The plan works to accomplish four main goals: 1) fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; 2) control our nation's debts; 3) put the economy on a path of growth and leadership in the global economy; and 4) preserve the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off. Under the president's plan, spending will top $4 trillion this year alone, and consume 28.5% of our nation's economy ... Instead of doubling the debt in five years, and tripling it in 10, the Republican budget curbs the explosion in spending called for by the president and his party. Our plan halts the borrow-and-spend philosophy that brought about today's economic problems.
Ryan provides a chart that claims that the spending to GDP ratio will exceed 40% in 50 years under “Democratic Budgets” while this ratio will fall below 20% under the “Republican Alternative”. Steve response to this op-ed included:
In reality, the "borrow-and-spend philosophy" did not create the crisis, so Ryan's prescription is automatically based on a misdiagnosis. But even if we put that aside, the alternative budget reflects a political party that embraced a breathtakingly radical worldview. In a nutshell, Ryan proposes a massive tax cut, totaling, by some estimates, around $4 trillion -- on top of the Bush/Cheney cuts, which would remain place. The Republicans plan would voucherize Medicare, and, best of all, impose a five-year spending freeze on non-defense discretionary spending
In my view, Steve is getting Congressman Ryan and the Republicans too much credit. I say this for a couple of reasons. This so-called borrow-and-spend philosophy was the actual fiscal stance of President Reagan and Bush43. Both of these Administrations promised us permanent tax cuts by claiming that they would reduce the ratio of Federal spending to GDP. Under Reagan, this ratio did not fall. Under Bush43, it rose.
We can also take a look at an analysis from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities entitled Obama Budget Reduces Deficit by $900 Billion Compared to Current Budget Policies:
Contrary to some claims, President Obama’s 2010 budget would reduce federal deficits by about $900 billion over the next ten years compared to current budget policies. The $900 billion is the difference between deficits over the next decade under the President’s budget, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and projected deficits under a realistic assessment of current budget policies … Some critics charge that Obama’s budget is fiscally irresponsible, and they cite CBO’s estimate that, under it, deficits would total $9.3 trillion over the next decade. They fail to note, however, that these future deficits result from the existing budget policies that Obama inherited — not those that he is proposing … Budget experts have been saying for a number of years that the official baseline departs sharply from reality.
While CBPP rightfully complains about how the official baseline departs from reality, I suspect it is closer to reality that the numbers that Congressman Ryan is using to draw his graphs. But I guess we’ll need to wait until the GOP actually bother to provide us with some actual numbers for their “budget”.