The GOP/Dem Pretense That Paul Ryan Wants to Slash Spending

How will we know when we have a serious budget cutter in government?

Let me give you a couple of signs to look for.

We might be dealing with a serious budget cutter when the first thing we hear is that he wants to abolish at least one Federal Department. Frankly, I wouldn’t be ready to cheer unless at least two were proposed for execution. If you can’t cut energy and education then you aren’t worth listening to.

Another sign would be advocacy of a general, indefinite, spending freeze.

What about Paul Ryan?

The headlines yesterday were full of whining, moaning, and raging against Paul Ryan and his severe budget cuts.

It is all a sham.

The Democrats want to pretend that the evil Republicans are going to ruin the party of free money and the Republicans want you to think that they are the budget-cutting heroes that you want to vote for. Both parties get to appeal to their respective bases by carrying on.

Paul Ryan increases spending by $1.5 trillion over what is being spent now.

Think about that.

How can Paul Ryan claim an increase in spending is a cut? He explained it himself:

Notice that, though he called it “fiscal fantasy,” he is doing it himself.

Nicole Kaeding at the Cato blog explains:

Chairman Ryan’s budget released today “cuts spending by $5.1 trillion over the next ten years,” the document claims. Similarly, the headline from the Washington Post says that Ryan’s budget “would slash $5 trillion over next decade.”

Yet looking at the details of Ryan’s proposal, the federal government will spend $1.5 trillion more in 2024 than it is expected to spend in 2014.

How can spending both be “slashed” and increased by $1.5 trillion? It’s because of the bizarre way that Washington discusses spending, which is known as baseline budgeting.

Basically, the government assumes that spending is going up every year. That projection is considered the “baseline” budget. So when Ryan proposes spending only $1.5 trillion more, rather than $6.6 trillion, he gets to claim that he is cutting spending.

I do appreciate Ryan wanting to not spend as much as the Democrats want to spend. But I think people need to realize that Ryan has provoked such fierce resistance without cutting the budget at all. He wants us to spend more every year rather than actually reduce spending.

It is amazing that so many Democrats are acting as if Ryan wants to cause death and destruction. It shows us how the whole point of the welfare state is to hold civilians hostage so that anyone who opposes big government can be threatened with bad things happening to those who have been trained to be dependent on government.