Posted by: Jeff | April 6, 2011

Unimpressed So Far

Catherine Rampall took a close look at the details in Paul Ryan’s budget proposal… and didn’t find many.

The report may be titled “The Path to Prosperity.” But — like so many other deficit-reduction proposals that originate with politicians — it has trouble detailing the intermediary steps from Point A to Point B on this path. (Similarly, Mr. Ryan’s economic projections on p. 4 inexplicably “bring the unemployment rate down to 4 percent in 2015″ without explaining the mechanism through which that miracle occurs.) And getting from Point A to Point B is the tough stuff, or at least the politically unpopular stuff. Americans may say they want a smaller government and less federal debt, but they always bristle at the specific spending cuts, and/or tax increases, needed to reach that desired fiscal destination.

As John Irons at the liberal Economic Policy Institute once put it, “Their cure for this cancer seems to be just, ‘less cancer.’”

We need to do better.

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