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The most serious charge against Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget is not the risible claim, made most prominently by President Obama in his George Washington University address, that it would “sacrifice the America we believe in.” The serious charge is that the Ryan plan fails by its own standards: Because it only cuts spending without raising taxes, it accumulates trillions in debt and doesn’t balance the budget until the 2030s. If the debt is such a national emergency, the critics say, Ryan never really gets you there from here.

But they miss the point. You can’t get there from here without Ryan’s plan. It’s the essential element. Of course Ryan is not going to propose tax increases. You don’t need Republicans for that. That’s what Democrats do. The president’s speech was a prose poem to higher taxes — with every allusion to spending cuts guarded by a phalanx of impenetrable caveats.

Ryan reduces federal spending by $6 trillion over 10 years — from the current 24 percent of gross domestic product to the historical post-World War II average of about 20 percent.

Now, the historical average for revenue over the past 40 years is between 18 percent and 19 percent of GDP. As we return to that level with the economic recovery (we’re now at about 15 percent), Ryan would still leave us with an annual deficit in 2021 of 1.6 percent of GDP.

The critics are right to focus on that gap. But it is bridgeable. And the mechanism for doing so is in plain sight: tax reform.

Real tax reform strips out exclusions, deductions, credits and the innumerable loopholes that have accumulated since the last tax reform of 1986. The Simpson-Bowles commission, for example, identifies $1.1 trillion of such revenue-robbers. In one scenario, it strips them all out and thus is able to lower rates for everyone to three brackets of 8 percent, 14 percent and 23 percent.

The commission does recommend that, on average, about $100 billion annually of that $1.1 trillion be kept by the Treasury (rather than going back to the taxpayer) to reduce the deficit. This is a slight deviation from revenue neutrality, but it still yields a major cut for the top rate from the current 35 percent to 23 percent. The overall result is so reasonable and multiply beneficial that it rightly gained the concurrence of even the impeccably conservative (commission member) Sen. Tom Coburn.

That’s the beauty of tax reform: It is both transparent and flexible. That flexibility and transparency can be applied to the Ryan plan. If you need a bit more deficit reduction to bridge the 1.6 percent GDP gap that remains after 10 years, you can get there by slightly raising the final rates.

Ryan’s tax reform envisions a top rate of 25 percent. There’s nothing sacred about that number. In principle, you could raise all the rates slightly with the top rate going to, say, 28 percent — the top rate that came out of Ronald Reagan’s 1986 tax reform. You’re still much lower than the current 35 percent. And yet that final boost could bring you closer to a fully balanced federal budget at roughly 20 percent of GDP.

Nor would any great conservative principle be violated. The historical average of revenue — 18 percent to 19 percent of GDP — could be raised one point or so on the perfectly reasonable grounds that we are a slightly older society, and that we wish to avail ourselves of the extraordinary but expensive medical technology that can increase both the quality and length of life.

This one concession would yield a fully balanced budget more quickly than Ryan’s plan and would reduce the debt/GDP ratio even more steeply (because GDP would be growing, while debt would not). The effect on America’s financial standing in the world would be dramatic: Restored confidence in U.S. fiscal health would reduce interest rates, which would lower the overall debt burden, which could allow lower taxes, which could stimulate yet more economic growth. A virtuous circle.

That’s the finish line. But it starts with spending cuts. Serious cuts, as Ryan suggests — not the smoke and mirrors the Obama speech shamelessly presented as a plan.

Given the Democrats’ instinctive resort to granny-in-the-snow demagoguery, the Republicans are right not to budge on taxes until serious spending cuts are in place. At which point, the grand compromise awaits. And grand it would be. Saving the welfare state from insolvency is no small achievement.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-grand-compromise/2011/04/14/AFrSmKfD_story.html?hpid=z3
 

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So, of his $6.2 trillion in cuts, only $78 billion is defense cuts? :laughing:

Charlie Kraut must be feeling a tingle up his leg this week..

Rand Paul: ‘Pentagon thinks it’s too big to audit’; no serious budget cuts proposed in Washington

“We threatened to shut down Washington over nothing, because we’re not cutting spending in any serious way…” that was just one part of Senator Rand Paul’s fiery floor speech blasting both sides of the isle for failing to make a sober effort to operate from a balanced budget.

Paul lashed out at those who’ve bashed the Tea Party over spending issues, claiming that its aims are only ‘good government.’ “You know it’s amazing to me to be lectured to, and hear about how awful the Tea Party is, what the Tea Party represents, from folks who’ve never been to a Tea Party. You know, come on down to a Tea Party, bring your Huey Long rhetoric- a chicken in every pot, a windmill in every… backyard. Bring it on down to the Tea Party; let’s have a discussion. Let’s bring it to the American public. The Tea Party’s been lectured about spending; who among you has voted against an appropriations bill? We haven’t even seen an appropriations bill in this body in over a year; we haven’t seen a budget. We’re spending $2 trillion dollars a year we don’t have, and they’re hear blaming it on the Tea Party. Who’s in charge here? It’s not the Tea Party…”

The Junior Senator also commented that the Pentagon ‘thinks they’re too big to audit,’ referencing the bailout rhetoric about banks ‘too big to fail.’ Federal Reserve records showed, Paul indicated, that the U.S. had been funding Gaddafi only months before it started bombing Libya.

http://www.infowars.com/rand-paul-p...o-serious-budget-cuts-proposed-in-washington/
 

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I understand that you want drastic and major defense cuts, but that cannot happen overnight, and deffinately cannot happen during a time of war. There will still be a need for the current levels of defense spending after iraq and afghanistan are over- the military will need to be reset. This entails the repair/replacement of equipment, ect. If we just shut off funding with no regards to resetting the force, we will leave the military in a very dangerous position- it will not be in any condition to fight and win in the future.

I know that the defense budget is such an easy target, but i am willing to bet 99% of the public has no real clue about the budget or its contents. and 99.9% have no clue how to make cuts to the defense budget or on what timetable. It is easy to say just cut it by 50%, but at what cost? What would it do to the ability of the military to function? most people do not think of the second and third order of effects, they just lash out irrationally based off pure emotion.

can the defense budget be cut? of course. can it be done with minimal impact to mission readiness? yes, but you have to do it smart, not just with cuts on everything. You have to break the budget down, look at how and where the money is spent, and look at how it can be done more efficeintly and such....
 

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I understand that you want drastic and major defense cuts, but that cannot happen overnight, and deffinately cannot happen during a time of war. There will still be a need for the current levels of defense spending after iraq and afghanistan are over- the military will need to be reset. This entails the repair/replacement of equipment, ect. If we just shut off funding with no regards to resetting the force, we will leave the military in a very dangerous position- it will not be in any condition to fight and win in the future.
How fuggin much longer you willing to go on these boat-anchor excursions? And hell, we are staring #3 in the face as I type this. The **** has to stop, cold turkey, 50% across the board should bring them back to "defense" instead of OFFENSE. The closest thing we have as a competitor in the world is China, and they spend about 80% than we do.

Hell, the only thing we have needed to defend in the last 20 years was our southern border, where spending is slightly below what the coffee-girl at the CIA makes.
 

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Bring them home to what, dude ? 12% unemployment ? Really ?
 

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50% across the board should bring them back to "defense" instead of OFFENSE.
again, I ask you if you have any experience or knowledge of the DoD budget, how the military operates, ect. You make these claims, but yet offer nothing but blind numbers.

your 50% across the board, does that apply to all areas of defense spending?
- you want to cut our pay by 50%- a majority of the military lives below the poverty level
- you want to cut our benefits by 50%- given the high risk and high possibility of injury, what justification can you give to have us pay for these injuries
- you want to cut procurement by 50%- should we just buy our own gear, equipment, ammo, repair parts while we are at it? with our 50% cut in pay?
- you want to cut R&D by 50%- do you have any idea the number of things that are major necessities of our life that were created thru military R&D?
- you want to cut our retirement benefits by 50%- so, that retired E-7 with 22 years in should now make $16,000 a year instead of $32,000?
- you want to cut disibility payments by 50%- yea sure this money isnt deserved or anything /sarcasm

again, you have no real clue about what is in the DoD budget, no clue at all. You throw numbers around because they sound good, not because they have meaning.

The DoD budget is filled with waste, but you have to focus on eliminating the waste and reforming the system that created that waste. Since I have a clue, and know what I am talking about. I will give examples, instead of numbers that sound good. Give me a lil time to dig them out- this will give you time to justify a complete 50% cut across the board
 

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As you can see, Defense spending HAS been decreasing as a %of GDP for quite some time. Yes it did increase due to funding for 2 wars, but you have to expect that. Defense spending has also been decreasing as a % of the federal budget for years as well.


Here you have the number of people employed by the DoD by type. Notice the amount of military compared to the amount of civilian.


Now, let’s compare the cost of those civilian employees to the cost of military employees. Also keep in mind a high% of these civilian employees are also drawing military retirement pay


I am focusing on just 1 area of the budget, because I really do not feel like spending days breaking it down as to how I would cut the budget overall. There are very large amounts of civilian employees doing the same job as military members, side by side, but at a much higher cost. For example, a civilian mechanic will make on average $75,000, while their military counterpart is making $36,000. Civilian instructors at military schools (AIT for example), make around $70,000 while their military counterpart is making about $48,000. There are DoD civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan making $85,000 to do nothing but wipe tables and sweep floors in dining facilities. My last deployment, I did not see a single soldier who was a cook, actually working in a dining facility- all civilian. Stateside, it is very similar- about 50/50.This is just one area where a LOT of money could be cut from the Defense Budget and should be. The elimination of DoD civilians doing the same job as their military counterpart would save massive amounts of money alone- not to mention eliminating these positions will also eliminate retirement benefits, healthcare benefits and such for these civilians as well- a majority of which are drawing military retirement pay.
 

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again, I ask you if you have any experience or knowledge of the DoD budget, how the military operates, ect. You make these claims, but yet offer nothing but blind numbers.

your 50% across the board, does that apply to all areas of defense spending?
- you want to cut our pay by 50%- a majority of the military lives below the poverty level
- you want to cut our benefits by 50%- given the high risk and high possibility of injury, what justification can you give to have us pay for these injuries
- you want to cut procurement by 50%- should we just buy our own gear, equipment, ammo, repair parts while we are at it? with our 50% cut in pay?
- you want to cut R&D by 50%- do you have any idea the number of things that are major necessities of our life that were created thru military R&D?
- you want to cut our retirement benefits by 50%- so, that retired E-7 with 22 years in should now make $16,000 a year instead of $32,000?
- you want to cut disibility payments by 50%- yea sure this money isnt deserved or anything /sarcasm

again, you have no real clue about what is in the DoD budget, no clue at all. You throw numbers around because they sound good, not because they have meaning.

The DoD budget is filled with waste, but you have to focus on eliminating the waste and reforming the system that created that waste. Since I have a clue, and know what I am talking about. I will give examples, instead of numbers that sound good. Give me a lil time to dig them out- this will give you time to justify a complete 50% cut across the board
Well, if there is 50% less people, 50% less need, 50% less war, 50% less wealth transferred. The defense budget has been growing out of hand for years now, the pump is dry, we can't afford a trillion a year for defense when we don't even have a viable enemy, outside of China, and they spend 80% less than we do.
 

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you obviously did not even read or look at anything i posted did you....
 
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