Monday, April 4, 2011

Ryan's Republican 2012 Budget Is Impressive

What the Democrats and Republicans are fighting over right now are additional cuts to the 2011 budget. Hence the shutdown threats. But the real action happens Tuesday morning, when Paul Ryan will release the Republican budget for 2012. This is going to be impressive. Not only does the budget look to cut more than $4 trillion over ten years, but it’s doing it the right way and it has the chance to permanently change the way Washington works.

Ryan, for those who don’t recall, is the guy who gave a great state of the union speech in ten minutes, whereas Obama blathered on for an hour and said nothing worth listening to. Ryan is the guy who destroyed Obama at the health care summit. Ryan is also the only Republican to issue a legitimate budget proposal before the election. All in all, Ryan is probably the smartest man in Washington. He is politically savvy, he’s policy savvy, he grasps economics and mathematics, and he’s got nerve. And now he’s got a budget.

From what we’ve heard in advance, here are some of the features of Ryan’s budget that should thrill us:

● Whereas Obama proposes freezing spending at its current insanely high levels, Ryan’s budget would return spending levels to 2008 (before the stimulus and the bailouts) and then would cut an additional $400 billion over 10 years. This results in more than $4 trillion in savings over ten years.

● Ryan is proposing a statutory cap on discretionary spending as a percentage of the economy! We don’t know the percentage yet, but Ryan said it would return the government to its “historic size.” This is infinitely better than a balanced budget amendment because this ties the government’s ability to spend to how well it makes the economy grow. If this comes to pass, the Democrats would actually be shooting themselves in the foot every time they raised taxes or imposed regulation.

● Ryan is proposing pro-growth tax changes including lowering tax rates to boost economic production. I’ve discussed this before as the best way to stimulate the economy.

● Ryan is proposing broadening the tax base so that more people pay taxes. This is a huge and important change Republicans need to make. I’ve discussed this before as well. This needs to be done to reduce the number of people who get a free ride out of the government and thus think nothing of raising taxes.

● The budget addresses the Medicare crisis by creating a “premium support system,” i.e. vouchers to get private insurance. This makes a world of sense since private insurance is providing care at about 1/3 the cost at which Medicare is providing care. This could result in HUGE savings. Moreover, Ryan is being politically savvy enough to keep everyone above 55 years of age in the current system (for now), which will head off the standard untrue charges that the Republicans are trying to toss seniors out of Medicare. He’s also talking about means testing seniors in terms of how much of the cost of the private insurance will be subsidized. These are excellent changes.

● Ryan plans to switch Medicaid to a block grant system, where the states would have the freedom to design their own plans. This isn’t CommentaramaCare, but still should lower costs by increasing freedom within the system to innovate.
Naturally, the Democrats are howling, but it's not even worth repeating what they're saying. It's the same old same old about "the rich." Yeah, whatever. If the Democrats ever return to good faith policy making, then perhaps we'll care what they think. Instead, let's focus on what Ryan is trying to achieve.

If Ryan gets this budget through, it really will change the way Washington works by essentially privatizing Medicare and statutorily limiting the growth of the budget! That's huge! It will also make tax increase less popular because more people will pay them and because the economic consequences could result in forced budget cuts. Between this and the attacks on AARP, the unions, and NPR, etc., the new Republicans really are showing that they intend to change the culture in Washington. There could be happy times ahead!


59 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

I love this guy. It just makes me think what could be possible if we could only get a fillibuster proof Congress and the White House. The only thing I wish is that the Republicans would do more to counter the daily p.r./b.s. that is put out against us. I'd like to see more press conferences that command the t.v. news media to cover it. Dems have always been better at that. Nice Post, Andrew

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed, and I agree on all points. First, the more I hear about the Ryan the more impressed I am. I think he is easily the best the Republicans have to offer -- he understands the fundamental nature of things, and that's why his plans are so darn solid.

And what they could achieve with the Presidency, a filibuster proof Congress/Senate, and the apparent will to start changing Washington could truly lead to a conservative renaissance in the country.

Finally, I agree as well that the Republican PR machine needs a serious overhaul. That one's still a mess.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, it sounds good, but you don't address the burning issue of the day: will Ryan's budget invest in high-speed trains?

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Call me crazy, but I'm thinking the high speed trains aren't going to survive this budget. Nor will the rest of the Democrats' pet projects.

AndrewPrice said...

BTW, T-Rav, Off topic here, I see that Obama's inability to pick winners continues. Didn't he pick UConn on the women's side?

Iced Matty said...

Ryan should run for President! Draft Ryan 2012.

AndrewPrice said...

Iced Matty, I think Ryan would be a great President, but I'm not sure he's looking to run. I get the feeling he's happy running the House budget committee. And maybe that's the best place for him -- making policy rather than just signing off on it?

T_Rav said...

Andrew, I wouldn't know; I follow actual sports, not women's basketball. But yes, I believe that's right, and they lost. (crosses fingers) Please don't have picked Butler to win, because I'm rooting for them, please don't have picked Butler to win, please please please...

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Now that's a comment that could bring a little hate your way! LOL! But I'm not going to say I disagree with you. ;-)

I don't think he picked Butler, but I don't recall. The only thing I know for sure is that being picked by Obama is like the curse of death.

The Ivory Coast said...

"Obama's inability to pick winners continues."

Don't know about that yet, Andrew, but we're certainly hoping so, even if our president isn't.

AndrewPrice said...

Ivory Coast, if that is your real name.... don't bet on Obama helping you out. If you need to rely on someone, pick someone with a little more brains and ability... like Homer Simpson! ;-)

T_Rav said...

Oh, I was just kidding!*

Anyway, I hope not. I like Butler, they're a good team and come from a red state, which UConn does not. And they're sorta the underdog for this game, which is always the side to root for. Go Bulldogs!

*maybe.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Regardless of what happens and how the proposed budget is tweaked (then rejected by the Democrats so they can blame the Republicans for shutting down the government), I am in seventh-heaven finally hearing an intelligent, knowledgeable and bold young Congressman talk in terms of cutting trillions of dollars from the budget. It gives me hope for the future amid all my worries.

Teresa said...

Rep. Ryan is great! He truly gets what needs to be done to turn this ship (American economy) around before it crashes into a huge iceberg and sinks. I wish that Paul Ryan would run for President. He knows his stuff inside and out and could beat Obama in 2012.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I found it interesting that as soon as Butler started to succeed at this tournament, all of the sports writers started talking about their coach leaving and going to a "real program." Uhm, he's pretty much made Butler into a real program.

Don't worry, I believe you were kidding.** And I was kidding when I said I wouldn't disagree with you!***


** No I don't.
*** No I wasn't.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, This one won't lead to a shutdown because it's for next year, but the point is well taken. It's great to see a Republican with an actual brain (and a really good brain at that) who seems determined to do the right things to fix the state of our government and our economy. If we get the Senate and Presidency in 2012, I'm really looking forward to see what Ryan in particular does with that kind of power. I hope the rest know to just sit back and let him do his thing!

AndrewPrice said...

Teresa, I couldn't agree more. To use a common cliche, "he gets it." In fact, he gets it about as well as anyone since Reagan.

I would LOVE to see him run for President and I am confident that he would blow Obama away in a massive landslide. I just don't think he plans to run.

Still, as long as he's putting these kinds of ideas into practice, then I'm happy.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I take your point. I'm simply looking at the longterm proposal to cut trillions when we can't currently get the Democrats to count [mere] billions from the 2011 budget. It might be a wise idea for the Republicans to get the best they can get now, cut the continuing budget resolution crap, and get on with the 2012 budget. That would deny the Democrats their purely political ploy of blaming the Republicans for "shutting down the government" in a real and present sense and force them into arguing their position with an imaginary future government shutdown as their ploy. One-third of the Senate would go into the next election with the need to explain to the same electorate that elected the current House why they simply refuse to follow the loudly-expressed will of the people.

T_Rav said...

Wow, we've got multiple levels of snark going on this afternoon (even without that Ivory Coast post, clearly put up by some joker who thought it would be good for comedic effect but then didn't think it sounded so great once he saw it on the screen).

Anyhoo, you're right Andrew, Butler's coach and players come across as likable and highly competent people, and most of the sports commentators I've seen agree they're doing everything right. Expect that school to be a major player in future playoffs.

And I'm glad we were both just kidding about women's basketball!*

*Even though we weren't.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I agree with that, with one caveat. Sadly, the Republicans will take a pounding from the right flank if they cave in on the $100 billion in cuts in the current budget. There seems to be a good deal of short-term anger going on there at the expense of longer term success.

But despite that, you are absolutely right that the 2011 is a sideshow and the real victory to be had will be in the 2012 and 2013 budgets. That's where the Republicans might be able to make genuine changes to everything.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, I thought the Ivory Coast thing was right on point about Obama. He's all around horrible at everything from making picks at basketball to backing up his words to picking politicians to helping out countries in need. In fact, the biggest leader we've had on Libya (on the Democratic side) has been Bill Clinton! How does that happen?!!

I too like Butler. They strike me as decent and hard working. So I wish them well. And I think it would be foolish to abandon a program that is like that in the hopes of getting to a big name school with a lot of troubled athletes/criminals. I think sportswriters place too much emphasis on money and prestige, and they don't get the competitiveness of it and the pleasantness of the work environment.

Finally, yes, I too am glad that we were just kidding when we denigrated women's basketball.**


** Even though we weren't. ;-)

StanH said...

This is the beginning of the conversation of the 2012 election. Ryan speaks with conviction, from a clear knowledge of how an economy works. This guy is sharp, my only concern is, if he were to run for president, he may be to much of a wonk for the political warfare that’s coming. To beat Barry will require as much sizzle as steak, an aggressive counter puncher who will describe Barry as the Marxist that he is, with no ambiguity. He’s the spawn of ‘60s radicalism and must be handles as such. These creeps will not go into a sweet goodnight without a fight, look to Wisconsin. But this is great news and a great start, we’ll see.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, To me, that's the one question with Ryan. Does he have the nastiness it takes to run for President these days? I'm not sure. He's impressed me every time I've seen him and there is much to be said about being the good/earnest guy.... but politics is a dirty business and I cannot say whether or not he would be prepared for a modern Presidential election.

In any event though, I don't think he'll run. I really get the feeling he likes where he's at right now.

On a non-Ryan note, I agree entirely with you. Obama is weak and should be easy to beat... but to beat him will require taking the gloves off. Anyone who thinks they can run a bland campaign an just sort of fall into an Obama loss is kidding themselves.

Ed said...

I never heard of Ryan until about a year ago and since that time I've totally fallen in love. Nice article! This is exciting news!

Writer X said...

I predict that the Democratic response to the Republican budget (Go, Paul Ryan!) will include the following words: blame, extreme, rich, save the children, and Bush.

The more I learn about Paul Ryan, the more I love the guy.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, Thanks! I think a lot of Republicans are starting to see a lot in Ryan that they like -- and with good reason.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, Same here. Every time I see/hear him, he just impresses me more and more. Could you imagine what our country would be like if our Congress was packed with people like him?

On the Democrats, yep, they've already started. The first set of criticisms was "extremism" and "protecting the rich" and "aimed at the poor." They're also trying to say he's wants to take away seniors' Medicare and take "trillions of dollars out of Medicaid" -- which would be quite a trick as the whole Medicare/Medicaid budget is about $1 trillion.

It's all lies, but that's nothing new for the Democrats. They live on lies and their primary goal is to blame everyone for everything and stop any effort at reform no matter what the long term consequences.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, it's probably a sign that we've entered Wonderland (not the Tim Burton version--or, on second thought, maybe it is) when Bill Clinton is the voice of reason and principle.

Incidentally, on this year's budgeting thing, I was just saying today that, despite some understandable impatience among Tea Partiers, the GOP's actually played this thing rather well. They're passing the continuing resolutions, just with cuts of a few billion, and then when the Democrats protest, the burden's on them to prove why keeping that money is worth voting down the resolution. And if they draw a line at some future date, they have to make the argument for why the line should be drawn there, and not elsewhere. In short, they're playing the liberals' old game against them; it's not exciting by any means, and it's not a permanent fix, but it'll do for now.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, Wonderland... Twilight Zone... yeah, we are in a strange place indeed.

I agree with your assessment. I think the Republicans have played this perfectly so far. They haven't bragged about shutting down the government like they did in 1994. They also haven't caved in as they've did in 1901-1993 and 1993-2009. And they've caught the Democrats flat footed because it sounds incredible that the Democrats aren't willing to make a couple billion in cuts here or there.

That said, I foresee three problems. First, at some point, the public will get worn out on the idea of constantly hearing about potential shut downs. The danger isn't that they will turn on the Republicans specifically, but that they will become apathetic about the whole system -- which would rob us of momentum.

Second, this isn't really notching up any huge wins that the Republicans can show the public as an achievement. Indeed, when all is said and done, all of this anger and negotiations and finger-pointing going on will result in $100 billion cuts in a $3 trillion budget.

Third, while the Tea Party people have been great so far (indeed, I've written several articles on how great they've been in terms of changing the culture), the blowhards... i.e., talk radio, commentators looking to stand out, and long-shot presidential candidates... are still targetting the Republicans rather than the Democrats, and that's harmful. Moreover, they are constantly screaming "All or nothing! All or nothing!" which is making it harder every day for the Republicans to have the room they need to maneuver. Don't get me wrong, I think it's vital to keep their feet to the fire, but there has to be an understanding that politics is about getting as good as you can get, it's not about dying to the last man on every single issue.

And it's very easy for a guy on the radio with no responsibilities to toss out criticisms about what they would have done when they don't have a clue what they are talking about, when they aren't dealing with the real facts on the ground, and when can make up their own scenarios about how the other side will respond.

Ed said...

Andrew, Let's hope. We can definitely use more people like Ryan!

Ed said...

Andrew, I think you're right about the talking heads. It's very easy to speak with hindsight and about theoretical matters. It's a lot harder to deal with real people in real negotiations where real consequences are at stake. That was the thing about 1994, it was easy to say "shut it down!" But the Republicans learned that the public didn't actually like that.

I want to see the full $100 in cuts and I'm glad they are sticking to their guns, but I won't be put out if they don't achieve that because I know this is just the first round.

Tennessee Jed said...

Just one minor point of correction. The University of Connecticut has actually changed their name. It is now the University of ESPN. I will be rooting for Butler. Great coach and great team!

DUQ said...

Jed, I can't stand it when ESPN adopts a team. I try not to hold it against the team, but it's hard not to when they play favorites.

DUQ said...

Andrew, Excellent article as always! Rush was talking about this today and he seemed pretty excited too. You've had several articles lately that scooped the MSM. I saw Politico caught the AARP issue about a day after your article and they said the same thing you did, that this is the Republicans going after Democratic front groups.

So what's your next trick? :D

AndrewPrice said...

Update: More details on Ryan’s plan. (1) reduce corporate tax rate to 25%, (2) eliminates corporate tax loopholes, (3) “repeals and defunds” Obamacare, and (4) total cuts are closer to $6 trillion! Even better!

The Democrats are beside themselves with fury!

Here’s the link to Politico.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That's my thinking too. As long as it sells well, we should keep punching the Democrats on this issue. But people need to realize that a couple billion in cuts are no reason to lambaste the Republicans because the real fight will be the next couple budgets.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I feel the same way -- great team, great coach, great effort. It's hard to vote against that.

But I'll tell you, on the ESPN thing... grrrr. They play favorites in football too and it drives me crazy. I hate that. Grrrr.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Thanks! And thanks for noticing. I have scooped a couple issues lately. For whatever reason, the people who get paid to do this for a living have been slow at drawing connections lately. So keep tuning in and I'll keep you ahead of the news! :-)

My next trick. Hmm. Good question?!

Ed said...

Andrew, Unfortunately one of the problems with our side is that we have so many people who want to attack our own first. You don't see that on the left very often, but you do see it on the right.

Six trillion is even better than four trillion. I'll bet the Democrats are upset. Ryan could undo a half century of their crap!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, That's long been a problem for our side. You have the RINOs who are disloyal and then you have different factions of conservatives who snipe at each other. Plus, you've got a lot of defeatism in the ranks with people who are upset no matter the Republicans do. That's something we need to overcome if we're going to do the things that need to be done.

T_Rav said...

Andrew, that's very true. In going after the RINOs, and with good reason ("cough cough," Lindsey Graham, "cough cough"), it's easy to forget that the base has problems of its own. Being a part of the public, it expects quick results, and it was clear going in that this would be a slugfest. We have to strike a balance between calming the most ardent TPers down and, as you put it, holding RINOs feet to the fire.

Also, ESPN is nearly useless for games such as this, precisely because they do have their favorites, as you and Jed pointed out ("cough cough" Oregon, "cough cough")

StanH said...

Great news Andrew! This is how you win elections, “if” we get a great candidate I predict a landslide ala Reagan. And as we’ve discussed ad nauseum, the Republicans had better not back down one little bit, and promise more cuts and the country will cheer. We must also keep in mind that Washington politics is Kabuki Theater for the masses so they’ll throw out numbers getting everyone focusing on their drivel, it would seem Ryan gets it and is getting away from the narrative…that’s good.

Rush was cheering them on today, and I agree, it must be the right amount of criticism and encouragement, this Russian Roulette thing can be self destructive. By the same token it’s no time for half measures…we’ll see.

T_Rav said...

By the way, I just noticed while watching the preliminaries for the game that Brad Stevens (Butler coach) bears a passing resemblance to Paul Ryan himself. Coincidence?...

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, That's true. Reagan used to say anyone who agrees 80% with him was ok, but today many people want 100% -- which just isn't possible. Heck, I don't agree with me 100% of the time!

And yeah, RINOs like Graham are definitely a problem -- particularly because they are disloyal and will betray us at critical times. But the other side of the coin is equally bad when you hear stupid things like "the Republican doesn't agree 100% with me, so I'm voting for the Democrat who disagrees with me on everything just to punish the Republicans." That's pretty stupid, but sadly, I see that a lot.

Oregon. . . Oregon. . . they play in Connecticut right? At the ESPN field house?

I can't stand it when the sports networks play favorites, but they clearly do. In pro football, the favorites are easily the Northeastern teams. it's unbelievably blantant. Yet, the press tries to deny it by pretending that they are just giving the audience what it wants, but I can't help but notice that all of the reporters grew up and live in Boston, New York or Philly. Grrr.

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, No, it's not a coincidence. It's a plot to spread Paul Ryan clones in strategic positions all over the world! Whooo hooo ha ha!!

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, I didn't get to hear Rush, but I hear he was very enthusiastic, and with good cause. I think the real difference between Ryan and anything I've ever seen in politics before is that Ryan is "serious." His policies will actually do what he wants them to do, and he's serious about implementing them.

In terms of the criticism, I think the key is to be constructive and encouraging to the Republicans and merciless to the Democrats. The problem is that too many people just attack the Republicans every time they think they aren't getting exactly what they want. That's not helpful. That only helps the Democrats.

T_Rav said...

Hey, you never know. Young, brilliant, idealistic guys taking on the system...it could happen.

Also, very interesting statement from Reagan. Personally, I don't agree with me even 20% of the time, but that's because my multiple personalities don't like each other. Long story.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, T_Rav, T_Rav, T_Rav, T_Rav, T_Rav, T_Rav, Napoleon, Steve, and T_Rav,

I think what makes it even more interesting is that people assumed Reagan was an ideological purist, when he really wasn't. He was definitely ideological, but he also understood the need to get things done, and that requires working with people who don't fully agree with us.

Brilliant, idealistic guy taking on the system... Ryan... Butler... let's hope! ;-)

T_Rav said...

Andrew, Julius Caesar is really unhappy that you left him out. He and Napoleon are always competing, and now Napoleon is lording it over him that he didn't get mentioned. Caesar needs some love too, and he sure ain't gonna get it from those senators. (Clever historical reference? Anyone?)

CrispyRice said...

Great article, Andrew. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

AndrewPrice said...

Julius, Sorry about that. I'll try to update my contacts list! ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Crispy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed too.

T_Rav said...

Oh, great. UConn won, so now the commentators are going on and on about how they were the better team and Butler sucked tonight (which, in all fairness, they did, but so did the Huskies), blah blah blah. (sigh)

AndrewPrice said...

T_Rav, et al., Sports announcers are very good at two things: (1) front running and (2) turning hindsight into "I knew it all along"-isms.

So expect to hear a lot about how they always knew UConn would win.

DUQ said...

The Democrats are already attacking Ryan and all of it is lies. They claim he wants to end Medicare/Medicaid, that he's lying, that his numbers don't add up, that there aren't any actual cuts but (get this) that he's cut too much. I'm sick of them frankly.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I know. Outright lies are now considered acceptable. Well, in truth, they have been for some time.

Ed said...

The Democrats are giving politicians a bad name. Now think about that one!

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, LOL! Yeah, that sounds about right.

Atlanta Roofing said...

So they want to take Medicare and give all the funds to the insurers and then expect them to pay those funds out to the elderly? HA yea right, they're going to give all this money to the insurers and then because there's no oversight those companies will just deny every claim = PROFIT.

Post a Comment