Salon’s Absurd Analysis of A Romney/Ryan America

Salon’s Absurd Analysis of A Romney/Ryan America

As the ‘smear Ryan’ campaign is being set in motion, the looney birds at were out in full force today. Alex Sietz-Wald detailed what a dismal future a Romney/Ryan America would behold:

First, and perhaps most importantly, the budget would drastically change social safety net entitlement programs, shifting them away from the guaranteed benefit programs we know today to voucherized plans. The idea is to give people more flexibility on healthcare and retirement savings, but the effect could be far more severe.: For Medicare, Ryan’s plan phases out the single-payer system that currently exists and replaces it with a “premium support system,” which essentially provides seniors with subsidies to purchase their own health care. But the vouchers are indexed to the growth of the economy, plus a little bit, while the cost of medical care has historically grown at much faster rates, meaning that over time, the vouchers will fall increasingly short of meeting the medical cost needs of seniors. This will save the government money, but shift costs back to seniors and undermine the original goals of Medicare.

By goals, you mean enslaving citizenry under government dependency right? : I guess that explains why the Dependency Index has increased 23% over the past two years.

On Social Security, Ryan’s budget is vague, but he released a separate plan that called for a semi-privatized scheme. Ryan, like many Republicans, paints an overly bleak picture of the safety net program’s finances in order to justify massive cuts. But: Social Security is not going broke, so it starts from a false premise. Voters rejected a privatization scheme when George W. Bush pushed one because it: makes the system: far less stable, exposing retirement savings to the volatility of the markets, and can disproportionately help the wealthy.

Secondly, on taxes, Ryan’s budget would likely again disproportionately help the wealthy. : Like Romney’s tax plan, it doesn’t state this outright, but clearly has to have this effect. As Seth Hanlon,: a tax policy expert at the liberal Center for American Progress: explained, “It’s a matter of simple math. Any tax plan that purports to hold revenues steady while massively cutting taxes for the rich must make up the lost revenue by raising taxes on people who are not rich.” Ryan calls for cutting taxes on the wealthy and others, but doesn’t explain how to make up the difference.

Did you just cite a left-wing think tank on tax policy? : Lastly, Social Security is adding to the deficit. : According to’s non-partisan: analysis published in February of 2011: when:
The…Congressional Budget Office issued its: most recent projections: for Social Security’s income and outgo Jan. 26, along with its twice-yearly “Budget and Economic: Outlook.” What those numbers show is that: Social Security ran a $37 billion deficit last year, is projected to run a $45 billion deficit this year, and more red ink every year thereafter.

Source: CBO “Combined OASDI Trust Funds; January 2011 Baseline” 26 Jan 2011.
Note: See “Primary Surplus” line (which is negative, indicating a deficit)

Matters are even worse than this chart shows. In December, Congress passed a Social Security tax reduction. Workers are temporarily paying 2 percentage points less, from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent, in Social Security payroll taxes this calendar year. Since the government is making up the shortfall out of general revenues, CBO’s deficit projections for the trust funds do not include that. But CBO’s figures predict that the “payroll tax holiday” will cost the government’s general fund $85 billion in this fiscal year and $29 billion in fiscal year 2012 (which starts Oct.1, 2011.) Since every dollar of that will have to be borrowed, the combined effect of the ” tax holiday” and the annual deficits will amount to a $130 billion addition to the federal deficit in the current fiscal year, and $59 billion in fiscal 2012.

Social Security has passed a tipping point. For years it generated more revenue than it consumed, holding down the overall federal deficit and allowing Congress to spend more freely for other things. But those days are gone. Rather than lessening the federal deficit, Social Security has at last – as long predicted – become a drag on the government’s overall finances.

: So, I guess the assumption that Social Security is solvent would be incorrect right?

Obama Zombies!

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