Even Paul Ryan’s Budget Uses Wrong Map in ‘Path to Prosperity’

March 24, 2013- 

Sadly, all the fiscal focus — to address the nation’s budget crisis — is between the proposals from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.).

Not to be facetious, but Ms. Murray’s proposal is based on the same old, tired ideas that caused the problems in the first place. It’s not worth a second look because it’s not a serious attempt.

Respectfully, considering his budget-hawk credentials, Rep. Paul is really off track in his federal budget proposal, which he calls “The Path to Prosperity.” His budget ideas are unrealistic.

Fiscally, the government is a nightmare. The deficit is approaching $17 trillion. There are multiplier ramifications. For example, a Harvard study shows government spending causes companies to cut back.

This means politicians must prioritize objectives with the money at-hand. But that appears to be too much to ask.

The House of Representative has done its job on the budget, thanks largely to Rep. Ryan. However, the government hasn’t had a budget since Mr. Obama has been in office, thanks primarily to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He’s refused to allow a vote on the budget.

So, honestly, how can the U.S. return to prosperity if the government continues to spend more money than it receives from taxpayers? Unfortunately, that’s what Mr. Ryan’s plan would allow.

“Spending would grow by an average of 3.4 percent annually, only slightly less than the rate under President Barack Obama’s plan – 5 percent a year,” wrote Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-Ga.) in a commentary published by the Palm Beach Post in March 2013.

“After 10 years, Rep. Ryan’s target for eliminating the deficit, ‘The Path to Prosperity’ will have spent $41 trillion, whereas the president’s plan would allow spending of $46 trillion,” explained Rep. Broun.

All Mr. Ryan’s plan would accomplish would only be to slow the growth rate of the government’s heavy spending.

Proposed savings

To President Obama and many Democrats, Rep. Broun floats an idea they’d surely oppose. He’d eliminate some federal agencies and departments.

Rep. Broun’s ideas appear to be solutions for a badly needed balanced budget.

“The departments of education and energy, for example, are two bloated bureaucracies that we don’t need,” he explains. “Their core functions would be absorbed by the states through block grants, saving taxpayers at least $500 billion over the next decade.”

Rep. Broun argues that the government should stop interfering with the 50 states and keep its mitts off of K-12 education.

“A Heritage Foundation study showed that in 2010 the average salary of an Education Department employee reached $103,000, nearly double the average public-school teacher’s salary,” he pointed out.

“Let’s phase out a large portion of the department’s roughly $70 billion budget,” suggested the Congressman. “We can transfer the remaining dollars directly to the states, where they will be used more wisely.”

Next, he targeted Energy Department.

Obama’s green-spending failures

“Without unending government backing, the Energy Department would have ceased to exist long ago because of its ineffectiveness, corruption and poor investment strategy,” he wrote. “Taxpayers are now on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars squandered because of federal loans given to failed green companies such as Fisker Automotive and Solyndra.”

Cronyism is an issue here.

The list of failed companies – from batteries to solar energy – all backed by the Obama Administration – is long. Previously, I’ve pointed out that those companies that received the Energy Department loans were headed by executives who’ve also been donors to Mr. Obama’s campaigns.

But what would Rep. Broun do about the regulation of atomic weaponry?

“The only constitutionally necessary service provided by the Energy Department is regulation of the nation’s stockpile of atomic weapons, a function that can return to the Department of Defense,” suggested Rep. Broun. “Eliminating this bureaucracy would be a large, permanent spending cut, and would restore energy-related venture capitalism to its natural home, the private sector.”

Gas taxes

The federal government shouldn’t be allowed to manage the federal highway-financing system, wrote Rep. Broun, who argues in favor of the states administering the gas-tax receipts.

“States would then be free to determine their own transportation needs and to explore creative funding ideas for roads, such as public-private partnerships,” he added.

Healthcare

Rep. Broun, as a 30-year family doctor, has the credentials to address the pitfalls of the government’s role in healthcare.

“I recently co-sponsored legislation that would convert Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program into state-managed programs through a single federal block grant,” he wrote.

“This would save approximately $2 trillion over 10 years by capping federal funding at 2012 levels for the next 10 years and giving states an incentive to seek out and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse,” he explained.

ObamaCare

Of course, Rep. Broun is aware of the dangers of ObamaCare.

“We must repeal ObamaCare – including the associated taxes, which the Ryan budget leaves intact by assuming the enactment of tax reform later on,” he asserted.

“We’ll replace it with a market-based health-care system devoid of government involvement and managed by patients and their doctors,” recommended the physician. “If we put Medicare in patients’ hands, by increasing contribution limits to health-savings accounts, it will transform Medicare into a more flexible premium-assistance program.”

It’s worth noting that Medicare is abusive to doctors and hospitals. The plight of doctors adversely impacts you. In addition, healthcare has become complex for the elderly.

So candidly, I don’t agree with him on Medicare, but I do agree regarding ObamaCare. I’ve written several articles about the ObamaCare issues. Nearly every businessperson I know is deeply troubled by ObamaCare.

Now, comes opposition from the International Franchise Association. Its members employ 9.1 million full-time workers; more than 33 percent of whom – 3.2 million people – will have their hours slashed or their jobs eliminated.

Ask anyone. It’s widely accepted that a 40-hour workweek is considered fulltime, but not to proponents of ObamaCare.

The law mandates that anyone who works just 30 hours a week must be considered fulltime to be covered under ObamaCare. Franchisees can’t afford it. That’s why the 3.2 million workers face unnecessary hardships.

See the association’s state-by-state breakdown regarding the harmful effects of ObamaCare on franchisee employees.

Balanced budget

Rep. Broun insists that Congress become fiscally responsible.

“To cap all this off, I have proposed a balanced-budget amendment that would force Congress to stick to the principle of not spending more than we take in,” he wrote.

“Passing a constitutional amendment is no easy task,” he admitted. “While it’s a large undertaking, I’ll continue to fight for its passage.”

But there’s been positive baby step after political coercion.

“Only a few weeks ago, the House put enough pressure on the Senate to force it to produce a budget, something Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev.), hadn’t attempted in more than four years,” he wrote.

Rep. Broun’s proposals are likely to be opposed by President Obama, Senators Murray and Reid as well as other Democrats. But to save America, the solutions must be implemented. Otherwise, businesspeople and consumers will continue to suffer losses in economic and political freedoms.

From the Coach’s Corner, see related articles in the public-policy category and economic analysis in the Op Ed section.

“A politician is just like a pickpocket; it’s almost impossible to get one to reform.”

-Will Rogers

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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.

Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.