…unless government cuts spending now. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has a plan:
It’s a pretty good plan, says Alison Acosta Fraser, who notes:
This budget pares back non-security discretionary spending—the small part of the budget that Congress actually writes a budget for—and tackles other parts of the budget such as farm subsidies and the federal bureaucracy. The budget also repeals Obamacare. Most crucially, Ryan’s budget tackles entitlement programs with transformative changes in Medicare and a solid approach to controlling Medicaid’s spiraling costs. These changes will result in a stronger and bigger economy with more job creation, more savings and investment, and higher household incomes.
But it could be better, explains Fraser:
Although this budget does rein in welfare spending on Medicaid and food stamps, it continues to approach the rest of the $950 billion welfare system in the same piecemeal fashion of the past. More notably, Ryan has not touched Social Security, preferring instead to fast-track solutions outside the budget process. He has also opted to essentially grandfather the grandparents: Benefits for those in or near retirement will not be touched. That also means that spending reductions will come slower than they might otherwise. Will we exempt so many baby boomers from contributing to the most urgent economic problem we face? While it is politically difficult to consider benefit changes for this group, it is virtually impossible to balance the budget within the near term without doing so. This is a discussion we must have as a nation. [“Morning Bell: Chairman Ryan’s Budget Resolution Changes America’s Course,” The Foundry, April 5, 2011.]