Posted by: Jeff | April 6, 2011

Reading Between the Lines

Something is fishy with the numbers in Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget proposal that is receiving such critical acclaim among Beltway pundits and conservative thinktanks, and Paul Krugman has sniffed it out:

Ryan is proposing huge (and largely unspecified) spending cuts; but he’s also proposing very large tax cuts, mainly, of course, for those with high incomes. And as you can see, a large part — roughly half — of the spending cuts are going, not to deficit reduction, but to finance those tax cuts.

Actually, it’s even worse, since the revenue figure in the Ryan plan is simply assumed, and is clearly too high given what he’s actually proposing on taxes; so either the fall in revenue will be even larger than shown here, or there will be unspecified tax hikes on the middle class.

Deficit reduction… or using the fiscal crisis as pretext to eliminate social programs?

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