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The modesty of the Ryan budget plan

Posted by Richard on April 7, 2012

The President called the Republican budget plan put together by Rep. Paul Ryan “social Darwinism.” And he and his fellow Socialist Democrats have pulled out all the stops in denouncing it: children will starve, old people will die, our food will poison us, and the air and water will become toxic if these draconian budget cuts are enacted.

After a cursory look when it came out, I gave the Ryan plan two cheers. But after looking at the graphs and numbers Nick Gillespie put together (from Investor’s Business Daily and the Mercatus Center’s Veronique de Rugy), I’m taking back one of those cheers.

Under the Ryan plan, government spending grows slightly more slowly than under the Obama plan. I’m guessing that’s not entirely fair to Ryan — the Obama numbers are undoubtedly much more fudged than his, so the real difference is probably much greater than it appears.

Nevertheless, the Ryan plan is a pretty modest, timid, tentative start at addressing the impending fiscal catastrophe. That the Socialist Democrats are attacking it in such over-the-top fashion indicates either that they’re totally delusional and divorced from reality or that they’re cynically betting they can defeat the Republicans by scaring the bejeezus out of all the ignorant and stupid people.

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