Just over two years ago, in control of the White House and both houses of Congress, Democrats promised us that the key to economic revitalization would be found in a near-trillion dollar stimulus. Ever more government spending would be sure to jump start the economy. Well, here we are nearly twenty-six months after the president signed his recovery act and only now is the economy beginning to recover, but not because that “stimulus” is just beginning to kick, but instead as Veronique de Rugy reminds us, because it’s “winding down“:
The unemployment rate for March dropped to 8.8 percent, which we should remember is the rate that the Administration said the economy would reach if the stimulus had not been passed. It took two years to reach this rate, and as it turns out, it is on the way down, not up.
(Via Instapundit.) Increased government spending, to paraphrase an expression, was not the answer, it was part of the problem. One man who gets this is Paul Ryan, the fetching Wisconsin Congressman who chairs the House Budget Committee. In anticipation of the release of the GOP budget which he authored, he took to the pages of the Wall Street Journal to explain why his plan is necessary:
No one person or party is responsible for the looming crisis. Yet the facts are clear: Since President Obama took office, our problems have gotten worse. Major spending increases have failed to deliver promised jobs. . . .
The president’s recent budget proposal would accelerate America’s descent into a debt crisis. It doubles debt held by the public by the end of his first term and triples it by 2021. It imposes $1.5 trillion in new taxes, with spending that never falls below 23% of the economy. His budget permanently enlarges the size of government. It offers no reforms to save government health and retirement programs, and no leadership.
Calling his op-ed, “The Path to Prosperity,” Ryan outlines the spending cuts and reforms necessary to get our government’s fiscal house in order while “reforming the nation’s outdated tax code” to help encourage economic activity. The less government interferes, the more private enterprises will be revitalized.
The Republican budget even “budget targets corporate welfare, starting by ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars.” Seems under Ryan, Republicans are making a comprehensive approach to federal spending and not dodging the tough issues or the sacred cows which increase the flow of red ink. Everything, Moe Lane writes, is “apparently on the table.“
Well, not quite everything as Ace notes, the package “seems to punt on Social Security, stating vaguely that it will ‘force’ policymakers to propose common-sense reforms. Which means it itself doesn’t touch them.”
And despite the effort that Republicans put into tackling our nation’s spending problem before it drowns the economy, John at Verum Serum warns
In addition to the run of the mill demagoguery and repeated use of the word “extreme”, I’ve no doubt we will learn tomorrow that Ryan’s road map is the most disastrous thing ever conceived by the mind of man for a host of other reasons. It will be interesting to see if the arguments of Chuck Schumer, Ezra Klein, Paul Krugman and the rest of the usual suspects overlap significantly as they get talking points from the DNC telling them how best to respond.
Let us hope that they consider the merits of the plan instead of wail about its alleged excesses, bearing in mind the president’s professed concern about the deficit and his past promises of a “net spending cut.”
And kudos to Congressman Ryan for making the tough choices we expect of leaders concerned about America’s fiscal health.