Saturday, September 3, 2011

Why Rep Ryan’s plan doesn’t go far enough

Tara Pihn

OK.  Let’s recap.   There has been a lot of talk about unfunded liabilities and monstrous debt accumulation by the US government.    We’ve  known this was coming (for at least the last thirty years) but there has been little political appetite by either party to face the music.   The Great Recession (and the easy money policy response) exacerbated the problem and our leaders decided to finally address it.   The Bi-Partisan Debt Commission recommends over $4 trillion in budget cuts (over ten years) with heavy hits to entitlements.  But these recommendation are not adopted.  Nothing happens.  The ‘Pubs engage in a bit of brinkmanship and refuse to raise the debt ceiling.  Meanwhile the Ryan Plan recommends an austerity plan ($6.2 trillion in budget cuts over ten years)  that includes re-shaping Medicare.  He is careful to exclude citizens over 55 (he states in the WSJ on April 5 “But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.”).  The Dems deride Ryan’s Plan and staunchly stand up for all citizens and the Medicare benefits to which they are entitled.  Rep Ryan’s Path to Prosperity is promptly tabled since Progressive and even moderate Republicans won’t support it.   At the 11th hour, the debt ceiling deal goes through with massive budget compromise.  Only $2.4 trillion is cut, some of it fake.  Nobody is impressed.  Including S & P.  Downgrade in US credit rating results.  Then we have a global financial market meltdown.

It is allegedly extreme but in reality Rep Ryan’s plan doesn’t go far enough.  We have to cap Medicare benefits now, for everybody.  For those over 55.  For those over 60.  Hell, for those over 70.   To quote the Prez, “we all need some skin in the game”.  Now, before relegating me to the lunatic fringe, click on this link: US BIRTHS 1947-1964.  As you can see the Demographic Bulge is happening right now.  It’s peaking right now.  The people enjoying benefits and about to benefit are hitting their maximum numbers over the next decade.  That’s why it is Mission Critical to reform Medicare immediately with no Sacred Cows.

See related article from the New York Times:  Federal Budget (2011 and 2012) — Obama and Ryan Budget Plans

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