Saturday, April 12, 2014

Budget, Debt, Deficit: How We Got Here — Now, How Do We Move Forward

National Eye Exam Chart
(focus on the black lines: top and bottom)

This post picks up where the post below leaves off - the recently passed Ryan-GOP House budget. It is always wise to look back at the causes and reasons for why we are in this very slow recovery - yes, moving slowly out and projections as seen above were not pretty with current policies as of 2011-2012 (but still moving forward slowly). However, the GOP plans for keeping the House and winning the Senate this election cycle coupled with their budget dreams would take us not only off the chart but over the proverbial cliff and that is not hyperbole, either. Let's explore the GOP's plans.

An excellent analysis is here from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), in part:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget cuts $3.3 trillion over ten years (2015-2024) from programs that serve people of limited means

Not much has changed on this front from Chairman Ryan’s budget plan of a year ago, or the year before that.  Then, too, Chairman Ryan proposed very deep cuts, the bulk of which were in programs that serve low- and moderate-income Americans.

The deficit reduction plan that Fiscal Commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson issued in late 2010 established as a basic principle that deficit reduction should not increase poverty or widen inequality

The Ryan plan charts a radically different course, imposing its most severe cuts on people on the lower rungs of the income ladder.

The Ryan budget proposes $4.8 trillion in non-defense budget cuts through 2024:  $900 billion from non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs and $3.9 trillion from entitlements and other mandatory programs.  These cuts are in addition to the discretionary and entitlement cuts imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act’s (BCA) budget caps and sequestration.

Cuts in low-income discretionary and entitlement programs likely account for at least $3.3 trillion (69%) of the $4.8 trillion in non-defense cuts, and probably more than that. 

As the box below explains, our assumptions regarding the size of the low-income cuts are quite conservative.  The $3.3 trillion figure includes: story continues at the link:

Mr. Ryan explains his plan here at the House budget committee site with this fancy title: 

The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise

“The current path - which the President's irresponsible budget commits us to - will result in a debt-fueled economic crisis, the shredding of the safety net, and a diminished future. Americans deserve better than empty promises from a government going broke. The budget advanced by the House Budget Committee ensures real security through real reform.” (emphasis is mine)

Wow - reading that statement from Mr. Ryan makes me want to sign on to this budget, which I might add passed the all-GOP House by one single vote with 12 Republicans voting “No” with all the Democrats. So, it's pretty weak right out of shoot #1, I'd say, kinda like this, Mr. Ryan and no, America's dream is not what you profess to promise - far from it.

Chairman Ryan on "Facing the Facts" Out of Shoot Number One

I'll leave this post with that image ... and just think, the GOP wants total control of government in November. I hope Americans are paying close attention. I suspect they are.

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