Reason Writers Around Town: Peter Suderman in Newsweek on Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future

On Newsweek's website, Associate Editor Peter Suderman looks at how Congressman Paul Ryan's plan to cut spending and kill the deficit might cause trouble for the GOP:

Ask most Republican politicians what they stand for, and they'll quickly pledge allegiance to the principles of limited government, restrained federal spending, and fiscal responsibility. But follow up and ask what policies are needed to achieve these goals, and the answers don't come as easily. In fact, to date, only one GOP legislator has drafted a comprehensive plan to cut spending, eliminate the deficit, and balance the federal budget.

Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin is an energetic, wonky conservative who, at 40, has made it his mission to "fix the country's fiscal problem." And he's put forward a way to do so—a way that, at least in theory, could actually work. Ryan comes from a family of industrial earth-movers—the business, now run by his cousins, was started by his grandfather, and he helped out as a kid. They clear away obstructions so new foundations can be laid. And that's Ryan's goal, not just for the GOP, but eventually, he hopes, for the rest of America.

Read the whole thing here.

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  • ||

    We will be Greece in the not to distant future unless we do something like this. The question is do we do it on or own or have it forced upon it by our creditors.

  • ||

    We will never be Greece because we have nuclear bombs, 13 carrier groups, and so on. However, this gives us the potential to get even more fucked up than Greece, because no one would dare fuck with us.

  • SIV||

    I'll refrain from "plussing" this but add to the high dollar hard military technology assets that we are a First World country, that has a seasoned veteran force, that has engaged in small unit and hand-to-hand combat with some of the baddest mofos on Earth and consistently prevailed for the past 8 years (and our bench is very deep
    ), the Machiavellian principle that gold may buy good soldiers but is offset by good soldiers can get you gold, we're fucking numbah ONE for the foreseeable future.

  • who remembers 2nd place||

    but you lost the hockey game

  • BakedPenguin||

    To our 51st state...

  • who remembers 2nd place||

    BP, what do you think all The Canadians are doing here? It isn't just isn't to take over show business. We will be announcing the new Provincial names of all the States very soon. :-)

  • RCTL||

    It will never fly.

  • Ben Kenobi||

    I seem to remember some commenters saying that Ryan voted for TARP. Is that true? If so it kind of invalidates everything he says.

  • SIV||

    Sure does

    The whole "Tea Party" thing should be about eliminating TARP supporters from representing anyone.

  • Luke Skywalker||

    Maybe the force will be with him.

  • Kevin||

    Ryan voted for TARP & The Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Boondoggle. He is a fraud and a hypocrite.

  • jmj||

    Ryan says a few words about why he voted for TARP here. I find the Jonah Goldberg reference more disturbing than his actual vote, to be honest. I would have been happier if he'd just stuck with the "defensive vote" argument.

  • Mad Max||

    Wow . . . he had to vote for TARP in a clever move to outflank the Democrats and prevent Obama from exploiting the country's economic distress.

    That's the rationale many Republicans gave for all sorts of big-government votes, including, if I recall correctly, the Medicare prescription-drug benefit under Bush. They patiently explained that the reason they voted to expand Medicare was out of sophisticated, Machiavellian calculation - to stop the Democrats from coming back to power.

    Well, how did *that* work out for you guys? Your crafty, sophisticated votes in favor Big Government managed to achieve the goal of keeping Democrats out of office! Good work!

  • RCTL||

  • OB||

    "balance the budget by 2063"

    wow. radical stuff. balancing the budget in only 53 years.

  • TP||

    And that's assuming a steady 10% GPD growth, right?

  • Rhywun||

    I'm guessing the GOP would like this guy to STFU about all that popular/unpopular "deficit cutting" nonsense.

  • jester||

    I see body counts of lost soldiers since the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq pitted against the 9/11 toll.

    Anyone try to figure the cost of the adventures vis-a-vis the financial losses to the US. There is a lot of play room. It's a daunting exercise when you think about the variables.

  • Publilius||

    In other words, it's a thoroughly radical idea. But talk to Ryan about the plan, and he'll insist that . . . drastic as it sounds, the American people are ready for it.

    Radical and drastic, yet it doesn't give balanced budgets until 2063?? We're truly screwed.

  • ||

    The liberals are already making fun of Ryan's attempt to reign in entitlements. As if SS isn't already paying out more than it is taking in. Unfortunately most Republicans will run and hide from any mention of ending social security.

  • Curly||

    I think the best way to even begin dealing with SS tax is to first stop the information hiding.

    Every employee looks at his pay stub and thinks he's taxed 6.2% for it. It's 12.4%. The employer tosses in the other 6.2%. This is coming out of the employee's earnings. From the employer's perspective its just another cost of employing someone.

  • Curly||

    A consumption tax would mutate faster than Michael Jackson's face. Let's tax this thingy a little more than that thingy, and let's give 0.01% of the tax to this group and 0.02% of the tax to that one. And let's not tax this other thingy at all unless it was sold on a Thursday.

    It will be 30 page form within a few years and require every tiny business to hire a full-time accountant to act as a tax collector. Sales tax is already a mess at the state level.

    California sales tax is an example. The business owner is required to figure out how the sales tax is calculated and distributed to every tom, dick, and harry in the state and local government.

  • ||

    Being self employed I'm with you on the full fica. I disagree with you on the sales tax. I'm no genius but the Louisiana form isn't complicated at all. If you can't complete it you probably shouldn't be running a business. And I'd like an amendment that says congress can't tweek the sales tax after initially imposed.

  • Curly||

    California's influence on consumption tax rules would be stronger than Louisiana's.

    You still leave your old cars in the back yard there.

  • ||

    So Ryan's proposal is instructive not only because it clarifies the difference between liberal and conservative policy...it's also instructive about the road ahead for the GOP.

    But mostly it is instructive because it clarifies how little conservative principles matter to Republicans.

  • creech||

    Ryan appeared at, and gave a speech, at the 50th anniversary celebration of Atlas Shrugged in D.C. For some, that's a feature. For others, a bug.

  • ||

    The Republican Senators couldn't even find the 'nads to stand with Bunning on making the Dems stick to their rhetoric of a whole week ago on "pay-go." The current crop is hopeless.

  • Doc Merlin||

    "In fact, to date, only one GOP legislator has drafted a comprehensive plan to cut spending, eliminate the deficit, and balance the federal budget."

    This is incredibly disengenious. He's the ranking republican in the weighs and means committee. He's the one who's JOB it is to come up with such plans.

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