Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Federal Budget Proposal that actually reduces the deficit

Wonder how many Democrats will meet Paul Ryan "half-way" in a "bi-partisan" fashion...answer? NONE

Most Democrats will consistently vote to grow the size of government.

Some few Republicans will consistently vote to reduce the size of government but not many. Kudos to Paul Ryan.

But Ryan's budget -- and the details of its CBO score -- is also an object lesson in why so few politicians are willing to answer the question "but how will you save all that money?"

As you all know by now, the long-term budget deficit is largely driven by health-care costs. To move us to surpluses, Ryan's budget proposes reforms that are nothing short of violent. Medicare is privatized. Seniors get a voucher to buy private insurance, and the voucher's growth is far slower than the expected growth of health-care costs. Medicaid is also privatized. The employer tax exclusion is fully eliminated, replaced by a tax credit that grows more slowly than medical costs. And beyond health care, Social Security gets guaranteed, private accounts that CBO says will actually cost more than the present arrangement, further underscoring how ancillary the program is to our budget problem.