Paul Ryan’s Budget History Worse than Previous Admin’s Spending Woes


Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) | Photo/AP-J. Scott Applewhite

Before the budget debate, I never even heard of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). But anytime someone comes up with a “national budget plan” for the rest of us, I figure its time to find out who this person is and what their track record has been since they were elected to public office. The question is does Ryan “cut the mustard,” or is he window dressing who happened to do well in marketing 101? His track records speaks for itself.

Ryan voted yes for eight consecutive years to budgets that increased the national spending by 50 percent – including the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-rich. And let’s not forget TARP. Were it not for President Obama and his administration, we would have had another and even greater depression.

Ryan voted yes to the wars in Iraq (approx. $786 billion) and Afghanistan (approx. $400 billion) without a way to pay for them, leaving us over a trillion dollars in debt, a loss of 5,980 American lives and thousands of others, and without a viable exit strategy. Moreover, Ryan didn’t just vote once for a failed war, he voted every year (starting in 2003 with Operation Iraqi Freedom) under the same conditions.

Remember Medicare Part D? Ryan cast the “deciding vote to pass the disastrous $8 trillion unfunded Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, which then-U.S. Comptroller David Walker called, “the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation” in 40 years. [….]

Between 2008 and 2010, Ryan has come up with his own road-map for our future. In 2008, Ryan introduced a bill, “Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2008,” that, had it passed, would have eliminated Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, among other things. It didn’t pass (even some Republicans voted against it.)[....]

In 2009, Ryan came up with an alternative to the 2010 federal budget that would have eliminated the Recovery Act of 2009, including replacing the Medicare system:

It would have replaced the Medicare system. Instead, it proposed that starting in 2021, the federal government would pay part of the cost of private medical insurance for individuals turning 65. Ryan’s proposed budget would also have allowed taxpayers to opt out of the federal income taxation system with itemized deductions, and instead pay a flat 10 percent of adjusted gross income up to $100,000 and 25 percent on any remaining income. Ryan’s proposed budget was heavily criticized by opponents for the lack of concrete numbers. It was ultimately rejected in the house by a vote of 293-137, with 38 Republicans in opposition.[....]

In January 2010, Ryan’s revised his budget plan to give:

“[A]cross the board tax cuts by reducing income tax rates; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax.” His plan would privatize Social Security and do away with tax exclusions for employer-based health insurance. On Medicare and Medicaid, Ryan proposal would replace “these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would decrease over time.” [....]

Try as he might, Ryan consistently falls flat on whatever plan he proposes. In my opinion, Walker’s summation of Medicare Part D above (“the most fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation” in 40 years) sums up Ryan’s “road maps” and “budget plans” quite accurately.

We should always review our programs and practices, fine-tuning them to keep up with current trends, and ensure that they are fiscally responsible. Ryan’s budget plans, like that of the GOP in general, are so egregious that it is hard to constructively comment on them further than “where’s the recycling bin.”

Be vigilant and pass this information on!

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