March 12 2013
Another Perspective on Ryan's "Draconian Cuts"
The Washington Post is out with "The Ryan Budget, in One Chart" which shows the percentage change relative to the CBO baseline. Here it is, illustrating a steep decline in "Medicaid/Other Health" spending:
Yikes, looks like Paul Ryan hates poor people and wants to destroy Medicaid!
But hold on a minute, let's consider this from another perspective. Here's a chart I put together with current policy projections for outlays in Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and ObamaCare. You can see the differences in the current policy baseline and the Ryan proposal. Note that spending still rises in every category (except ObamaCare, which Ryan would keep flat at zero). Outlays are still going up, but in Washington, Democrats call these "draconian cuts!"
I've graphed time on the horizontal axis, just like the Washington Post. But on the vertical axis, I've used total outlays instead of the percent change. This way, we can see that Ryan's changes, when considered in light of the larger fiscal picture of our entitlements, aren't draconian. They're senseable. In the past, Ryan has been criticized by fiscal conservatives for not balancing the budget fast enough. And as we've seen during the recent hysteria over Sequestration, politicos on the Left are ready to demagogue and scare-monger over even the slightest cuts. Ryan's plan won't be the end of the world, but it is a good compromise that puts us on a path to fiscal sanity.