Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Plan O From Outer Space

There's a revealing graphic on the front page of today's WSJ that compares the deficit reduction plans of President Obama and Representative Paul Ryan.

The article that accompanied it--Budget Talks Head to Brink--is well worth reading. One key nuggest from Ryan's plan that will be worth remembering when the Democrats efforts to terrorize seniors really gets going is this:

Beginning in 2022, Medicare would no longer exist as a government-run health-insurance program for those born starting in 1957. Instead, these retirees would choose from a menu of private insurance plans funded by the government, while older retirees would continue under the existing Medicare system.

Got it? If you're fifty-three (maybe fifty-four) and under, you won't have Medicare as it currently exists today. But for everyone older than that, there will be no change. Simple, right? Keep that in mind because the disinformation and scare mongering that youre going to see around this will be legendary.

No matter what you may think of Ryan's plan--which Democrats have reacted to as if Ryan has literally proposed throwing children and the elderly to the wolves--you have to admit it actually does live up to billing by signifcantly reducing the gap between spending outlays and revenue inlays (as a % of GDP) over the next ten years. It's also worth noting that Ryan's "extreme" plan to balance the budget on the backs of homeless elderly disabled veterans (and their grandchildren) does not entirely close that gap within the period shown. The fact that even if Ryan's immoral, slash and burn plan were implemented we STILL would be faced with a budget deficit shows you how serious a hole the country is in.

Meanwhile, President Obama's plan stretches the meaning of language to its breaking point. Yes, his plan does reduce the deficit compared to where we're at today. But, especially when compared to Ryan's plan, the gap between revenues and spending is still enormous (around 4% of GDP vs. 10% of GDP today). And in the second five years of his plan, this deficit gap actually increases. By 2021, the gap would be back to 5% of GDP. Given the dire fiscal straits we're in at the moment and gloomy future projections if significant steps aren't taken, how can anyone consider Obama's plan to be a serious deficit reduction proposal?

If I were a Republican contender for the 2012 presidential nomination (still time for an exploratory committee I suppose) I would latch on to Ryan's plan and employ this graphic extensively in the campaign. Put a blank check box next to each plan: which future do you want to choose? Whatever plan you prefer, the results are easy to understand and vastly different.