Posted by: Debby Durkee | April 6, 2011

Ryan’s budget–bold and innovative.

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Ryan’s budget – bold and innovative.

The key to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) newly proposed budget is the repeal of Obamacare, and since the country will not get a repeal of Obamacare until we replace the president and gain the majority in the Senate, this budget plan will be a key part of the 2012 election. This is from Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute via realclearpolitics.

The federal budget is set to produce at least another $6.7 trillion of red ink over the next 10 years. President Barack Obama has abdicated leadership on the budget. First he signed a health care law that ostensibly reduces the deficit, but will actually increase it by $562 billion once you strip away the budget gimmicks. Then he proposed a budget that would increase federal deficits by $2.7 trillion and double the national debt.

Obama’s budget strategy appears to be, as one Democratic wonk put it, “wait for Republicans to act and trap them.” It appears Republicans will do the right thing anyway.

Ryan released his budget proposal on Tuesday.

…(it) tackles the three big health care challenges facing the federal budget — ObamaCare, Medicare and Medicaid – with a strategy of repeal, vouchers and block grants. Done properly, those steps would simultaneously improve health care and help balance the budget within a decade.

Ryan’s budget would repeal ObamaCare. With a national debt roughly three-fourths the size of the entire economy, we simply cannot afford that law’s two new entitlement programs or its trillion-dollar price tag.

Repeal would also relieve states of the law’s staggering burdens. My colleague Jagadeesh Gokhale estimates ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion will cost New York $53 billion in its first 10 years. It will cost Florida, Illinois and Texas around $20 billion each. Snip –

Ryan tackles Medicare using vouchers, but would not change Medicare for current seniors and those nearing retirement, using the age of 55 as a starting point.

…the budget should restrain Medicare spending by giving enrollees fixed vouchers they can use to purchase any private health plan of their choice. Poor and sick enrollees should get larger vouchers, but the average voucher amount should grow only at the overall rate of inflation.

Because vouchers enable seniors to keep the savings, they will do what ObamaCare won’t: reduce the wasteful spending that permeates Medicare. Seniors will choose more economical health plans and put downward pressure on prices across the board. Indeed, vouchers are the only way to contain Medicare spending while protecting seniors from government rationing.  Snip –

…a voucher system would improve the quality of care for seniors. To pick a timely example, such a system would level the playing field for “accountable care organizations” such as Group Health Cooperative and Kaiser Permanente. These health systems already deliver the quality innovations that reformers crave: coordinated care, electronic medical records and comparative-effectiveness research.  Snip —

Cannon believes that vouchers should be included for current seniors because they truly are better for them as well, but perhaps that will come later as an option. Done this way, it will be harder for Democrats to demagogue the issue with the “Republicans want to kill seniors” lie they always drag out since Medicare won’t change for them.

…the budget should complete the successful 1996 welfare reforms by eliminating the entitlement to Medicaid benefits, converting federal Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program funding into fixed block grants, and freeing states to find innovative ways to provide care to the truly needy. Repealing ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion and capping federal Medicaid and CHIP outlays at nominal 2012 levels would together reduce federal deficits by $1.6 trillion over 10 years.

Block grants need not remove a single patient from the Medicaid or CHIP rolls. States could even expand enrollment. But block grants would require states to pay the full marginal cost of their programs today, rather than have Congress finance most of it through deficit spending…

His is a plan that looks at the future of the country, takes the present into consideration and makes the tough political decisions that the wimps on both sides of the aisle would rather ignore. This is a man of courage, and he is also extremely good at defending himself against the slings and arrows of the dim Dems. Read all of Cannon here:

Ryan responds to critics.

Ryan has pushed back against the Democrats who are attacking his ideas by basically making this looming fiscal crisis the moral urgency of our time in order to save the country from fiscal Armageddon. He is exactly right. He says we are at a tipping point, and those who have no answers should be ashamed of themselves for trying to score cheap political points while the country hangs in the balance. This is from Jeff Poor of The Daily Caller.

…One of those criticisms came from Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman New York Rep. Steve Israel. On Tuesday, immediately following Ryan’s release, Israel called it a “privatization scheme” and blasted it for addressing subsidies to oil companies.

However, in a speech at the American Enterprise Institute on Tuesday, Ryan fired back, admitting he saw this coming and called such criticisms “distortions and demagogueries.” Ryan specifically called out Israel for his political opportunism.

“Steve Israel is the head of the Democratic campaign committee,” Ryan said. “He’s in charge of their reelection effort, of the political machine, and here’s the deal –is this a political weapon? Of course it is. But you have to say things like that, which are distortions and demagogueries, no two ways about it, in order to score these kinds of political points.”

Ryan refers to the 2008 fiscal collapse and how no one saw it coming and compares it to today and how we can see the crisis ahead.

“Let me ask it this way – what if your congressman and your president knew that was coming?” Ryan said. “Remember, this caused people to use trillions in wealth, millions of jobs were lost – we’re still trying to recover from it. But what if your representative in Congress and your president saw it coming, knew why it was coming, knew what the cause of it was, knew in enough time to prevent it from happening  and knew what he had to do to prevent it from happening, but chose not to do so because he was worried about politics? Because he was worried about the press release that was going to come from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee? What would you think of him? I mean think about this – this is wrong.”  Snip —

“This is the most predictable economic crisis we’ve ever had in this country,” he said. “We owe it to our countrymen – the men and women in this country to fix this problem while it’s still fixable,” he said. “And so shame on people who want to demagogue and politicize this…”

Ryan believes the American people are ready for the adult conversation necessary to save the country from bankruptcy. Please go here to read the rest, and you can see a short video of Ryan as well:

Even David Brooks praises Ryan.

David Brooks, the so-called “conservative” writer and Obama lover over at the New York Times actually still has a little bit of conservative in him. He was gaga over Obama and especially loved the crease in his pants. (Weird) But, we must give credit where credit is due. Brooks seems to get the idea that the country is going down the tubes and appreciates Ryan’s tackling of the budget crisis. Now, if we can just get him to see the Tea Party without blinders, he might be worth reading again.

The Ryan budget will put all future arguments in the proper context: The current welfare state is simply unsustainable and anybody who is serious, on left or right, has to have a new vision of the social contract.

The initial coverage will talk about Ryan’s top number — the cuts of more than $4 trillion over the next decade. But the important thing is the way Ryan would reform programs. He would reform the tax code along the Simpson-Bowles lines, but without the tax increases…Snip –

…(Ryan’s budget) tackles agriculture subsidies and other corporate welfare. It consolidates the job-training programs into a single adult scholarship. It reforms housing assistance and food stamps…

Ryan was a protégé of Jack Kemp, and Kemp’s uplifting spirit pervades the document. It’s not sour, taking an austere meat ax approach. It emphasizes social support, social mobility and personal choice…it is a serious effort to create a sustainable welfare state — to prevent the sort of disruptive change we’re going to face if national bankruptcy comes. Snip —

Brooks goes on to say that it will force Obama to either provide his own way of fixing the mess we’re in or to demagogue the issue. Which way will he go? Or will he allow Reid and Pelosi to do his dirty work for him as he soars above it? Will Republicans get behind Ryan’s plan or not? And, will the American people finally face the reality of the mess the country is in or continue to ignore the problems until they are unfixable?

Paul Ryan has grasped reality with both hands. He’s forcing everybody else to do the same.

I’d just remind David Brooks that the Tea Partiers, whom he has bashed in the past, grasped reality during Obama’s “stimulus” proposal in February of 2009…after Obama had been in office about a month. We’ve been forcing the Republican Party to grasp reality ever since. Now, the question is, will Brooks and the New York Times actually stop bashing the Tea Party long enough to look at it rationally so the American people can see it for what it is – Americans who have “grasped reality with both hands.” Mr. Brooks, the Tea Partiers have been leading the parade, and we welcome your late arrival to reality. You can read all of Brooks here:

You can read Paul Ryan’s Wall Street Journal article here:

The editors at National Review see the large scope of this proposal:

…If implemented, the plan would rapidly stabilize the national debt and then pay it down. Ryan proposes to repeal Obamacare, take on the massive health-care entitlements, privatize Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, pare back agriculture subsidies, build on the success of welfare reform, and overhaul the tax code.

Not even a small fraction of this agenda can be achieved while President Obama and Senate majority leader Harry Reid retain their positions. The purpose of Ryan’s plan is to raise a standard to which Republicans can aspire in 2012. In the best-case scenario, their presidential candidate runs on most of these ideas, the party wins a mandate in the next election, and the work of making the government leaner and more sober can begin in earnest in 2013. Snip –

on the whole, the Ryan plan puts the Republican party on record for a government that is more modest in its goals, more able to match means to ends, and more respectful of the initiative of the citizens it serves. The last two years have been a forced march toward European social democracy. Ryan is pointing the way back toward a republic, and we are pleased to join his advance.

Ryan is showing Republicans the way courage works. “Courage is fear that has said its prayers.” That’s one of my favorite quotes by Dorothy Bernard. Let’s see if any Republicans, let alone Democrats, have the courage to face the edge of the cliff and take a bold leap away from it. “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” That’s another one of my favorite quotes from James Baldwin. Face it, America, or we will not escape the fall off the cliff. Read it all here:


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