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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Let us turn now to the respected professionals at the Congressional Budget Office and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, who are too polite to simply laugh at Ryan. They took him seriously enough to examine his assertions with care, only to find that the research he cites doesn’t support his assumptions — and that most economists still don’t buy his theories. They also noticed that Ryan never specifies which loopholes and expenditures he expects to end. That must be why Romney, who has offered similarly foggy plans for tax reform, feels Ryan is such a kindred spirit.

When voters hear that Ryan is a bold, responsible figure determined to reduce the fiscal overhang that threatens future generations, they should know that his budgets don’t balance — at least not any time before 2040. And that’s because he is pursuing the same agenda as George W. Bush did — which will produce still more ruinous exults if he succeeds.

No fear, however, because Ryan happily tells us that his tax cuts will stimulate so much economic growth so rapidly that fresh revenues will fill the gaps. Yes! Cutting taxes will actually increase tax revenues.

Everyone in Washington certainly knows where we heard that before. That argument first appeared when Ronald Reagan was president, then disappeared when he was forced to raise taxes in a vain attempt to cover the vast deficits his policies spawned. The same argument reappeared in the guise of “dynamic scoring” to justify the Bush tax cuts, with consequences that continue to cripple the nation.

Voodoo economics, as the senior (and smarter) Bush so memorably termed this belief system, does not work. But Ryan evidently believes in it, because his budget depends heavily on that old voodoo to achieve balance. He claims that closing loopholes and reducing tax expenditures will cover the revenue losses

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