Club For Growth Statement Re: the Paul Ryan Budget; It's Still Big Government from Cato

By the Left Coast Rebel

Paul Ryan
Gage Skidmore
Rep. Paul Ryan recently released a budget. Granted the far-left went apoplectic; kook-hacks like Ezra Klein and the Yoda of the Left -- aka Paul Krugman -- howled at the moon in collective horror when it was released.

"Balancing the budget on the backs of the POOR!!!" they screamed in predictable fashion.

So, seeing this, I wanted to like Paul Ryan's recently-released budget.

But I know better...



If you are an independent conservative that doesn't trust the beltway antics of both parties and the establishment press, you might want to check out Club For Growth any time you need answers on economic legislation. That's what I did regarding Paul Ryan's budget.

The Club issued a statement on Ryan's budget today. Brace yourself: it's not good:
“Despite containing several important reforms and pro-growth policies, the Ryan Budget falls short in two critical respects. First, it does not balance for decades. Secondly, it violates the Budget Control Act by waiving the sequester,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “By waiving the automatic spending cuts required under the Budget Control Act, this budget is asking Americans to trust future Congresses to do the hard work later. It is hard to have confidence that our long-term fiscal challenges will be met responsibly when the same Congress that passed the Budget Control Act wants to ignore it less than one year later. On balance, the Ryan Budget is a disappointment for fiscal conservatives.”

Interesting... the Paul Ryan budget doesn't go far enough and extends deficits almost as far as King Obama's budgets? How can this be? That's certainly not what the talking heads on Fox News have been saying?

Via Memeorandum

Updated: More from Tad DeHaven at Cato's Downsizing Big Government:


Chris Edwards provided an ample overview of Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal, so I won’t rehash the numbers. Instead, I’ll just add a few comments.
Democrats and the left will squeal that Paul Ryan’s budget proposal is a massive threat to the poor, the sick, the elderly, etc, etc. It’s baloney, but a part of me thinks that he might deserve it. Why? Because the excessive rhetoric employed by the left to criticize lower spending levels for domestic welfare programs isn’t much different than the excessive rhetoric Ryan uses to argue against sequestration-induced reductions in military spending. For instance, Ryan speaks of the “devastation to America’s national security” that sequestration would allegedly cause. (See Christopher Preble’s The Pentagon Budget: Myth vs. Reality).
Now I’m sure that I’ll receive emails admonishing me for failing to recognize that the Constitution explicitly gives the federal government the responsibility to defend the nation while the constitutionality of domestic welfare programs isn’t quite so clear. Okay, but what are Ryan’s views on the constitutionality of domestic welfare programs?
At the outset of Ryan’s introduction to his plan, he quotes James Madison and says that the Founders designed a “Constitution of enumerated powers, giving the federal government broad authority over only those matters that must have a single national response, while sharply restricting its authority to intrude on those spheres of activity better left to the states and the people.” That’s nice, but then he proceeds to make statements like this:
But when government mismanagement and political cowardice turn this element of the social contract into an empty promise, seniors are threatened with denied access to care and the next generation is threatened with a debt that destroys its hard earned prosperity. Both consequences would violate President Lyndon B. Johnson’s pledge upon signing the Medicare law: ‘No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine…No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts.’ To fulfill Johnson’s pledge in the 21stcentury, America’s generations-old health and retirement security programs must be saved and strengthened.
Social contract? Well, so much for those enumerated limits on federal power.
Ryan’s “Statement of Constitutional and Legal Authority” only cites Congress’s general power to tax and spend. Based on the contents of his proposal, which would do little to rein in the federal government’s scope, one could conclude that Ryan’s view of federal power is almost as expansive as that of his Democratic colleagues. Yes, Ryan would reduce the size of government by reducing federal spending as a percentage of GDP. But as I often point out, promises to reduce spending in the future don’t mean a lot when you have a federal government that has the ability to spend money on pretty much any activity that it wants. And under Ryan’s plan, the federal government would be able to continue spending money on pretty much any activity that it wants.

So let's see... with Paul Ryan's budget we get lower domestic spending (good) but ratcheted Military-Industrial Complex spending (aka Republican welfare for Pentagon/defense fat cats and the budget-busting war industry) and end up at nearly the same place down the road. What the Dems want isn't all that much different than Ryan's plan; it's just the flip side of the same coin: Increased domestic spending as far as the eye can see with decreased military spending.

The saddest thing about what DeHaven says here is that I consider Paul Ryan one of the only mainstream congressional GOPers -- or Republicans in general -- that has Big Ideas.

What does it say that the Republican party's wonk wunderkind falls this short?

7 comments:

  1. Wouldn't the leftists crap their panties if they knew that many of us True Conservatives do not watch or endorse FOX News? I mean, they are so in the tank for Romney, their knee-pads are wearing out.

    I like Paul Ryan, but this article has opened my eyes. Thanks for posting it, LCR.

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    1. Both parties are pulling the proverbial wool over a willing public's collective eyes. Conservative, Liberal, neither has much meaning any longer. One in the same really. Just different plans of statist attack.

      Time for radical thinking, explode the box of hide bound restrictive thinking. Republicans, aka present day conservatives present the greatest danger to individualism, liberty, and American ideals since the McCarthy era.

      Don't believe me? Consult Ayn Rand or Piekoff. Their analysis of this subject is really quite correct.

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  2. Paul Ryan is not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. Unlike the left, he is not pulling a trick. His "sin" in the eyes of some is being too timid.

    He is threading a needle. Look at the crying and gnashing of teeth this timid plan has spawned. Imagine if he really laid out what we need to do! I think Ryan made the calculation that this is as far as the plan can go and still be politically feasible and palatable to a majority of voters.

    Plus, if we all believe in standard economics as espoused by people like Milton Friedman, Ryan's plan will create a virtuous cycle that realizes even more savings that cannot be captured in static budget projections.

    Let's not allow the perfect to become the enemy of Ryan's good.

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    1. Oh man, I could talk with you for hours on this topic. The short and sweet of it is that Ryan's plan falls desperately short and doesn't include the MIC. Just because the left hates it doesn't mean it's good. You and I should create a post series on this topic?

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    2. Also, (not trying to be combative here, but) do you think that John Boehner's 2010-now performance in the House is threading the needle, so to speak? In my world he has handed everything on a silver platter, betrayed his mandate, abdicated the purse-strings role of Congress...

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  3. "Anyone but Obama!"

    "We'll take what we can get!"

    Both of these expressions reek of abdication of self-respect.

    Paul Ryan works for us. President Obama works for us. Congress works for us. I refuse to accept scraps from their tables and their weak-minded half-assed plans of fiscal salvation on the premise that "It's better than nothing!"

    They are our elected officials. Period. If they don't do a better job, fire their sorry asses and send them home.

    The Executive Branch is a joke. The Judicial Branch is under the table performing fellatio on the EB. The Legislative Branch is laughing all the way to their personal ATM's, oh, which are us.

    Enough. Enough, enough, enough.

    Compromise all day long, and pray that crocodile eats you last, but you're living a pipe-dream if you think it is acceptable as Americans to settle for less than the best our elected officials can give us.

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    1. I see only one flaw. You be the judge whether it is a minor or major one.

      The President, our representatives, and our senators are elected by "us" as you say. I'm assuming by us you mean "all of us."

      I'm taking a stretch here I know but liberals, progressives, and moderates comprise "us" as well as conservatives, libertarians, and greens, at least in the macrocosm of U.S. society.

      So, whichever philosophical, political, and social ideology that has the most support (sway) will ultimately win the issue.

      I'd say Silver makes valid points. It seems to me the founders understood precisely what this discussion is really about.

      It is important to "win" the popular support of the MAJORITY of the people if we expect our agenda to prevail. And we MUST do so while not trampling on the rights of those who do not agree.

      I'd say we have our work cut out for us. Hint: The Frothy's, nor the Newties and the rest of the socons are the answer either. Lets get back to the Constitution...

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