Thursday, August 9, 2012

Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal 3 Times Worse Than Automatic Cuts He Called Crippling

Remember the Simpson-Bowles Debt Commission? It was a special congressional panel established by President Obama as part of a debt ceiling deal with Congress to write a bi-partisan policy on fiscal responsibility and debt reform. It consisted of 18 members including six congressional republicans and six democrats.

We already know there's been plenty of criticism from both sides of the aisle about the commission's final report and we also know all six republicans chosen for the panel were Norquist pledge signers. The "Norquisters" guaranteed the commission would fail because it needed a super majority - 14 votes - to pass, and there was no way those six republicans would allow any balanced debt solutions to include revenue increases. Among the Norquister six on the debt commission was our own failed Congressman Paul Ryan.

More importantly, now that the debt commission failed, was the default mechanism called a sequester Congress agreed to with the President as part of the debt ceiling deal. The sequester was meant to be a fail safe policy of across-the-board automatic cuts that panel members were supposed to fear enough, that they would be forced to reach some sort of a bi-partisan balanced solution to cut and control future deficits. Paul Ryan knew of all this well in advance.

Failing to reach the minimum 14 votes needed to pass - the sequester kicked in. Again, Congress agreed to this. But a few months ago, Ryan issued a complaint of sorts, claiming that the automatic cuts that he allowed to kick in, would have a crippling effect on our military. He wrote ...

Paul Ryan House Excerpt:
...we established a Joint Select Committee in Congress tasked with producing at least $1.2 trillion in additional deficit reduction. This "supercommittee" was backstopped by an automatic, across-the-board spending cut known as a sequester. This sequester was never intended to be policy. It was meant to be something both parties wished to avoid, in order to motivate members of the supercommittee to work together. Despite a good-faith effort to avoid the sequester, the supercommittee's negotiations broke down over fundamental differences in visions for our nation's future.

Again, most of the Democrats on the committee voted to approve the final draft. For good or bad, they feared the cold cuts the sequester would bring. Ryan however did not.

The sequester was never meant to be an empty gesture or something that would be pulled away if they merely negotiated in good faith but still failed, as Ryan now implies. That would mean it would have no bite, no power and that scenario was not part of the debt deal agreement and Ryan knows it. When Paul Ryan voted "no" on the debt commission, he not only agreed to honor the $1.2 trillion automatic reductions in defense and domestic programs, but he also implied that the automatic cuts he now suddenly calls "crippling" were not enough incentive to coerce him to find common ground with others on the panel. He failed miserably not only in leadership, but in a teamwork environment as well.

To deny responsibility when the panel failed to reach consensus or blame it on Obama is completely ludicrous. Congressman Ryan gave up on being part of the solution and gambled away thousands of American jobs when he folded on the debt commission.

But now there's a new report from the Wisconsin Budget Project that looks into the effects Ryan's own budget would have on the state of Wisconsin if passed into law.

Wisconsin Budget Project Excerpt:
The funding cuts to states, counties, and cities under the Ryan budget proposal would far exceed the automatic cuts scheduled to begin in January, often referred to by the term “sequestration.” In 2014, the Ryan budget cuts would be three times as deep as those inflicted by sequestration. In later years, the difference would be even larger, as the sequestration cuts diminish but the Ryan cuts remain just as deep.

It's true. The automatic cuts Ryan settled for in opposition of the debt commission, but now calls "crippling," are nowhere near as devastating to the state or country as his own budget proposal is, particularly in the long-term.

We know Paul Ryan has a serious pre-existing ideological condition making him unfit to be in Congress, let alone on any committee or panel that requires the maturity and knowledge to reach common ground. He proved this on the debt commission and proves it again with his toxic politicking to cover his tracks.

There is no substitute for facts.

ADDITIONAL: CBPP - How the Potential Automatic Cuts in the Debt Limit Deal Would Occur

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