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Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan Is Not Serious

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Later this week, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will unveil a budget plan for Fiscal Years 2013. As with his previous plan, it’s quite likely that it will become the budget that the House GOP ends up adopting for the coming year. There’s only one problem, it’s based on a completely unrealistic assumption:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on Sunday defended his new budget’s assumption that President Barack Obama’s healthcare law would be repealed.

“Are you saying, as part of your budget you assume the repeal of ObamaCare?,”  “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace asked the Wisconsin Republican and former vice presidential nominee.

“Yes,” Ryan answered,

“Well, that’s not going to happen,” Wallace said.

Republicans have long advocated a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. But Obama’s reelection and continued Democratic control of the Senate make a repeal virtually impossible. Nevertheless, Ryan said budget documents were about a vision for the country.

“We believe Obamacare is a program that will not work,” Ryan said. “We believe Obamacare will actually lead to hospitals and doctors and health care providers turning people away.”

“We don’t think healthcare’s going to be improved in this country,” Ryan said. “We think it’s going to look very ugly over the nansext couple of years.”

“That’s why we’re going to propose replacing Obamacare with patient centered health care — with a better healthcare system for everybody,” Ryan said.

It’s perfectly legitimate, I think, for Republicans to propose alternatives to the Affordable Care Act, to draw attention to the numerous stories have have come out over the past several months regarding massive increases in health insurance premiums resulting from the PPACA, and the problems with implementing a plan that nobody in Congress seems to have given thought about before they voted for it.  Indeed, one wishes that Republicans had done these things back in 2009-2010 when the plan was being debated  in Congress instead of screaming and shouting about “socialized medicine” without offering any real alternative of their own. Despite the fact that the PPACA was upheld by SCOTUS last year, it seems clear to me that we’ll be discussing health care “reform” again before the law turns ten years old, largely because of the cost issues mentioned above.

Ryan isn’t talking about health care reform, though. He is submitting what purports to be a balanced budget plan that contains an assumption that ObamaCare will be repealed in its entirety. This has been a goal of the Republican Party since before the ink was dry on President Obama’s signature, of course. During the 112th Congress the House GOP voted some 33 times to repeal the PPACA in whole or in part. None of these bills went anywhere, and indeed most of them were never voted upon by the Senate. Had the Senate taken up the bills, of course, it would have rejected them on a strict party line vote. Had the Senate somehow managed to pass one of these bills, President Obama would have vetoed it and there would not have been sufficient votes in either the House or the Senate to override the veto. In the 113th Congress, Republicans have two fewer Senate seats and about ten fewer House seats. And Barack Obama is still the President. The prospect of the law being repealed is simply non-existent, and yet Ryan’s plan includes just that event as its central assumption.

Assumption are nothing new when it comes to the budget process, of course. Whether it’s the White House, Democrats, or Republicans, every budget plan that’s submitted includes certain assumptions regarding things like the rate of economic growth, interest rates, and the amount by which spending is expected to grow over the subsequent ten years. Quite often, one or more of those assumptions ends up being off in some respect, which is why there is always a difference between the level of spending and revenues in a budget plan and what the government ends up collecting. At the same time, though, those assumptions have to have some basis in reality or the budget plan itself will end up being a joke. And that’s exactly what Ryan’s budget plan is. It’s effectively equivalent to a budget plan that assumes GDP growth rate between 5 and 6 percent for a sustained period of time. As in that case, Ryan is assuming something that simply isn’t going to happen, which pretty much makes his entire budget plan not worth the paper it was written on.

It’s been suggested by some on Twitter this morning that Ryan’s budget is effectively the opening move of the GOP in upcoming budget negotiations, and I’m sure that’s what Ryan is thinking here. However, it strikes me that when you enter negotiations with an opening offer that clearly has no chance of ever becoming law and which is based on fantasy, then you’re giving the impression that you aren’t taking negotiations seriously. Republicans can come up with a better plan than this, and they ought to get to work on it.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Gold Star for Robot Boy says:

    Republicans and reality are not well acquainted.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 38 Thumb down 5

  2. Markey says:

    I thought Ryan would be working at Fox by now anyway..

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 4

  3. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares what the Republicans are proposing on the budget (or on any other government policy). It should be obvious by now that the Democrts are will to stall for years and wait until they regain control of the House.

    A better question will be whether a budget is ever passed during the Obama Administration. Imagine what the historians (who are no interested in top level jobs) will write about an administration that could go eight year under continuing resolution.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 38

  4. Woody says:

    Rep. Ryan’s “plan” is better explained as a “schtick” that will be heavily promoted as a Serious Alternative to the Un-American Obama in the rightwing media complex. It doesn’t matter that it makes no sense. What matters is that the chyrons can read, “Balanced Budget in Ten Years”.

    In addition, the schtick will be seized upon by the more venal centrist of the courtier media as a reasonable place to begin negotiating, as the most appropriate policy of society is always found in the center.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  5. Jeremy R says:

    He is submitting what purports to be a balanced budget plan that contains an assumption that ObamaCare will be repealed in its entirety.

    Not quite. Ryan again pockets the ACA’s $716 billion in Medicare savings (which was used in his previous budget, and which he railed against during the presidential campaign, promising to restore the cuts).

    He also pockets war draw-down savings (which he has long derided as BS phantom savings), he pockets the the new revenue from the recent expiration of some of the Bush tax cuts and he’s operating from the CBO’s new, much rosier, economic predictions.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  6. Jeremy R says:

    … the problems with implementing a plan that nobody in Congress seems to have given thought about before they voted for it.

    Actually, the real issue is that large new entitlements ALWAYS have lots of unforeseen issues which are realized after the fact, that pop up during implementation, and which are fixed through follow-up legislation. The problem here is that when it comes to the ACA the GOP will refuse to legislate any necessary fixes, preferring to rail against the results of problems they will not lift a finger to patch. So the ACA will just have to muddle through, accepting as permanent whatever issues arise, and taking advantage of the executive branch discretion that’s built into the law.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  7. stonetools says:

    The more the Ryan Budget is pushed as the centerpiece of the Republican Party’s economic policy, the better the chances of the Democrats regaining the House. Please proceed, Congressman.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 28 Thumb down 2

  8. superdestroyer says:

    @stonetools:

    But then the question is what will happen to the budget if the Democrats have total control? What taxes will be raised. What promised cuts will not occur? Who will be the winners once the Democrats regain control of the House.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 18

  9. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The Republican party is not REALLY a political party in the conventional sense of the word. The Republicans who hold positions of power in government are just an arm of the “Conservative Political Entertainment Complex”, as David Frum calls it.

    From the top down the party exists to feed a false reality to it’s base in order to keep them enraged and profit from them. The reason it is not really a political party is because financial profit supersedes political gain. Incumbent candidate is wounded by persistently high unemployment and so-so popularity for his signature legislation? Run a bunch of clowns through the primaries who claim vaccinations cause mental retardation or don’t know that China has nuclear weapons. Campaign having trouble against said incumbent? Have your “analysts” say that the race ISN’T actually in the incumbent’s favor, the polls are all skewed! In the case of Dick Morris, he even outright said that his election analysis was a lie to boost Mitt.

    All these folks will be fine though, because proposing actionable legislation or presenting honest analysis is not their job. They exist to entertain a base that doesn’t care if what they are being told is true; they just care that it infuriates them,is sprinkled with paranoia, and presents information through a lens of absolutes. Each issue is framed as a battle between an existing good and a sneaky, evil, complete takeover of the existing good. Because they view the world through this lens, actionable legislation is impossible. What if you believe “government” has to be drastically reduced, but also believe that we need a strong military, healthcare for the poor and elderly, and a guarantee that the elderly won’t be plunged into poverty? You can’t compromise (because the other side is evil) so you must advocate for mathematically/politically impossible plans, or propose no plan at all and just screech about how evil the opponent is.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

  10. superdestroyer says:

    @Rusty Shackleford:

    How do you explain all of the budgets that the Republicans have voted out of the House and that are never voted on in the Reid lead Senate? If Republicans are not in a real party, what do you call the Senate Democrats who refuse to do the one thing the constitution requires?

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 28

  11. stonetools says:

    @superdestroyer: 4

    Who will be the winners once the Democrats regain control of the House.

    Anyone who wants to see reality-based budgeting. And ultimately, the American people.
    California, as usual , is the bellwether here. Eventually, California elected enough Democrats to the state legislature so that the Republicans became politically irrelevant and could no longer block sensible budget proposals. California moved from a budget perpetually in crisis to a balanced budget this year.

    After years of cutting education and social services to close deficits, California’s budget is finally in balance as long as state lawmakers follow Gov. Jerry Brown’s guidance to hold the line on spending, the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget analyst said Monday.

    Analyst Mac Taylor commended the Democratic governor for emphasizing fiscal restraint in the proposed spending plan for the 2013-14 fiscal year that he released last week. He urged lawmakers to consider Brown’s education reforms, which include transferring more money to poorer districts, and the governor’s proposal to expand health care for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act.

    Note that the DEMOCRATIC governor was singled out for praise for fiscal restraint. That explodes the myth that Democrats don’t practice fiscal restraint. I expect you to continue clinging to that myth, but whatever.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 35 Thumb down 3

  12. steve says:

    I think it is important to remember that Ryan is a politician. Like many of his ilk, his primary goal is his own advancement. He has never proposed a budget that has had a chance of making it into law, but they do excite his party’s base. His health care proposals are ignored by his own party after they trot them out as proof that they can come up with a plan. Ryan has mostly succeeded in promoting Ryan. It placed him in the VP nomination slot. It leaves him in contention for future consideration for higher office, but these are not serious attempts at governance.

    Steve

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 3

  13. An Interested Party says:

    Who will be the winners once the Democrats regain control of the House.

    The colored people, of course…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  14. edmondo says:


    However, it strikes me that when you enter negotiations with an opening offer that clearly has no chance of ever becoming law and which is based on fantasy, then you’re giving the impression that you aren’t taking negotiations seriously.

    Obama’s fallen for this stunt the last four times he’s gotten rolled by the GOP. Why wouldn’t they try it one more time?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  15. stonetools says:

    @edmondo:

    I will say Obama has learned a little.But godalmighty, Obama is the worst negotiator I have ever seen. I wish he had spent one year after law school as a litigator somewhere. Then he would have learned something about leverage and how to use it, and starting offers.
    As it is, the worst words a liberal can hear is “Obama is in negotiations with Republicans”. You just think, “What the f^&k is he going to give away now?”

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 3

  16. anjin-san says:

    @ superdestroyer

    My understing is that Democrats have a plan afoot to let black folks and Mexicans take money directly out of your bank account. If I was you, I would be worried.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 3

  17. G.A.Phillips says:

    California, as usual , is the bellwether here. Eventually, California elected enough Democrats to the state legislature so that the Republicans became politically irrelevant and could no longer block sensible budget proposals. California moved from a budget perpetually in crisis to a balanced budget this year.

    lol, why do I come to this site?So I can fell like a God ****** super genius thats why!!!!!

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 22

  18. PJ says:

    @G.A.Phillips:
    Please go and hide under your bridge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  19. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    Once again, if progressives did not have snark, they would not have anything. I guess the idea that high taxes are good because it is other people’s money and can be spent on core Democratic Party groups just goes by everyone. What is amazing is that pundits had rather spend more time writing about a totally irrelevant Republican like Ryan and his pointless budget proposal versus what the long term impacts of the public sector growing faster than the economy or the possible impacts of higher taxes and slower private sector economic growth.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 16

  20. michael reynolds says:

    @stonetools:

    Our budget is balanced and our bond rating was raised. Interesting how little mention there is of this either on this site, or for that matter at any of the doom-n-gloom sites.

    Budget balanced. Bond rating high and improving. It seems the California Apocalypse has been delayed.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 40 Thumb down 1

  21. anjin-san says:

    if progressives did not have snark, they would not have anything.

    No? We have a balanced budget in California. We have a future where Blue Cross can’t take your money for years then dump you when you actually need your health insurance to stay alive. Here in the bay area, we have critical infrastructure project being completed because Obama decided infrastructure for America was more important than infrastructure for Iraq and billions for Dick Cheney’s cronies.

    You, on the other hand, have endless whining.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  22. Gustopher says:

    If you aren’t interested in governing, there’s no reason to put together a serious budget — a ridiculous fairy tale will do.

    At least continuing resolutions are based on reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  23. michael reynolds says:

    Here’s a short link on California’s improving prospects:

    SACRAMENTO — A top bond-rating agency has raised its assessment of more than $80 billion worth of California’s debt, saying “the upgrades reflect our view of California’s improved fiscal condition.”

    Standard & Poor’s on Thursday hiked its evaluation of California’s long-term debt one notch from “A minus” to “A.”

    S&P analyst Gabriel Petek said the new rating follows Gov. Jerry Brown’s recently proposed balanced budget as well as spending cuts and voter approval last November of a $6-billion tax increase.

    Oh, and there’s just a bit of cirrus against a baby blue sky with a gentle breeze and high 60’s here in the Bay Area.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  24. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: “Who will be the winners once the Democrats regain control of the House. ”

    The American people.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 26 Thumb down 2

  25. stonetools says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Interesting how little mention there is of this either on this site, or for that matter at any of the doom-n-gloom sites.

    Well, you know why. Its because it doesn’t fit the conservative narrative. For conservatives, those liberal, flaky, fruits and nuts Californians are always going to hell, whereas conservative paradises like Texas and Louisiana are the models of the way things ought to be.Anything that doesn’t fit the narrative just gets airbrushed out of conservative reality.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 1

  26. PJ says:

    Paul Ryan isn’t serious. So why should his budget be?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  27. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Cocoons are not merely for caterpillars and obviously Paul Ryan too. The chances of Obamacare being repealed only are slightly more than the chances of getting rid of poverty, crime, unemployment, poor schools and blight, in big liberal cities controlled for decades by liberal Democrats. IOW zero.point.zero.

    That aside, regarding the budget, years ago we crossed the Rubicon of a 5% deficit-to-GDP ratio and since then not much has changed. The government still spends a trillion or more dollars more than it takes in. And of course that doesn’t include Social Security, for the cognitively dissonant reason that it’s off budget. Because of the “lock box” of the trust funds. Uh, huh. Riiiiiiight.

    The prospects are bleak. Granted, wealthy liberals in the likes of Malibu and Pacific Heights and their issue won’t have to worry about it. But that’s a small group of people.

    If you’re under age 30 and there’s no big inheritance in your future you’re quite probably going to struggle with a ghastly life. Mountains of debt. Negative real wage growth. Reduced benefits. Part time work. Inflation. You’ll never retire. You’ll be dragging your “progressive” arses into office cubicles long after you’re old and gray.

    Spending more than your means never works out over the long haul. Whether you’re a person. Or whether you’re a government. Same result. Math is fundamental.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 16

  28. rudderpedals says:

    You expected what, statesmanship? We dodged a bullet with this guy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Ryan’s budget is more serious than Obama’s budget, which was due several weeks ago and will, I’m sure, Arrive Real Soon Now. And it will go nowhere, as usual. Because it’s not serious.

    That’s the right word, right? For something that you don’t like and think is politically unfeasible, just say it’s “not serious.”

    As far as California… as NRO notes, the “balanced budget” is based on revenue assumptions. And so far, Brown’s assumptions have been excessively optimistic. If those assumptions are as off as they have in the past, then they’ll swing from $1 billion surplus to $3.9 billion deficit.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 25

  30. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    Nice recap of Fox talking points.

    Polly want a cracker?

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @rudderpedals: You expected what, statesmanship? We dodged a bullet with this guy.

    To extend your metaphor, we “dodged a bullet” and fell right off the cliff into the volcano with Joe Biden.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 23

  32. anjin-san says:

    Even the NRO conceeds:

    this is a solid achievement for a governor who just last May took to YouTube to announce that “much greater” cuts were needed to deal with a deficit that had ballooned to $16 billion.

    as NOR notes

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So, just what of those “talking points” are incorrect? Brown’s history on revenue projections? The extrapolation on the current budget?

    Oh, that’s right. “Talking points” is your way of trying to discredit a point that you can’t disprove.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 17

  34. rudderpedals says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: If by extend you mean stretch it until it breaks, double it up and stretch again until that pair breaks. Try a new metaphor?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  35. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    I was thinking more of your Rain Man act on “it’s not serious”…

    As for Brown and the budget, do you think “this might not work out as well as he projects” is a a particularly impressive argument? No doubt you do, and that is one more reason that no one is impressed with Jenos except Jenos.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  36. michael reynolds says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I wonder why Standard and Poor’s seems so optimistic. Probably they lack your deep knowledge of California budgeting.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 0

  37. anjin-san says:

    In other news, the GOP wants to cut the NASA budget, and funding for science in general. Why have science when you can have superstition? We can have a bright future featuring both rampant ignorance and bleating about American exceptionalism…

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  38. anjin-san says:

    a point that you can’t disprove

    Can you prove the CA budget will not actually balance? We are standing by…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @michael reynolds: I wonder why Standard and Poor’s seems so optimistic.

    Me, too…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  40. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: As for Brown and the budget, do you think “this might not work out as well as he projects” is a a particularly impressive argument? No doubt you do, and that is one more reason that no one is impressed with Jenos except Jenos.

    Well, your argument boils down to “Brown’s always been wrong the last few years, but let’s trust he’s 100% accurate this time!”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 14

  41. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    Here is something from your above link:

    The United States government is to sue credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s over the triple A ratings the firm gave to mortgage securities prior to the credit crunch and global economic crisis of 2009.

    Since you are citing this to support your argument, it is safe to say that that your position is that the federal government has correctly assessed the errors in the S&P rating system, and is taking the proper action in suing them.

    In other words, you are saying that the government is competent, and it is taking the correct course of action, looking our for the interests of its citizens.

    That is a very different tune from the one you generally sing…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  42. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Actually, that’s from an Economist editorial that NRO quoted, then looked at Governor Moonbeam’s figures. It was right after that that they brought up Moonbeam’s historical accuracy on revenue projections.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13

  43. Just Me says:

    At least the GOP proposed something.

    House is till waiting on Obama’s budget and the Senate hasn’t done diddly since 2009.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 19

  44. anjin-san says:

    Well, your argument boils down to “Brown’s always been wrong the last few years, but let’s trust he’s 100% accurate this time!”

    Actually, it boils down to “Under Brown, the CA budget has done a 180 from the train wreck it was under his GOP predecessor. As a lifelong CA resident, I am very pleased, and am optimistic about continued improvement – after all, even conservative publications admit that what Brown has accomplished is impressive”…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  45. anjin-san says:

    an Economist editorial

    Yes. The Economist. A more credible publication than NRO by orders of magnitude…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  46. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: I thought I was saying that I’m a skosh skeptical of S&P’s reports on government when it’s currently being threatened with huge punishments by the government.

    And yes, I know that it’s the federal government that’s suing, and California that’s being reported on. However, Brown’s a key Obama ally, and he’s following much the same budget philosophy as the Obama administration is pushing. If California appears to be succeeding, it strengthens Obama’s hand at the national level.

    And, if S&P needs to be squeezed a little to get them on board, why not? It worked with the Chrysler and GM bondholders, after all…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  47. Spartacus says:

    @anjin-san:

    My understing is that Democrats have a plan afoot to let black folks and Mexicans take money directly out of your bank account. If I was you, I would be worried.

    That’s the funniest thing I’ve read in a very long time:)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  48. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just Me: House is till waiting on Obama’s budget and the Senate hasn’t done diddly since 2009.

    That’s not fair. They’ve developed whole new ways of blaming Republicans for everything since then. That takes a LOT of effort.

    And don’t bring up Obama’s total failure at budgeting. I think that’s racist or something.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 15

  49. M. Bouffant says:

    “That’s why we’re going to propose replacing Obamacare with patient centered health care — with a better healthcare system for everybody,” Ryan said.

    Ai yi yi. “Patient centered care,” really? That should get the double-think award for the first quarter of 2013. Lack of patient care to keep insurance cos. profitable is what Ryan means & wants.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  50. Spartacus says:

    @G.A.Phillips:

    lol, why do I come to this site?So I can fell like a God ****** super genius thats why!!!!!

    Do you have a substantive rebuttal to the factual statement that “California moved from a budget perpetually in crisis to a balanced budget this year.”

    If you don’t, then the fact that in your own little “brain” you believe you’re a genius suggests we should ignore anything else you write.

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 0

  51. anjin-san says:

    the same budget philosophy as the Obama administration is pushing

    Since Obama is probably the most frugal president since Eisenhower, that works for me. Things are looking up in CA, and they are looking up in America. My wife and I both had big smiles when we reviewed our real estate portfolio last week.

    But then I realize that good news for America is bad news for conservatives, so I understand where you are coming from.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  52. anjin-san says:

    @ M. Bouffant

    Patient centered care

    Yea, coming from Ryan, that one could easily cause an aneurysm .

    What a prick that one is. He got money from his family, he got money from his wife’s family. He has spent his adult life working for the government he supposedly despises. He voted for every budget busting bill that Bush sent his way. And his mission in life seems to be to screw people that don’t have family money and simply work for a living.

    What’s even sadder is that conservatives seem to have learned nothing from his utter lack of performance on the GOP ticket and it’s subsequent humiliating defeat at the hands of Obama and Biden.

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  53. SoWhat says:

    Paul Ryan’s Budget Plan Is Not Serious

    Democrat Controlled Senate Budget Plan Is Not Serious

    Barack Obama’s Budget Plan Is Not Serious

    Our Current Political Class Is Not Serious

    And your point is?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  54. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    MR

    When a state is at the bottom, the only place to go is up. http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/infographic-sp-state-credit-ratings-20012012-85899404785

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  55. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    Specifically how can all of the American people win. If some people pay more in taxes without receiving more benefits, the would be described as losers. If healthcare workers have their pay cut, they would be losers. If coal fired plants or nuclear power plants are regulated out of existence, they would be losers. If the public schools get worse, then there are lots of losers.

    Please explain how everyone becomes a winner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Since Obama is probably the most frugal president since Eisenhower…

    I’m sorry, I’m nowhere near drunk enough to grasp what definition of “frugal” applies to Obama. The only one I can think might apply is “avoids spending his own money whenever he can get someone else to pick up the tab.”

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 20

  57. anjin-san says:

    Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama?

    It’s enough to make even the most ardent Obama cynic scratch his head in confusion.

    Amidst all the cries of Barack Obama being the most prolific big government spender the nation has ever suffered, Marketwatch is reporting that our president has actually been tighter with a buck than any United States president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/05/24/who-is-the-smallest-government-spender-since-eisenhower-would-you-believe-its-barack-obama/

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  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Oh, I get it! Obama’s current budget is a big fat zero, and you can’t get more frugal than that!

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  59. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Cool article, bro. And even cooler comments.

    One excerpt from an AP story on that claim:

    The problem with that rosy claim is that the Wall Street bailout is part of the calculation. The bailout ballooned the 2009 budget just before Obama took office, making Obama’s 2010 results look smaller in comparison. And as almost $150 billion of the bailout was paid back during Obama’s watch, the analysis counted them as government spending cuts.

    And that’s just the beginning…

    Which is where Obama’s current budget apparently is, ‘cuz it certainly wasn’t delivered on time.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 14

  60. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “And yes, I know that it’s the federal government that’s suing, and California that’s being reported on. ”

    I guess this is why Jay Tea usually cribs his conspiracy theories from right wing websites. When he has to come up with one on his own, he dreams up what is possibly the dumbest conspiracy theory in history.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  61. superdestroyer says:

    @anjin-san:

    Considering that the government has not passed a budget in three years, what would have been the mechanism for the Obama Administration to grow government spending. What is amazing is that the left used to care when Bush II was only adding $500 billion a year to the national debt but now want to increase the annual budget to more than $1.5 trillion a year.

    The real question is what happens when the Democrats regain control of the House and get a veto proof majority in the Senate. Do you think that Obama or his successor will care about the growth of government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 5

  62. Socraticsilence says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Oh do Senate republicans plan on allowing democratic budget proposals to get an up or down vote now? Because you can’t claim that Democrats don’t try to pass a budget while at the same time lauding GOP obstructionism.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  63. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    The most important number from Obama’s current budget: 404.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  64. wr says:

    @superdestroyer: Yes, SuperDope, the question is… the question is… the question is…

    Do you have an answer to any of the questions you repeat in every damn post you write? Why don’t you spend some time coming up with a couple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  65. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos Idanian #13

    Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  66. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: So true. Especially since my last name isn’t Kennedy.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 9

  67. superdestroyer says:

    @Socraticsilence:

    I do not think it is the Republicans who are keeping Harry Reid from bring a buget to a vote. Why wouldn’t the Democrats bring a budget passed by the House Republicans to the floor for a vote or at least amendments.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  68. superdestroyer says:

    @wr:

    There is not long term solution. The quickest say to resolve policy in the U.S. would be to raise taxes until their is no budget deficit. Then people could either vote for politicians who will spend every dollar they get or politicians who vote for budget cuts and corresponding tax cuts.

    As long as both parties are willing to deficit spend, the politics is distorted because the voters are getting government at a huge discount and thus, want more government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  69. C. Clavin says:

    Paul Ryan and Rand Paul…kinda like Super dope and Jenos…only not as smart.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  70. anjin-san says:

    So true. Especially since my last name isn’t Kennedy.

    I would say that if you keep talking long enough, eventually you will say something clever. Sadly, your history shows this is not the case.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  71. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: You bring up a line from a 35-year-old movie, and you say I’m not clever? You really need to get some fresher material to plagiarize.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  72. anjin-san says:

    @ Jenos

    A classic is always a classic. Time may provide a context for it, but it is not limited or diminished by the passage of time. That’s why people all over the world are listening to Bethoven and watching Bogart movies as we speak.

    Apparently you don’t understand that, but I am inclined to agree that a classic line such as that is wasted on you. Keep flailing dude.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  73. anjin-san says:

    Little known Animal House factoid. Robert Cray was the bass player in Otis Day & the Knights.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  74. anjin-san says:

    Oh, and Jenos? I don’t really think you are fat.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  75. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @anjin-san: Am I as skinny as Obama’s current budget, or as bloated as his actual spending? Only my hairdresser knows for sure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  76. john personna says:

    Doug:

    It’s been suggested by some on Twitter this morning that Ryan’s budget is effectively the opening move of the GOP in upcoming budget negotiations, and I’m sure that’s what Ryan is thinking here. However, it strikes me that when you enter negotiations with an opening offer that clearly has no chance of ever becoming law and which is based on fantasy, then you’re giving the impression that you aren’t taking negotiations seriously. Republicans can come up with a better plan than this, and they ought to get to work on it.

    Wait, the Republicans offer a plan which is not serious, fails accounting, and only used for political gain? When did this start?

    Seriously, you are kind of late to that wide eye’d realization. The 2012 primary cycle was built almost purely on such things. 9-9-9, friend, 9-9-9.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  77. anjin-san says:

    Only my hairdresser

    Don’t you mean your ponytail tender?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  78. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    As far as California… as NRO notes, the “balanced budget” is based on revenue assumptions. And so far, Brown’s assumptions have been excessively optimistic. If those assumptions are as off as they have in the past, then they’ll swing from $1 billion surplus to $3.9 billion deficit.

    EVERY budget is based on revenue assumptions. Honestly, you’ve got to bring more to the table than that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  79. al-Ameda says:

    @superdestroyer:

    When a state is at the bottom, the only place to go is up. http://www.pewstates.org/projects/stateline/headlines/infographic-sp-state-credit-ratings-20012012-85899404785

    Yes, many of us did not pack up and move to low tax Sunbelt paradises like Mississippi, we toughed it out in the socialist hell hole that is Northern California.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  80. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: Yes, every budget is based on revenue assumptions. And as I said, Brown has been consistently overoptimistic in his current tenure.

    To coin a phrase, past performance may not be an indicator of future results, but if you’re going to bet on whether Governor Moonbeam is yet again overly optimistic or, for once, is accurate, I know where I’d put my money.

    You, on the other hand, probably would buy San Bernardino municipal bonds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  81. anjin-san says:

    the socialist hell hole that is Northern California

    I spent the day in the Marin labor camps yesterday (cool event about the Novato meteorite, kudos to the Novato Library, NASA, & SETI)

    70 degrees in March. No Snow in San Anselmo…

    Golly, I so wish I lived in a red state!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  82. john personna says:

    @anjin-san:

    72 and blue skies down here, take that NorCal!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  83. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Posts like this make me wish we had a better class of troll.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  84. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @john personna: You mean, people reminding you of inconvenient truths like how Obama hasn’t presented his current budget, that California’s budget is based on the predictions of a guy who’s been consistently wrong, and that Ryan’s budget is far more “serious” than the Democrats’ vaporware of the past few years?

    Yeah, Id’ see how you’d call that “trolling.” Beats having to accept reality.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 12

  85. john personna says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I really don’t get the game. You bite people’s ankles with weak redirections, and then you get people to scratch your ears?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  86. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    To coin a phrase, past performance may not be an indicator of future results, but if you’re going to bet on whether Governor Moonbeam is yet again overly optimistic or, for once, is accurate, I know where I’d put my money.

    You, on the other hand, probably would buy San Bernardino municipal bonds.

    “Governor Moonbeam”? Wow, your points of reference are really dated and stale, aren’t they?

    Actually, as you probably do not know, and not interested in knowing, Governor Brown has done a very good job steering California back to a balanced budget. Not that you know anything about California, but I would not purchase any municipal bond having to do with San Bernardino, Stockton or Vallejo these days.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  87. John Thacker says:

    If the standard is “would be voted against on a party line vote,” (or worse, by almost all of one party and most of another) then any budget that is based on fiscal and mathematical reality wold be “not serious,” “a joke,” and all the other terms applied in this post. For example, budgets including a middle class tax increase, significant reductions in entitlements, significant reductions in military spending, or anything else that would make a difference.

    I’m not sure that you want to hold to such a standard, since you’re essentially ruling out as “a joke” any budget that would actually reduce the deficit.

    The problem is that fiscal reality and political reality don’t match up. Though the politicians are faithfully representing the American people, who repeatedly in polls state that they want the deficit reduced significantly without doing anything that would significantly reduce the deficit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  88. John Thacker says:

    We’ve long reached a point where political reality means that any budget that is “serious” mathematically in its attempt to reduce the deficit is “not serious” when judged against its political chance of being enacted.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  89. john personna says:

    @John Thacker:

    If the standard is “would be voted against on a party line vote,” (or worse, by almost all of one party and most of another) then any budget that is based on fiscal and mathematical reality wold be “not serious,” “a joke,” and all the other terms applied in this post. For example, budgets including a middle class tax increase, significant reductions in entitlements, significant reductions in military spending, or anything else that would make a difference.

    Good comment, but I’d say asking for it all up front makes the perfect the enemy of the good.

    Any budget that moves closer to numeric reality, along the lines you name, is a good budget.

    A bad budget moves away along the same axes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  90. al-Ameda says:

    @anjin-san:

    I spent the day in the Marin labor camps yesterday (cool event about the Novato meteorite, kudos to the Novato Library, NASA, & SETI)
    70 degrees in March. No Snow in San Anselmo…
    Golly, I so wish I lived in a red state!

    My childhood in San Anselmo was miserable – not a day went by that I did not wish that I was in Mississippi, Alabama, or Oklahoma.

    @john personna:

    72 and blue skies down here, take that NorCal!

    John, are you in the area of the various Peoples’ Republics in L.A.? God awful places like Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades, Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Pasadena, La Canada-Flintridge, Altadena?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  91. john personna says:

    @al-Ameda:

    I’m somewhere in coatal OC, a Republican Bastion.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  92. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    that California’s budget is based on the predictions of a guy who’s been consistently wrong

    Actually, Brown has not been consistently wrong (that is unless you define wrong as not hitting the budget projection precisely), but that does not seem to be of any interest to you – desu ne?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  93. anjin-san says:

    San Anselmo was miserable

    Were you forced to eat cinnamon rolls from Le Bistro?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  94. Tyrell says:

    Here is a common sense plan for the budget: base next year’s appropriation on this year’s income. So if this year’s income is 5% less than last year’s, then the government agencies and departments get 5% less for next year. Simple and no discussion: adjust your departmental budget accordingly. Likewise, some years there will be more to spend. It works!! No yearly wrangles and politics!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  95. It’s effectively equivalent to a budget plan that assumes GDP growth rate between 5 and 6 percent for a sustained period of time.

    This is the key issue because is based on wishes and magic. The focus on Obamacare is a side-show issue at this point.

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  96. David M says:

    @Tyrell:

    And how would that work for unemployment insurance or Medicaid funding during a recession?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  97. wr says:

    @Tyrell: Or hey, why don’t we figure out what our needs as a nation are and budget accordingly setting tax and spending figure to match. I mean, as long as we’re talking about common sense…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  98. al-Ameda says:

    @john personna:

    I’m somewhere in coatal OC, a Republican Bastion.

    Yes, know the squalid misery that is the OC Coast – Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Irvine, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, Laguna Beach – all places that make Mississippi seem like Pacific Palisades.

    All these conservatives who profess to hate California, somehow many force themselves to live here – Mitt Romney is living in a favela near La Jolla village.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  99. anjin-san says:

    unemployment insurance or Medicaid funding

    These people are not job creators. They simply are not important in tea party America.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  100. ralphb says:

    Ryan’s budget is sillier than acknowledged. It also leaves out interest payments on the debt to achieve a “balance” in 10 years which is in fact about a $570 billion/year deficit.

    He’s not only not serious, he’s as big a liar as Romney in this case.

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  101. superdestroyer says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Northern California would be better off if it could separate itself from Southern California. The crediting rating would be better and the tax base would be better.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 7

  102. Ben Wolf says:

    @Tyrell: Economic and Monetary systems are vastly more complex than “commom sense” could ever account for. Pro-cyclical policies like you suggest are likely to make deficits larger, not smaller.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  103. Spartacus says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Northern California would be better off if it could separate itself from Southern California. The crediting rating would be better and the tax base would be better.

    Your unmerited criticisms of California were repeatedly mocked by several people and this is the best you can come up with.

    Please don’t take this as an insult because I really don’t mean it that way, but I’m very curious about the state you live in, what you do for a living and how functional you are when you’re not commenting on blogs. Despite how easily debunked so many of your comments are, I still have this feeling that you’re at least moderately functional. Is it possible to be such an unalloyed racist and a really poor thinker when blogging and still function normally in society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  104. Stan says:

    @Tyrell: “Here is a common sense plan for the budget: base next year’s appropriation on this year’s income.”

    Your plan would give us an automatic destabilizer by requiring the government to spend more if the economy is heating up and less if it’s going into recession. Pardon me sir, but this is crackpot realism, and it’s one of the reasons why no sensible person would vote Republican.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  105. Barry says:

    (my apologies for posting this without reading the comments, in case somebody has already posted this)

    It’s worse than ‘not serious’, Doug. Paul Ryan assumes that (a) Obamacare will be repealed, and (b) that the taxes will continue to be collected:

    http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/03/paul-ryan-hates-obamacare-loves-obamacares-taxes

    The man is a fraud, pure and simple.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0