The GOP Budget Plan Does Not Pass the Laugh Test

Paul Ryan, ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, sets forth his party’s “alternative budget” plan, on the Opinion page of the Wall Street Journal (where else?).

Here is the long story short:

  1. Freeze all discretionary spending for five years, except for military spending.
  2. Reduce dependence on foreign oil by doing exploratory drilling in the United States.
  3. Develop cleaner energy sources and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by not having a cap and trade plan, by drilling for oil and gas within the United States, and by putting the money from oil and gas exploration in a clean energy trust fund.
  4. Make the Bush tax cuts permanent.
  5. Change the tax code so that income under $100,000 would be taxed at 10%, and income over $100,000 would be taxed at 25%. Taxes on capital gains and dividends would be set at 15%, but capital gains would not be taxed at all through 2010. The estate tax (what Republicans call “the death tax”) would be eliminated. The corporate income tax rate would be permanently cut to 25%.

Ryan then has the nerve to add this caution:

We hope the administration and Democratic leaders in Congress do not distort and preach fear about our Republican plan. Some may be tempted to appeal to the darker emotions of envy and insecurity that surely run high in times like these. Yet we know Americans are stronger, smarter and prouder than this ploy assumes.

Why would it even occur to Ryan to worry that the “darker emotions of envy and insecurity that surely run high in times like these” might be stirred up by this Republican budget plan? I mean, does it transfer vast amounts of money to the wealthiest Americans while offering nothing to¬† middle-class and working-class Americans? Does it comfort the already supremely comfortable and afflict those who need help the most? Why on earth should tens of millions of out-of-work Americans struggling to get by on unemployment checks and food stamps feel “insecure” about a budget plan that freezes all non-military spending for five years?

2 Responses to “The GOP Budget Plan Does Not Pass the Laugh Test”

  1. stephen says:

    I feel That Ryan is right. We can not keep spending like this over the next five years. We are projected to spend more over these next four years more than the last 43 presidents have altogether. I am sorry I didn’t support Bush but, I do say one thing everyone has to stop thriving on the past and try to fix the future. Blaming the past is only going to delay fixing or even making the sitations escalade out of control. I feel we need to not worry about tax cut for the rich ( who own 90 to 100% of all job opportunity growth). And for the record I am not rich I am a Paramedic who is a middle class family man, and a veteran.

  2. Paramedics are publicly employed, aren’t they? If police and teachers and nurses are being laid off, can paramedics be far behind, given frozen discretionary spending?

    Then again, a billionaire might want to hire a personal paramedic. I bet an undocumented worker who’ll accept less than minimum wage gets the job, though.

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