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Stumbling on The Path To Prosperity

Call Paul Ryan’s budget the Path To Prosperity, The Roadmap for America’s Future, or whatever you want to.  Just don’t call it a plan that accomplishes anything, because it doesn’t, so far.

Studying his Roadmap, and his Path as I have, I am now armed with the facts I need to make an educated statement about his budget.  To use a pop-phrase, it’s wealth-redistribution.  It’s a plan that eliminates none of our debt, and none of our deficit, for the first ten years while cutting services for the Middle Class and giving the Upper Class another ten percent tax cut.  I call that wealth redistribution.  What do you call it?

The national media is calling his plan a serious attack on the deficit; yet his plan doesn’t balance the budget for twenty-nine years, according to Ryan’s beloved and non-partisan CBO.  Doesn’t any plan require that you actually balance the budget within a few years time before it gets the praise “serious!”?  And why is no one within the Republican party outraged that it takes so long to balance said budget?  Weren’t these the same people who won their elections in November on the strength of their “plans” to balance the budget and fix America’s fiscal mess?

There are several points of note within Ryan’s plan.  The first is the privatization of Medicare; yes, that same Medicare that Ryan and Republicans accused President Obama and Democrats of trying to cut or destroy two years ago.  Remember when they had Grandma’s and Grandpa’s go on TV and radio commercials?  Remember when Grandma’s and Grandpa’s went to Townhall meetings and begged Democrats to not touch their Medicare?  Remember how Republicans played upon our Senior’s fears?  Death Panels, anyone?  I don’t think ANYONE can forget that.  Yet here it is; Paul Ryan is going to privatize Medicare, literally change it from the Medicare that Seniors know…but not for ten years.  Anyone under 55 will not see Medicare as your elders knew it.  But you’ll get to pay for it as if you did; yours and theirs.  Instead, Ryan will give you under-55’s a “premium voucher”, so you can go out and get some of that great private health care insurance that Seniors love so much.  It’ll be great, because at a time of your life when you shouldn’t have to worry about your medical bills, that’s exactly what you’ll get to do under Ryan’s plan.  Private insurance companies are for-profit, and their bottom line contradicts yours.  That means whatever they can make you pay for, they will, and if they can’t, they are going to try anyway.  Seniors all over America are going to get busy answering claims letters, filling out claims forms, and making sure to send every form requested in on time in order to have their medical service paid.

The second major point is Ryan’s spending cuts.  He claims his budget will cut $6 Trillion in spending over the next ten years…from Obama’s proposed budget.  What that means is, his budget will be $600 Billion less than Obama’s budget, which is $1.6 Trillion more than the revenue we take in taxes.  In other words, Ryan’s serious budget, that seriously attacks the deficit, will leave us another $10 Trillion in debt after the first ten years.  But wait, that’s not all.

The third major point is Ryan’s 10% tax cut for the upper class, and Corporate America.  He aims to cap our top tax rate at twenty-five percent.  But he insists that revenues will be higher, because he will be eliminating “certain” tax loopholes.  To date, no specifics on which loopholes he will eliminate, but if Ryan’s history is any indication, he will be eliminating the standard deduction that every American who earns less than $100,ooo a year gets.  Okay, that was a joke, but considering his budget, is it possible that Ryan could propose just that?

With “certain” loopholes being cut, Ryan’s budget is at best Revenue neutral.  That means no new revenues will be gained to offset the massive tax cut for Corporate America and the Upper Class.  Not only that, but I expect his tax cut will actually add to the deficit, making Ryan’s overall budget neutral in eliminating any deficit whatsoever.  That’s the best case scenario for Ryan’s plan.

Here’s the worst case.

Let’s say his budgeted tax cuts pass, as well as his RyanCare plan.  But what happens if Republicans buck his “plan” to close loopholes?  What happens to our deficit then?  You can imagine, as can I.  America’s budget deficit would skyrocket completely out of control.  Can you envision a circumstance where Republicans and even some Democrats would fight against closing certain tax loopholes?

How can you not?  These loopholes exist because Corporate America is good at what it does.  They are good at making their case, and our Elected officials are just crooked enough to trade a few loopholes for a fistful of campaign dollars.  That’s how we got here, remember?  Indeed, in what universe would you have to live in order to not see both Parties fighting tooth and nail against closing those tax loopholes for their Sugardaddies?

Mr Ryan’s Path stumbles right out of the gate.  It is shortsighted, and gives way too much credit to our elected Party officials for making things harder on their largest campaign contributors.  Remember that this is a group of politicians that, even as the vast majority of Americans suffered and sacrificed time and again in this latest Great Recession, refused to even approach the subject of cutting their own wages and benefits in a show of solidarity with average Americans.  Not even Ryan’s Path to Prosperity suggests that our Lawmakers ought to share in the pain…even a little bit.  Since they have shown themselves to be above the rest of us, I see no redeeming hopes within them that they’ll actually do the right things in order to make Ryan’s plan “work”, however ineffectual that plan has proven to be.

Am I being too hard on our elected Party officials?  You be the judge.  America has a real fiscal nightmare.  We have an ever-growing debt problem.  In the course of the last thirty years, we have gone from being a lender nation to a debtor nation.  Thirty years has been enough time for both political parties to place their fingerprints all over our troubles.  And now Ryan wants Americans to believe he is serious about eliminating the deficit?  With this plan?

Is this the same Paul Ryan who voted for Medicare Part D, the largest unfunded entitlement in the last twenty years?  Is this the same Paul Ryan who scoffed at President Obama’s health care plan as destroying Medicare as we know it, and as being filled with smoke and mirrors?  (okay, he was right about the smoke and mirrors, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then)

Here’s your chance, Mr. Ryan.  I’m mailing this article to you.  You can respond as you see fit, but be wise and respond to it at all.  If you don’t, your lack of response will be all over the internet before you can say “achoo!”.

How would I and the rest of America like you to respond?

We want details.  We want you to name names.  We want you to literally name the loopholes you’ll be closing; each and every one of them.  We want details about how your plan will bring manufacturing jobs back to America.  We want details about how your plan will overcome the massive tax , wage, and regulatory advantages that American companies have overseas as opposed to here.  We want details about how your plan will increase tax revenue by cutting tax rates.  Then, we want to sign your name to it, and stand by it.

The election is over.  Broad strokes got us into this mess.  So far, all you’ve offered is more broad strokes.  America needs that kind of plan like we need another 9/11.  Name the loopholes you have promises from all of your colleagues to close, and have the CBO score that.  We don’t just want details, we want written promises from your colleageus that they will help you close every loophole.  It’s the only chance your plan has; and even then, you’re still deficit neutral, unless you break records in job-creation.  And the only way to do that is to bring all of our jobs back home.

Thank you.   ?

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