takes to solve the problem is recognizing its inevitability. If Ryan's views were accepted by the political class the steps to ease out could be taken with minimal pain.

But with some pain. The problem is well evidenced by Wisconsin, where a tiny amount of pain was asked of a fairly well off sector of the society and it reacted as if it was the downtrodden of Les Miserables. As long as that is the reality, the political class will take that cue and hide from the problem..."

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