Paul Ryan’s Path to Fiscal Sanity

by Mike on March 21, 2012

in Education,Politics

During the 1990s, people were concerned with the $4 trillion debt we ran up while winning the Cold War (and after the Democrats reneged on their 1982 promise to reduce spending).  Back then, the debate between the first Republican Congress in forty years and the Clinton Administration was whether our country could balance the budget in seven years or ten years while also cutting taxes.  As it turned out, simply by restraining the growth of spending allowed us to balance the budget in three years.

Yesterday, against the backdrop of an Obama Administration that has added as much to the national debt as every Administration from George Washington to George H.W. Bush combined (and counting), Rep. Paul Ryan has introduced a budget that reforms entitlements, constrains the growth of spending, reduces tax rates, and simplifies the tax code in an effort to reduce the damage done by Obama’s fiscal policies.  Predictably, the plan is triggering hysterical opposition from the Democrats and media (I know, Department of Redundancy Department).

So just how serious is Rep. Ryan’s plan about reducing the deficit?  On the one hand, despite the Democrats’ rhetoric about draconian cuts, under current economic forecasts, Ryan’s plan doesn’t actually balance the budget until 2040, though he says it could be done in ten years.  On the other hand, just three annual deficits under President Obama rival the size of the entire national debt at the beginning of the 1990s.  Reducing the deficit and then the debt is more difficult than it was when Newt Gingrich was shoving balanced budgets down Bill Clinton’s throat.  Paul Ryan could be faulted for not doing enough quickly enough, but at least he’s moving in the right direction.


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