Photo: Fox News
The centre on Budget And Policy Priorities has published its analysis of the Paul Ryan budget plan, which came out today.The statement from author Robert Greenstein goes through the various tax cuts and spending cuts that characterise the plan.
But what’s most devastating is the overall assessment at the end.
A Display of Courage?
Chairman Ryan has at times received praise for having the courage to propose these policies. In reality, this budget reflects more of a lack of courage than an abundance of it.
Is it courageous to propose tax cuts but not identify a single tax expenditure to rein in? Is it courageous to target your deepest cuts on the poorest Americans, who vote in lower numbers and provide little in campaign contributions? Is it courageous to camouflage hundreds of billions in cuts for the poor and disadvantaged in broad budget categories without identifying the programmatic cuts, so that analysts, journalists, and other policymakers can’t identify the specific cuts and assess their impacts?
What stands out, above all else, is Chairman Ryan’s unwillingness to propose anything that would upset his party’s base of supporters or, in particular, its ideological opposition to any revenue increases.
Paul Ryan is a smart and engaging individual. But, make no mistake: his budget is extreme. And, in its reverse Robin Hood policies, it’s ideological rigidity, and it’s calculated vagueness, it sadly reflects some of the worst features of American politics at this crucial time.
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