The Flaws in Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan

Here’s what the CBO says about the GOP budget proposal drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan:

The resulting budget deficits under the proposal would be around 2 percent of GDP in the 2020s and would decline during the 2030s. The budget would be in surplus by 2040 and show growing surpluses in the following decade. Federal debt would equal about 48 percent of GDP by 2040 and 10 percent by 2050.

CBO’s analysis is rough. The Congressional budget wonks didn’t look at detailed legislative language. Instead, they put together a very loose assessment of “the board, long-term budgetary impacts of the proposal.” It's useful to compare these broad estimates to the far more grim scenarios currently projected. Under the current baseline scenario, in which federal law goes unchanged, federal debt is projected to equal 90 percent of gross domestic product in 2050. Under the alternative fiscal scenario—a more likely projection based on expected changes in the law—debt is projected to skyrocket to hit 344 percent of GDP that same year. There's a reason the CBO describes the debt picture as "daunting."

Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to conclude that Ryan’s plan is far better than the status quo. But can Ryan’s proposed savings really be achieved?

I’d like to think so. But I also think there’s a good chance they’re overly optimistic. For one thing, Ryan has backed away from the details of his earlier plan to voucherize Medicare. He’s replaced it with a premium support model and paired it with significantly more regulated health insurance exchanges like those found in ObamaCare. As the Reason Foundation’s Shikha Dalmia wrote yesterday, that will undermine cost containment. 

On the one hand, medical providers will lobby for rules that require their services to be covered in the government-run insurance exchange. That will drive premium prices up. Higher premium prices will mean that seniors lobby for more expensive vouchers.

There’s political uncertainty to any government-driven health coverage scheme. But the details Ryan’s opted for this time around increase the inherent risk that the political system will undermine cost control efforts. 

Overall, the savings targets Ryan sets will be quite difficult to meet. As The Manhattan Institute’s Josh Barro writes, Ryan fails to substantially address the tax benefit bestowed upon employer sponsored health insurance. He also calls for the repeal of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a panel of bureaucrats tasked by the president with holding down the growth of Medicare costs.

I’ve been quite critical of IPAB in the past, and for both political and policy reasons, I still don’t think it’s a plausible vehicle for the sort of cuts that President Obama hopes to get from it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s utterly useless. It may be a second-best mechanism for managing costs, at least in the context of a long transition out of the current single-payer Medicare system.

Like it or not, we're already stuck with that single-payer system. And even Ryan’s "radical" plan takes 40 years to phase out the old system entirely. “While it’s still around,” Barro argues, “it’s hard to see why we shouldn’t protect the taxpayers’ interests by making sure that its expenditures are cost-effective.” A centralized, bureaucratic system with some sort of independent cost-oversight is probably better than one without.

Ryan’s plan also preserves ObamaCare’s Medicare cuts—cuts that many Republicans criticized as implausible during the health care debate. Ryan’s plan is preferable because it doesn’t use those uncertain cuts to pay for the guaranteed cost of a new entitlement. But they’re still dubious.

And yet I think Ryan’s plan is a good start anyway, for reasons best expressed by Richard Posner:

The significance of the plan lies not in its details, or indeed in any of its proposals, but rather in the willingness of a major politician to challenge entitlements spending. This is only part of the plan but it has great symbolic significance, displays political courage, may open a productive dialogue, and challenges President Obama to propose his own plan for limiting such spending, which he has thus far been too timid.

Posner says this despite saying that the specific details render the plan “economically very questionable.” The specific details, though, can be worked out over time. Despite Ryan’s efforts to make the plan politically palatable to wary seniors, it’s not going to become law this year—not with Democratic opposition in the Senate and the White House, not with polls showing that a large majority of the public is against any sort of restructuring of the entitlement system. This is an opening statement in a negotiation between the public and the political class—a negotiation that, as CBO's debt projections make clear, should have started years ago. Ryan may have offered a plan that’s flawed, but he nonetheless deserves credit for finally getting that long-past-due conversation started.

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  • Richard Head||

    I heard there's a movie by some Rand train folks. You guys should cover that here too.

    Oh yeah, you're dreaming that putting old folks into the insurance market will contain costs. How much would a health insurance policy cost for an obese 85 yr old with lupus, 2 fake knees, an artificial hip, and severe arthritis?

  • House, MD||

    Its never lupus.

  • Nelson Muntz||

    Ha ha! Fight lupus!

  • ||

    A whole lot less than it does now, if we had something more like a free market in medical services and health insurance.

    Everybody pays.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Richard Head[less],

    Oh yeah, you're dreaming that putting old folks into the insurance market will contain costs.


    The market solves scarcity problems, dickless, not emotional problems. If you have such an emotional problem with old folks not being covered by insurance (the same way old rotted houses are not covered by insurance, or Daewoo cars are not covered by insurance,) why don't YOU do something about it? Put your mouth where your money is.

  • Richard Head||

    I like how you made fun of my name, much like Tman, it adds weight to your argument. I don't know how anyone would not be impressed. And the thing about emotional problems, whew, you got me there. Tell me more about the causes of the civil war now, Mr. Mexican.

    & I have been doing something about it, there's a deduction on every paycheck for it.

  • Tman||

    Awww, Richard is mad because his arguments suck so he resorts to the sympathy ploy because we called him a name.

    Poor widdle guy. Those libertarians are big meanies!

    Listen dickhead, if you come in here shooting your mouth off and calling us grandma killers don't get mad when you get it dished right back.

    Oh, also, your argument sucks and completely ignores the points I made below about MedAdvantage.

    But please keep playing the "they called me names boohoo!" defense. Truly awe inspiring, that.

  • Richard Head||

    you mean the part about where you don't even know what MedAdvantage is? More ad hominems, though, will cover for your shortcomings in facts, logic, and such.

  • Tman||

    You can dish it out but you can't take it.

    Typical liberal.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Richard Head[less],

    I like how you made fun of my name


    Try again. You still have door number three (the one with the "exit" sign above it.)

    And the thing about emotional problems, whew, you got me there. Tell me more about the causes of the civil war now, Mr. Mexican.


    You're the dumbass bringing up these tear-jerker scenarios, dickless - not me.

  • Tony||

    They should have chosen not to be old.

  • KPres||

    You can't help getting old. That's why you prepare for it when you're young.

    Well, that's what a normal person would do. Liberals would rather steal from the people that prepared when they were young.

  • Tony||

    And libertarians think the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for the crime of not saving for retirement.

    Besides, you're operating under the assumption that it's possible for all people to sock away enough to support them when they're old. It would be funny if it weren't so sad that the people in power who advocate for this ridiculous fairy world are also the ones who always cause economic recessions.

  • Tncm||

    And libertarians think the death penalty is the appropriate punishment for the crime of not saving for retirement.

    If you're too imbecilic to save for your own retirement and too hated to get help from friends, family, or the dozens of religious and secular charities that cater to the old, then what more can be said? By the way Tony, when's the last time you've whipped out your checkbook to donate to one of these charities?

    Besides, you're operating under the assumption that it's possible for all people to sock away enough to support them when they're old.

    My grandparents, both of whom were working class their entire lives, managed to save enough to pay for their retirement and health care. Anecdotal evidence aside, it would be much easier for people to save money if it wasn't penalized by inflation, regulation, and other market distortions. You can trot out the Philips curve now.

    It would be funny if it weren't so sad that the people in power who advocate

    Can you name me one Republican currently in the House or Senate besides either of the Pauls that is seriously advocating for the total elimination of all federal welfare programs?

    this ridiculous fairy world

    It would truly be Hell on Earth if people were expected to bear the brunt of their own decisions, whether they be good or bad.

    are also the ones who always cause economic recessions.

    The Federal Reserve has been pretty mum on the Medicare debate.

  • JohnD||

    TONY, stfu.

  • ||

    YOU DON'T HAVE A MOTHERFUCKING RIGHT TO RETIRE!!!!

  • ||

    The resulting budget deficits under the proposal would be around 2 percent of GDP in the 2020s and would decline during the 2030s. The budget would be in surplus by 2040 and show growing surpluses in the following decade.

    Any time I see something like this, I cannot be bothered to read the rest.

    Anybody not completely insane or delusional knows as soon as the "trend" even looks as if it's coming under control it'll be "Full steam ahead!" for Congressional economic fine-tuning.

  • Brett L||

    In fairness, the CBO has to perform the analysis "if present trends continue". I agree with you, there will never be significant debt reduction.

  • Rrabbit||

    The budget would be in surplus by 2040 and show growing surpluses in the following decade.

    Any time I see something like this, I cannot be bothered to read the rest.

    You have to read the rest. After such a start, you can assume the rest to be similar completely made up hogwash. That will make it easier to identify that other hogwash when you encounter it elsewhere.

  • prolefeed||

    Anyone predicting what is gonna be happening in 2040 is either delusional or being asked to do stupid shiite by Congress.

    Ryan's plan is full of smoke and mirrors, and doesn't balance the budget in the near term of the next year or two. It's better than the status quo, but as an opening offer that will get whittled down, it still sucks.

    Members of Congress aren't serious about fiscal responsibility, Ryan included.

  • fly on the wall||

    "Members of Congress aren't serious about fiscal responsibility, Ryan included."

    That's because they are doing their job and representing the people, who themselves aren't serious about fiscal responsibility (as noted by all the polls indicating widespread support for low taxes and high spending).

  • ||

    How much would a health insurance policy cost for an obese 85 yr old with lupus, 2 fake knees, an artificial hip, and severe arthritis?

    Gosh, I don't know. How many of these bank-breaking exotic case studies are actually out there? And why should we provide unlimited care (aside from pain mitigation) for them?

  • Richard Head||

    I suspect that most folks without the decency to die before 70 have all kinds of 'exotic bank-breaking' conditions. We usually call them "grandparents" where I'm from.

    I don't think we should provide unlimited care to them; universal single-payer with death panels is where its at, bitches. Want more, buy your own supplemental insurance.

  • Tman||

    Hey Dick head,

    What do you think Medicare Advantage is? The one program that actually was capable (barely) of containing costs for your 85 year old was hacked by Obama.

    You think single payer will make up the difference?

  • Richard Head||

    I think Medicare Advantage is a popular program that costs about 14% more than regular Medicare. Doesn't seem to be a good way to contain costs, but 'Free Market" bitches!

  • Tman||

    I think Medicare Advantage is a popular program that costs about 14% more than regular Medicare

    Um, no. You should go look up what MedAdvantage is again. Basically it's "gap coverage" for what regular medicare ALREADY won't pay for, which are treatments for the ailments listed in your 85 year old example.

    And, MedAdvantage is supplied by the free market bitches!

    Doesn't seem to be a good way to contain costs

    As opposed to what? Single payer? Again, Medicare is ALREADY not covering most of the things you list in your example, what magical system do you have in mind that would contain costs besides the free market?

  • Richard Head||

    wrong. It is an alternative to Medicare not a supplemental. But don't let being wrong destroy a good argument.

  • Tman||

    Wrong again Richard.

    Medicare Advantage plans are required to offer coverage that meets or exceeds the standards set by the original Medicare program, but they do not have to cover every benefit in the same way. If a plan chooses to pay less than Medicare for some benefits, like skilled nursing facility care, the savings may be passed along to consumers by offering lower co-payments for doctor visits. Medicare Advantage plans use a portion of the payments they receive from the government for each enrollee to offer supplemental benefits.

    Also,

    Although the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 does not eliminate Medicare Advantage, it does do away with the subsidies which the federal government first used to establish the Medicare Advantage program and which many Medicare Advantage health insurance plans use to offer supplemental benefits.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicare_(United_States)#Part_C:_Medicare_Advantage_plans

  • Tman||

    And to go back to your original point, how does Obamacare or single payer do a better job than MedAdvantage in controlling costs?

  • Richard Head||

    Supplemental is a big word, and I can see how it might confuse you, with reading comprehension being all hard and stuff. Go to medicare.gov's page, when you sign up, you get to choose: original medicare OR medicare advantage (MA).

    MA is a gov't subsidized private plan that must cover all services that medicare does; if the private plan can do that more cheaply, it can add supplemental benefits for the same price or refund a portion of that to the patient. The subsidy, however, is more than plain ole' medicare pays per person, so there has not been any free market magic there on reducing costs. Where is the evidence that it has?

    Medigap is what you would buy if you had original medicare and wanted supplemental coverage. Like I said, true savings are only possible with some death panels curtailing medicare covered services, but nobody is going there...

  • Tman||

    I love how you whine about ad hominem and then throw out your own, ya hypocrite.

    Go to medicare.gov's page, when you sign up, you get to choose: original medicare OR medicare advantage (MA).

    Yes, this is true.

    MA is a gov't subsidized private plan that must cover all services that medicare does; if the private plan can do that more cheaply, it can add supplemental benefits for the same price or refund a portion of that to the patient.

    "If"? Try "always". That's why MA was becoming so intensely popular with seniors.

    Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans grew from 5.4 million in 2005 to 8.2 million in 2007. Enrollment grew by an additional 800,000 during the first four months of 2008. This represents 19% of Medicare beneficiaries. A third of beneficiaries with Part D coverage are enrolled in a Medicare Advantage plan. Medicare Advantage enrollment is higher in urban areas; the enrollment rate in urban counties is twice that in rural counties (22% vs. 10%). Almost all Medicare beneficiaries have access to at least two Medicare Advantage plans; most have access to three or more. The number of organizations offering Fee-for-Service plans has increased dramatically, from 11 in 2006 to almost 50 in 2008. Eight out of ten beneficiaries (82%) now have access to six or more Private Fee-for-Service plans.[3]

    According to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a record 11.1 million people (approximately 25% of all Medicare beneficiaries) were enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans as of March 2010, up from 10.5 million in March 2009. In their report, Kaiser noted that while most Medicare beneficiaries have dozens of private Medicare Advantage plans available in their community, enrollment is highly concentrated among a small number of firms in nearly all states.[4]

    The subsidy, however, is more than plain ole' medicare pays per person, so there has not been any free market magic there on reducing costs.

    Private companies providing health insurance. That's the free market dummy.

    Medigap is what you would buy if you had original medicare and wanted supplemental coverage.

    Which is what many seniors are doing when they find out what regular Medicare DOESN'T cover.

    Like I said, true savings are only possible with some death panels curtailing medicare covered services, but nobody is going there..

    Like the 15 member panel Obamacare is using to ration Medicare? Huh.

  • Richard Head||

    So your point is that the more expensive MA program with better benefits is popular? Wow, never woodathotuvdat.

  • Tman||

    So your point is that the more expensive MA program with better benefits is popular?

    You are a terrible debater. My point was that free market solutions are better at controlling costs than government imposed solutions. I gave you evidence that people chose to take greater responsibility for their healthcare through MA, which isn't even close to what the true costs are for regular Medicare, and they did so primarily so that they could get the services to cover ailments like your initial example of the 85 year old.

    You've failed in this debate to achieve the following-

    a.) Prove that medicare covered the extensive list of services your 85 year old needs. (by the way, it doesn't).

    b.) Show how single payer would somehow "control costs" in any way shape or form.

    c.) Refute my argument wherein I showed how a market-driven solution is more effective at controlling costs while providing services people need such as your 85 year old.

    d.) Abandon your whining about ad hominem attacks whilst hypocritically engaging in said ad hominem attacks. Indeed, your first statement in this thread was an insult to the libertarians who read this site.

    You = Fail.

  • ||

    Well there is no way to pay for all the health care everyone might possibly benefit from. It can be rationed one of two ways. Either government bureaucrats decide who gets what services (subject to political pressure from every interest group you can imagine) or each patient gets a certain amount of resources and decides for him or herself what to spend it on.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Richard Head[less],

    I suspect that most folks without the decency to die before 70 have all kinds of 'exotic bank-breaking' conditions. We usually call them "grandparents" where I'm from.


    Everybody dies, dickless. Even despite the best efforts of doctors to save us, or because of the best efforts of government to kill us.

    I don't think we should provide unlimited care to them; universal single-payer with death panels is where its at, bitches.


    "Yes, is true: This man has no dick. Plus, he's a boor."

  • Richard Head||

    It always comes down to you thinking about my dick. If you beg, I might send you a picture.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Richard Head,

    It always comes down to you thinking about my dick.


    I don't give much thought about things that do not exist, Dickie.

  • MWG||

    With a handle like 'Richard Head' you accuse OM of having a fascination with dicks?

  • Richard Head||

    don't worry, there's plenty for both you and OM.

  • MWG||

    Trollin' H&R for homosexual group sex? Tony and Max would probably be more your type.

  • Richard Head||

    I didn't bring it up. Your fellow idiots did when they couldn't think of anything else to say.
    kthxbai

  • The GOBP||

    unlimited care v rationing & death panels

  • Tony Fernandez||

    Any plan that has to wait more than 20 years for a budget surplus is not going to be realistic. We can have surpluses now if anyone was brave enough to tackle social security, medicare, medicaid, and military spending.

  • ||

    ""Any plan that has to wait more than 20 years for a budget surplus is not going to be realistic. ""

    It would be realistic if they allowed it to have by not changing it along the way, usually by partisanship. Which makes you point. Won't happen.

  • ||

    have = happen

    Geezzzzz.

  • Oscar Wilde||

    The only thing worse than having Ryan's budget plan is not having Ryan's budget plan.

  • ||

    Yeah, that pretty much sums up my unfortunate assessment of the situation. Ryan's plan sucks, and it's considered the pie-in-the-sky, overly-optimistic starting point for a compromise. We're fucked.

  • Arcaster||

    Sorta like on election day? Team Red vs Team Blue, and we pretty much have to pick the one that sucks the less.

  • aeronathan||

    Ryan's plan sure does suck, but its sure not the suckiest....

  • ||

    How much would a health insurance policy cost for an obese 85 yr old with lupus, 2 fake knees, an artificial hip, and severe arthritis?

    Considering how close that guy is to the end of his tether, probably not much.

  • ||

    How much would a health insurance policy cost for an obese 85 yr old with lupus, 2 fake knees, an artificial hip, and severe arthritis?

    Depends on the benefits. I could probably put together a policy that provided for palliative care, and had a definition of "medically necessary" that barred medically futile care, that wouldn't cost all that much.

    But if you want a policy that pays for absolutely everything the patient demands, well, that's gonna cost.

    Don't forget: right now, that policy is being bought for that patient. By the taxpayers. Why its OK to charge them for the policy, but not the patient, I'm not sure.

  • ||

    ""I could probably put together a policy that provided for palliative care, and had a definition of "medically necessary" that barred medically futile care, that wouldn't cost all that much.""

    I liken the current administration's idea of health coverage to wanting to put a Lamborghini in every garage, and billing someone else for it.

  • ||

    Despite Ryan’s efforts to make the plan politically palatable to wary seniors, it’s going to pass this year—not with Democratic opposition in the Senate and the White House, not with polls showing that a large majority of the public is against any sort of restructuring of the entitlement system.

    Peter, did you intend to write

    it’s not going to pass this year— ?

  • Peter Suderman||

    Er, yeah. Updated.

  • stopthebs||

    In recent years many bills have passed against public opinions including healthcare. Entitlement does nothing to strengthen a polulation. Give a man a fish, he eats for the day, teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime. It is all about: What do I get? I deserve because....I am owed this....Ever wonder why our populous is much more disrespectful, rude, hostile and less considerate than ever before? Keep the entitlements coming man it will only get worse.

  • ||

    I agree, but we have to realize that a lot of people are of the "I paid into it for years, I have to get something out of it." And it's understandable. They have been hoodwinked into believing that SS, medicare, etc are "insurance" and "retirement plans" and the money from their paycheck is set aside to pay for their expenses when they retire. They need to accept that the money was/is stolen from them and given to someone else, and is long gone. The "lock box" has been jimmied open and all that's in it is a coffee stained piece of paper that says "IOU>"

  • prolefeed||

    Actually, the "lock box" is a filing cabinet in West Virginia filled with very pretty paper in effect saying "we spent the money, bitches", though put more tactfully.

    Seriously. That's literally what a bunch of people have staked their retirement on -- a filing cabinet full of worthless paper.

  • kilroy||

    So let's take the 5 trillion bullet, pay everyone alive every cent they ever contributed to Medi*/Social Security and shut these systems down! Here's a big check, now you're on your own.

  • Brett L||

    SLD, but you're essentially punishing people who paid 14% of their paychecks for 40+ years, unless you're going to pay the inflation indexed value. Even then there are problems.

  • kilroy||

    Assume paying a 6% annualized return on their 'investment' + inflation. Even if that results in the bill being 10 trillion it pays for itself in 10 - 15 years over what we have now.

    What are the other problems? Current retirees can use that cash to buy private medical care or insurance. Anyone who has contributed to date and invest/save for retirement as they wish. Future earners will never have the deduction at all.

    Please don't resort to real but BS political issues, lobbies, political pandering, etc. Assuming all players were disinterested long enough to get the law passed, would it work economically?

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    So I see we have today's Paul Ryan article, as well as today's Rand article (though not directly about the movie), but where is our 19% solution article? I thought it was a requirement that at least 19% of HnR posts reference the 19% Solution.

    On a less snarky note, good work with the alt-text Spuderman.

  • kilroy||

    Yes. You're pretty good with the alt-test when you try.

  • Vermont Gun Owner||

    The people demand alt-text! What people besides me?

    There are dozens of us! Dozens!

  • Stopthebs||

    How about this one. Most everyone in the us are making decisions about plans, bills, etc. without ever reading or understanding the complete document themselves and reporters including this one are biased. How about this for reporting? Make the document accessible in your article with a link, input pros and cons vs. your subjective opinion and let the rest of us take the initiative to really inform ourselves and decide on the truth. but no let's continue to be robots and do as we are told through the lies from all sides. Take control people, think for yourself and it starts with knowledge and educating yourself...

  • kilroy||

    I'm not sure if you're trolling or not. 15 seconds on the Google and this link could be yours.

  • Cruz||

    Chalk this one up to another who cares. Old mexican is right, old people should have saved for old age. The elderly got healthcare before Medicare was invented and Doctors didn't drive the best cars and wives that were hot that they never got to see. You want perfection or you want the best possible outcomes?

    I don't care, I'm not even 30. In 40 years 2 generations of idiots will be dead. Who cares if the dollar survives, another currency takes it's place. In my view, the people stupid enough to trust this system deserve the crisis they created.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cruz,

    In my view, the people stupid enough to trust this system deserve the crisis they created.


    "You cannot save everyone" - I have that aphorism framed and hanged above the mantle of the fireplace inside my heavily reinforced and stocked bunker.

  • ||

    Lemme guess.

    The welcome mat says "Fuck Off, Slaver."

  • ChrisO||

    It's inevitable that we're going to suffer a crash of one sort or another. In fact, it was inevitable the day LBJ signed the legislation creating Medicare/Medicaid.

    On the bright side, plenty of blue-collar work will again become available once the USA becomes a source of cheap labor.

  • Cyto||

    a negotiation that, as CBO's debt projections make clear, should have started years ago.

    Oh, it did start years ago. In 1983. And we decided to collect extra money and make a trust fund and put it in a lock box and then spend it on stuff.

    And then we decided not to decide. But like the man said, we still have made a choice.

  • Tony||

    At least some of you have the balls to say "fuck you old people, man up and die!"

    Good luck selling it to a modern democratic populace, the constituents of which often have old people in their very families, and who might see some benefit to not having to choose between letting granny die or going bankrupt keeping her alive.

  • KPres||

    This is why Democracy won't survive. It'll slip into Fascism before another liberal revolution sets the world right again.

  • ||

    Oh Noes! God forbid someone goes bankrupt to keep their Granny alive! They should be able to force other people to go bankrupt to do that!

  • Tony||

    The beauty of progressive taxation is that it's meant not to burden anyone, much less send anyone into bankruptcy.

  • ||

    I'm referring to future generations who will some day have to pay for all of this.

  • Tony||

    I absolutely love this talking point about our kids and future generations.

    The GOP won't allow us to *pay* for it now because they won't let us raise taxes. So what makes them assume future generations will be forced to do so? Why can't we pay for it now?

  • ||

    Future generations will have to do so because each year the debt gets bigger and bigger and Obamacare will only make that problem worse. If you charge your credit cards up to the max, sooner or later your creditors will stop raising your credit limit and the bill will come due.

    Then again you can default on your debt. It's not out of the question that that might happen. Would be interesting. "Sorry bitches, we are broke."

  • Tony||

    The CBO claims Obamacare reduces the deficit.

    How are future generations going to pay for the debt? By raising taxes, I presume. So why can't we raise them now and head off the problem?

    Because the same people pretending to care about future generations won't let us.

  • ||

    ""Because the same people pretending to care about future generations won't let us.""

    Nor is the public interested in such.

    I think the feds should figure out what they are spending for a year, and send each person a bill for their portion of the spending. A five person household would be charged 5x the per person rate. That would bring spending back in line.

  • Tony||

    Raising taxes on the rich is quite popular and has been for some time.

    It's Grover Norquist--fiscal terrorist--who is holding pols back.

  • Tncm||

    Raising taxes on the rich is quite popular and has been for some time.

    This doesn't harmonize with the fact that Democrats avoided the issue of Bush tax cuts during the 2010 campaign. If its so popular to soak the rich, as you claim, then why weren't they proudly trumpeting the fact that they would let the tax cuts expire? But I suppose you address that in your next sentence.

    It's Grover Norquist--fiscal terrorist--who is holding pols back.

    I almost spit up Coke all over my computer monitor when I read "fiscal terrorist". Hyperbole much? I understand that Americans for Tax Reform is influential in conservative and libertarian circles, but you seem to be under the impression that it's this Leviathan which can crush any politician that opposes it. I'd like to remind you that the most powerful lobbying groups have been and always will be unions, and they've been attached to the Democratic Party since the New Deal.

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