Ryan's Rosy Scenario

In contrast to President Obama's overly optimistic budget proposal, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan doesn't rely on rosy economic growth scenarios. Instead, the congressman's budget is built around the Congressional Budget Office's comparatively conservative growth assumptions.

Unfortunately, in making the case for his plan, Rep. Ryan has commited to a different sort of budgetary optimism: unrealistic and unbelievable unemployment projections. Ryan cites a study by the Heritage Center for Data Analysis to claim that his budget plan would dramatically reduce unemployment over the next decade. Its projections aren't just rosy. They're ridiculous. At The Economist, Ryan Avent offers the following caution

According to [the Heritage Centers for Data Analysis study], Mr Ryan's plan will bring the unemployment rate down to 6.4% next year, 4.0% in 2015, and 2.8% in 2021. When the Obama administration projected a 5.9% unemployment rate in 2015 falling to 5.3% by the end of the decade, the Congressional Budget Office chided it for excessive optimism. The Federal Reserve has been indicating that the long-run unemployment rate in America is likely to be between 5.0% and 6.0%, and their estimate has risen over the past year. During the heady economic days of the late 1990s, the unemployment rate never got down to 4%. It's an assumption, in other words, that's unrealistic enough to be considered somewhat bizarre.

Economic models that attempt to predict the future with any certainty are of limited use to begin with: The economy is complex enough that it's exceedingly difficult to model, and even the best projections tend to rely on limited or incomplete data. Careful forecasting can provide a loose guide to what might happen, but in the end, long-term economic prediction is always a guessing game. It tends to help, however, if those guesses are somewhat plausible. 

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  • Corporate Drone||

    So you're saying that Ryan's plan contains 90% FEWER unicorns than Obama's. I'm okay with that.

  • ||

    Oh well, fuck it then.

  • kilroy||

    You read the budget plan? You're not supposed to read it!

    5.8 trillion over the next decade

    Say it 3 times while clicking your heels.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    I still think it's going to come out that he's been hiding his ability to fly.

  • cynical||

    We aren't lucky enough to live in that world. Fucker is Sylar in disguise.

  • ||

    Well, we're going to have to save the cheerleader to save the world, then, won't we?

  • ||

    Fingerbang the cheerleader... fingerbang the world.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    She was pretty attractive before the horrible wig happened. Probably too skinny for John though.

  • fish||

    The Federal Reserve has been indicating that the long-run unemployment rate in America is likely to be between 5.0% and 6.0%, and their estimate has risen over the past year. During the heady economic days of the late 1990s, the unemployment rate never got down to 4%. It's an assumption, in other words, that's unrealistic enough to be considered somewhat bizarre.

    Rest assured...the numbers will be cooked to keep the bond market suitably anesthetized!

  • X||

    who knows, but a 25% top tax rate is likely to have better unemployment numbers than a 39% top rate.

  • KPres||

    Do Ryan's cuts include unemployment benefits? If so, then his numbers will be lower than otherwise, since unemployment benefits create unemployment.

  • shecky||

    From the way it sounds, Ryan's plan has almost 1.5x more unicorns than Obama's in 2015, And increases at the end of the decade. Who knew prosperity would be so easy to dream up?

  • T||

    The industry I work in (oil & gas) depends heavily on a few key prices. Big capital projects are usually modeled for payback with a range of prices to ensure that for a probable range of prices, the project will still make back it's investment and turn a profit.

    I guess it's too much to ask that Ryan (or anyone else) model these plans with varying inputs to see how badly we'll be screwed if the rosy scenario doesn't pan out?

  • Jersey Patriot||

    By 2025, the unemployment rate will decline, for the first time, to -1%. Also, we will have successfully drilled into the infinite reserves of unicorn farts.

  • fish||

    I thought the anti-fraccing forces were going to put a stop to that!

  • yonemoto||

    calling TONY, MNG.

  • creech||

    Remember that politics is the art of the possible. For every one of us who thinks the federal budget can be held to, oh, 15% of GNP, there are 50 who will be terrified of the prospect of laying off all cops, closing the national parks, having granny eating cat food, and opening the borders to killer-doper-raping-funny talking brown people.

  • Jim||

    Actually, I want to hear from all those in the previous budget thread earlier today who were urging everyone to support this. I notice their absence from these comments. Apparently as long as you just say "5.8 Trillion" and ignore the bullshit math used to get it, you're...well, let's face it, you're just a jackass.

  • yonemoto||

    Well, when a million dollars buys you a loaf of bread, Paul Ryan just might be correct, even if he wasn't correct about the *details*.

  • Professional Critic||

    I posted in that thread, and I still support it. I don't believe it will eliminate the deficit, but it's a sight better than anything else that has a realistic chance of passing.

  • #||

    people keep in mind there are 2 different things going on here.

    The budget numbers are based on the CBO analysis, which is mroe realistic than the WH numbers.

    Its the PR spin used to say this will creat jobs that is bullshit.

    The plan adds up as far as deficits are concerned. Its the jobs bumper sticker quote where Ryan is full of it.

  • Rrabbit||

    The plan adds up as far as deficits are concerned.

    Not necessarily. The unemployment rate usually has impact on tax revenue.

  • ||

    Maybe, just maybe, there is no magic bullet?

    Maybe austerity like Ryan proposes will be excessively painful...

    ...and maybe non-austerity in search of a soft landing will bring excruciating pains of its own...

    ...and maybe there is no "solution" that a willful, self-satisfied and under-informed voting public will voluntarily accept, and maybe we just have to drift into whatever outcome awaits us from a lack of initiative.

  • omg||

    and maybe there is no "solution" that a willful, self-satisfied and under-informed voting public will voluntarily accept, and maybe we just have to drift into whatever outcome awaits us from a lack of initiative.

    Everyone says this like it is a bad thing. Just think of the tears streaming down the faces of public sector unionoids as they realize their dream is over and there is no money to pay them. I'll have my popcorn ready. It will be Greece times 2356!

  • bubrub||

    I posted on the last budget thread, and I still support Ryan's plan. It's the best plan that any member of Congress have offered that has any chance of passing. It's not perfect, or even close to what I would like it to be. But to paint it as total bullshit? This is what libertarians are, unfortunately, the best at doing: pissing on any idea that does not meet the exact specifications of their own worldview. So, if it gets us half way home, it's not good enough? It cuts the corporate rate to 25%! Jeebus, that alone could create millions of jobs.

  • chaussures air max||

    hu

  • ||

    We can be doctrinaire later. Unless you want to see Cloward-Piven come to bear, I suggest you take it or leave it. In 20 short years, we will all be slaves to the Statist Utopia with every red cent in your pocket going to the Party(s)(80% Federal, fill in state, county and municipal here).

    Back Ryan now, and fix his issues after we're rid of Comrade Obama. SAVE AMERICA FIRST!

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