Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reagan Budget Adviser Slams Ryan's "Fairy Tale Budget Plan"

David Stockman (left), director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration, published a withering critique of Paul Ryan's budgetary proposals in the New York Times. In "Paul Ryan's Fairy-Tale Budget Plan," Stockman notes that Ryan has nothing to say about military spending that "saddle(s) our bankrupt nation" and banks that "are too big to exist." Instead, Ryan "is preaching the same empty conservative sermon" with his calls for more tax cuts for the wealthy without any credible plan for increasing revenue:

The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends. The crony capitalists of K Street already own more than enough Republican votes to stop that train before it leaves the station.

In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.


Michael The Molar Maven said...

If I recall, Stockman began to denounce his own policies while head of OMB right after leaving in 1985. President George "41" Bush, even used Stockman's criticisms to support his reneging on his "no new taxes" promise. (Yet another example of candidates promising what they can't guarantee. Why not just promise only to do the best you can - nothing more - and then allow the public to judge the results at the next election? I just thought I would editorialize on your blog.

Jeff Tone said...

After his criticism, Stockman said he was "taken to the woodshed."