Why isn’t this man running for President?

March 21, 2012

Another bit of evidence for the argument that our A-list candidates stayed out of the nominating race this year, leaving us to field the reserves. In this video, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) makes the case for the budget offered by House Republicans yesterday.  Here’s a link to the “trailer video,” which is worth watching, but, in this video, Ryan gets to the meat of the problem: we have a choice between growth or stagnation, rise or decline, and liberty or dependence.

Ryan explained his plan in more detail in the Wall St. Journal. You can read generally favorable analysis  of it from Dan Mitchell, and a typical liberal hack job by Ezra “the Constitution’s too old to understand” Klein at the Washington Post. Still, I have to ask…

Second look at a brokered convention?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)

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Obama’s new budget is a bad joke

February 13, 2012

Just as we expected it would be.

Phillip A Klein takes a look at it and compares it to Obama’s promises on entering office. Here’s his takeway:

Obama spent most of last year lecturing the country on how he supported a so-called “balanced approach” on deficit reduction. Time and again, he said he was ready to make real changes to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security if only Republicans were willing to budge on the revenue side. He repeated this in a lot of speeches and insisted that behind the scenes he was really, really, ready to cut a deal with the GOP during the debt limit talks. But he never presented a tangible plan that could be scored by the CBO and evaluated next to Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan to reform entitlements and put the nation on a sustainable fiscal course. He had his chance with this budget. Instead, Obama decided to forgo tough choices so he could attack Republicans during an election year.

Bear that in mind: we have a president far more interested in his own electoral fate than the fate of the nation.

Meanwhile, James Pethokoukis accuses Obama of doubling-down on class warfare in this budget:

Here’s pretty much all you need to know about Obamanomics: In 2011, the Obama White House suggested raising the top dividend tax rate to 20 percent from 15 percent. Keeping the dividend rate at a relatively low level, the White House said, “reduces the tax bias against equity investment and promotes a more efficient allocation of capital.” Makes sense, right? Basic economics.

Yet in his brand-new, 2013 budget, Obama calls for taxing dividends as ordinary income, essentially raising the top rate all the way to 39.6 percent. And then when you tack on the 3.8 percentage point Obamacare surtax — and an additional 1.2 percentage point itemized deduction phase-out for high-end taxpayers — the rate rises to 44.6 percent.

So apparently Obama is now in favor of a greater bias against equity investment (and in favor of debt) and promoting less efficient allocation of capital. And this helps create an economy “built to last” in some way?

Of course, it doesn’t. Not at all. More like “built to fail.” Then again, Obama’s new budget isn’t about economic growth or cutting debt or creating a “built to last” economy. The Obama campaign is built around the idea of reducing inequality. So in his budget, Obama takes the populist whip to the wealthy and to business…

And to people who depend on dividends for their retirement, whether directly or through pension funds. Including the middle class.

Why does Barack Obama hate retired people?

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


I dare the Democrats to run on this in 2012

April 8, 2011

Since Rep. Paul Ryan released his 2012 budget plan, the Democrats have been on the attack, charging that Republicans want to deny medical care to children, starve the elderly and generally bring about the end of the world. You know, the usual reactionary rhetoric they use to avoid adult conversations on serious issues, because they have no ideas of their own.

Well, that will change next week, when the Congressional Progressive Caucus, aka “The Socialist Wing of the (Social) Democratic Party,” will release their own budget plan:

To extend the long-term solvency of Social Security, it would propose dramatically increasing payroll taxes on both the employer and employee side, and funneling the money into even more generous benefits.

Payroll taxes are economically destructive, because they make it more expensive for employers to hire new workers, meaning lower real wages and higher unemployment.

Yet the tax increases wouldn’t end there. The People’s Budget would rescind last year’s tax deal to raise rates on higher income levels, boost taxes on capital gains and dividends, increase the estate tax, institute three “millionaire tax rates,” with the highest reaching 47 percent, tax corporate foreign income, impose a “financial crisis responsibility fee,” and institute a “financial speculation tax.”

Overall, taxes would rise to 22.3 percent of the economy, compared with 18.3 percent under the Ryan proposal.

The plan would also build on Obama’s most notable initiatives. It includes an additional $1.45 trillion in economic stimulus spending. On health care, the plan would add a government-run plan, or “public option,” to Obamacare and have the government negotiate drug prices.

Yet while other parts of government would grow, the defense budget would be gutted. The proposal would “reduce baseline defense spending by reducing strategic capabilities, conventional forces, procurement, and R&D programs.”

I hope they do it, and I hope their party leadership adopts it. Then we’ll at last have an honest argument about the vision the two parties have for the future of America. Go ahead, Democrats, make this plan your own. Let 2012 be a battle between Paul Ryan’s “budget for mature adults who can see the edge of the cliff coming” and the CPC’s “Berkeley Bong Budget.”

I beg you: try to sell the nation another fairy tale.

And I’ll thank you in advance for the Republican landslide in 2012.

via Moe Lane

LINKS: More from QandO

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Let me get this straight

June 11, 2010

The federal budget has nearly doubled in ten years, going from roughly $2 trillion in 2000 to $3.8 trillion, today. Half the increase –over one trillion dollars– has come in just the last three years, during which the Democrats have controlled Congress, which writes the budget.

And yet Virginia Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-GimmeYourMoney) thinks there’s no room to make cuts, that the only thing to do is increase revenue raise taxes?

This has to be seen to be believed.


A trillion for ObamaCare? Piker!

November 28, 2009

I’ll see your measly one-trillion dollars and raise you five-and-a-half trillion more:

One gimmick makes the new entitlement spending appear smaller by not opening the spigot until late in the official 10-year budget window (2010–2019).  Correcting for that gimmick in the Senate version, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) estimates, “When all this new spending occurs” — i.e., from 2014 through 2023 — “this bill will cost $2.5 trillion over that ten-year period.”

Another gimmick pushes much of the legislation’s costs off the federal budget and onto the private sector by requiring individuals and employers to purchase health insurance.  When the bills force somebody to pay $10,000 to the government, the Congressional Budget Office treats that as a tax.  When the government then hands that $10,000 to private insurers, the CBO counts that as government spending.  But when the bills achieve the exact same outcome by forcing somebody to pay $10,000 directly to a private insurance company, it appears nowhere in the official CBO cost estimates — neither as federal revenues nor federal spending.  That’s a sharp departure from how the CBO treated similar mandates in the Clinton health plan.  And it hides maybe 60 percent of the legislation’s total costs.  When I correct for that gimmick, it brings total costs to roughly $2.5 trillion (i.e., $1 trillion/0.4).

Here’s where things get really ugly.  TPMDC’s Brian Beutler calls “the” $2.5-trillion cost estimate a “doozy” of a “hysterical Republican whopper.”  Not only is he incorrect, he doesn’t seem to realize that Gregg and I are correcting for different budget gimmicks; it’s just a coincidence that we happened to reach the same number.

When we correct for both gimmicks, counting both on- and off-budget costs over the first 10 years of implementation, the total cost of ObamaCare reaches — I’m so sorry about this — $6.25 trillion.  That’s not a precise estimate.  It’s just far closer to the truth than President Obama and congressional Democrats want the debate to be.

And this yet another example of why the progressives in Congress don’t want anyone to actually read the bills before voting on them: we might actually learn what disasters-in-waiting they really are.

(hat tip: Hot Air)