Romney-Ryan Budget: “Inconceivably Cruel Priorities” And No Deficit Reduction

This is what happens when extremists gain complete control of a party’s discourse.”

—Paul Krugman on the 2013 GOP budget

aul Krugman thinks the Paul Ryan-Mitt Romney budget plan is so bad it doesn’t even qualify as the meat filler affectionately known as “pink slime.”

The truth is that the filler modern food manufacturers add to their products may be disgusting…but it nonetheless has nutritional value. Mr. Ryan’s empty promises don’t. You should think of those promises, instead, as a kind of throwback to the 19th century, when unregulated corporations bulked out their bread with plaster of paris and flavored their beer with sulfuric acid.


He called plan passed by House Republicans last Thursday “the most fraudulent budget in American history”:

And when I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes.

…to make his numbers work Mr. Ryan would, by 2022, have to close enough loopholes to yield an extra $700 billion in revenue every year. That’s a lot of money, even in an economy as big as ours. So which specific loopholes has Mr. Ryan, who issued a 98-page manifesto on behalf of his budget, said he would close?

None. Not one. He has, however, categorically ruled out any move to close the major loophole that benefits the rich, namely the ultra-low tax rates on income from capital. (That’s the loophole that lets Mitt Romney pay only 14 percent of his income in taxes, a lower tax rate than that faced by many middle-class families.)

Krugman ends his piece by suggesting that House Republicans—he should have also included by extension Mittens, who endorsed the thing—are irresponsible and dishonest.

Now, who’s gonna believe that?

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