Medicare

Paul Ryan Will Start Work on Legislation to Reduce the Deficit After He Finishes Passing Legislation to Increase the Deficit

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Ron Sachs/SIPA/Newscom

If there is a single issue that has defined Speaker of the House Paul Ryan's career in Congress, it is debt reduction—and in particular, debt reduction through entitlement reform. So it was not exactly a shock when Ryan said this week in a radio interview that after passing tax legislation, Republicans would move on to overhauling Medicare and other entitlements.

"We're going to have to get back next year at entitlement reform," he said. He added, "Frankly, it's the health care entitlements that are the big drivers of our debt, so we spend more time on the health care entitlements, because that's really where the problem lies, fiscally speaking." Ryan noted, however, that this will have to wait until next year, after Republicans finish work on tax legislation. I suspect it will wait much longer than that.

That Medicare and other big entitlements are the largest drivers of the federal debt is uncontroversially true. On several occasions, President Obama made roughly the same argument, and was given nods of approval by the fact checkers of the world.

The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) numerous reports on the nation's long-term fiscal health are exceedingly clear about the source of our current debt load and the reason why it is expected to increase. Just to pick a recent example, in a long-term budget outlook released in March of this year, the CBO said that deficits are expected to rise over the next 30 years "because spending growth is projected to outpace growth in revenues….In particular, spending as a share of GDP increases for Social Security, the major health care programs (primarily Medicare), and interest on the government's debt." It is that simple: The debt will rise because the federal government will spend more than it takes in, and that spending will be concentrated on entitlements.

Ryan has pitched fiscal responsibility through entitlement reform for practically his entire career in Congress, so in some ways it is not much of a surprise to hear him return to what has long been a signature issue.

Still, it is at least a little—and maybe much more than a little—jarring to hear him hype a forthcoming debt reduction plan at the exact same time that he is helping to lead the charge on tax legislation that would almost certainly add $1 trillion or more to the debt if it is enacted exactly as planned, and much more if it is not, which Ryan himself has suggested is likely. Paul Ryan is basically promising to start working on legislation to reduce the debt—that is, right after he finishes working on legislation to increase the debt.

To be sure, deficit reduction is mostly a matter of spending reductions. But successful debt and deficit reduction efforts in Canada and the United States have typically paired large spending cuts with modest tax hikes.

The disconnect between Ryan's stated objectives and his current legislative efforts is not exactly lost on his critics across the aisle. After hearing Ryan tout entitlement reform, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) griped that "Paul Ryan just admitted that after providing $1 trillion in tax breaks to the top 1 percent and large corporations, Republicans will try to cut Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and help for the most vulnerable Americans."

Somehow I doubt Sanders has much to worry about. Republicans have an opportunity to reduce Medicare spending as part of the tax bill, and they are planning to skip it.

One of the side effects of the tax legislation that Republicans are now finalizing is that it would trigger an automatic cut to Medicare on the order of about $25 billion a year, thanks to a 2010 "pay as you go," or PAYGO, law that calls for mandatory spending cuts in order to restrain deficit growth.

But numerous Republicans have declared that allowing these cuts to go into effect would be a bad idea. "Medicare is underfunded as it is. If we have to change the PAYGO rules, we'll just change 'em," Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.) told Politico.

This willingness to override the automatic spending reductions is shared by GOP congressional leadership, which has apparently promised Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a key Senate swing vote on the tax plan, that the mandatory cuts will never go into effect. "I am absolutely certain that 4 percent cut in Medicare that I mentioned will not occur," Collins said in an interview with local news. "I have it in writing from both the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and also Senator Mitch McConnell."

If nothing else, this episode is a demonstration of priorities. Ryan is so committed to debt reduction and reducing entitlement spending that his current priority is passing legislation that would significantly increase the debt while promising to follow it with legislation that would stop modest automatic reductions to entitlement spending.

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  1. “OMG the deficit just went up, fortunately I’m here to propose some cuts!”

    1. Self licking ice cream cone.

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  2. “Republican debt bad, Democrat debt good!”
    -Pete “Mister Megan” MacAdoodle Suderweigel

    1. “Democrat debt bad, Republican debt no problem.”

      Every elected Republican ever, when in power.

      1. “Social justice worth any price.”

        The modern libertarian.

        1. Every time someone uses the phrase ‘social justice’ in the same sentence as ‘libertarian’ in a way that indicates they can work together it makes me want to punch them. As defined, it is anathema to libertarianism. So if you try to smush them together, you just end up looking like a retard in my view.

          ‘Social Justice’ requires some centralized authority to determine who deserves the superior and inferior social protections. It is literal authoritarianism disguised as ‘for our own good’ I.E. a construct of the Progressives.

          1. I’ll offer my prediction again: if the government were to abolish all tariffs and the revenue they generate, there wouldn’t be a peep of a complaint from reason.

            1. It’s nice that you can rest your case of a hypothetical that will literally never happen.

              1. As opposed to your hypothetical that all those blue staters vote red?

  3. Still, it is at least a little ? and maybe much more than a little ? jarring to hear him hype a forthcoming debt reduction plan at the exact same time that he is helping to lead the charge on tax legislation that would almost certainly add $1 trillion or more to the debt if it is enacted exactly as planned

    Look for the phrase “deficit neutral” to turn up in his next re-election campaign.

    1. Do we have deficits because the tax system is not taking enough money from the people, or because we are spending at rates which are ubsustainable no matter what the tax code says? Which is the better side to the attack deficits from?

      1. Spending, since ‘revenue’ doesn’t control jack or shit.

  4. Frankly, we could lower taxes and cut spending if we got serious about it. But that would take brass balls that few in Congress have. Nor, I suspect, does the president on real spending reductions.

    And, as an aside, the money I’m forced to pay for tons of graft, fraud, and waste is my money. Controlling spending is the government’s duty and responsibility. But I have a right to keep and use as I will most of what I’ve earned.

    1. It’s not clear that either Congress nor the President lack the courage to reduce and control spending so much as they simply don’t care about the level of spending or the deficit.

    2. There was a serious presidential candidate running on a platform that included balancing the budget without tax hikes last time. I think he got like 3 percent of the vote. American voters don’t care about the debt.

      1. So serious he proposed a whopping sub 1% cut to SS? Gosh, hard not to take that seriously.

      2. Pretty sure a national VAT would count as a tax hike, but other than that, yeah. Totally serious. What is a leppo?

  5. Republicans just raised the deficit, because they let companies keep more of their money? Or does all money belong to the government by default?

    Super libertarian-y

    1. You do know what a deficit is, right? It’s where the government spends more money than it collects in revenue. When the government reduces the amount of revenue it collects without reducing spending by at least as much, the deficit increases. I’m sorry if math and common definitions of words fail to live up to your conception of libertarianism.

      1. You went to school before common core, didn’t you?

      2. When the government reduces the amount of revenue it collects without reducing spending by at least as much, the deficit increases.

        Very good! Now explain how the government will collect less revenue under the new tax structure and you’ve got that question as good as begged.

    2. If you go to a restaurant and eat a $20 meal and the restaurant demands $20 from you, is that your money or theirs?

      1. If you forcibly take $20 from your friend, and go to a restaurant and order $300 worth of food with your credit card, and then tell your friend to give you more money or you’ll beat him up and throw him in jail, are you thinking like a politician?

      2. Are you honestly trying to compare a restaurant bill to taxation? Oh, this should be good.

        1. Yeah because from the moment you are shat into the world to the moment you are buried in an unmarked grave because nobody loved you, you are using government services that are paid for by tax dollars. You all, all of you, want to keep using those services and not pay for them. You are all thieves.

          1. So what is all of that tremendous overhead going towards that never gets spent on services, one might ask?

            It’s like you order a $20 dollar steak at the restaurant, and they charge you $100.

            1. Explody stuff mostly.

              1. Mmm…no try again. I’ll give you a hint: look at our unfunded liabilities.

                1. Manageable if people care to keep the programs. The thing is people will still need healthcare and other basic services so it’s money that’s going to be spent regardless. Even if we adopt your program, someone has to clean the bodies off the street, and that’s not free either.

                  1. So a 100 trillion plus is ‘manageable’ eh. Cool story. I take it you looked at the unfunded liabilities and said ‘meh, I don’t understand this’.

                    1. BODIES IN THE STREET, BYODB!

                      Bodies. In. The. Street.

                    2. Those are TRUMP BODIES! Because of him!!

      3. So taxes are just a fee paid for services used, the cost of which was known by the taxpayer in advance? Help me out here, Tony – i can’t tell if this means you’re more ignorant of what a tax is, or how an analogy works.

        1. If you don’t want to pay taxes just don’t be born. God, do I really have to explain this shit to you?

        2. So taxes are just a fee paid for services used

          He made this argument the other day. No one should get government services they aren’t 100% paying for. That would be unjust, in Tony world.

          1. Sometimes it does seem like Tony is a parody account whose puppeteer is trying to get called out. And i can’t blame him (or her). Feigning that level of aggressive ignorance for 8+ years has to be exhausting.

          2. If that’s even remotely how it worked, I think libertarians would bitch about it a lot less. Since it’s government, though, it literally can’t work that way.

            1. Yes, so… let’s do away with government? Or is this precise system OK with you as long as it’s doing exactly what you want it to do?

              1. Did you forget that we’re discussing your suggestion that no one should get any services from government that they’re not directly paying for?

                Of course you didn’t – you never knew what we were talking about in the first place!

                1. I did but I ignored it because it’s a mischaracterization of my beliefs and is stupid.

                  1. Well you’re half right, it is stupid. I guess in a way it’s entirely right, since you have no beliefs either.

                    Cool, I broke your code.

                  2. it’s a mischaracterization of my beliefs and is stupid.

                    Tony|12.8.17 @ 2:44PM|#

                    Yeah because from the moment you are shat into the world to the moment you are buried in an unmarked grave because nobody loved you, you are using government services that are paid for by tax dollars. You all, all of you, want to keep using those services and not pay for them. You are all thieves.

                    Exposing you as a painfully stupid hypocrite is like shooting fish in a barrel. Some days it gets boring, but some days you just say “what the hell?”

                    1. Well let me clarify. You want poor people to pay to protect rich people’s shit from being stolen, but you think it’s a moral abomination for rich people to pay for poor people to have access to clean water.


                    2. “Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

                      Frederic Bastiat – The Law 1850

                    3. That’s too many words for Tony to read all in one spell.

                    4. Well let me clarify. You want poor people to pay to protect rich people’s shit from being stolen, but you think it’s a moral abomination for rich people to pay for poor people to have access to clean water.

                      I’ll take “things no one has ever said” for $1,000.

                      But charge that shadow!! It’ll scream someday!

                    5. But since you’re aggressively and intentionally stupid, let me spell this out for you:

                      Your outrage is that you think that “we” (whoever “we” are) shouldn’t get things from the government we aren’t paying for.

                      My direct question to you: does this apply to poor people? Or do you seriously believe that poor people are somehow “paying for everything?”

        3. No analogy will be perfect because government and public services are a unique kind of institution. Taxes are simply necessary because we can’t remake all of society each time a person is born. If they don’t like the way things are or how much things cost, their option is to vote for a representative who will take their opinion to the legislature or statehouse or white house.

          1. Common guys, analogy isn’t that hard:

            Ronald McDonald, and a few dozen black-clad armed Frenchfry guys divert everyone outside into the restaurant. Depending on how much you earn you pay anywhere from nothing to everything. Then everyone else in the restaurant gets to decide what you eat – because that’s only fair – and the staff gets to decide how, or if, you’ll get it (and get it good). If you object, Mayor McCheese will order Officer Big Mac to taser the McTaratar sauce out of you; for your own good, of course. Now, after you’ve contracted diabetes and high blood pressure, Grimace and Birdie will force feed you over-regulated and over-priced stale salad – that would make Rambo, to say nothing of a billygoat, puke – and remind you that if not for Ronald’s magnanimity you would be out on the sidewalk dying either from health related issues or starvation.

            FFS, people, not that hard.

            1. ^ Excellent.

      4. If you give away 4 trillion dollars to curry favor from people, and steal 3 trillion dollars, then borrow another trillion to cover it, whose money was it again? And are you the Grinch if you only give away 3 trillion next year?

    3. Paul Ryan is basically promising to start working on legislation to reduce the debt?that is, right after he finishes working on legislation to increase the debt.

      Suderman’s framing this as some sort of gotcha is how you can tell he’s not a libertarian.
      Cutting taxes increases the deficit. Cutting spending reduces the deficit. These are both libertarian priorities, and they are not in conflict. To imply that they are is astonishingly obtuse for someone who writes for a libertarian magazine.
      It’s a sad state of affairs when this is just the kind of thing that’s expected of Suderman.

      1. It’s mathematically impossible to have a deficit unless you spend. That is the ONLY requirement.

      2. I would agree with you if Paul Ryan actually had the credibility to think that he will reduce spending significantly.

        As is, it comes off as him cutting taxes for his donors and base while making an insincere promise to cut spending in the future. That Suderman is skeptical of GOP promises to cut spending enough to address the deficit situation after they cut taxes (Gee, where have I heard this story before?) doesn’t say anything about his libertarian credibility.

        A tax cut in a state of deficit that is not accompanied by corresponding spending cuts is not really a tax cut. It’s a tax shift from present to future taxpayers.

        1. It’s not Paul Ryan that will block spending deceases, I suspect, it will be the fact that literally zero Democrats will ever vote for such a plan which leaves it entirely in Republican hands. We are already armed with the foreknowledge that some Republicans will block it as well, thus it doesn’t really matter what Ryan does, such a thing will not happen.

          I don’t much care for that smarmy liar Ryan, don’t get me wrong, and I agree that he’s blowing smoke on the chances of such a bill passing. But lets not ignore the reasons why it’s an impossible thing to pass: most of them don’t believe in spending cuts. I can at least believe that Ryan, somewhere in his black soul, doesn’t care for spending but he lacks the spine to do anything about it.

        2. And yet you don’t see any hit to petey’s credibility from opppsing entitlement cuts from the gop obamacare replacement bill. It is convenient to trot out that purity requirement on a whim, isn’t it?

        3. Reason hates deficits, except the trillion dollar variety that they cheered for 8 years while Obama doubled the national debt.

    4. All money belongs to government. Let’s say a burglar breaks into your house. He takes everything of value except your TV. He’s given you a TV. You should be grateful for the free TV.

  6. That Medicare and other big entitlements are the largest drivers of the federal debt is uncontroversially true.

    LOL – you’ve never talked to a liberal if you think that’s an uncontroversial or incontrovertible fact. Why, Medicare and other big entitlements pay for themselves many times over! No, it’s evil rich people not paying their fair share of taxes that causes debt. That and that capitalism itself that depends on exploiting the poor for debt slavery. Plus the patriarchy, eating meat, using non-renewable energy sources, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, xenophobia, GMOs, global warming and gluten. And Donald Trump.

    1. Talk about burying the lede….

    2. That and “How dare you call MediCare and Social Security entitlements! We paid for them!”

      1. “How dare you call MediCare and Social Security entitlements! We paid for them!”

        I saw this on my Facebook feed. “Can I have back all those checks I wrote to that system then?”

        If that means those programs get cancelled and we all get refund checks for what we’ve paid into them?

        Abso-fucking-lutely, with a smile on my face.

    3. You’re not better because you ignore all the real problems and fixate on the nonproblems (rich people not being rich enough).

      1. Much better to focus on the theft.

  7. Why is it surprising that a tax plan and a debt reduction plan would be worked on separately, one might ask?

    Especially since we already know that any spending votes will be along party lines, with a few Republicans jumping ship. I mean it. We literally already know that’s how it’s going to play out.

  8. Paul Ryan is looking rough lately. Being a leader of the pedo party while nursing some serious blue balls for crapping on the old and sick in order to give five-figure tax cuts to Randian supermen must take its toll.

    1. Don’t forget that it was Obama who suggested cutting Medicare. Whoops.

      1. Not cuts to benefits though, cuts to spending on insurers and hospitals. Which you no doubt completely favored being a fiscal conservative whatever on principle and not a partisan jackass.

        1. As much as it pains me to reply to a Tony post;
          Please explain your difference between ‘benefits’ and ‘spending’.
          All there is to spend medicare money on is benefits. Cut one you cut the other.

          1. Meaning patients aren’t denied any of the treatments they were offered before, but payments were reduced to insurers who had been given a handout previously by Bush and hospitals had to cut costs but also meet treatment benchmarks in order not to get cuts. Obamacare actually expanded treatment options and access for humans.

            I’m still a little confused about why libertarians are bitching about a supposed cut to Medicare.

            1. Because when doctors and hospitals stop accepting those patients because the cost of care is more than reimbursement, socialists like you will demand that they be forced to provide service.

              1. And bake a cake on their day off, no doubt.

            2. And if it works for Medicare it works for all government services. That means we can cut education spending with no impact to service. Win-win!

              1. If education were largely a private industry with lots of excess money going to CEOs and shareholders instead of educating people, there would be some cutting that could be done.

                1. The kulaks and wreckers argument again. Why not? It has to work SOMETIME, right?

                  Funny how you don’t have a problem padding all of those government retiree benefits or funneling taxpayer dollars back to team blue candidates.

                  1. It works all the time. Public education is the backbone of the modern world. Every other civilized country on earth has a better healthcare system than ours for cheaper, because they are public. That you don’t acknowledge these things is only because you are a stubborn ideologue who places evidence secondary to what you feel you want to believe.

                    1. Every other country in the world relies on our medicines and medical devices, dumbass. And our education system spends more than every other country for worse results. Now what were you vacuously saying about evidence of which you have none?

                2. If education were largely a private industry with lots of excess money going to CEOs and shareholders instead of educating people, there would be some cutting that could be done.

                  Instead, education is a bloated bureaucracy with lots of excess money going to administrators, advocates, and union reps, so naturally, there is no cutting that could be done.

                  Why do libertarians hate children?

                3. If education were largely a private industry with lots of excess money going to CEOs and shareholders instead of educating people, there would be some cutting that could be done.

                  I’m sure the university administrators and tenured professors collecting 6 figure salaries will be glad to hear that.

        2. You don’t understand what ‘benefits’ are, do you?

  9. Good luck getting that past the “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” types in the GOP base.

    1. Yeah, no joke there. Unfortunately.

  10. As Ross Perot used to say, “when you’re in a hole, stop digging.”

    It’s tough for politicians to cut off the gravy train to anyone. For any given government program, the pain is widespread across all taxpayers, and the benefits are focused on a vocal minority.

    It’s particularly difficult to cut off the gravy train to senior citizens, who vote at a high rate and who have well organized lobbying organizations. The AARP makes the NRA look like amateurs.

    It’s even more difficult to cut off the gravy train to senior citizens when they strategically concentrated themselves in Florida, a highly populated, Electoral College vote rich battleground state. Why do you think George W. Bush came up with the Medicare prescription drug giveaway after he almost lost Florida to Gore?

    1. AARP represents insurance companies, not seniors. Look up the revenue from memberships versus the revenue from ‘endorsements’.

      We concentrated ourselves in Florida because we like warm weather and no state income tax, not to vote together.
      It is hardly a gravy train; someone (you, citizen) took 11.7% (1970) to 15.3% (2015) of our income for 45 years so we cannot afford any other insurance than medicare.
      It is called an entitlement because we are entitled to it. Many of us would have preferred not to have joined the ponzi scheme, but there was a gun to our head, just like you. So if you can get ol’ Paul to make the whole mess optional for the young, go for it. I will just sit here and rock on my porch in the sunshine. But if you get too frisky, there is a torch and a pitchfork hidden in the barn.

      1. The only fair answer now is a slow phaseout. I would say 3% reduction in benefits and taxes a year by retirement age over 30 years. The closer you are to retirement the less you are impacted/benefit. It isn’t a great solution but it doesn’t single out a particular group either. Too bad becausw the fuckers who got us into this mess are mostly dead.

        1. And what would you say should be done about people who are old and don’t have enough money for healthcare or other basic needs? I’d prefer if you were as specific as possible.

          1. I think you in your generosity should pay for them, Tony. The only reason you won’t is because you hate old people.

            1. Not a serious answer, indicating that you don’t wish to acknowledge the rather dire implications of your policy program.

              1. You are the king of disingenuous answers, Tony. When you ask a serious question, you’ll get a serious answer.

              2. So, an old person who has had literally more time in their life to save money than any young person now alive should be supported by the incomes of those very young people by siphoning off their savings so they’ll need to be supported by the next generation when they too grow old.

                Boy, I sure hope there’s never a downturn in births. That seems like a totally logical thing to do given what we already know about the developed worlds birth trajectories.

                /Sarc

                1. Are you arguing that there’s no such thing as a poor old person?

                  Just say you want them to die for the crime of not planning well enough for retirement. I’ll respect you for being honest, if not moral.


                  1. Are you arguing that there’s no such thing as a poor old person?

                    Nope. Did you not understand?

          2. Everybody has health insurance Tony; your buddy made it against the law NOT TO!
            So now that I think of it, we can cancel Medicaid entirely.

        2. I think that would be pretty workable. I’m in my mid 40s, and I don’t know anyone my age or younger who’s ever considered SS something to rely on for retirement income. We’re already to the point where you would be taking away something people never felt like they really had, anyway.

          1. Everyone your age and younger is going to end up relying on SS way more than they thought because small-government assholes took away every single other retirement safety net program and replaced it with “give some of your paycheck to JP Morgan, they’ll take care of it for you.”

            1. Have I ever mentioned that you’re an idiot?

            2. And there won’t be any money there to rely on you dumbfuck because your socialism will have spent it all.

              1. Yep, this is the bit Tony doesn’t understand.

                He’s saying that the demographic of American’s who have the most in savings need public money the most. Does not compute.

                If old people can’t afford it, no one can. Idiot.

              2. It’s certainly possible if we keep electing Republicans who will eventually make the yuan the global currency.

            3. What they said was “give some of your paycheck to the treasury, and the government will take care of it”. Poor ol’ JP doesn’t get to see a dime of Social Security money; that’s the law.

          2. For all of the pearl clutching at reason trying to appeal to the plight of the millenials, it’s genX that’s going to get screwed. Reform will come when the larger snowflake cohort doesn’t want to pay for the smaller X cohort.

            1. it’s genX that’s going to get screwed. Reform will come when the larger snowflake cohort doesn’t want to pay for the smaller X cohort.

              I admit this does concern me greatly. I’ve been seriously considering relocating to Iceland.

              1. Costa Rica

                1. Too humid. And I have family in Iceland. Hell – we’re all family in Iceland.

                  1. They say that about the hillbillies too.

    2. I noticed that at the time. I think we actually got off cheap with Medicare Part D rather than getting something like Obamacare earlier.

  11. But this is as it should be, isn’t it? Taxes fall in definite amounts on definite individuals at definite times. The public debt is everybody’s responsibility, hence nobody’s. So what’s wrong w putting it off forever? Apparently a lot of people are still willing to buy Treasury notes.

    1. Good point; I have yet to hear one voice from the future complaining about paying our debts.

  12. The reasoning is really quite simple: When this party stops whom do I trust to cover my ass, the government or me? Generously letting me keep more of my money now whithout a doubt will leave me better prepared when the shit finally hits the fan. Slowing the growth of deficits with more of my money won’t.

  13. Considering that 2/3 of the federal budget goes to entitlements, cutting discretionary spending will have little effect if any, and you can forget about ever cutting any military spending. Don’t expect much for entitlement reform either because AARP.

  14. “Still, it is at least a little?and maybe much more than a little?jarring to hear him hype a forthcoming debt reduction plan at the exact same time that he is helping to lead the charge on tax legislation that would almost certainly add $1 trillion or more to the debt if it is enacted exactly as planned . . .

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read here in years.

    Is this coming from the same Peter Suderman who opposed the ObamaCare replacement bill that Paul Ryan passed through the House–and was killed in the Senate by Rand Paul and his idiot followers in the Senate?

    This bill, right here:

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    You opposed that bill–the one that cut $772 billion from Medicaid–didn’t you Suderman?

    You think it’s jarring to hear Paul Ryan talk about debt reduction after he just passed tax reform? I think it’s jarring to see Suderman complain about Paul Ryan’s lack of commitment to cutting entitlements–after Suderman opposed a bill that cut Medicaid by $772 billion.

    Seriously, that’s rich.

    HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! . . .

    Anybody else remember when Suderman opposed a bill cutting Medicaid because some future congress might reinstate the spending? As if that could ever NOT be a problem!

    LOL

  15. “Paul Ryan is basically promising to start working on legislation to reduce the debt?that is, right after he finishes working on legislation to increase the debt.”

    How do you feel about this bill Suderman?

    https://www.cbo.gov/publication/52849

    It cut $321 billion from the budget by cutting $1.022 trillion in spending–mostly on entitlement programs.

    Did you support that bill or oppose it, Suderman?

    It was from June of this year!

    Did you oppose a bill to cut $772 billion from Medicaid, cut a net $321 billion from the deficit? And now you’re blaming Paul Ryan for not passing a bill to cut entitlements?!

    Didn’t Paul Ryan already pass a bill to cut entitlements more than six months ago?

    Didn’t you oppose that bill?

    Do you oppose a tax cut for deficit reasons after opposing a bill that cut the deficit?

  16. You know who’s the biggest idiot in the Senate?

    Bob Corker.

    First he voted against a bill that cut $1.022 trillion from the budget ($772 billion of that directly from Medicaid) and $321 billion from the deficit.

    Then he voted against the tax reform bill because it increases the deficit!!!

    I can think of somebody else who would have voted that way. Can you, Suderman?

    Can you think of anybody who opposed a bill cutting $1.022 trillion in entitlement spending and then opposed a tax reform bill because it doesn’t cut entitlement spending–all in the name of libertarianism?

    I can!

    No wonder commenters around here are so confused.

  17. As far as the tax plan, it seems to me that letting people keep more of their own money shouldn’t be thought of as increasing the deficit, just as not stealing from someone doesn’t increase my personal debt.

    Fuck you, cut spending. Now we’re criticizing politicians for not stealing more money from me to fuel their overspending habits??? Fuck that.

  18. Let me be FRANK = Cut the beast!

    Is it so fucking hard?

    No – you can do it – have the courage of your own convictions.

    So many fought, suffered and died so we could be free.

    All you have to do is sit on your cushy chair and speak your mind.

    Abolish the Dept of Education for starters = do something oh party of limited gubmint

  19. Hey, this article is awesome. This tells us the real reason.
    Thanks,
    Manav Singh.

  20. Notice how military costs are never mentioned as a contributor to the ever-growing national debt?

    Of course, entitlements do contribute to the national debt as well, but the military-industrial-security complex are, in my view, the biggest reason for our growing national debt. The costs of empire, NATO, troops stationed in almost every country in the world, NSA’s spying, CIA black ops, and our nuclear shield make up most of the federal budget.

    The easiest way in the world to reduce our annual budget deficits would be to dramatically cut theses costs, and stop them permanently. Do we really need troops in Africa? With no industrial state enemies, our military could be reduced by at least 80%.

    1. I won’t argue about cutting military spending, but it makes up “only” about 16% of the federal budget, discretionary spending through other agencies (education, energy, health (not medicare), etc,.) accounts for another 16% or so. The remaining 2/3 is gobbled up by entitlements because people are living longer and getting more medicare and SS payouts, so if you really want to solve the problem, get people to kick the bucket earlier, and have more babies who will pay into the system once they start working too.

  21. Sure he will.

  22. Raise taxes! The battlecry of free minds and free markets.

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  26. Hopefully the Republicans will see from the IRS scandal, the unmasking scandal, the Dumbledore’s Army insurrection at CFPB, the FBI – Fusion GPS – DNC collaboration and its the Mueller probe offshoot, the EPA resistance, that its just in their best interest to cut the size and scope of government at least 10% a year for the next 10 years. That would leave the bureaucracy about 1/3 of what it is now, and even if it didn’t save as much money as entitlement reform it would leave all of us wealthier and freer.

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