Paul Ryan’s Budget, Take Three

Posted on Wed 03/13/2013 by

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The Patriot Post ~

Editor’s Note: Tomorrow, Mark Alexander will publish his column under the title “Bronze Star PowerPoint?” If you have read conservative news reports about an Air Force Chaplain who received the BSM for a powerpoint he developed that was subsequently adopted as part of the orientation training for incoming military and civilian OIF personnel, caveat emptor. Unfortunately, the original local news report regarding this award was not accurate, and a subsequent report by National Review Online repeated the error. Hundreds of sites have picked up the NRO report. Caught in the crossfire is LTC Jon Trainer, who did NOT receive the BSM for “developing a powerpoint appeasing our enemy” as some have framed it. Trainer is an outstanding Chaplain who has served our country with honor and integrity. Read all about it in Alexander’s essay Thursday.

The Foundation

“[A] rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.” –Thomas Jefferson

Editorial Exegesis

Paul Ryan

Paul Ryan

“Paul Ryan and House Republicans are in a familiar quandary: They know that it is necessary, both economically and politically, for them to introduce a budget with reforms sufficient to place the national debt on a path toward stabilization. They also know that such a budget has only the most theoretical chance of passing Harry Reid’s Democrat-controlled Senate or being signed into law by President Barack Obama. The question before them is how many steps toward fiscal rectitude they can take before the budget debate ceases to be an exercise in balancing politics with policy and becomes instead an exercise in politics exclusively. Ryan’s proposal shows its best face when paired with the Democratic alternative, to be formally released by Democratic senator Patty Murray’s Budget Committee [today]. The Democratic proposal contains: 1.) a tax increase of nearly $1 trillion, 2.) a new $100 billion stimulus bill, 3.) $275 billion in health-care cuts that are unlikely to be enacted, and 4.) $240 billion in military cuts that will be enacted. In exchange for all this, the Democrats’ proposal achieves less than half of the deficit reduction of the Ryan plan. The Ryan plan begins with an enormous concession: While the budget calls for some important tax-code reform, the revenue line stays where it is under current law. That is, Ryan’s budget grants President Obama and the Democrats their recent tax increases, including those associated with Obamacare. … On this point, we think the Republicans made the wrong choice. Otherwise, the new Republican proposal will be in its broad strokes familiar to those who know Ryan’s early proposals. … Ryan’s budget is designed to eliminate the federal deficit within ten years. That would be a remarkable achievement made more remarkable still by the fact that the budget includes no net tax increases. What Ryan’s budget does not contain, it should be emphasized, is spending cuts. … For a difference of 1.6 percentage points in the growth of federal spending, we get a balanced budget in ten years instead of a headlong rush into a debt crisis on the Greco-Spanish model. … [T]he reality is that the continuation of Obama-scale deficits into the indeterminate future creates a brake on economic growth, certainly in the long term and likely in the present. If Barack Obama wants to hold reform hostage to his own political interests, it is not Paul Ryan and the House Republicans who are unserious.” –National Review

Upright

“[Paul Ryan] would reform the tax code, he wouldn’t cut the overall tax burden below where Obama has set it. Ryan also assumes Medicare spending under ObamaCare remains in place, as well as the sequester cuts. What Ryan does do, however, is cancel ObamaCare’s massive Medicaid expansion and its huge insurance exchange subsidies, which save an eye-popping $1.8 trillion over the next decade. And he converts the hopelessly flawed Medicaid program … into a block grant to states, letting them design health programs for the poor as they see fit. Those two changes alone get him more than halfway towards balance, with the rest coming from reforms of other mandatory programs, some more discretionary spending trims, and $700 billion in interest savings. More important than the details, however, is the fact that Ryan’s budget shows that getting rid of deficits just requires tapping the breaks on federal spending.” –Investor’s Business Daily

“Considering the situation we are in today, the size of government, the level of our debt, and the continuous violations of our economic and personal freedoms, free-market advocates should be on the war path every day and fighting for truly smaller government. To be sure, Chairman Ryan deserves some credit for proposing a plan. … However, even if the plan beats the president’s budget … it still falls short of what we need. This is especially true considering the level of compromises and the amount of watering down that Congress will do once they put their hands on this or any budget. That means that the original document should have been much stronger.” –Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy

“[O]ne thing remains completely un-mysterious: our current fiscal course is unsustainable, and despite all contentions to the contrary, entitlement programs must be overhauled. Democrats may call that reality ‘draconian.’ Yet absent draconian changes, nothing less than bankruptcy awaits. Denying reality may be politically advantageous for Democrats — but only until reality itself can no longer be denied.” –columnist Arnold Ahlert

“Were the unemployment rate today measured against the same workforce participation as when President Obama took office four years ago, the unemployment rate today would be 10.7 percent. When Obama took office, it was 7.8 percent. Four years later, more are unemployed.” –columnist Peter Kirsanow

“While 236,000 Americans found jobs in February, 296,000 stopped looking. Once an unemployed person has run through 99 weeks of unemployment compensation, moreover, he no longer exists in the eyes of the Labor Department’s statisticians, and is thus no longer counted as unemployed.” –columnist Howard Portnoy

“Other than the relative notoriety of the culprits, bringing [Osama bin Laden's son-in-law Sulaiman] Abu Ghayth to New York is no different from bringing KSM to New York for a civilian trial. The Obama administration’s intention is to try the same case against Abu Ghayth that it planned to present against KSM. This is a bold presidential decision to undermine military commissions and to proclaim that the civilian courts are the government’s venue of choice for all terrorism cases — even those against wartime enemy combatants.” –columnist Andrew McCarthy

Insight

“A government big-enough to give you everything you want, is big-enough to take everything that you have.” –President Gerald Ford (1913-2006)

Demo-gogues

Budgeting blame: “I’m always amused when people on the one hand say, ‘the sequester doesn’t mean anything and the administration’s exaggerating its effects’; and then whatever the specific effects are, they yell and scream and say, ‘Why are you doing that?’ Well, there are consequences to Congress not having come up with a more sensible way to reduce the deficit. And what I’m proposing is if we do it smart, if we do it sensibly, if we do it in a balanced way that the American support, including, by the way, a majority of Republicans, then we don’t have to do arbitrary stuff. We can do it in an intelligent way that’s going to improve our economy.” –Barack Obama

Denial: “[W]e don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt. In fact, for the next 10 years, it’s gonna be in a sustainable place.” –BO

It’s the government’s money! “Tax cuts are spending. Tax expenditures, they are called. Subsidies for big oil, subsidies to send jobs overseas, breaks to send jobs overseas, breaks for corporate jets. They are called tax expenditures. Spending money on tax breaks.” –House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

A long way in what direction? “Our economy has come a long way over the last four years — and we have more work to do.” –@BarackObama on Twitter

Um, what? “What is shrinking is not the private sector — it’s hard for them to grow because the public sector, both the state sector and the federal government is shrinking and they are having to grow it all by themselves and that is why we don’t have much growth.” –Del. Eleanor Norton (D-District of Columbia)

The gun grabbers: “The time has come, America, to step up and ban these weapons. The other very important part of this bill is to ban large capacity ammunition feeding devices — those that hold more than 10 rounds. We have federal regulations and state laws that prohibit hunting ducks with more than three rounds. And yet it’s legal to hunt humans with 15-round, 30-round, even 150-round magazines. Limiting magazine capacity is critical, because it is when a criminal, a drug dealer, a deranged individual has to pause to change magazines and reload that, the police or brave bystanders have the opportunity to take that individual down.” –Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who thinks criminals will obey her law while breaking others

The truth comes out: “I’m against handguns. We have, in Illinois, the Council Against Handgun — something. Yeah, I’m a member of that. So, absolutely [the assault weapons ban is just the beginning].” –Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)

PP_2013-03-13-BarackGiantSlayer_chronicle-cartoon

Dezinformatsia

Non Compos Mentis: “When’s [Obama] going to get some credit for this amazing economy that’s coming back? It definitely is coming back…. When’s this guy going to get some respect? Republicans, when are they going to set a standard, ‘OK, if he gets to this number, we’ll love him.’ … Will they ever admit he’s doing a good job?” –MSNBC’s chief Obama sycophant, Chris Matthews (Memo to Chris: Any thanks for improvement to the U.S. economy should be directed at private sector business, who are making it DESPITE Obama’s socialist constraints on the economy.)

Speaking truth to power: “I think this president works very hard, doesn’t take many vacations.” –CNN’s Howard Kurtz

Civility: “There are, in increasingly frightening numbers, cells of angry men in the United States preparing for combat with the U.S. government. They are usually heavily armed, blinded by an intractable hatred, often motivated by religious zeal. They’re not jihadists. They are white, right-wing Americans, nearly all with an obsessive attachment to guns, who may represent a greater danger to the lives of American civilians than international terrorists.” –Los Angeles Times editorial

“[Sen. Rand Paul] said, ‘If I’m a Tea Party person, the government is going to come after me.’ Now, there are Tea Party people out there who believe that. That is fueling the notion of ‘us against them, it’s them against this government.’ I didn’t hear any of this when President Bush was in the White House, who created the drone program, only when Obama’s doing it.” –Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift

Newspulper Headlines:

Everything Seemingly Is Spinning Out of Control: “Deficits Do Matter” –The Washington Post

We Blame George W. Bush: “What Killed Neanderthals? Scientists Blame Those Rascally Rabbits” –NBCNews.com

Answers to Questions Nobody Is Asking: “Feds Spend $1.5 Million to Study Why Lesbians Are Fat” –CNSNews.com

News You Can Use: “Getting Married? Prepare For Disaster” –WSJ.com

Bottom Story of the Day: “White House Taking No Actions Yet to Cut Back Its Budget” –Bloomberg

(Thanks to The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto)

Village Idiots

Explanations: “[T]here’s nothing partisan about deficit reduction. In fact, you might even say it’s more of a priority for Republicans than Democrats. … The whole purpose of deficit reduction should be part of an overall policy objective of strengthening the economy, having it grow faster, having it create more and better jobs for the middle class. And that’s the president’s objective. And that’s why he has always, throughout these budget debates and going back to when he first took office, made sure that the proposals he’s put forward keep the number-one objective in mind, which is economic growth and job creation, not deficit reduction solely for the purpose of reducing the deficit.” –White House Press Secretary Jay Carney

“[Obama reaching out to Republicans] is a joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours. I hope you all [in the media] are happy because we’re doing it for you.” –anonymous “senior White House official”

Changing his tune: “In 1996, I signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Although that was only 17 years ago, it was a very different time. … I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned.” –Bill Clinton

Why didn’t someone think of that before? “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there. … We can prevent rape by telling men not to commit it.” –Democrat strategist Zerlina Maxwell

Hypocrite: “It’s too easy to buy an assault weapon and it really shouldn’t be.” –Mark Kelly, husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who just bought his very own AR-15

Short Cuts

“In the wake of Obama’s ongoing campaign to disarm Americans, a reader sent me a 20-word message that sums up the case for making the Second Amendment tamper-proof: ‘Guns are a lot like parachutes. If you need one and don’t have one, you’ll probably never need one again.’” –columnist Burt Prelutsky

“Joe Biden said that President Obama ‘is not bluffing’ when he said he was willing to use military force to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon. That’s true. Technically it’s not a ‘bluff’ if no one believes you.” –Fred Thompson

“President Obama signed the sequestration cuts into law which cut the rate of future spending by two percent but didn’t cut any current spending at all. It’s an interesting approach to cutting the budget deficit. It’s like trying to lose weight by eating slightly more.” –comedian Argus Hamilton

“In care you were thinking there was any actual balance to Obama’s ‘balanced approach,’ he wants to dispel you of that notion as Obama has said he has no intentions of balancing the budget. Then why does he even want to raise taxes if he doesn’t seem to care how much debt we get? I guess it’s that the more money in people’s pockets, the more freedom they have, and thinking of people having lots of freedom make Obama break out in hives.” –humorist Frank J. Fleming

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team

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