Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Paul Ryan's Plan for a Debt-Free Nation

Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) presented his "Path to Prosperity" budget plan today at AEI, here's the full text of his talk, here's his WSJ editorial today, here's the link to the video, and here's the full 73-page plan

Americans for Tax Reform prepared the chart above to compare Ryan's budget to the Simpson-Bowles (Obama) commission (and the Coburn-Chambliss “Gang of Six” which is introducing legislation modeled after Simpson-Bowles).

In his talk today, Paul Ryan quoted a famous American president:

"The lessons of history, confirmed by the evidence immediately before me, show conclusively that continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fiber. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit. It is inimical to the dictates of sound policy. It is in violation of the traditions of America."

And Rep. Ryan concluded his talk by saying:

"This budget offers America a model of government that is guided by the timeless principles of the American Idea. This budget provides policymakers with a blueprint to put our budget on the path to balance and our economy on the path to prosperity. This budget assures America's seniors-those who are currently retired and future retirees-that their health and retirement security will be preserved and strengthened.

This budget provides parents with hope that their children can inherit a strong, free and prosperous America. It is a plan to give our children a debt-free nation so they too can realize the American Dream."

83 Comments:

At 4/05/2011 3:07 PM, Blogger Michael Hoff said...

Godspeed, Paul Ryan.

 
At 4/05/2011 3:29 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

I love it!
Like magic, federal spending falls to 14 percent of GDP by 2050, and we pay off the national debt.
I love this plan!
I assume all the assumptions made are rock-solid.

 
At 4/05/2011 3:35 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Personally I think Ryan's plan is better than anything offered up by Obama or the Dems but I think Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky $500 billion plan is ever so much better...

 
At 4/05/2011 3:37 PM, Blogger Bill L said...

If this plan is to be implemented then the author should be President. As President he will be able to assure that it gets implemented on schedule for the next four to eight years. Enough of a start to give it a good chance to succeed. Other than defense, all other considerations are secondary to finance.

 
At 4/05/2011 3:48 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Actually, paying down the debt now is a higher priority than defense.

I think defense and homeland security (the latter largely an incredible boondoggle and the former steeped in bureaucratic lard) have to take a back seat for a while.

If we go broke, there will be nothing left to defend.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:12 PM, Blogger AIG said...

It ain't ever gonna happen, of course. Greece is the only realistic outcome here. I'm not usually pessimistic, but this is one thing that is unlikely to happen in this country. As soon as the economy recovers a bit, it'll be business as usual.

Never has there been a shift in government size or scope of this magnitude, in a slow and planned fashion. It always happens at the edge of the precipice.

"Actually, paying down the debt now is a higher priority than defense. I think defense and homeland security have to take a back seat for a while. If we go broke, there will be nothing left to defend."

And you're right, again.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:19 PM, Blogger Bill L said...

"If we go broke, there will be nothing left to defend."

True words. The assumption seems to be that defense spending continues to increase at the standard rate. This assumption needs to be challenged.

Defense doesn't need to mean being the planet's policeman for free. If folks want us to police them, then they can pay us. Otherwise, let's pull back and play real defense.

The U.S. has nearly the world's largest energy reserves, so we aren't really in need of the M.E. oil. Everything else we need we can make here too. So no need to police the world to keep up our standard of living.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:23 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Bill L-
From your lips to God's ears. I have been honking that horn till my lips bleed.

But all I hear is how wonderful free trade is so we have to keep importing the oil, and to keep that oil coming we need a global archipelago of military and foregn policy establishments, and a variety of wars, all costing about $1 trillion a year.

And yes, I want to whack HUD, Labor and Department of Education too, and the USDA and Commerce also.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:36 PM, Blogger Eric said...

"...we aren't really in need of the M.E. oil."

Yes, we are. But not in the energy sense. It is how we export our debt to foreign countries. OPEC nations only export oil for US dollars. When they try something else (like euros), they become terrorists and are subject to pre-emptive strikes. It is also why we won't drill here, drill now. It doesn't do us any good to give ourselves the FRNs.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:37 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well if pseudo benny had even the remotest clue on what he's talking about when it comes to defense spending he's realize that US military spending as a percentage of GDP has gone way down over the last sixty years...

In the meantime entitlements have more than doubled defense spending...

I dare anyone to find 'entitlements' anywhere in the Declaration, Constitution, or the Bill of Rights...

 
At 4/05/2011 4:50 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Juandos,

Yep, I'd also love to see Rand Paul's plan instead. As it is, Ryan's plan has very little chance with Harry Reid and Obama standing in the way. There is a difference between the two parties, Ryan's plan would never have had even the remotest chance without GOP control of the House.

 
At 4/05/2011 4:53 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"But all I hear is how wonderful free trade is so we have to keep importing the oil, and to keep that oil coming we need a global archipelago of military and foregn policy establishments, and a variety of wars, all costing about $1 trillion a year."

Benji's new favorite word is "archipelago." Also, what idiots are Benji listening to if this is "all" he ever hears?

 
At 4/05/2011 4:59 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Rand Paul's daddy ought to take him in the woodshed and give him a whipping he will never forget.

Rand Paul advises cutting the most bloated of all federal agencies by a mere 6.5 percent (there is a lot of defense lard flowing into Kentucky).

And no cuts to the VA (why not vouchers for veterans and abolish the VA?).

The VA budget has about doubled in the last few years, btw. Obama has been bloating it up bigtime.

In short, Ron Paul--who properly advises demobilizing the military, especially our foreign bases--is smarter than his dumb-poop son, Rand.

 
At 4/05/2011 5:15 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Paul says: "As it is, Ryan's plan has very little chance with Harry Reid and Obama standing in the way"...

Yep!

Where as Sen. Rand Paul's plan would have very little chance of getting past the Senate RINOs...

 
At 4/05/2011 5:19 PM, Blogger juandos said...

I see pseudo benny is still blathering on mindlessly: "Rand Paul advises cutting the most bloated of all federal agencies by a mere 6.5 percent (there is a lot of defense lard flowing into Kentucky)"...

Do you enjoy make a fool of yourself pseudo benny or is it just that you're a typical California liberal, long on rant and short on credible substance?

 
At 4/05/2011 5:28 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"In the meantime entitlements have more than doubled defense spending..."

While defense spending isn't the end all of the problem, or even its start, you're forgetting that DEFENSE ENTITLEMENT spending, ie VA, are now $150+ billion. Where is that addressed?

Just saying...it ALL has to be cut. I know politically this is impossible, which is why these rosy scenarios are impossible and unlikely.

So far the only Republican who has publicly said that defense should be cut is Mitch Daniels. I'd love to see him as GOP pres. candidate, and more people like Ryan in congress. And even then the chances of getting something like this through aren't good (too many McCains). But of course, the GOP is going to go f-it up by nominating some Palin-type candidate.

We have to be real here; politicians are not going to fix this problem through the legislature. Politicians will wait until it becomes Greece.

 
At 4/05/2011 5:30 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Jaundos-

That is from Rand Paul's link, that you provided. He wants to cut Defense by 6.5 percent, and the VA not at all.

Meanwhile, this is from Paul Ryan's proposed "budget."

"America remains a nation at war. Brave men and women in uniform are engaged with a fierce enemy in
Afghanistan, Iraq, and other theaters of the ongoing global war on terrorism. This budget reflects a commitment
to support this nation’s troops and to prioritize national security. For Fiscal Year 2012, this committee assumes
$553.1 billion in budgetary authority for the regular operations of the Department of Defense. It also assumes
full funding for the modernization of the infrastructure that builds and maintains the nation’s nuclear weapons systems. In addition, this budget includes $117.8 billion for ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq."

The Global War on Terror--like the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Wars that will never end, and provide justification for taking money from taxpayers.

Sad to say, both the Paul Ryan and the Rand Paul budgets are but limp-wristed sops dressed in drag to appeal to the Pauls and Juandos of the world.

 
At 4/05/2011 5:46 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Look pseudo benny Ron Paul is a hypocritical moonbat who's grasp of the Constituion and reality is quite like yours, very tenuous at best...

Your obvious inability to learn from your previous mistakes is nothing short of bizzare...

 
At 4/05/2011 5:57 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Paul Ryan was just interviewed on PBS. He says his budget cuts more than $78 billion a year from defense spending. Now, if we can just put an end to the hundreds of billions in union welfare.

 
At 4/05/2011 6:03 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Loved this:

"Sad to say, both the Paul Ryan and the Rand Paul budgets are but limp-wristed sops dressed in drag to appeal to the Pauls and Juandos of the world."

Meanwhile, all Benji's boyfriend had to do to win his affection was promise Hopeandchange and appear on the cover of People Magazine every other week.

Paul Ryan and Rand Paul (Benji used to think they were the same guy until I rubbed his nose in it) are offering solid opening gambits, while Benji's boyfriend offers nothing but documented bankruptcy. Yet Benji lashes out at the GOP plans while his boyfriend gets only the mildest, gentle nudge.

True love, I tell you.

 
At 4/05/2011 6:04 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Jaundos-

I lived in Texas for two years. All TX Republicans are hysterical moonbats, including Ron Paul. So am I. You are just jealous.

What's the point? Ron Paul is right about the need to demobilize, whether he is a moonbat or not.

BTW, you can waive the Constitution around, but actually our Founding Fathers detested and loathed standing militaries.

George Washington had no military at all in his first term in office. Zero. Zilcho. Congress wanted no military and gave him none.

Indeed, even after WWII, the USA demobilized, nearly completely.

The perma-hyper-mobilization you see now is a result of the Cold War and subsequent ossification and Congressional patronage.

 
At 4/05/2011 6:20 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Benji your grasp of history regarding the military is atrocious, as is your understanding of what the constitution provides or doesn't. Just drop it.

"He says his budget cuts more than $78 billion a year from defense spending. "

Cuts on growth, not cuts.

 
At 4/05/2011 6:20 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Again pseudo benny there's nothing substantial in your absolutely hilarious but thoroughly bizzare comment: "I lived in Texas for two years. All TX Republicans are hysterical moonbats, including Ron Paul. So am I. You are just jealous"...

Obviously were in a coma in your two years (assuming it happened at all) existence in Texas...

"What's the point? Ron Paul is right about the need to demobilize, whether he is a moonbat or not"...

LMAO! You're a complete fool or a seditious one pseudo benny...

If you knew how the world worked you'd be wanting even more armed forces...

"BTW, you can waive the Constitution around, but actually our Founding Fathers detested and loathed standing militarie"...

What?!?! Is that a revalation from the 'burning bush' in your backyard?

"George Washington had no military at all in his first term in office. Zero. Zilcho. Congress wanted no military and gave him none"...

Do some homework first...

I sure hope for mankind's sake you didn't sire any children...

 
At 4/05/2011 6:35 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"Benji": "... actually our Founding Fathers detested and loathed standing militaries."

"I am persuaded, and as fully convinced as I am of any one fact that has happened, that our liberties must of necessity be greatly hazarded, if not entirely lost, if their defence is left to any but a permanent standing army. Nor would the expense, incident to the support of such a body of troops, as would be competent to almost every exigency, far exceed that, which is daily incurred by calling in succor, and new enlistments, which, when effected, are not attended with any good consequences. Men, who have been free and subject to no control, cannot be reduced to order in an instant; and the privileges and exemptions they claim and will have influence the conduct of others; and the aid derived from them is nearly counterbalanced by the disorder, irregularity, and confusion they occasion." -- George Washington, letter to the President of Congress, Sep. 2, 1776

"It may be laid down as a primary position, and the basis of our system, that every Citizen who enjoys the protection of a Free Government, owes not only a proportion of his property, but even of his personal services to the defense of it." -- George Washington

 
At 4/05/2011 6:50 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Che-

You are right; Washington did want a standing army; Congress would not give him one, until a very small one in his second term.

Consider this:

"The Founders of America extensively considered this same issue. Many were strongly against there ever being a standing army in America during times of peace, although they favored a navy to protect our shoreline borders. The theory was that an army had too much potential for mischief, to oppress people...
Thomas Jefferson first suggested that we not have a standing army, and wrote a series of letters in 1787, as the Constitution was being debated, urging James Madison and others to write it into the Constitution.

The idea was, instead of a standing army, for every able-bodied man in the nation to be a member of a local militia, under local control, with a gun in his house. If the nation was invaded, word would come down to the local level and every man in the country would be the army."

In any event, the USA nearly completly demobilized after both WWI and WWII. That was the tradition, and it was the right-wing that wanted a small military.

It was only later we created a large, permanent standing military--one increasingly becoming a parasitic dinosaur.

 
At 4/05/2011 7:25 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

AIG/Jaundos-

Dudes, read up. Of course, George Washington had an army--when he was General Washington. That army was disbanded after the Revolutionary War.

As President of the United States, George Washington had no army in his first four-year term. He was provided by Congress with a small, ineffectual army in his second term, to fight Native Americans.

See Chernow's great new book on George Washington for a fun read, but these facts are well-known--except to Carpe Dem readers.

 
At 4/05/2011 9:20 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Benji you are confusing circumstances in one point in time, with ideology. You're plain wrong. Jefferson as I recall started America's involvement abroad in the very same place we are bombing today

 
At 4/05/2011 10:24 PM, Blogger AIG said...

This is why politicians will not solve this problem, no matter how well intended and serious Ryan is.

http://biggovernment.com/files/2011/0
4/Ryan-v-Obama.jpg

 
At 4/05/2011 10:46 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

AIG-
You are confusing circumstances with general idea.

Jefferson, Madison, and George Mason did not wanting standing armies, fearing the costs, abuse and the ability of a chief executive (the President) to engage in foreign entanglements.

There was also a very strong belief that a citizen army was preferable (this is the reason for the Constitutional language about right to bear arms
and form militias).

Sending the U.S. Navy (of a few ships) on a one-time mission to give some pirates in Tripoli a black eye is a far cry from establishing a permanent, global, and horribly expensive military-foreign policy empire.

In fact, it could be argued that a citizen army is still preferable--does anyone believe we would have wasted money and lives in Vietnam, or restored the crown in Kuwait, or gone into Iraq or Afghanistan with a all-citizen army backed by taxes we paid on the post?

 
At 4/05/2011 11:02 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Benji, I fear you don't understand the definition of "demilitarization", "standing army", or "citizen army". You're just throwing words around without even realizing what kind of an army we have today.

 
At 4/06/2011 8:04 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Why does it matter if defense spending goes down as a % of gdp?

The appropriate metric is whether we can meet any credible threat.

 
At 4/06/2011 8:08 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

What meaning is there in the ratio of defense spending to entitlements? Are you suggesting that some previous budget had the magic ratios, and they should never change?


Where do you find cruise missiles in the constitution?

 
At 4/06/2011 9:28 AM, Blogger JEFF PARTLOW: THE COVERED CALLS ADVISOR said...

Potential Republican candidates for President in 2012 are all uninspiring. I nominate Paul Ryan.

 
At 4/06/2011 9:51 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

"In fact, it could be argued that a citizen army is still preferable"

this is so stupid it's difficult to know where to start. do you have any idea how complex military equipment and tactics are now?

citizen armies were already becoming obsolete in the days of "hold your musket and stand in a square".

you think that you can just roll out of the hardware store and fly an f-22 or operate an awacs? you thing that the electronicly augmented squad tactics currently used can be learned in 2 weeks a year?

get a grip benji.

the advantage of a professional army is that it is professional. our guys roll over everyone else because of it. citizen armies are just cannon fodder. a professional army will grind them to dust. ask the previously much vaunted republican guards in iraq about that.

armies should be all volunteer, but "civilian" is a joke. that's how you get all your guys killed and lose to boot.

we currently have the most effective military in the world. you can argue about the choice of missions for it, but not with how good they are at their jobs. this has a great deal to do with moving away from the "draft citizen" army of the 70's and to an all volunteer professional force.

 
At 4/06/2011 11:55 AM, Blogger Free2Choose said...

"ask the previously much vaunted republican guards in iraq about that."

I was part of the unit (one of them) which handed them their asses on Medina Ridge. But make no mistake....they were full time soldiers and tough fighters; not conscripts. We used their militia to grease the tracks on our Bradleys. :)

 
At 4/06/2011 12:34 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Morgan Frank-
Yeah, when one professionalizes anything, the professionals blah, blah about oh how complicated everything is, and that only professionals can do it.

We fought WWII, and won (the last war we did win) with guys who went through basic training in 12 weeks.

In contrast, a headline of today's WSJ is "Al Queda Makes Afghan Comeback."

That is after we have unloaded $1 trillion or more, and who knows how many men there.

In the private sector, equipment gets better, cheaper and easier to operate very year--see the Internet and computers we are using.

In the military, equipment gets more-expensive, less reliable, more complicated, less resilient every year. See the M16 rifle, althouh recent iterations are better. The roll call of military billion-dollar lemons is legion.

If we had a citizen military (and a small officer corps), the equipment would be designed for ease of use, not for maximum profit to contractor.

And we would not have gotten in Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan--the federal deficit would be lower by several trillion dollars.

We simply have to get a handle on the nation's debt problem--the U.S. military, as currently operated, wrecks all debt-reduction efforts.

 
At 4/06/2011 12:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Benji

"There was also a very strong belief that a citizen army was preferable (this is the reason for the Constitutional language about right to bear arms
and form militias).
"

Hopefully this is just an unfortunate choice of words on your part, and that you don't really believe the right to keep & bear arms was granted by the 2nd amendment.

 
At 4/06/2011 1:09 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ron H-

I do indeed think the 2nd amendment not only gives you the right to bear arms, but to form a well-regulated militia. This amendment was roundly considered--there was a great deal of hostility towards standing armies.

We could have an argument about what is an arm as defined in the Constitution. I wonder if I have the right to store nerve gas, or keep an RPG around.

We know founding fathers wanted us to have single-shot muskets, rifles and pistols, and to be able to form militias without slightest government interferenece. That is a fact.

 
At 4/06/2011 1:24 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"We know founding fathers wanted us to have single-shot muskets, rifles and pistols, and to be able to form militias without slightest government interferenece. That is a fact."

Yes yes Benji, but what about an M1 tank and an F-15? How do we get those?

Again, historical circumstances aren't your strong point.

 
At 4/06/2011 1:25 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Or are we going to have Mr Vangel come here again and tell his wonderful story of the Chinese "analyst" who was amazed when he discovered he could destroy an aircraft carrier with a fishing trawler?

Maybe you guys should stick to playing video games.

 
At 4/06/2011 1:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"What meaning is there in the ratio of defense spending to entitlements? Are you suggesting that some previous budget had the magic ratios, and they should never change?"

Only you could reach such a conclusion based on previous discussion of the percentage of GDP spent on defense, or the ratio of defense to entitlement spending.

I believe that information is intended to show that perhaps defense spending isn't the most worrisome part of the budget, and that reducing other items should get priority.

If your personal spending for clothing is decreasing as a percentage of your budget, and spending for food is increasing as a percentage, you might want to concentrate your efforts on reducing spending for food if you want to decrease overall spending.

Make sense?

 
At 4/06/2011 2:50 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

banji-

that's a stupid argument, even for you.

we won the iraq war without breaking a sweat. (it's the peace that was the problem, and that was the result of a horrendous political decision to disband the army and police) if you think that a force of barely trained recruits can stand against a professional army, then you know nothing at all about war. the whole reason we saw so few casualties and won such a crushing victory in the field in iraq despite being significantly outnumbered was because were were a competent, coordinated, professional army.

you ever play and sports? ever see what happens when a pick up team plays a team that's been practicing together for years?

"In the military, equipment gets more-expensive, less reliable, more complicated, less resilient every year" this is a particularly stupid claim. care to back it up?

 
At 4/06/2011 3:07 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Morgan Frank-

Please see the link below. Our military spending could be re-labeled, "Boondoggles-R-Us."

Look, the Pentago is a aging, parasitic federal bureaucracy, the budget of which is tightly controlled by an institutionally corrupt U.S. Congress.

What do you expect to happen, with an arrangement like that?

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/12/opinion/20100313_Pentagonsboondoggles.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=thab1

And Frank--The ad hominem slurs are for little boys.

 
At 4/06/2011 4:59 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Benji
"And Frank--The ad hominem slurs are for little boys."

Do you mean like this?

"The most mollycoddled, knock-kneed, inbred, enfeebled, subsidized and regulated sector of the American economy is our red state socialist empire."

 
At 4/06/2011 6:12 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Benji

"I do indeed think the 2nd amendment not only gives you the right to bear arms, but to form a well-regulated militia."

I was afraid that would be your answer. As AIG has noted:

"Again, historical circumstances aren't your strong point."

You should be aware that the 2nd amendment gives no rights to anyone, but acknowledges that the right to keep and bear arms already exists, is inalienable, and forbade government to interfere with it.

This had been settled British common law for centuries. There WAS some debate at the convention on whether it was even necessary to include something so obvious, and so well understood in the Constitution, but none on the meaning, or on the existence of such a right.

As is a common style throughout the US Constitution, and state constitutions of the time, the 2nd amendment contained both a preamble, and an operative clause. In other words, the necessity of having a militia of the people was one example of why the government was forbidden to infringe the right of the people to keep & bear arms.

Some delegates felt the wording should have been "A well regulated militia, 'of the people', being necessary...", but to then immediately mention "...the right 'of the people'..." sounded awkward. The style committee proposed the current unambiguous wording, which was accepted unanimously, and which is easily understandable to this very day.

The phrase "well regulated", as you know, refers to being made regular: well trained: orderly. It didn't mean "to control" as is a more common meaning of the word 'regulate' today.

"We know founding fathers wanted us to have single-shot muskets, rifles and pistols, and to be able to form militias without slightest government interferenece. That is a fact."

It sounds like you don't believe anything existed before the Constitution was written. In reality, militias - of the people - had been operating for as long as europeans had been on the continent, as a defense against Indians, the French, and finally against British Regulars.

It's not so much what the Founders WANTED us to have, as the fact that such weapons existed, nearly everyone had them for hunting and defense, and that militias had existed since the beginning. The Founders acknowledged that natural right, and, knowing the dangers of tyrannical governent, forbade infringement.

 
At 4/06/2011 7:05 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Ron H.-

Actually, I was going to say what you said: The Constitution recognizes your natural right to free speech and keep weapons, it does not give you that right.

However, in law, there is something called "black letter law." That is to say, everything has to be spelled out, and you cannot infer meanings. In this sense, the Constitution gives us the right, as "black letter law."

But you do not have a right to operate a push-cart hot dog stand on the sidewalks of your city. Or drive a jitney. Now, see my point? Back then the Framers probably thought no one would ever arrest you for giving some guy a ride in your carriage for some ducats.

Without black letter law, everything becomes open to interpretation.

 
At 4/06/2011 7:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Not gonna do much good to save $500 on your tax bill if you have a $15k trip to the emergency room.

 
At 4/06/2011 8:34 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I believe that information is intended to show that perhaps defense spending isn't the most worrisome part of the budget, and that reducing other items should get priority.

===============================

I believe that was the intention too. Sadly, it does no such thing. If we have enough military to oppose credible threats,the ratio could well change, and make no difference. The argument is meaningless.

Consider the radio guidance on a missile. Today it is a much smaller part of the payload, than in years past, but it still does its job. And it has nothing (or very little anyway) to do with the size of the rocket motor required to carry out the full mission.


--------------------------

you might want to concentrate your efforts on reducing spending for food if you want to decrease overall spending.

Make sense?


===========================

No. The proper metric is whether I have enough food.

Anyway, why would I want to decrease overall spending? Any time I spend money on something, it is because I value the thing more than I value money, right?
---------------------------------

Only you could reach such a conclusion based on previous discussion of the percentage of GDP spent on defense,...

=============================

On this blog, you are probably right. Thank you.

 
At 4/06/2011 8:50 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Regards the standing Army, I think Benjamin is more correct.

The founding fathers feared a standing army, and did not want one, thinking it too easy to use against the people.

But they had no way of imagining an F-22, nor a lot of other things not contemplated in the Constitution.

Not having an army was probably idealistic, even then, but the fact that we have an army and a long history of keeping it under control (at least as far as Americans are concerned), is probably a result of the Fathers legitimate concerns.

The few instances in which the military has acted against US citizens are widely regarded, I think, as black marks in our history.

It is a moot point now. We have a professional military, and we need to determine how much of it we need, and how to pay for it. But if we are going to be the worlds policemen, we need to send the people we are protecting a bill.

As for civilian stuff being better and cheaper, I don't think it is a meaningful argument. There is a lot of really old military stuff out there, still doing its job. Some of it is civilian stuff convertied to military use (KC135), but alot of other stuff was invented for military use, and later found useful for civilians (Jeep).

 
At 4/06/2011 11:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Benji

"However, in law, there is something called "black letter law." That is to say, everything has to be spelled out, and you cannot infer meanings. In this sense, the Constitution gives us the right, as "black letter law.""

You have this backwards. "Black letter law" refers to well known legal principles that need no explanation. It may include well established case law. One example might be that the technical elements of the crime of assault are well known, and need not be described each time someone is charged with it.

The Constitution, a framework for government, on the other hand, assumes nothing. It grants no rights to people, but acknowledges those that exist, and forbids the creation of laws interfering with them.

I thought you understood some of this stuff.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:56 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I believe that was the intention too. Sadly, it does no such thing. If we have enough military to oppose credible threats,the ratio could well change, and make no difference. The argument is meaningless."

I suspect that argument made sense to most people, but I'm not surprised that you don't understand it.

"No. The proper metric is whether I have enough food."

So, it doesn't matter how much you spend on food? What if you can predict that at the current rate of increase, your food budget will soon exceed your income?

"Anyway, why would I want to decrease overall spending?"

LMAO

Oh, gee, I don't know, maybe because you are consistently spending so much more than your income that the debt you incur to sustain that spending will soon cost more to service than your entire income?

Think before you type.

Learn some economics!

 
At 4/07/2011 10:30 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

So, it doesn't matter how much you spend on food? What if you can predict that at the current rate of increase, your food budget will soon exceed your income?

=================================

If that happens, my income will make no difference whatsoever, will it?

The proper thing to worry about is not how much I'm spending, but whether I have enough food.

Given that I have enough food, it may be a greater or lesser percentage of my expenditures, depending on other events.

But I cannot make any rational decision about food spending based only on the ratio of spending for that, vs other things.

It is a meaningless argument, a "so what?" statistic. This kind of false argument has a name and it is called innumeracy.


You might try reading:


200% Of Nothing : An Eye-Opening Tour Through the Twists and Turns of Math Abuse and Innumeracy .... A. K. Dewdney

 
At 4/07/2011 10:47 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Anyway, why would I want to decrease overall spending?"

===============================

You took this out of context, which is a faulty wway to argue. What I said was:

Anyway, why would I want to decrease overall spending? Any time I spend money on something, it is because I value the thing more than I value money, right?

There are four messages there, if you can swallow the logical leaps.


"why would I want to decrease overall spending?" that is a joke, its (rather mild) humor lies in the fact of surprise, since it is different from what we usually might expect. You are so intent on spending less, you may have found it insulting to your basic beliefs.

"Any time I spend money on something, it is because I value the thing more than I value money, right?" Also a joke, only this time a jibe, based on your previous comment about cost, price, and value.

Taken together, these thoughts raise the issue [logical leap here, try to keep up] of why do we keep trying to earn more money, if the goals is to spend less? Obviously the goal is not to spend less, it is to spend more, since that is how we get things we want more than money.

And finally, [last logical leap] how do we set the priorities of which things we want more than money? Do I decide how much to spend on food by whether its percentage of my budget is growing or shrinking? No, I decide based on how hungry I am.

Next time I'll break out a spoon and the strained food.

 
At 4/07/2011 10:50 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

that spending will soon cost more to service than your entire income?

================================

Sounds like my lenders are going to have a problem. Maybe they should wise up.

Meanwhile, I still gotta eat.

 
At 4/07/2011 12:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

""If that happens, my income will make no difference whatsoever, will it?

The proper thing to worry about is not how much I'm spending, but whether I have enough food.
"

My mistake using food as an example. Apparently food isn't an expense category you can discuss in an objective manner without veering of topic.

As usual, you are far too literal. If food is too difficult for you, substitute some other expense category, that won't engage you emotionally, and cause you to veer off topic.

Food, in my example represents entitlements in the federal budget. If you are spending more than your income, and you are concerned about it, you might consider examining the category that is growing, rather than another one that is shrinking. Obviously you have missed the point completely.

The point you should have taken from my comment is that if some category of spending is decreasing over time as a percentage of your budget, and another is increasing, you might want to see if you can slow that rate of increase, and not worry so much about the category that is decreasing. It should have been easy, but I forgot that you have had a lot of trouble dealing with percentages in the past.

You know, I try to present you with arguments I think even you will understand, but it doesn't work. What is it with you?

 
At 4/07/2011 12:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Given that I have enough food..."

If you can considered a given, then hopefully you won't feel a need to discuss it further.

"I cannot make any rational decision about food spending based only on the ratio of spending for that, vs other things."

No, but you CAN consider a trend in changes of those ratios, and how your priorities might need to change. That's all I'm asking you to do. Why is it so difficult?

"This kind of false argument has a name and it is called innumeracy."

LMAO

You are accusing me of innumeracy? Get a grip.

But, thanks for the reading recommendation. I'll check it out. It sounds like an interesting read.

By the way, have you looked into any of the material I've recommended you read?

I would guess not. You may believe you already know everything you will ever need to know. Sad

 
At 4/07/2011 2:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

""why would I want to decrease overall spending?" that is a joke,"

You should realize by now that you are not very good at making jokes, as you seldom make sense.

"There are four messages there, if you can swallow the logical leaps.:"

Those are indeed leaps, and swallow is an apt term, as there is no logical flow. You are even less adept at logic, than you are at making jokes. And then, there's your poor grasp of economics, but let's deal with one thing at a time.

"Any time I spend money on something, it is because I value the thing more than I value money, right?"

Why do you consider that a joke? That's the ONE concept that you have actually gotten right.

"Taken together, these thoughts raise the issue [logical leap here, try to keep up] of why do we keep trying to earn more money, if the goals is to spend less? Obviously the goal is not to spend less, it is to spend more, since that is how we get things we want more than money."

No, nothing previous leads to that question. It is a separate, unconnected thought.

Since you are now stuck on personal finance, rather that government spending, which was the original discussion, I'll explain the difference.

Yes, an individual wants to earn more, if possible, so they can spend more. When earning more isn't possible, as it often isn't, then spending must be scrutinized, and priorities may need to change, with a view to controlling spending increases.

This can't be directly compared to government. Government doesn't "earn" anything, but takes from individuals in one of three ways:

Taxation - a direct taking of individual earnings and gains.

Borrowing - the selling of claims to future earnings, perhaps that of future generations who have had this choice made for them.

Counterfeiting - inflation of the money supply, which dilutes the value of current dollars.

None of these are desirable, so we don't want increased government earnings, but less government spending.

"You took this out of context, which is a faulty wway to argue."

The question isn't changed by the sentence I excluded, which appears to be an attempt to clarify the question. My argument addresses what's relevent.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:01 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You are missing the point.

There is nothing I can determine about expenditures based on their percentage of two differnt totals, other than the percentages are different.

You are implying some value decision based on the idea that defense spending is now a smaller part of the total than it once was.

I think that is a lousy argument.
You r conclusion may be right, I'm not arguing that point. I just don't see how you got there.


A is 30% of X
ten years later
A is 25% of Y

Ooh, thats terrible, we gotta spend more on A. Or else spend les on some other component of Y.


Does not matter whether A is food, faffoofniks or cannon fodder. There is no logical way to make that decision.

No economics necessary.

Take it for what its worth. You can try to convince me this is a good argument, or you can go find a better one. I think you will have better luck with choice 2.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:04 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Ryan is trying to play games and is not serious. If you want to cut spending and balance the budget it is not very difficult because we saw Rand Paul present a way to do that. Ryan can't because he knows that his party will not go along with a real cut of the size of government. The Republicans are just as corrupt and just as incompetent as Democrats.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:08 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as "contextomy" or "quote mining", is a logical fallacy and a type of false attribution in which a passage is removed from its surrounding matter in such a way as to distort its intended meaning.

Arguments based on this fallacy typically take two forms. As a straw man argument, which is frequently found in politics, it involves quoting an opponent out of context in order to misrepresent their position (typically to make it seem more simplistic or extreme) in order to make it easier to refute."


================================

By invoking this tactic, and the ad hominem attack you employ a faulty method of reasoning by which you cannot expect to win converts to your conclusion.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:10 PM, Blogger Bill L said...

"Ryan is trying to play games and is not serious."

Ha Ha - That'll stir the pot. Care to identify the areas where Ryan is disingenuous and where Paul has the better proposal?

 
At 4/07/2011 2:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Sounds like my lenders are going to have a problem. Maybe they should wise up."

They are wising up. In the case of government borrowing, which is actually the topic at hand, the creditors have already indicated their dissatisfaction.

On the the issue of personal finance, which you seem more interested in discussing, It's likely that your creditors have set limits on your borrowing, and when those limits are reached, you will be forced to consider spending limits instead, unless you plan to countterfeit money. You should be aware, that unlike when governments do it, individuals are often punished for counterfeiting.

Are you OK with the idea of defrauding creditors? That's what your comment seems to indicate.

"Meanwhile, I still gotta eat."

Does it matter to you at whose expense you eat?

 
At 4/07/2011 2:52 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Look, I need a certain amount of nitrogen in my soil every year. Too much or too little and I lose money.

How do I know how much to buy, based on the percentage of my farm budget that Nitrogen represented over the last ten years?

Answer: There is no way to know from that information.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:55 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I think that is a lousy argument.
You r conclusion may be right, I'm not arguing that point. I just don't see how you got there.
"

My whole argument is that you may want concentrate your efforts on reducing that which is causing you the most pain, and is, in fact, increasing that pain, rather than focusing on an annoyance that is decreasing in intensity.

Obviously, you can't discuss food in the abstract, as merely a label for a spending category. I'm really sorry I didn't choose a different label that isn't so volatile for you.

"A is 30% of X
ten years later
A is 25% of Y
"

Oh, PLEASE don't start with percentages. You know how poorly you understand the concept. Already you have screwed it up.

What you really meant to write - at least I THINK it is - is this:

A is 30% of X
ten years later
A is 25% of X

I'm hoping that you want X to represent the total budget. Numerical values aren't necessary. In ten years X can STILL represent the total budget, even though the numeric value may have changed. We only care that A - and again I'm guessing that you want A to represent a certain category of expense within X, as a PERCENTAGE of total budget, has DECREASED from 30% to 25%. I'm also assuming that you intend A to represent the SAME category of expense 10 years later, even though the numeric value may have changed.

Is that more like what you really meant to describe?

"Take it for what its worth. You can try to convince me this is a good argument, or you can go find a better one. I think you will have better luck with choice 2."

I AM trying, and I appreciate the practice you provide me. I confess that I have a naive tendency to assume, without basis, that people know what they are talking about. I need to get over that notion, because often people make statements that are so far short of applicable or even sensible, that I am struck speechless. By arguing with you, I have gotten used to such nonesense writing, and I'm able to stay focused on the subject at hand, and not wonder what planet I've been transported to.

Again, thanks.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Part 2. The percentage of my farm budet spent on Nitrogen has benn falling for the last few years.

Does that mean I should reduce the amount I spend on machinery maintenance?

My machines are like baby boomers: I have more of them and they are all getting older.

 
At 4/07/2011 2:59 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Is that more like what you really meant to describe?

===============================

No.

 
At 4/07/2011 3:08 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

""The practice of quoting out of context, sometimes referred to as "contextomy""

Good for you. It seems you have mastered copy & paste.

As I explained, I didn't quote you out of context, as the context didn't change by my separating the portion I quoted from the rest.

"By invoking this tactic, and the ad hominem attack you employ a faulty method of reasoning by which you cannot expect to win converts to your conclusion."

You should understand by now, that I have no hope of changing YOUR thinking in any way. You aren't influenced by logic, economics, or common sense, and I don't try. As I explained, I spar with you so I can better handle illogical arguments. You might notice that I frequently have serious and respectful discussions with others. With you it's a waste of time.

 
At 4/07/2011 3:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Is that more like what you really meant to describe?

===============================

No.
"

Then it makes no sense at all, and doesn't help you make a point, or explain yourself.

"Part 2. The percentage of my farm budet spent on Nitrogen has benn falling for the last few years.

Does that mean I should reduce the amount I spend on machinery maintenance?
"

No. That means that IF you were concerned with increases in your total farm budget, spending on nitrogen probably wouldn't be where you should look first to cut.

On the original topic, we should all be concerned with federal spending, and interested inways to reduce it.

The original comment - not mine - which you failed to understand pointed out that military spending, as a percentage of total government spending, has been decreasing, so that may not be the first category of spending to consider cutting.

 
At 4/07/2011 5:14 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"No. That means that IF you were concerned with increases in your total farm budget, spending on nitrogen probably wouldn't be where you should look first to cut"

==============================

First you restated what I said to suit your own means. You asked a question and I answered it.

Now, you are expanding and changing the argument beyond my orignal objection: one cannot tell whether to spend more or less on something based on percentage changes in spending.

You have not yet explained how that can be done, so any part of the argument after that, is suspect.

And now, Since you are unable to make that explanation, you invoke new premises or conditions.

For example:

"IF you were concerned with increases in your total farm budget, ...."

This is not part of the original argument, and has nothing to do with my complaint.

( as a side argument, the claim "IF you were concerned with increases in your total farm budget, spending on nitrogen probably wouldn't be where you should look first to cut." makes no sense. The goal is to be better off at the end of the year; that might mean spending more, or spending less. This makes no sense because the premise is false.)


"On the original topic, we should all be concerned with federal spending, and interested inways to reduce it."

The topic for the thread is how to have a debt free nation. The topic for our particular argument is how you decide how much to spend on something based on previous percentages. I still maintain there is no way to do that, and you have not suggested a method.



Now you are introducing a new original topic, which is how to reduce government spending. By itself,that sentence is a three part fallacy: 1) by changing the topic you introduce a red herring. 2) "we should all be concerned with federal spending" is a false generalization 3)"and interested inways to reduce it." is a false conclusion.


I would argue, first of all that a debt free nation is just as bad an idea as a debt free business. With the apporpriate amount of debt, you can grow your business faster, while waiting just means you run the risk of losing customers to some other business (who probably borrowed to expand).

 
At 4/07/2011 6:29 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I confess that I have a naive tendency to assume, without basis, that people know what they are talking about.

=============================

No, you have a tendency to assume people should know, and agree with what you are talking about.


That paragraph was a single thought, by dividing it in half you exactly took it out of context.
What you did is a common way of arguing and it is a wrong way. It is so wrong and so common it has a name.

I'm not arguing that we don't have too much debt, or that budget cuts cannot be made. I'm merely stating that you can make no assumptions based on previous percentages of previous budgets.

You think the government should spend a lot less, that it should pay down debt. But you have no intention of letting govenment keep the money it does not spend: you want it back in tax reductions.

How do we pay down debt that way?

My wife wants a new oriental rug. If I spend too much on the farm, she doesn;t get it. If I don't spend enough on the farm, she doesn't get it, either.


If I spend and borrow too much, I lose the farm, if I don't spend enough, I lose the farm.

So the farm is like the feds and the oriental rug is like your tax reduction.

Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost, where benefits count as negative costs.

On the face of it, you could reduce total costs by reducing government costs.

But just like here, I can only reduce my farm costs so much, before my total costs start to increase.

That is simple economics.

 
At 4/07/2011 6:42 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You are right.

I don't understand how you assume that because one category of spending shows a percentage decline or increase compared to the total (which is a different total from time to time), that this gives you ANY idea of what should be spent.

All you have done is reiterate the first argument, which is called circular thinking.

 
At 4/07/2011 9:53 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Ha Ha - That'll stir the pot. Care to identify the areas where Ryan is disingenuous and where Paul has the better proposal?

Paul makes more cuts and is willing to balance the budget much faster without making very questionable assumptions.

 
At 4/07/2011 10:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Now, you are expanding and changing the argument beyond my orignal objection: one cannot tell whether to spend more or less on something based on percentage changes in spending."

As is usual with you, you have tied yourself in knots because you failed to understand the original topic, and now don't understand your own arguments.

I may have erred in assuming that everyone commenting on this thread is concerned with reducing government spending. I forgot that you, having no common sense, might have different thoughts on the matter. Your comments indicate that you fail to recognize that continued spending at ever higher rates, beyond available income, will ultimately result in a crash of disastrous proportions.

Having made that erroneous assumption, I failed to explain why I thought it a good idea to reduce spending. My mistake. After all this time I forget what a moron I'm dealing with.

"I would argue, first of all that a debt free nation is just as bad an idea as a debt free business. With the apporpriate amount of debt, you can grow your business faster..."

Yes, and with the appropriate level of debt you can grow your government faster. Is that a desirable goal in your view? And you wonder why no one here takes you seriously.

Government is NOT like a business. Government produuces nothing. It consumes only. Government doesn't buy production goods or capital goods to create more consumer goods. Get a clue.

 
At 4/07/2011 10:54 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You think the government should spend a lot less, that it should pay down debt. But you have no intention of letting govenment keep the money it does not spend: you want it back in tax reductions."

You have no idea what my intentions are. And, I'm reminded that you don't understand the Laffer curve, so you don't understand that lower tax rates might produce higher tax revenue. Why didn't you pay attention whan you were spending all that time in school?

"That paragraph was a single thought, by dividing it in half you exactly took it out of context."

That's what I said. The paragraph was a single thought. The part I quoted contained its original meaning.

"My wife wants a new oriental rug. If I spend too much on the farm, she doesn;t get it. If I don't spend enough on the farm, she doesn't get it, either."

Oh, here we go again. More meaningless and uninteresting personal anecdotes, that have no bearing on the subject at hand.

"My wife wants a new oriental rug. If I spend too much on the farm, she doesn;t get it. If I don't spend enough on the farm, she doesn't get it, either."

"Total Cost = Production Cost + External Cost + Government Cost, where benefits count as negative costs."

We've already determined that is meaningless.

"That is simple economics."

No, that is simple nonsense.

Learn some economics!

 
At 4/07/2011 10:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"All you have done is reiterate the first argument, which is called circular thinking."

No, that would be called repeating myself.

Learn to think logically!

Learn some economics!

Get a clue!

 
At 4/08/2011 8:12 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

benji-

calling an idiot an idiot is merely being accurate.

you are the one who tends to toss around ad hominem all the time.

you seem to be able to dish it out but not take it.

and you accuse others of being a little boy?

lol.

seems to me you are the one crying into your lunchbox that the other kids are mean to you while being to immature to realize that you started it.

cluck cluck ad hominem chicken little.

 
At 4/08/2011 8:15 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

ps-

there are boondoggles in every branch of government. your link (as usual) demonstrates nothing at all in defense of you position that weapons keep getting worse.

it's a tangential issue at best.

 
At 4/08/2011 9:51 AM, Blogger Larry said...

While I think Paul Ryan's proposal is a good start, and one that should form the basis of true deficit reduction, I would note that removing this addiction of government spending is going to be painful, and no one should stick their heads in the sand on this issue. Quoting FDR may be good politics, but remember that FDR failed to follow his own advice and eventually built the political coalition that created this problem by buying votes and a landslide victory with a massive spending binge in 1936. Successive years, notwithstanding World War II spending, have not fundamentally reversed that political trend and Republicans have been equally guilty in recent years.

We must not wait until 2040 to reduce overall government spending. Paul Ryan's proposal does not do enough; we may not have time to stave off disaster without more. More cuts and savings are needed, and some of those will have to be radical. I do not think that people over age 55 should be exempt from Medicare/Social Security changes or cuts. And the tax system needs to be fundamentally reformed to insure that people are not further oppressed by income tax burdens.

 
At 4/08/2011 4:32 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

While I think Paul Ryan's proposal is a good start, and one that should form the basis of true deficit reduction,....

A good start? Ryan's plan still shows government spending at 20% of GDP by 2040 well above the historic average. His is a recognition that the Republican party is just as much for big government as the Democrats.

We must not wait until 2040 to reduce overall government spending. Paul Ryan's proposal does not do enough; we may not have time to stave off disaster without more. More cuts and savings are needed, and some of those will have to be radical. I do not think that people over age 55 should be exempt from Medicare/Social Security changes or cuts. And the tax system needs to be fundamentally reformed to insure that people are not further oppressed by income tax burdens.

The Republican Party leadership needs to be told that it either reduces government spending to a very reasonable level (10% is more than enough in my view) or that it needs to get out of the way. The same is true of the Republican Senators and those in the House of Representative. They should either put up or stop pretending that they are fiscally conservative.

 
At 4/08/2011 10:59 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

While I like Paul Ryan and admire the fact that he was the only Republican broaching these budget issues early on, I have to agree that his plan isn't good enough. Veronique de Rugy of Reason points out that spending under his plan still goes up from $3.6 trillion in 2011 to $4.7 trillion in 2021, $1.1 trillion in nominal dollars. That's about 2.7% every year, about the rate of inflation over the last couple decades, so he basically cuts spending a little from the current crazy level that Obama hiked it up to, then freezes it at that high level for the next decade. The fact that this is seen as $6 trillion in "cuts" is only because Obama blew spending out so much in his insane proposed future budgets, that Ryan's is $6 trillion less than that. The fact that Obozo the clown can talk about fiscal responsibility then submit these crazy budgets is so ludicrous, it's almost an experiment in collective stupidity and his supporters are certainly passing that pH test.

 
At 4/08/2011 11:13 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

As for Rand Paul, his plan is certainly better, though not as good as it could be. I believe the reason he moderated his plan is that he's readying himself for a presidential run. I think he sees how Obama won so soon after entering the Senate and figures he can too. I used to dismiss the notion of Rand running so soon out of hand, but the way he keeps getting on camera these days and moderating his positions somewhat, he's certainly making the signs. Frankly, I hope he does: I think he has the best chance of winning and would probably do the best job too. I like Daniels and Christie also, but Daniels is a bit awkward publicly and Christie probably won't run.

 
At 4/08/2011 11:14 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Also, I agree with Benjie about citizen militias: that's all we need to protect ourselves and not having a standing army takes away the temptation to intervene in Iraq or Libya and other boondoggles. Since local police and SWAT teams these days have military-grade equipment like M-16s, Hueys, and even an M113A1, I think we'd do just fine if China or whoever else were dumb enough to attack us.

 
At 4/11/2011 9:39 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

As for Rand Paul, his plan is certainly better, though not as good as it could be.

I do not believe that Rand Paul has ever claimed that his plan is complete yet. He simply began with the easy cuts, which are substantial compared to those proposed by Ryan. He has always said that if anyone has better ideas that meets the goals he is more than happy to adapt his plan to incorporate those ideas.

 

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