We are at a crossroads in this country when it comes to fiscal responsibility. Both parties have different ideas about what this means, but at this point in time, Paul Ryan is the only man who has a plan that would get this country on a path to balancing our budget. Is this something that is supported by most Americans? I would hope so, but I can't say with certainty. With the sequestration and other financial disasters we are facing, it's time Americans accept the fact we need a budget and we need it right now.
Paul Ryan's budget would balance the books in approximately ten years. So, by 2023 the government could be collecting as much revenue as it spends. What a revolutionary concept. Seeing as how the country is nearly $17 trillion in debt, it's time to consider adopting an actual budget.
However, the issue that will draw ire is the proposed 4.3 trillion dollars in cuts, which includes eliminating Obamacare and revamping Medicare. This could be a major hurdle for Ryan and House Republicans. In all likelihood President Obama and the Senate will dismiss the proposed budget.
But from purely a positional standpoint, it is plan. Obama himself has no budget. His 2014 budget is a blank page. Ryan said, "For the third straight year, we've delivered." The GOP has approved a budget every year since taking control of the House in 2010. In contrast to Ryan's budget, Senate Democrats have called for raising $1 trillion in revenues and cutting $1 trillion in spending. How? They're not offering specifics.
Ryan's budget also creates two tax brackets, one at 10% and another at 25 percent. Spending will be increased by 3.4%, which will be met with an economy that grows at a rate faster than the spending increases.
This country needs a budget that works. The only solution to the budget crisis Democrats have is increasing taxes. This will never allow businesses to grow and our economy to flourish. There are two more potential problems: the House budget is non-binding and the proposal hits at Medicare. The Medicare overhaul would not begin until 2024, when seniors would then be given a federal subsidy to purchase health care from the private market.
Ryan opposed $716 billion in Medicare cuts when running as a vice presidential candidate, and this could come back to haunt him. In the final analysis, I highly doubt Senate Democrats will give the budget the time of day. But they should. If they value this country and fiscal responsibility they should take it seriously.
Ryan himself said about the Medicare proposal, "The other side will demagogue the issue. But remember: Anyone who attacks our proposal without providing a credible alternative is complicit in the program's demise."
This is precisely the point, there is no credible alternative. This is it. Right now, this country needs someone like Ryan, who can reign in our spending and get us on the road to a balanced budget.