Tags: Paul | Ryan | budget | economy

Ryan Budget Is Tough Medicine

Thursday, 22 Mar 2012 11:19 AM

By Bradley Blakeman

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If you are smart, when you are sick, you go to a doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Thereafter, you follow doctor’s orders, take your medications, get treatment and thereby get well.

On the other hand, if you are dumb and/or stubborn and you feel ill you do not seek medical attention, self diagnose and over medicate and thereby get more sick — or even worse.

paulryan.jpg
Rep. Paul Ryan has the cure for America's ailing economy.
(Getty Images)
Today, our economy is very sick. For years, it has been ailing, however those in a position to cure it decided to put off a diagnosis and treatment in the hope that it would improve on its own.

Instead of prescribing the proper medication, they administered what amounts to a placebo or just ignored the symptoms all together. Eventually the patient got so bad that now every American has become infected.

With the patient fast approaching life threatening economic disease, along comes a well renowned economic specialist, Rep. Paul Ryan, who not only offers the correct diagnosis, but also a cure.

If we take his medicine — some of which will be hard to stomach — in the end it will prove the best medicine and the patient will make a robust and full recovery over time.

Here is some of what our fiscal doctor is prescribing:

• Reduce federal spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years
• Reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion
• Cut current income tax rates by a third from 35 percent to 25 percent
• Reduce $389 billion from Medicare over 10 years
• Budget $735 billion less for Medicaid over the same 10-year period
• Trim discretionary spending over 10 years by $923 billion

Ryan does not recommend treatment for security, defense or Social Security spending at current levels other than to implore administrators to eliminate fraud, waste and abuse.

There is no doubt that the ultimate cure for our economy rests in the long-term overhaul and treatment of our national entitlement programs, i.e., Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

But Ryan’s current budget proposal is but one treatment in a series of treatments that must be administered over time to cure our economic health. Partial treatment would only result in a relapse.

The root of our illness has been an addiction to government spending.

Today America is spending 25.3 percent of its gross domestic product, (GDP — total economic output of the American economy — on government. Such high government spending in relation to GDP is unsustainable and amounts to the highest levels of spending since World War II.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, (CBO) is charged with analyzing, forecasting and reporting on the effects of legislation and budgeting on the economy. Projections of the CBO at current spending levels will increase to 26 percent of GDP in 2022, over 32 percent of GDP in 2030, 38 percent of GDP in 2040 and 45 percent of GDP by 2050 — with the vast majority of government spending devoted to healthcare.

Revenues are projected by the CBO to hover around 19 percent of GDP. You need not have medical degree to realize that the gap between spending and revenues are unsustainable and the patient will soon be on life support with no hope of recovery if left untreated.

Ryan looked at all factors surrounding the current state of our economic illness and came to the conclusion that the patient will die in 2037 unless radical and massive treatments are taken immediately.

Under the Ryan regimen, spending would go back to the sustainable level of 20 percent of GDP through 2030 and level out at 19 percent of GDP by 2040. These spending levels would allow for the national debt to be reduced over time through increased and sustained revenue.

Now is the time for America to listen to the experts, take the tough medicine — and get well. No longer can we afford to ignore our economic symptoms.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-04. He is currently a professor of Politics and Public Policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now.

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