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We all know the circumstances that have led to our dire fiscal straits. The federal government led by its liberal purveyors of the preceding 110th Congress, have been on a spending bender the likes of which has left Charlie Sheen in awe. This compulsive nature of spending is so addictive, that the mere mention of fiscal austerity as an expedient sends liberals into withdrawals and convulsions.
Democrats on Capitol Hill, eager to demagogue the issue have been injecting dubious insights into the debate over spending. Senator Barbara Boxer went as far to claim that Jacobin Republicans are planning to thrust Sesame Street’s Elmo into the guillotine. While Congressman Ed Markey deduced that Republican spending cuts are an assault on big bird.
Much of this fear mongering would be averted if we simply were able to pass an all-encompassing balanced budget amendment. Our Founders understood the fixed basis of human nature which had the potential for greatness, but also maintained elements of vindictive, rapacious and coercive behavior. These same founders especially understood the unquenchable thirst to meddle by self-aggrandizing and paternalistic politicians. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 51:
“But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
Unrestrained federal spending, the likes of which we have seen over the last 4 years, can be highly corrosive. Not only does it have the potential to eviscerate potential prosperity for future generations, but it harms the implementation of viable and efficacious federal programs.
The spending binge will result in confiscatory tax increases and drastic cuts, which will harm all programs, but if there were a balanced budget amendment then politicians would be forced to restrain spending and make judicious use of federal funds and favored programs.
Federal spending as a percentage of GDP would be limited to 18 percent. Also, all major changes such as increases in spending, raising the debt limit or to run a prolonged deficit would have to be passed through a two-thirds majority of both houses. This encompasses the bulk of Senator Mike Lee’s balanced budget amendment proposal and a good benchmark on which to proceed.
This country is an exemplar of human freedom and constitutional democracy. We have released human freedom and innovation the likes of which has never been seen before. But as all democracies progress, it is inevitable that a segment of the population will vote itself big government lollipops with ever indulging politicians willing to dole them out. This process becomes inherently unsustainable.
Spending of this magnitude, combined with tremendous unfunded liabilities of our welfare state endangers the present, past and future of our republic. Circumstances of our time require decisive actions and new internal and external controls on government are urgently needed. Let us pass a balanced budget amendment that will ensure that this the last bastion of freedom, prosperity and creativity will long endure.
All sober enquiries (sic) after truth, ancient and modern, Pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this.
If there is a form of government then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?
“Thoughts on Government: Applicable to the Present State of the American Colonies; In a Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend” - John Adams 1776Virtue! – Washington Post Condones Deceit
The Washington Post admits the President and other proponents deceived Americans by persistently stating, “You can keep your insurance.” The editorial board writes:
PRESIDENT OBAMA famously claimed that Americans who liked their insurance plans would be able to keep them under health-care reform. Well, that’s not completely true, nor is it the only example of the Obama administration failing to prepare the public for the Affordable Care Act’s phase-in.
Outrageously, the Post argues that America does not need a virtuous government. America does not need an honest and forthright debate by politicians among themselves and/or the public. No? The Post cheerleaders forcefully argue the law is fair and good, and young and healthy Americans should support it.
Yet, having lots of healthy people paying into the new system on its terms will not only limit their financial risk, but also their participation will allow others who have been priced out of the health-insurance market — those with serious preexisting conditions, for example — to obtain good coverage. They deserve compassion, too. So, compassion justifies governing by deceit.
The Post appallingly concludes:
None of this is an outrage. It’s the predictable result of a defensible policy choice embedded in the reform.
Government must have the moral authority and the respect of its citizens in order to prosper under the Rule of Law. The intent of the Constitution must be followed. The laws must be openly debated and duly promulgated. However, the opposite occurred.
As Nancy Pelosi infamously exposed, “But we have to pass the [health care] bill so that you can find out what’s in it....” Instead of an open debate and serious contemplation, Pelosi and Reid rammed a law through, therefore giving almost total rule-making authority to the bureaucracy. Then, Secretary Sebelius directed the bureaucracy to manipulate the rules depriving hundreds of thousands of their insurance, while President Obama continued to say, “You can keep your insurance.” This is outrageous.
Laws made by bureaucrats and deceit has no place in our Constitutional system. Equally outrageous, is the editorial. Society is dangerously threatened when a free press – a theoretically unbiased observers and opinion-makers – has no concern about virtue. The Post's editorial equals Pelosi's ignorance and disrespect for our Constitution.
A Predictable and Stable Legal Order
A government with moral and legal authority promulgates written rules and universally, impartially and uniformly enforces the rules, which provides a predictable and stable legal order on which to base economic and personal decisions. The law prevails, not the proclamation or arbitrary decision of a ruler, government bureaucrat, the enforcer (e.g., policeman) or judge.
All sober enquiries (sic) after truth, ancient and modern, Pagan and Christian, have declared that the happiness of man, as well as his dignity, consists in virtue. Confucius, Zoroaster, Socrates, Mahomet, not to mention authorities really sacred, have agreed in this.If there is a form of government then, whose principle and foundation is virtue, will not every sober man acknowledge it better calculated to promote the general happiness than any other form?
A government debt is a government claim against personal income and private property – an unpaid tax bill. —Hans F. Sennholz
Excessive spending and inflicting debilitating debt is integral to all modern democracies. Why? Elected politicians institute programs for current voters and shift the debt to future workers, even the unborn. Social Security, Medicare, prescriptions drug benefits for seniors and ObamaCare are prime examples in America.Piling Up the Debt is America's Greatest Danger
The “Debt Ceiling” crisis/debate impacts every American and our grandchildren. America is piling up debt, which must be paid by future workers. Craig Eyermann at MyGovCost.org has produced a chart of government spending in terms of the typical U.S. Household:
Realize the reigns of Bush II and Obama have created enormous deficits, which have become debt that our government is inflicting on our children and grandchildren.
History teaches us that spiraling government debt caused the decline and fall of great countries and civilizations. Presently, our government shut down and a “clean debt ceiling” debate are minor; actually infantile, political distractions. It's merely political theater.
Government spending and exploding debt are the issues of our time. Perilously, President Obama and establishment politicians - Reid, Pelosi, Boehner, McConnell and their acolytes have immorally avoided facing up to America's greatest danger.
Today, the opposition to bigger government and more debt are individual Americans seeking small, competent and honest government. Fortunately, the last few election cycles have added a few non-establishment Members of Congress including Senators Cruz, Lee and Paul. Their power and influence is small against the coercive power of government, predatory special-interest groups (Wall Street, government unions and hundreds more) and the complicit established media. Immediately, those of us seeking small, competent and honest government must reach out to more and more fellow citizens. We have two missions.
Luckily, more and more Americans realize government and debt are dangerously expanding. Through social media, we must spread the message to our friends and neighbors. It is only when politicians fear losing their jobs will We the People stop the spiraling debt, which is best achieved by reduced government spending.
Democracy and Power 104: Future Debt BurdenA government debt is a government claim against personal income and private property – an unpaid tax bill. —Hans F. Sennholz
On Saturday, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin addressed CPAC, and according to at least one observer, was the best speaker of the conference. After he finished, he agreed to address a small gathering of bloggers to expand on the points he made in his speech.
Of his main speech, Solomon Yue, Oregon RNC National Committeeman, said,
Low expectations when he began his speech and what he did with his message about what he as governor did to empower people. He was the populist backed up with constitutional principles.
Expanding on these constitutional principles, Gov. Walker spoke of strategy and messaging in his blogger briefing. He had three main themes that he wanted to drive home.
1. The states are where the GOP has had great success, despite losses on the national stage in the 2012 elections. Governors and state houses are often dominated by Republicans, and these states have laid the groundwork for real reform. We need to be optimistic that we can create real change. Voters want us to present new ideas to confront the challenges we face. We need to have a plan, and we need to be optimistic that it can be implemented and that it will improve the lives of the voters on an individual basis.
2. Trust the voters to be able to handle the tough issues - don't shy away from taking them on. The voters are smarter than many on The Hill give them credit for. Voters spend little time watching the state houses and the capitol as they live their lives, but they do care deeply about the issues and potential solutions. Speak to voters directly about the issues and trust them to understand the solution you offer. Walker rejects out of hand the idea that there are voters we simply can't reach as Conservatives. We must simply find ways to speak to each individual in the way that it is relevant to their lives.
3. Be courageous. For instance, don't talk about entitlement reform. Talk about moving people from government dependence to true independence. He challenges the notion that we don't care about the poor. He makes the strong point that we obviously care deeply about those who are temporarily down and out, and want to help them get out of poverty. The American dream is not based on dependence, it's based on independence. As conservatives, we should not apologize for that - we should get better at explaining why that's relevant to the life of each individual we talk to.
Check out the whole address - it's full of very useful insights into how Conservatives can and should connect with voters on an individual basis:
Follow Jeff on Twitter at @ChargerJeff
On Saturday, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin addressed CPAC, and according to at least one observer, was the best speaker of the conference. After he finished, he agreed to address a small gathering of bloggers to expand on the points he made in his speech.Of his main speech, Solomon Yue, Oregon RNC National Committeeman, said,
On today’s edition of The FreedomCast, Dean Clancy VP of Public Policy at FreedomWorks joins me to discuss the battle between the Republican and Democrat budgets, what to expect in the process going forward and report live from CPAC, and the latest on BlogCon2013.
Have a suggestion for an upcoming FreedomCast episode, or a comment? Send it to me on twitter @KristinaRibali.
Subscribe to The FreedomCast on iTunes here.
Follow today's guest @DeanClancy on twitter.
Our podcast is fabulously produced by @BradWJackson.
On today’s edition of The FreedomCast, Dean Clancy VP of Public Policy at FreedomWorks joins me to discuss the battle between the Republican and Democrat budgets, what to expect in the process going forward and report live from CPAC, and the latest on BlogCon2013. Have a suggestion for an upcoming FreedomCast episode, or a comment?
Washington, DC- Following the closed vote passage of Speaker Boehner’s continuing resolution to keep spending tax dollars without a budget, FreedomWorks Vice President of Public Policy Dean Clancy issued the following response:
“It’s easy to keep spending when you’re using someone else’s credit card. These continuing resolutions are weak, short-term delays to appease the scare tactics of the Democrats. It’s disappointing to see that Republican leadership would rather avoid ruffling the feathers of their friends in Washington than represent the voices of their constituents to defund ObamaCare, demand a budget and get spending under control.”
“We heard a lot of talk about protecting the defense budget on the House floor this morning, but the biggest threat to defense right now is a nation in crippling debt, on the verge of bankruptcy, a weakening dollar, and the threat of a lowered credit rating. The strongest national defense is a strong economy. Why won’t Republican leadership take a stand on that front?”
“Our membership will continue to pressure lawmakers to find long-term spending reforms, delay and dismantle the President’s health care law and start over with real, patient-centered reforms.”
House Leadership forced the continuing resolution to come to the House floor under a “closed rule,” meaning that debate was limited and no amendments were allowed to address the defunding of the President’s health care law. Among the missed opportunities due to this closed-door vote were the amendments prepared by Congressmen Bridenstine (OK-1), Huelskamp (KS-1), and DeSantis (FL-6), which would have removed all funding for ObamaCare implementation from the continuing resolution.
Sixteen bold Republicans in the House stayed true to fiscally conservative principle and voted against the “no amendments” rule today, including: Justin Amash (MI-3), Mo Brooks (AL-5), Jim Bridenstine (OK-1), Paul Broun (GA-10), John Fleming (LA-4), Phil Gingrey (GA-11), Louie Gohmert (TX-1), Tim Huelskamp (KS-1), Walter Jones (NC-3), Jack Kingston (GA-1), Thomas Massie (KY-4), Tom McClintock (CA-4), Stevan Pearce (NM-2), Dana Rohrabacher (CA-48), Matt Salmon (AZ-5), and Ted Yoho (FL-3).
FreedomWorks counted the rule vote and the continuing resolution vote as KEY VOTES when calculating the FreedomWorks Economic Freedom Scorecard for 2013. The Economic Freedom Scorecard is used to determine eligibility for the FreedomFighter Award, which recognizes members of Congress with voting records that support economic freedom.
FreedomWorks is a service center to a community of over 4 million grassroots activists nationwide who believe in individual liberty and constitutionally-limited government. For more information on FreedomWorks’ position on the continuing resolution, please visit www.FreedomWorks.org or contact Jackie Bodnar at JBodnar@FreedomWorks.org.
Washington, DC- Following the closed vote passage of Speaker Boehner’s continuing resolution to keep spending tax dollars without a budget, FreedomWorks Vice President of Public Policy Dean Clancy issued the following response:
Government makes us pay for a lot of stuff we don’t want. Cowboy poetry and robot squirrels and gherkin specifications and… look, there’s plenty of stupid out there. But at least these silly expenditures result in some end product, no matter how trivial.
Did you know that the government is actually paying their workers not to do government work? Instead, they are giving them tax dollars to work exclusively for their labor union. It’s enough to make a cowboy poet madder than a wet coyote in a prickly-pear saddlebag.
This little-discussed scam, ahem, practice is called “Official Time,” but it pays for anything but official business. Instead, federal employees are paid to represent their public employee labor union to their fellow employees.
Shouldn’t the well-funded unions be paying for work done on their behalf? Of course, but that might cut into their lavish political donations to left-leaning candidates.
Needless to say (but I will anyway), this shady practice has jumped big-time under the Obama administration. The amount of Official Time has increased nearly 600,000 hours since 2007. That’s an increase of about 68 work-years in just 6 actual years. What does that cost you?
[In FY 2011] federal government workers spent nearly 3.4 million hours performing union activities while on the job.
Since the average federal employee made over $108,000 in both salary and benefits (in 2008), or $52.15 per hour, the costs to taxpayers in FY 2011 was over $177 million for federal government workers to conduct union business. [Again, that figure is using the 2008 average compensation cost (wages and benefits) for federal government workers.]
With that kind of money, think how many robot squirrels you could build. (Fewer if they were solar-powered robot squirrels with lasers in their eyes, but still.)
The Feds aren’t the only ones wasting money on Official Time; it’s also rampant in local governments where it often goes by the name Release Time. Phoenix taxpayers picked up the bill for 73,000 hours at an annual cost of $3.7 million. About $900,000 of that was delivered to police union bosses; six of them got not only their full pay and benefits, but 160 hours each in overtime pay for their union work.
Michigan’s local school districts forked over at least $2.7 million to union workers on the payroll. In some cases they were given six-figure salaries to work against the interests of taxpayers.
In a way, citizens end up paying twice for these abuses — once for the person they’re paying to do union business, and again for the bad policies said union worker promotes.
As we're seeing with the sequester, politicians love to complain that there is no budget item left to cut. Maybe if they stopped paying their workers not to work, they would have money left over for the really important stuff. Like gherkin specifications.
Follow Jon on Twitter at @ExJon.
Government makes us pay for a lot of stuff we don’t want. Cowboy poetry and robot squirrels and gherkin specifications and… look, there’s plenty of stupid out there.
Our government is too big. The crisis of the moment, the so-called sequester, won't do anything to change that. Our nation needs a plan to reduce government spending dramatically, rapidly, and in accordance with our needs. Until then, however, the sequester is better than nothing, and far better than any proposal to change it.
In addition, the sequester is the law of the land. That means something, we were told. At any rate, failing to implement the sequester or equivalent cuts is now a spending increase. Those demonizing the sequester with scare tactics will attempt to blame it and fiscal conservatives for any negative economic news in the future. But they always do that. When you will be blamed either way, the right thing to do is to do the right thing.The Deficit
Our budget deficit this year is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to be $850B. We need run a surplus of $500B per year for 33 years to pay off our debt. Along with that, we will have to pay the interest on what we've already borrowed, which will go up dramatically as interest rates increase.
To start paying down the debt, we need to cut $1.3 trillion in spending this year. The sequester doesn't really cut anything, but merely doesn't increase spending by as much.
On the other hand it's risky business attaching actual numbers to the sequester, because everyone seems to have their own. Part of the trouble is that we haven't had an actual budget in nearly four years.
The Senate, which has been under Democrat control since 2006, hasn't produced a budget since April 4, 2009.
How are they planning federal spending for the next ten years when they haven't even had a budget for the last four?
The $22 billion of reductions in planned increases to this year's spending will be swallowed up by some emergency this or contingency that. There will be some crisis used to justify increased outlays.
Despite having bragged since August, 2011 about the very cuts in the sequester and having used them to justify his fiscal cliff plans, the President fights tooth and nail to increase the budget by $1.3 trillion over ten years. Instead, we should be cutting it by that amount this year, as we would need to do to begin paying down our debt.
In demagoguing sequestration, the President argues that it would have disastrous economic effects. If a small decrease in the rate of increase in government spending will wreck the economy, then something is terribly wrong.Jobs
During the Obama Depression, while America has suffered, DC has been a boom town. The bureaucrats and hangers on in DC have had their party. Now it's time for them to pay the band.
The sequester is a joke, and the whining over letting it go through shows the unserious nature of our elected officials, especially President Obama.The Purpose of Government
Our government exists to defend the liberty of the people, not to provide jobs for DC bureaucrats. Do you want to justify government spending? Show how it defends freedom, or liberty, or the rights of the people.
We have too many people on Welfare, food stamps, and too many companies dependent on government spending. It's going to end sometime and not well. The sequester doesn't address that problem, but it should serve as a wakeup call for those who think the gravy train will keep rolling.
The question for our government is not when the spending spree will stop, but whether we stop it or it stops us.
Our government is too big. The crisis of the moment, the so-called sequester, won't do anything to change that. Our nation needs a plan to reduce government spending dramatically, rapidly, and in accordance with our needs. Until then, however, the sequester is better than nothing, and far better than any proposal to change it.In addition, the sequester is the law of the land. That means something, we were told. At any rate, failing to implement the sequester or equivalent cuts is now a spending increase. Those demonizing the sequester with scare tactics will attempt to blame it and fiscal conservatives for any negative economic news in the future. But they always do that. When you will be blamed either way, the right thing to do is to do the right thing.
A flat tax rate on all income regardless of source will shift the discussion to spending and end the politics of envy
There is a legend that after being knocked around early in his career, Hall of Famer Bill Russell was advised by storied basketball coach Red Auerbach to throw an elbow in a nationally televised game to send a message to his adversaries.
President Obama has thrown the Republican Party off its game. House Republicans passed the first tax increase in the history of Republican controlled Congresses. Rather than respond with substantial sweeping proposals to cut spending, House Republicans passed a “baby step”, attempting to “force” the Senate to pass its first budget in four years, a measure Democrat Senate leader Chuck Schumer gleefully promised would include further tax increases and new spending proposals. When President Obama declared in his inaugural address that “we do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few”, he signalled that he continues to view class struggle as the raison d’etre of his administration.
If the Republican Party does not want to be the doormat of President Obama’s second term, they need to throw a metaphorical elbow and stand up to the President. While liberals have suggested President Obama’s mission should be the destruction of the Republican Party, the goal of Republicans should be the elimination of class envy and economic division from our political discourse. Without the ability to fan the flames of class envy and economic division, Democrats will be forced to stoke the embers of a less popular liberal social agenda. By embracing a flat tax regardless of whether Democrats would endorse such a measure, Republicans will signal they no longer wish to play politics by rules set by liberal Democrats.
The economic virtues of the flat tax are well established. Its political virtues are often ignored. The political power of the flat tax is often why Democrats fight it so hard. Political outsider Herman Cain vaulted to the lead in the Republican presidential primary process based on the power of his flat tax proposal. So powerful is the idea that every Republican presidential candidate in 2012 (except the eventual nominee) endorsed a significant flattening of income tax rates and simplifying the tax code. Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan endorses a significant flattening of income tax rates in his Path to Prosperity. While these proposals are a step in the right direction, endorsing a flat income tax rate no matter the source of the income will allow Republicans to claim the mantle of ending the Marxist politics of class envy and economic division.
For years, the mother’s milk of Democrat politics has been to fan the flames of class envy and economic division. In President Obama, Democrats have an ideologue who is more successful at playing this game than any of his predecessors. Americans collecting disability insurance and food stamps are at record levels. Nearly 1 in 6 Americans live in poverty. When Mitt Romney talks about the 47% of Americans who receive government benefits, Americans who receive these benefits worry that Republicans plan to cut their lifeline. Talk of growth and opportunity becomes an abstraction because nearly half of our fellow citizens do not pay our country's bills. With the growth of public debt skyrocketing to unprecedented levels, conservatives appreciate this course is unsustainable.
Despite such stark economic conditions, Republicans face a political problem. With a record number of Americans having left the workforce and relying on public benefits, President Obama has expanded the base of reliably Democrat voters. Since most of these voters do not pay for the benefits they receive, they have little incentive to change the system.
Republicans face an additional political problem. Democrats have successfully mocked Republican proposals to cut taxes in order to spur economic growth by equating them with eating chicken soup when you feel ill. Even if Mitt Romney had endorsed a flat tax proposal similar to the one suggested by his running mate, Democrats would have continued to fan the flames of class envy and economic division because people who earn capital gains and dividends pay taxes at a preferential rate.
Consequently, if Republicans want to stop being characterized as the party of “the rich” and become the party of “the country”, they need to endorse a flat income tax on all income regardless of source so everyone has equal “skin in the game”. Supporters of President Obama were shocked and appalled when their payroll tax withholding rose as a consequence of the recent ‘fiscal cliff’ law. Perhaps they would have been even more outraged had they learned that the tax increase President Obama’s auto-pen signed into law was used to subsidize tax breaks for Hollywood, NASCAR, Goldman Sachs and Puerto Rican rum distillers to name a few. This is one reason why Democrat pollster Pat Caddell suggests 3/4 of Americans believe their country no longer operates by the consent of the governed. Not only would Republicans be rewarded politically for supporting a ‘we are all in this together approach’ to tax policy, but a flat tax rate would help shift the focus of national debate from taxes to spending.
Republican presidential candidates were chastised for their unwillingness to support a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts to tax increases. Yet, Congress passed a law that arguably cut taxes and increased spending by an inverse 1:10 ratio. If everyone actually paid income tax much less at the same rate, voters’ interest in how Congress spends taxpayer money would increase dramatically. The political conversation would shift from income redistribution through a progressive income tax structure, government subsidies and spending programs to how much do we really want to spend and how much do we need to tax everyone to do it.
President Obama will raise a quarter of a trillion dollars in new taxes in 2013. Each of these new taxes affects a different subset of taxpayers. As a result, President Obama has been able to set taxpayers, Americans, against one another. It is an Alinsky-style strategy of divide and conquer. Unfortunately, it has worked! Republicans need to fight back and propose a system for funding our shared obligations that unites Americans and respects our traditions.
A flat tax rate on all income regardless of source will shift the discussion to spending and end the politics of envyThere is a legend that after being knocked around early in his career, Hall of Famer Bill Russell was advised by storied basketball coach Red Auerbach to throw an elbow in a nationally televised game to send a message to his adversaries.
Looking for information on Paul Ryan's budget plans and the "Ryan Roadmap?" Look no further.
We've compiled this list of links to help activists, bloggers, and journalists learn more about the policy vision of Paul Ryan, the young conservative and legislative entrepreneur whom Mitt Romney has chosen as his running mate.
The three basic iterations of the Roadmap are presented in reverse chronological order, from newest to oldest.
ROADMAP 3.0 (112th Congress) (FY 2013 House Budget Resolution) (2012)
The third distinct iteration of the Ryan Roadmap looked much like the second, but modified the Medicare reform section to preserve original, 1960s Medicare alongside Ryan's proposed new, competitive ("premium support") model, which would compete with private plans for seniors' business in a new Medicare "exchange" managed by the Medicare agency. (This approach is sometimes called "Wyden-Ryan," for its two co-authors Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin).)
The plan also waived the current-law Budget Control Act sequester and in its stead increased defense spending by roughly $700 billion over ten years, relative to current law, while reducing annually appropriated non-defense spending by roughly $800 billion.
The plan would save about $4 trillion over ten years (2013-2022), out of a projected roughly $44 trillion in ten-year spending. It would reduce federal outlays to about 20 percent of GDP, down from about 24 percent today. And it would reduce publicly held debt to about 62 percent of GDP, down from nearly 80 percent today.
Roadmap 3.0 passed the House in the form of H.Con.Res.112 on March 29, 2012, by a vote of 228 to 191. Ten House Republicans voted against the resolution. No House Democrats voted for it. A more fiscally conservative alternative was also offered, by the House conservative caucus, the Republican Study Committee; but it failed.
The Senate rejected Roadmap 3.0 (H.Con.Res.112) on May 16, 2012, by a vote of 58 to 41. Five Senate Republicans voted against the resolution. No Senate Democrats voted for it. Three more fiscally conservative plans were also offered, by Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and Mike Lee (R-Utah); but all three failed. Senate Democrats did not offer a budget plan of their own.
Detailed summary with graphs: Ryan FY 2013 budget plan (Bipartisan Policy Center) - 2012-08-12
How they voted: Senate vote on H.Con.Res.112 (Ryan budget) - Govtrack - 2012-05-16
Report Card: Rand Paul "Tea Party Budget" = Best in Class (FreedomWorks graphic) - 2012-05-15
How they voted: House vote on H.Con.Res.112 (Ryan budget) - Govtrack - 2012-03-29
ROADMAP 2.0 (112th Congress) (FY 2012 House Budget Resolution) (2011)
The second distinct iteration of the Roadmap -- introduced after Republicans had taken control of the House and Ryan had become chairman of the House Budget Committee -- differed from the first interation in several key ways. It added a provision to fully repeal ObamaCare (which had been enacted in March 2010), and it dropped universal health insurance tax credits, Social Security personal accounts, and the increase in the Social Security retirement age.
Roadmap 2.0 also largely exempted defense from spending reductions. The bulk of the plan's first-ten-year savings, therefore, came from three sources: Medicare (which then represented 13 percent of the federal budget); Medicaid (8 percent); and domestic discretionary spending (19 percent). Thus, 40 percent of the budget pie was targeted to produce 100 percent of the plan's first-ten-year savings.
Like the ObamaCare law, Roadmap 2.0 proposed to reduce Medicare spending by $500 billion over the first ten years, although notably by means of Ryan's "managed competition" reform rather than the Democrats' across-the-board Medicare payment cuts and bureaucratic rationing. The Medicare reform in Roadmap 2.0 was largely unchanged from its predecessors; but once all House Republicans voted for it, it immediately became the object of intense attack by Democrats, who (misleadingly) accused Republicans of "ending Medicare as we know it" and (falsely) of "ending the Medicare guarantee."
The plan would save about $5.8 trillion over ten years (2012-2021), out of a projected roughly $46 trillion in ten-year spending. It would reduce federal outlays to about 20 percent of GDP, down from about 24 percent today. And it would reduce publicly held debt to about 70 percent of GDP, down from nearly 80 percent today.
The income tax portion of the plan was thoroughly overhauled. Both the taxpayer choice provision for individuals and the VAT-like consumption tax for corporations were dropped. In their place, the plan generally described an individual and corporate income tax system that would be simpler and flatter than the existing code, with a top rate in both systems of no more than 25 percent. To avoid losing revenue, the plan assumed the elimination of numerous tax credits, deductions, and exemptions, but did not specify which ones. Mathematically speaking, to achieve a 25 percent top rate, virtually all existing credits, deductions, and exemptions would have to go.
Roadmap 2.0 passed the House in the form of the bill H.Con.Res.34, popularly known as the Ryan Budget, on April 15, 2011, by a vote of 235 to 193. Four House Republicans voted against the resolution. No House Democrats voted for it. A more fiscally conservative alternative was offered, by the House conservative caucus, the Republican Study Committee; but it failed.
The Senate rejected Roadmap 2.0 (H.Con.Res.34) on May 25, 2011, by a vote of 57 to 40. Five Senate Republicans voted against the resolution. No Senate Democrats voted for it. Two more fiscally conservative alternatives were also offered, by Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pennsylvania) and Rand Paul (R-Kentucky); both alternatives failed. Senate Democrats did not offer a budget plan of their own.
Report Card: Grading the Budget Plans (FreedomWorks graphic) - 2011-05-26
How they voted: Senate vote on H.Con.Res.34 (Ryan budget) - Govtrack - 2011-05-25
How they voted: House vote on H.Con.Res.34 (Ryan budget) - Govtrack - 2011-04-15
H.Con.Res.34 (FY 2012 House Budget Resolution) (final legislative text) - GPO - 2011-04-15
H.Con.Res.34 (112th Congress) (Ryan budget for FY 2012) - Govtrack - 2011-04-15
The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise (PDF document) - 2011-03
The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise (resources page) - 2011-03
"Ryan Roadmap Plan 2.0" (Ryan budget for FY 2012) (legislative summary) - 2011
ROADMAP 1.1 (111th Congress) (Legislative Proposal) (2010)
Roadmap 1.1, introduced in 2010, looked much like its predecessor, but added provisions to: 1) raise the Medicare retirement age to 69.5 by 2021; 2) index future increases in the Social Security retirement age to grow with projected lifespans, thus likely increasing it to age 70 by the year 2100.
H.R.4529 (111th Congress) Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2010 - Govtrack - 2010-01-27
ROADMAP 1.0 (110th Congress) (Legislative Proposal) (2008)
The original Ryan Roadmap -- introduced in 2008, when Democrats controlled the House and Senate -- included a number of bold reforms to reduce spending and avert America's entirely foreseeable debt crisis. It constituted a comprehensive, integrated package, unified by an optimistic, conservative vision. Its reforms included the following: Accelerate the currently scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age to 67, by 2021. For seniors aged 55 and under, gradually reduce the future growth of promised Social Security benefits (more so for higher-income retirees than for lower-income ones). Create optional Social Security personal accounts. Modernize Medicare into a competitive "premium support" model based on the existing Medicare Advantage program, for seniors then aged 55 and under, beginning in 2022. Block-grant Medicaid and SCHIP back to the states. Convert the existing tax-code subsidy for employer-provided health benefits into a "managed competition" system of universal health insurance tax credits coupled with health care "exchanges" and certain federal regulations. Establish spending reductions targets, to be enforced by sequesters (automatic, across-the-board spending reductions, should the caps be exceeded). The plan also overhauled the tax code, in two ways. It transformed the individual income tax into a Taxpayer Choice system, allowing taxpayers to choose between paying their income taxes under the existing tax code or under an alternative, simpler, flat-rate system. And it replaced the existing corporate income tax with a new, VAT-like consumption tax. The plan assumed that future tax revenues will remain indefinitely in the range of 18 to 19 percent of GDP.
Roadmap 1.0 did not specify any agencies for elimination. Nor did it balance the budget, except in the distant future, under certain optimistic assumptions. But it did reduce long-term borrowing sufficiently to forecast a spectacular reduction in the national debt as a share of national output, relative to current law, over the next four decades.
H.R.6110 (110th Congress) Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2008 - Govtrack - 2008-05-21
Looking for information on Paul Ryan's budget plans and the "Ryan Roadmap?" Look no further.
The national debt is at $15.8 trillion dollars. It is roughly 7 times that amount when the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are factored in. These numbers are so large that it is often difficult to grasp. Thankfully, Mike Kane has written a guest post over at the Coalition to Reduce Spending to put the national debt into perspective.
The entire Coalition to Reduce Spending website is worth checking out: http://reducespending.org
1. Federal spending is at an all-time record high – $3.796 trillion in Fiscal Year 2012.
2. The deficit in FY 2012 totals over $1.327 trillion dollars.
3. In other words, the United States spends over $3.92 billion everyday that it doesn’t have.
1. Think of all the people you know. Each one of them — your family, your friends, and the strangers you pass on the street — contributes $14 dollars per person per day to the national debt.
2. Annually, you contribute over $5,000 per year. Note, though, that this is per person, not per taxpayer. If we annualize each taxpayer’s debt, this figure jumps to roughly $13,783.
3. With a national debt of over $15.811 trillion dollars, every man, woman and child currently owes over $51,000 for their share of the U.S. public debt.
Your Share, in perspective
1. Last year, the The U.S. debt to GDP ratio was 102.93%. I would take roughly every dollar of value we create in a year to fully pay off our entire debt.
2. The average pre-tax per capita income in 2011 was $41,663. That means that, before taxes, each American is indebted for at least one year just to pay their contribution.
3. Considering current inflation rates, tax rates, levies and duties, etc.; the actual period of indebtedness is closer to around two and a half years.
Interest Compounds the Problem
1. A startling 9% of all federal receipts pay just the interest on the debt, and does not even pay down a dime of principal. Interest payments for FY2012 so far total almost $272 billion.
2. That means that every taxpayer already has paid over $1,178 this year simply to service the debt. ($13,097 x .09 = $1,178 dollars).
3. Our interest payments are down from $454 billion in 2011, in part because we’re only halfway through the year, and because interest rates are slightly lower than last year.
1. Looking forward to 2016, the U.S. debt is projected to approach $23 trillion.
2. If interest rates were just to rise to historical norms of about 6-7 percent, interest payments would climb to nearly half of all federal receipts.
3. In a somewhat unlikely, but not implausible early 1980s-like scenario, interest rates of 10% would cause interest payments to climb to an astronomical 95% of all federal receipts.
The national debt is at $15.8 trillion dollars. It is roughly 7 times that amount when the unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are factored in. These numbers are so large that it is often difficult to grasp.
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