Monday, August 20, 2012
Some Nonpartisan Thoughts on the Paul Ryan Budget 1
1) Mr. Ryan's budget starts off at 3.5 trillion in 2013 and ends at 4.9 trillion in 2022. That's a 40% INCREASE over ten years and I would hardly call that draconian.............2) The Ryan budget apparently DOES treat the defense department as a sacred cow and, yes, folks, that part I DO disagree with. You cannot tell me that a 20-30 billion dollar reduction in the Pentagon budget (accomplished by closing exotic foreign military bases and/or eliminating unnecessary weapons systems) would in any way jeopardize our national security (we would STILL be spending more that the rest of the planet combined). It thoroughly defies common sense.............3) To characterize Mr. Ryan's Medicare proposal as a "voucher plan" is at the very least misleading. A much more accurate way to describe this now Ryan-WYDEN (Ron Wyden, Democratic Senator from Oregon) plan would be to call it a premium support plan; a bipartisan concept that hasn't just been endorsed by Wyden but also by former Democratic Senators, Bob Kerry and John Breaux (two eloquent statesmen, I think).............4) Now, is the Ryan-Wyden plan some sort of medical panacea? No, of course not. But a) it isn't radical, b) it does institute at least some competition, and c) it shouldn't be summarily rejected.............5) Another criticism of the Ryan budget/Medicare proposal is that it causes seniors to pay an extra $6,000 a year for their coverage. Assuming that these numbers are accurate (and I'm willing to entertain that they may be inflated), I would simply caution the naysayers here that a lot of seniors could quite readily absorb this. I mean, just look at the damned demographics of millionaires in this country. BY FAR, the greatest concentration of them lies in people over 60. I see no reason why these people wouldn't be able to contribute more to their health-care....Now, other seniors who couldn't as easily absorb such a burden, yes, if the Ryan-Wyden plan allows for these individuals to fall through the cracks, that totally WOULD be a problem. I just haven't seen any hard-core evidence for it. Care to enlighten me?