Paul Krugman has had a look at the Paul Ryan plan to save America from bankruptcy.
Not surprisingly, he hates it.
He blasts the (ludicrous) logic that tax cuts will increase revenue. He ridicules the implied cuts in non-healthcare spending, which call for everything but Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security to fall from 12% of GDP last year to 3.5% eventually (3.5% is more than we spent on defence alone last year). He lambastes the 2.8% unemployment assumption. He also ridicules the idea that “vouchers” will enable seniors to buy private healthcare plans that will come close to providing the same sort of coverage that Medicare does.
In short, he dismisses the plan as silly and cruel.
We were similarly sceptical when we looked at the plan’s details. We do think Ryan deserves credit that Krugman isn’t giving him, however: At least Ryan acknowledged the problem and put a plan on the table.
We’re still waiting for the Democrats to do that.
Many commentators swooned earlier this week after House Republicans, led by the Budget Committee chairman, Paul Ryan, unveiled their budget proposals. They lavished praise on Mr. Ryan, asserting that his plan set a new standard of fiscal seriousness.
Well, they should have waited until people who know how to read budget numbers had a chance to study the proposal. For the G.O.P. plan turns out not to be serious at all. Instead, it’s simultaneously ridiculous and heartless.