Imagine it: Innovative thinking on taxation and the deficit; A bold, new proposal from the right.
Wisconsin's Representative Paul Ryan has just the plan, and Sarah Palin is sure to climb aboard, as soon as she figures out how to make the plan hers. It's Ryan's "Roadmap for America's Future," and promises, like all Republican plans, to slash taxes and slash the deficit! It must be so! The Congressional Budget Office estimates that Ryan's plan would cut the deficit in half by 2020!
But before we get too excited, let's hear from Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman:
But the budget office has done no such thing. At Mr. Ryan’s request, it produced an estimate of the budget effects of his proposed spending cuts — period. It didn’t address the revenue losses from his tax cuts.Ryan's plan is ready-made for Sarah Palin: Squeeze the middle class harder and provide the rich with more tax cuts they don't need.
The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has, however, stepped into the breach. Its numbers indicate that the Ryan plan would reduce revenue by almost $4 trillion over the next decade. If you add these revenue losses to the numbers The Post cites, you get a much larger deficit in 2020, roughly $1.3 trillion.
And that’s about the same as the budget office’s estimate of the 2020 deficit under the Obama administration’s plans. That is, Mr. Ryan may speak about the deficit in apocalyptic terms, but even if you believe that his proposed spending cuts are feasible — which you shouldn’t — the Roadmap wouldn’t reduce the deficit. All it would do is cut benefits for the middle class while slashing taxes on the rich.
And I do mean slash. The Tax Policy Center finds that the Ryan plan would cut taxes on the richest 1 percent of the population in half, giving them 117 percent of the plan’s total tax cuts. That’s not a misprint. Even as it slashed taxes at the top, the plan would raise taxes for 95 percent of the population. ...
... The Ryan plan is a fraud that makes no useful contribution to the debate over America’s fiscal future.
Can't you just hear Sarah Palin bleating, "But tax cuts create jobs?" Nonsense. Jobs are created when businesses expand because they have more orders for their goods and services.
If spending is going to be cut, there are more opportunities for savings in the defense budget. Why harm the middle class, which pays the taxes that pay for defense spending? If the middle class is destroyed, there won't be any money at all for defense spending. The best answer is to let the Bush tax cuts expire this year, as President Bush agreed that they should. Another source of revenue is to raise the cap on earnings for social security payments.
Just as Sarah Palin doesn't give a rat's ass about immigration, she doesn't care about the deficit. She's just looking for an issue to demagogue, one that will let her appeal to the uninformed and prejudiced, which is how demagogue's operate.
President Obama warned against the demagoguery of the likes of Palin, recently:
President Barack Obama said he understands frustration over the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, but warned against local authorities' "patchwork" attempts to enact reform on their own.There, you have it. Sarah Palin in a nutshell. Demagogue extraordinaire.
"I understand the frustration of people in Arizona. But what we can't do is demagogue the issue," Mr. Obama told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith in an exclusive interview. "And what we can't do is allow a patchwork of 50 different states, or cities or localities, where anybody who wants to make a name for themselves suddenly says, 'I'm gonna be anti-immigrant and I'm gonna try to see if I can solve the problem ourself.'"