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Friday, April 06, 2012

Ryan’s budget is a place to start

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/business/lots-of-accolades-but-little-action-on-budget-plan-common-sense.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&nl=afternoonupdate&emc=edit_au_20120406

Good article by James Stewart in the NY Times about the Paul Ryan budget.  While this is currently being demonized by many of my fellow Democrats, there are some key points:

1. Ryan at least has a budget with some details.  The devil is in the details, and it doesn’t do a lot of good just to posture. Ryan is at least trying to make some of the hard choices, and nobody is going to like all the hard choices. That’s why they are hard.

2. “Mr. Ryan’s tax plan, which calls for lowering top rates to 25 percent and 10 percent, could actually raise taxes on the ultrarich, since on average they, like the wealthy presidential candidate Mitt Romney, pay substantially less than an effective tax rate of 25 percent, and nowhere near the current tax code’s top marginal rate of 35 percent.”

3. “And on the spending side, the Ryan plan has many elements of the earlier bipartisan plan from a White House commission that said, “We must make Social Security solvent and sound, reduce the long-term growth of health care spending, and tackle the nation’s overwhelming debt burden.””

Just as a reminder, nobody much liked the bipartisan commission’s plan, either. In fact, I saw Congresswoman Jan Shakowsky (who will soon by my congresswoman, due to redistricting) on TV just after the preliminary commission report. Shakowsky was a member of the commission, but basically all she said in the WTTW interview was an endless refrain of “can’t cut social security. can’t cut medicare”.  This is an endless chorus that is not any more helpful than the Republican insistence on keeping all those Bush tax cuts.

They don’t call them hard choices because they are easy.