Paul Ryan’s “Radical Plan” Isn’t So Radical

Although Mitt Romney has given the thumbs up to Paul Ryan’s Plan, he has also made it clear he has his own plan that’s not identical. Even so, there has quite naturally been a lot of talk about the Ryan Plan. It has been called “radical,” “extreme,” “scary,” yada, yada, yada.

Thing is, Ryan’s Plan isn’t radical at all. In fact, if it were implemented as written tomorrow, it might not be enough to save our country from a debt-driven crisis down the road. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad plan. To the contrary, it MIGHT be enough to get the job done and even if it’s not, it’s probably the biggest politically palatable step in the right direction that anyone could come up with. Ryan also deserves a lot of credit for actually attempting to come up with a plan to deal with our problems when the Democrats are so hamstrung that they can’t even handle putting together a budget.

In other words, Ryan is being called “radical” mainly because he’s actually trying to come up with a realistic plan to govern, which is something the Democrats refuse to do. Here’s more from: Investor’s Business Daily: on what Ryan actually wants to do.

But Ryan’s budget plan is far from radical.

His proposed spending and revenue levels are above historic averages. His Medicare reform has strong bipartisan support. His tax reform plan is similar to one proposed by Obama’s own bipartisan debt reduction commission.

Ryan’s budget, which passed the House last March, would set the federal government on course to spend an average of 20% of GDP over the next decade. That’s slightly higher than the post-World War II average of 19.8%.

His tax plan would produce revenues averaging 18.3% of GDP. That, too, is somewhat higher than the 17.7% post-war average. What’s more, Ryan’s plan would set tax and spending rates higher than every Democratic president before Obama.

By this measure, what’s radical is Obama’s tax and spending plans.

….Democrats have also zeroed in on Ryan’s Medicare reform plan, endlessly claiming that it will “end Medicare as we know it.”

But under his plan, Medicare spending in the near term would track levels set by Obama. Unlike Obama, however, Ryan wouldn’t use any of those near-term savings to finance ObamaCare, but would direct all that to extending the Medicare Trust Fund.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigns on Monday at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The Romney campaign is hoping Ryan will… View Enlarged Image

And starting in 2023, Ryan would offer retirees – who are today 55 or younger – the ability to choose from a range of private insurance options, as well as traditional Medicare, with the government providing a fixed level of premium support.

The thinking is that this will unleash competitive insurance market forces, keeping costs down, while providing greater control over federal spending. But Ryan’s plan would let Medicare spending continue to climb over the long term, just not as fast as projected under current law.

Despite efforts by Democrats to cast it as a Medicare killer, Ryan’s Medicare reform actually has a strong bipartisan pedigree, attracting the support of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., as well as former Democratic Sen. John Breaux, who developed a similar “premium support” reform as part of President Clinton’s bi-partisan Medicare commission.

His plan has also gained support from former Clinton administration budget director Alice Rivlin, who told the Huffington Post earlier this year that Democrats who say premium support will end Medicare “are lying, not to put too fine a point on it.”

Do you know how long it would take for Ryan’s Plan to balance the budget? 28 years. If balancing the budget in a little less than 3 decades is now viewed as “crazy talk,” then it’s hard to imagine how our republic is going to survive long term.

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