Jeff Neal for C.U.R.E. - Certain Unalienable Rights Endowment

Gingrich vs Clinton, I mean, Ryan

In Opinion on May 18, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Have you studied Mr. Ryan’s ‘plan’?  I have.  It is akin to something Bill Clinton would have proposed in 1995.  It postulates a slightly smaller (maybe 10% in the extreme case) government 7-10 years in the future.  In the here and now, it sets the government spending level at just under 25% of GDP, approximately $111 billion dollars less than the current baseline ($3.5 vs $3.6 trillion) and then assumes a slightly less steep growth in spending thereafter.  Nothwithstanding the government’s control of 25% of the economy, the charts and graphs also assume steady, sustained growth in GDP, so that, voila, in 10 years the spreadsheets say that Mr. Ryan magically reduces government spending as a percentage of GDP.  That outcome is not possible absent a fundamental rethinking of the role of government in our lives, and NOWHERE in the document is such a shift in thinking evident.

The ‘plan’ is all about government and how it can make for better outcomes – – but only if the GOP is in charge instead of Barack Obama.  There is nothing radical in the plan, it is just a slightly different version of social engineering.  It presupposes a slightly different, and maybe a little smaller, government apparatus encouraging and compelling slightly different, but not voluntary, behavior patterns.  That’s not the country I want my two sons to inhabit or raise their children in.

Mr. Ryan and the GOP want to sit atop a government that spends $3.5 trillion.  Mr. Obama has the same goal, but ups the loot to $3.6 trillion.  There is no fundamental difference other than WHO is in charge, and in neither case is the answer THE PEOPLE! (See earlier C.U.R.E. piece here).

There is nothing radical about saying, as the Ryan Plan does, that we need to ‘save’ a system(s) that is bankrupting the country.  Social Security and the other entitlement, ‘safety net’ programs should not be saved or given another extension of life support.  They should be eliminated.  They are cancerous.  Their goals and purposes are [arguably] moral and their supporters ostensibly well-intentioned, but those goals and purposes are NOT properly within the purview of the federal government.  They encourage irresponsible behavior and imprison men and women who become dependent on the state for their lives.  Until someone crosses that line in the sand, we’re doomed.  Stealing [a little bit less] from Peter to pay Paul is no more sustainable or moral than what we’re doing today.  It certainly isn’t radical.

One highlight to make the point – in a discussion of farm subsidies, this bold statement is made in the Path to Prosperity document – “reduce the fixed payments that go to farmers irrespective of price levels, to reflect that soaring commodity prices are reducing the need for high levels of farm-income support.”  A radical, serious reformer might have used the word “eliminate” instead of “reduce”.  There is no such “need” for support for farmers or anyone else in a free country, is there?  The document is full of such hedging and calculated political fine-tuning.

America needs a better brand of politicians – ASAP.

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