Paul Ryan Wants A Deal
To that end, the former GOP vice presidential nominee penned a column in The Wall Street Journal entitled ”Here’s How We Can End This Stalemate.”
His big idea? ”Common-sense reforms of the country’s entitlement programs and tax code.”
Okay … we’ve heard that before.
To achieve these elusive reforms, he’s even willing to do away with the modest cuts adopted in the 2011 debt deal – which authorized $2.4 trillion in new debt over a seventeen month period in exchange for the promise of $2.1 trillion in cuts over the coming decade.
“Most of us agree that gradual, structural reforms are better than sudden, arbitrary cuts,” Ryan writes. “For my Democratic colleagues, the discretionary spending levels in the (2011 debt deal) are a major concern. And the truth is, there’s a better way to cut spending. We could provide relief from the discretionary spending levels in the (debt deal)in exchange for structural reforms to entitlement programs.”
Ah … “structural reforms to entitlement programs.”
Does Ryan actually propose any such structural reforms? Sort of … he generically advocates for raising revenues (ahem, tax hikes), reducing spending, amending Medicaid premiums and require federal workers to contribute more to their pension.
All stuff that’s been attempted previously … with no success.
Real solutions? More like recycled half-measures.
Finally, Ryan’s compromise would “table” the discussion of Obamacare – the massive entitlement expansion whose implementation precipitated this whole debate.
We know Barack Obama doesn’t want to negotiate with Congressional “Republicans” on either the debt debate or the “shutdown” – but Ryan’s proposal isn’t a negotiation, it’s a surrender.
“We need to open the federal government,” Ryan says. “We need to pay our bills today—and make sure we can pay our bills tomorrow. So let’s negotiate an agreement to make modest reforms to entitlement programs and the tax code.”
Right … because a $17 trillion debt that’s about to explode even further can surely be fixed by “modest” reforms. And recycled ones at that.