Budget Stances Harden as Deadline Nears for Shutdown

After talks with leaders of Congress failed to yield a budget deal, President Obama said there was “no excuse” for the impasse, and Republican leaders widened their push for cuts.

Comments: 125

  1. Rob from the poor and give to the rich. Ryan Hood, a Republican Tale!

  2. Cutting the top tax rate from 35 to 25% is more spending we can't afford.

    This is just an attempt to defund Obama's healthcare to redirect tax money back to the rich and away from the poor and middle class.

    Corporations and the top individual earners need to be paying higher taxes. Outsourcing also needs to be restricted.

    More smoke and mirrors from the GOP.

  3. What about the bloated and infective pentagon? Who wants to keep spending in that black hole?

  4. Where was this plan during the Bush years when the Republicans controlled both houses and the presidency? Now that there's no chance it will pass, the GOP rolls out budget cuts.

  5. Finally politicians acting like grownups. Too bad it'll be used against them in 2012.

  6. Good start, devils will be in details though. Government spending should go down to 15% gdp much faster proposed.

  7. Cut the tax rate of the richest to 25%? This is a sick joke! And how many desperately poor Americans will support this because "When I'm rich, I don't want the government taking my money."

  8. Balance the budget by reducing taxes? Is anybody really that gullible?

  9. Welfare and socialism for the super rich, free market fundamentalism for everyone else.

    And war, kidnapping, torture, indefinite detention and military tribunals for everyone who resists.

    We're writing our own obituary.

  10. Fraud, Farce, Shameful!!!!

    I scorn these folks for their lack of humanity, their immorality and their plain, downright meanness.

    To effectively cut the budget--
    (1) abandon the notion of empire, cut the militarism and imperial aspects of the US.
    (2) Cut the military budget by 50%,
    (3) get out of the three wars we are now currently in, close overseas bases in Japan and Europe for starters.
    (4) Reinvest the money into the US.
    (5) Make corporations pay their fair share of the taxes.
    (6) Raise the top rate on individuals.

    Please this isn't rocket science.

  11. If this cynical effort of the Republicans succeeds to ANY extent, this will not be a country that I would ever want to live in. Period.

  12. Finally, someone in Washington D.C. is starting to act like adults. This could start a real Republican Revolution and a real New Morning in America

  13. As for this 6 Trillion cut in spending, the 2 (Two) parties haven't passed THIS years budget yet. They are 7 (Seven) MONTHS late and counting. Note that the GOP budget for this year as well as their proposed budget for next fiscal year DOES NOT touch Defense Spending. If you want to do something, write and call your Congress people and demand they take at least a Trillion out of Defense Spending and do it NOW.

    If any of you reading this story are Republican supporters and are retired on Social Security and Medicare, you better watch out. The GOP proposed budget is going slash your benefits.

  14. Welcome to the 1920s

  15. "Obama invites republicans to meet on budget" - or, since we've seen this movie already, "Obama caves, GOP rejoices, country suffers"

  16. Mr. Ryan's agenda is perhaps one of the clearest examples of over-reaching in the history of the Republic.

    To dismantle Medicare and Medicaid as we know it, to remove or limit the many programs that have to a large created and sustained the Middle Class, and to change the tax code from progressive to regressive --a return to the nineteenth century, requires a transformational change in the psyche of the nation, such as with the New Deal, or the American Revolution --but in reverse!

    To remake the country one first must win solid majorities in both House and Senate, and the Presidency and to do so over many years. And to have wide agreement to transform the Nation. Agreement vested by the People.

    Now, Mr. Ryan perhaps thinks this is the time... But messianic thinking always thinks that the time is right for their own self-aggrandizement.

    To transform a First World nation into a sort of Third World nation, in terms of its tax structure and the support to the individual citizen, and in terms of no restrictions nor taxes in the uber-rich, sounds like a fools errand, and eventually doomed to fail, even if driven by ideology.

    American Democracy is not as weak as Mr. Ryan and his cohorts think.

    Yet, as Mr. Ryan plays along with the GOP with fire, it is possible that their own irresponsibility and ideological "purity" (a farce when confronted with reality) might precisely cause a debt crisis for the United States.

    If you were a foreign investor, would you trust your money and lend to crazed, irresponsible, and individuals so blinded by the ideological light that they fiddle with the U.S. debt limit and the U. S. budgets to score political brownie points against a president they dislike mostly because his skin color is not theirs?

    Indeed we are descending into banana republic status and the GOP is at the forefront of this dive into the gutter.

  17. If he were serious about saving money, he'd cut farm subsidies, defense contracts and increase taxes on large corporations. This guy is trying to cut everyone else's money and increase his own, total hypocrite.

  18. The true believers among the Republicans believe that the last election was a counter-revolution, not momentary disgruntlement over the economy. They also believe that Social Security and Medicare are no longer the third rails of American politics and so they can propose absurd-Koch-brothers' daydream solutions to our problems. But I believe Ryan and company have over-reached tremendously, that they are flying towards the sun. The wax is already melting from their wings. Like some disoriented pilots who mistakenly think their plane is climbing, they're really plunging into the sea. I look forward to the splash.

  19. Paul Ryan is a fraud. Take a look at the economy in his home district before you take his advice on the budget. He is sticking it to his own constituents again. When are they going to wise up and vote this clown out of office?

  20. $78 billion in military cuts vs 6 trilion for the civilian population? This is just pathetic....

  21. The 30-year Republican war against the poor and middle class continues unabated; tax cuts and more war spending for the rich; squalor, defunded education, potholes and desperation for the non-rich.

    The Republican party continues to disgrace itself.

  22. It is well past time for the USA to stop being the planet's policeman.

    The USA should not have 900 military bases all over the planet.

    All the USA needs to do is defend the Western Hemisphere.

    Military cuts and a fair tax code would eliminate the budget problems.

  23. Lowering the tax rate for the wealthiest Americans and corporations while cutting programs for the old, the sick, the poor??
    Mr. Ryan, in spite of his high-flown rhetoric, is just another
    Republican shill for the most affluent among us.

  24. The enormity of our national debt and the implications of not starting to bring it under control are only now starting to be part of the national dialogue. Those who answer with scripted political responses (aka "extreme" Sen. Shumer) are playing the politcal game to the detriment of all future generations. Those who respinf tax the wealthy do not grasp the small down payment that will make.

  25. It's about time someone changed the trajectory of this debate. Interesting to see if the Democrats have a principled response to offer, or whether they will rehearse the same soundbite about "extreme cuts". Also wonder how many of those who comment on the article in this space, can muster something more original than (a) 'tax the rich' and (b) 'end all wars' (c) because then the deficit will go away (it won't). Not holding my breath.

  26. Which part of this budget proposal defunds our elective wars?

  27. why do all of the tax cuts benefit the wealthy and harm the middle class and working poor? the united states is no longer a democracy.

  28. LBJ gave us Vietnam and Medicare. It is time to get rid of BOTH.

  29. I'm moving to Canada.

  30. If the government shuts down Friday, does that mean that the "Tea (non)Party" coalition with the radical Repubs has won everything they set out to do?

  31. This country has gone MAD. Guess what, America? You get what you deserve.

  32. So now they want to cut Medicare? After ignoring it when Bush wanted to privatize Social Security? After running in the last election as the party saving Medicare from cuts by Obamacare? What hypocrisy.

  33. Hubris, that's what this is.

    This is a plan that cuts 6 trillion in spending, while at the same time reducing the top income tax rate from 35 to 25% and raising the bottom rate by 13%.

    How long do you think it will take avergae Americans to realize that the GOP intends to balance the budget on the backs of poor and middle class Americans while simultanously giving the rich a massice tax cut?

    Even Fox News won't be enough to save the GOP if anything like this starts to look like it's a real possibility.

    In 2013, when people start asking how Barack Obama got re-elected they'll point directly to this insane budget proposal.

  34. I continue to be shocked by the self-serving nature of Republican fiscal policy and I sincerely hope the White House draws a proverbial line in the sand and refuses to concede to these ridiculous tax cuts for the rich. The US defense budget is nearly $150 billion more this year than it was in 2006, when we were already knee-deep in two wars. I wouldn't budge until we slashed that budget back to at least pre-2006 levels. As it is for all of us, the Pentagon must figure out how to do more with less.

  35. America no longer has a spending problem, it has a revenue problem. That is what the truth is. Democrats should repeat it and repeat it and repreat it. Those who want to run the show do not want to be taxed. Return to 1980 tax rates. Problems solved. That should be in the Democrats budget peoposal. Taxes on multi millionaires and billionaires, raise them.

  36. This is a joke. This is such a joke. Balance the budget? Cut military spending and raise taxes on the rich. Congress is just arguing about peanuts and willfully ignoring the real issues.

    Is it a requirement to have a complete inability to do math to be elected to national office?

  37. First, cut taxes for rich people and corporations, costing billions at least. Next, lie to start a needless war costing trillions. And finally, spend trillions of dollars bailing out the banks that cost people their jobs, their homes, and their retirement savings. And viola! Now there is no money to pay for Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security. Beautiful.

  38. The Republicans brought us this economic disaster. It seems the democrats followers know that, and the republicans followers blindly believe their leaders. On both sides, it seems, people always believe who they like.

  39. Obama won't cut defense because to throw a couple hundred thousand soldiers out of work would RAISE the unemployment rate.

  40. I am sure the Harvard brain trusters over there will oppose just to appease and oppose--we have plenty of money, etc. Remember--smartest president EVAH!

  41. The comments here from tax and spend liberals are just more of the same. And more of the same doesn't cut it any longer when federal budget deficits are at $1.5 trillion. Remember progressives: 70% of all income taxes collected are paid by the top 10% of earners in this country. And 47% of tax filers pay no federal income tax. So don't tell me that the "rich" don't already pay their "fair" share. Facts don't lie, but progressives and liberals sure do.

  42. why are we discussing cutting a corporate tax rate that corporations don't even pay in the first place?

  43. I found the proposal fair and sound on the medicare and medicaid aspect. We have to realize that as long we, the people, spend other people's money, we will continue to be reckless. Kudos for Ryan for taking the stand on reining in spending.

    On the topic of cutting tax rates, that is completely non-sensical. In spite of the cuts, we can't afford to cut tax rates.

    The days of when we could decide between spending cuts or tax increases is over. We must do them both.

  44. Unfortunately, this is going to do down very differently than the last time republicans tried to shut down the government. This time they will succeed in pinning it on the Democrats and the President. Last time, Bill Clinton was very adept at making it clear that it was Newt and the republicans who were unwilling and unable to govern. Our current president has none of Clinton's agility or persuasive powers to avoid this political crisis and turn it to his own benefit.

  45. Shouldn't we raise taxes if we need to bring down our debt?
    If I am in debt, I don't work less (i.e. bring in less money = lower taxes), I probably get a second job (i.e. bring in more money = raise taxes) so I can get out of debt quicker. I'm sure that the people who proposed this ridiculous budget live by the logic they propose, right?

    How about this as a counter crazy idea:
    If you make more than 3 million dollars a year you can either pay a tax rate of 50% for maybe 10 years, TO HELP YOUR COUNTRY IN A TIME OF NEED, or you can be given to China as the governments collateral. I bet the rich wouldn't complain about taxes anymore.

  46. As usual, you have the good, bad and the ugly here. I suggest both the Reps and Dems drop the bad and the ugly and negotiate on the good.
    Republican bad and ugly
    1-Drastically cutting everything too soon inviting potential disasters like another great recession.
    2-Limiting the cuts to only middle and lower classes and not the rich or military or corporate welfare.
    3-Drastically cutting more taxes and keeping the rich paying a lower rate than the poor instead of selectively cutting or even raising some taxes.

    Democrat bad and ugly
    1-Not cutting enough of their program waste that is wasting millions in various departments.
    2-Not having a bold but safe plan to reduce the budget in a safe, timely way.
    3-Raising taxes drastically on any group especially the poor and middle class.

    Where are the Lincolns when we need them?

  47. Aside from the glaringly ignorant voodoo economics displayed in this proposed budget, it is also a declaration of class warfare, and it must be defined as such by the Obama administration and by the democratic party. It's an attack on working people and the poor, on people already suffering. It's an attack on our children. It is also a blatant attempt to kill the American dream of moving up the economic ladder once and for all and to make the gap between rich and poor in this country as wide as the Grand Canyon. If the meanspiritedness of this budget is not fought tooth and nail by Democrats, it means they, too, are not deserving of their positions in Washington.

  48. The Republicans DID NOT receive a manifesto from the electorate to favor the wealthy and to punish the middle and lower class. Who do they think they are fooling ? They are the fools with their secular fundamentalist belief that they alone are right. They have an infallibility complex which is absolutely unacceptable !! Truth emerges from a medley of voices and DOES involve compromise in a democracy.

  49. The GOP budget proposal is equivalent to decreasing the kids' allowance to pay for the parents' lavish lifestyle.

  50. They are destroying the social contract that requires "shared sacrifice". They are un-American traitors and want to end America as we know it.

  51. We're barely getting by and we can no longer send our children to public schools. They're just too bad. We can not get fired or laid off at any cost. We would lose our health insurance. We can not afford to buy a home. We both have master's degrees. We both work. We save $100 a month per child for college and, at this rate, we can get them through one or maybe two years. Our government is completely broken.

  52. If you cut funding to the poor and middle class and redirect that money to the rich via tax cuts, there will be revolution.

  53. The only comments made so far in support of the GOP budget both say something like, "Finally politicians acting like grownups."

    Must be this morning's FauxNews talking point.

  54. Brilliant. Tax cuts for the rich as a method of balancing the budget. Genius.

    And of course, everyone else can fight for scraps in the garbage dumps, and hope to GOD they find a partly full bottle of asprin as their health care plan....

    Thank you Mr. ryan for proving that all those nasty things Democrats have been saying about tea party republicons is not only true but not even as aweful as you really are.

  55. This is ridiculous. Creating a thicker silver lining in their pockets does not make the economy better. Giving the rich more money never creates more jobs, except for those that are already rich. The money they will receive from the tax cuts will not trickle down to the middle class and poor.

  56. How about we bring spending levels back to pre-2001 levels?

  57. What the Republican leadership proposes is not surprising; it's been their mantra for many years. The startling part is their certainty that most Americans will believe the lies they tell. Cutting the tax rates for corporations and the very rich, while reducing benefits to the middle class and the poor has always been the Republican objective. Another writer has alluded to taking us back to 1924; it is so on point.

  58. Tax cuts do not cost the government money. It's OUR money (private sector), not the public sector, which produces NOTHING. I like Ryan's plan, but more military money needs to be cut.

    We have to stop growing the federal government. It is absolutely unsustainable.

    Read about the Weimar Republic, liberals.

  59. I for one applaud any effort by politicians to tackle the long term financial insolvency of the United States. At some point in time the US$ will no longer be the reserve currency of the world and the Feds ability to create money out of thin air will disappear. Addressing these issues now must become a priority for both the federal government and the state governments as well. Ballooning deficits and off balance sheet liabilities do not engender confidence in investors, at some point in the future the US will have to address these issues or face higher borrowing costs, lest the US ends up in a positions like the PIGS(Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Spain).

    A streamlining of the tax code would be a major benefit to the Treasury and the taxpayers, for those who argue that you would be giving tax breaks to the rich, you may be wrong. A reworking of tax rates may indeed increase the tax payments for high earners if the simplified code eliminates the tax shelters and deductions used by individuals to lower their effective tax rate. The same arguments could be made for the corporate tax rate as well. A simple and straightforward tax structure would most likely effect the higher earners to a greater extent than others due to eliminations of deductions and exemptions. Overall you would have to get estimates for effective tax rates paid currently vs. effective tax rates under the new proposal to do an apples to apples comparison.

  60. Finally! The end-game of the 30-years Republican war on children, the elderly, and anyone who is not wealthy or well-connected.

    Despite being responsible for 80% of the current national debt, Republicans are not contrite: rather, they're using the opportunity to push the final transformation of America into a banana republic.

    Their shamelessness and hypocrisy is breathtaking.

  61. GE is taking heat for making billions in profits last year and paying ZERO in corporate taxes. That's right, anybody who paid a dime in taxes last year paid more than GE did.

    This is also the same company that we the taxpayers lent a helping hand to during the financial crisis we are now slowly, hopefully, emerging from.

    They had every right to use the loopholes and they had the smarts and financial ability to get the right people on board to slip thru those holes legally.

    Part of this proposal by the GOP seems to want to close up thos eloopholes to stop this sort of ting, and the other part is to reduce the rate from a top of 35% to 25% percent.

    On 60 minutes, Cisco's CEO spoke about the GE tax thing, and corporate America, and he said what I think alot of people feel, and think, hey what drives companies to go to other countries with more favorable tax rates is our high rate. I don't think anybody here is asking the US to match the rates of other countries, but you have to get it closer. The rat enow is crazy and opens the door to people taking business elsewhere.

    So some of the proposal here is also meant to do just that.

    Now, with all the protest and what not that go on in this world, I am stunned that I have yet to hear about all of us boycotting GE, or dumping their stock in protest of them working their way to a zero tax rate for 2010.

    Sure they have the right to do that because of how this has all ben drawn up in the past, but we have the right to believe that just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

    Then again, there's always the selfish factor to contend with, ain't there?

  62. Extreme conservatism, just like communism, needs to be looked at from its effects (polarization, violence, greed, gluttony), then outlawed. This disease needs eradication not just from the US, but from the entire world, that is, if we wish to coexist peacefully and with respect.

  63. Americans better wake up before these Corpublicans take everything. I shudder to think if they were to control all three branches of our government. This country would like what's happening in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio (and spreading to other Corpublican led states....hello!). Dangerous.

  64. If the Republicans increased the tax rate on the rich (or at least allowed the Democrats to do so), then the deficit would decrease even more!

    Can the two parties come up with a principled solution? Or are we just going to have more fighting, with the Republicans making silly suggestions, and the liberal readers of the Times making other silly suggestions?

  65. No. Just no to this. Lower taxes on the rich, cut the safety net, and not talk about farm subsidies even in principle? No. There is no way to simply cut the budget and lower taxes at the same time, and then pretend it will fix the deficit. No! Please, dems, find your inner guts.

  66. While we continue to spend more on the military than the rest of the world combined--even though 8 of the next 10 biggest spenders are allies...And will they cut corporate subsidies to Agribusiness ($200 billion annually)? Stop the water subsidies, the pork barrel spending Republicans tripled 2000 to 2006? From 2000 to 2006, with massive tax cuts directed mainly at the top 2-5%, Republican President and Congress increased spending 50% (not counting Iraq, done, "off the books," a la Enron)and along with nonregulation of financial markets (Cox ignored the massive leverage as well as Madoff scam) turned a 180 billion surplus into a trillion dollar deficit. Medicare? Who was it bought votes with a trillion dollar drug benefit designed to benefit drug companies by outlawing negotiation for discounts with Big Pharma ($50 million in contributions to Republicans in single election cycle)....And now these poseurs claim to have seen the light..And as a Christian, I find their claim to faith is more offensive than ever. Look at these spending priorities, and remember that being a Christian is about more than opposing gay marriage and abortion. It is about caring for the poor and vulnerable first, not last.

  67. So why is it that we were doing just fine under the Clinton Administration with Medicare, Medicaid, and all other programs the Republicans wish to slash, fully intact. We ended up with a surplus. How did that happen? And what happened afterward to put us into the shape we're currently in? And whose doing was that? Does anyone really trust Republicans to do what's right for the common man?

  68. Now Ryan Hood wants to perpetuate for 50 years what hasn't worked for the last ten!?!
    These are the same people who brought us the Bush tax cuts and have given away the store to the bankers.

    What a fraud.

  69. Tax cuts do NOT increase revenue. They restrict economic production and then gov't just spends anything else it receives.

    The Reagan tax cuts produced an economic boom.
    The Bush tax cuts produced an economic boom.

    It's the SPENDING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  70. Cutting taxes for the rich in order to reduce the national debt makes about as much sense as drinking yourself sober.

    If the GOP pushes this proposal they will be commiting political suicide.

  71. How does a block grant to the states solve the medicaid problem and rising health care costs? Isn't this just passing the buck? This proposal ignores social realities and as usual solves all problems by cutting taxes and making it easier for the wealthy to pay for all the professionals that would be required to loophole their way out of paying their fair share. Meanwhile nothing is done about the wealth gap, real jobs, sustaining the environment... As long as as we can fight everyone's battles on 3 fronts and big business can continue to profit from cheap labor elsewhere - it's all good...

  72. As I started to read the Republican proposal I realized this is nothing more than a political/ideological document and not a true budgetary document. It cannot be trusted for the facts.

  73. HooooooooooooooooooooooRayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

  74. I hope the President and Democrats paint this radical GOP stunt as starkly as commenters here have done.

    Because the best way to a depression is to starve the US economy and population of investment. You can't cut your way out of an economic crisis, not on the shoulders of working people.

  75. Not for nothing, it's the molly-coddling descriptions of the GOP's constantly damaging actions and ideas like that of the first paragraph of this article that contribute to keeping the public complacent and unengaged. The first paragraph reads:

    "The ambitious plan by House Republicans would limit federal spending, reconfigure health programs and cut the top tax rate for individuals and corporations."

    So people read that and say, "okay, whatever." In contrast, here is the headline featured on the analysis done by the non-partisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Ryan's "Roadmap" - the blueprint for the "Blueprint":

    The Ryan Budget's Radical Priorities
    Provides Largest Tax Cuts in History for Wealthy, Raises Middle Class Taxes, Ends Guaranteed Medicare, Privatizes Social Security, Erodes Health Care

    There's not a word there that is not true. The molly-coddling headline and first paragraph description used by the NYT does the public a disservice in keeping them blissfully unaware that Ryan's vision is to tear to shreds the social safety net on which so many depend for their very lives.

  76. This plan, purportedly drafted almost entirely by a man with merely a bachelors degree in economics, is nothing less than a blueprint for the wholesale destruction of the middle class in this country. Were I framing the message for the Democratic Party, I would be emphasizing this fact over and over again. I would dispense the use of "Republican Party', which frankly resembles not at all the history of that once proud organization, in favor of the "Anti-Middle Class Party" and drive home to voters that opposition to true traditional national social values like responsible regulation of the financial system, a progressive tax structure, public education, care for the poor and luckless in our society, a socially responsible national health and pension system are principles which serve only the most fortunate of our society and as such are corrosive to and destructive of American values and society. We look to our President for leadership in this battle for the soul of America, not accomodation.

  77. So, lemme see if I understand: The GOP - the same crowd that ravaged the nation's treasury with an anti-competitive prescription drug law passed by Congress in the middle of the night, without notice or debate - now wants us to trust them with the arduous task of redesigning the social safety net? Wasn't it the GOP that five years ago proposed privatizing social security? It was a proposal that would have put at risk retirement security for every working person in the country. Thank GOD the Dems were there to stop it. Wasn't it the GOP that unilaterally launched two unfunded wars that continue to sap our nation's treasury? Wasn't it the GOP that enacted a series of tax cuts that overwhelmingly benefitted the richest 1% of Americans (tax cuts that continue to deplete our treasury)? Yep, new faces, same old ideology.

    At first glance, this "budget" document reads more like a political manifesto for Republican dogma than a serious budget proposal. It's light on details and ramifications but heavily laden with inflammatory political rhetoric and accusations. And we're supposed to take this seriously? C'mon!

  78. The definition of insanity:

    doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    Republicans are insane.

    Sorry. There's no other way to explain it. Republicans manufactured the current deficit crisis -- and what they propose doing will be more of the same, and make the deficit worse. Much, much worse.

    There's no doubt that our mounting debt, if left unchecked, will destroy us financially. It’s equally true that every deficit has two parts to the equation, namely income and expenses. And let us not forget that the Republicans created this budget crisis through irresponsible tax cuts to billionaires and tax breaks for corporations.

    When a company like GE pays less Federal income tax than individuals do, you know things are really, really screwed up. The Republicans created the current budget crisis as a pretext for furthering their draconian social agenda. It's all part of their game plan, their war on the middle class:

    1) Destroy unions
    2) Eliminate Social Security
    3) Eliminate Medicare
    4) Eliminate the minimum wage
    5) Eliminate worker safety laws
    6) Eliminate environmental protections.

    Republicans won't rest until America looks like Mexico.

  79. Few proposals, even out of the Republican right, have been more transparent in their narrow ideological impulse than the Ryan "reform." Privatization of vital--and traditional--governmental services not to make government more efficient, but to make corporate interests more wealthy; narrowing and eliminating programs designed to provide support for the less fortunate as well as social security for society as a whole; tax loopholes, rebates and lower rates for the well-to-do in the face of the greatest economic polarization of American society since the 1920's: this is what Paul Ryan and his ideological associates are offering. In the meantime, revenue flow into government is to be slashed and then and capped to starve government by creating an artificial deficity to justify eliminating of government functions. The Ryan proposal is not a deficit-fighting program. It is an ideological declaration of war on all but the very wealthy. Corporate interests who bankroll the Tea Party and who have bought and paid for these Republican political hacks are certainly getting their money's worth.

  80. This should be obvious but: #2: cutting taxes is NOT the same as increasing spending-sheeesh! #6: There is an optimal tax rate that raises the most revenue, just as there is an optimal price point for any good or service. Tax rates DO NOT produce more revenue as they get higher; this was proven in the Reagan administration. Think about it and it makes sense.
    I'm very optimistic that we may yet avoid financial disaster with this responsible plan.

  81. Tax rates are really too high. The real issue is the loopholes in the tax system that make it easy for the rich to make deductions/exemptions in obscure codes. Ordinary people get no such benefits. Its time to scrap the whole tax code and come up with a flat tax of 20% -- on every single dollar you earn, incomes or gains, no exemptions, no deductions. At least that is fair. Everyone wins in this case except for the people who are unfairly gaming the system.
    Paying taxes should be easy and fair -- at present it's neither.

  82. What part of "Get up off the couch and vote out the GOP" don't you understand. It only gets worse if you don't. Obama is not 100% with anyone, but pick your sides and decide. Moan and groan all you want, but vote!

  83. What the so-called GOP is calling "the path to Prosperity" is, in fact, an attempt on the part of the few to steal the wealth of the many citizens of the United States. The "too big to fail" banks that own the Federal Reserve System, the three branches of government, the military and intelligence apparatus," the electronic voting machines, and the media are doing this all around the world. We are just another banana republic to the money cartel.

  84. Beware of a political party that tries to eliminate social programs== and then suddenly comes up with a plan to "reform" them.

  85. As a senior citizen (77 years old), I have had ample experience with Medicare, and I can say without hesitation that it is superior to any private plan I have had in my lifetime.
    Turning Medicare into what amounts to a voucher program is a terrible idea which should be rejected out of hand.
    The notion that private insurance companies could deliver quality care at lower cost is a fantasy. Their marketing costs alone would make it nearly impossible to compete with the cost structure of Medicare.

  86. People wake up! The WHOLE problem is the Federal Reserve (nothing Federal about this bunch of thieves, it is a banking cartel). They have been charging us insane interest to loan us OUR OWN MONEY that they create out of thin air! All the politicians cover this up to protect the bankers and their jobs. End the Fed and the IRS and 90% of our problems go away!

  87. It is fine to attack the budget directly. What also needs addressing is the erosion of our free market system, which distorts the income distribution in in this country and hurts our ability to compete.

    America! Is it too late?

    "Should it really matter if some other country is richer and more militarily powerful? Who cares if some other country has economic supremacy as long as your country is prosperous and can manage its own internal affairs. For example the countries of Denmark, Sweden and Norway, each economically advanced, seem to have no qualms about who rules the world as long as they are left alone to be prosperous and peaceful, though their attitude might well change were whoever held the purse strings to start to curb their freedoms and encroach upon their way of life. But until that happens, whether the global financier is China, Russia or America seems, for them, largely irrelevant." How the West Was Lost Dambisa Moyo

    America is losing it and it will take drastic action for us to get back on course. Why has this happened? More

  88. If I remember right, outsourcing was the brainchild of the highly respected (in his time) CEO of Hewlett-Packard, who coldly said, and I paraphrase: All corporations should pretend that their manufacturing and all aspects of their companies are sitting on large barges that they can send to anywhere in the world where people will do the work for very little money, so the corporations can make the maximum profits they can! This was, of course, the start of OUTSOURCING, when the "barges" they dreamed of became located in third world nations where employees were willing to work for just a few dollars a day.

    This greedy CEO also said: "Our first loyalty must always be to the shareholders!" So these outsourcing corporations continue their business method of sending everything they can across the oceans so they can maximize profits and...American society be damned!

    So, our manufacturing is dead in many portions of our nation. Whereas we once ranked #1 in the world, we're pitifully behind now. Many jobs are gone forever for Americans, and millions are still unemployed--despite our President's interventions in their behalf--, homes have been lost due to folks losing their jobs, more children are poor, the middle class is dissolving, and the litany continues of how our once-great nation is eroding and becoming a nation like third-world nations: rife with many wealthy people, a very small middle class, and very many people at the bottom.

    Yet Hewlett-Packard and these off-shore corporations, despite their billions in profits, DON'T PAY ANY TAXES ON THESE...because they're overseas. So they are "double-dipping" into our nation's wealth: first, by not paying taxes on their offshore earnings (which are tremendous!); second, by getting governmental tax breaks and subsidies from our government.

    But Ryan and the House Republicans, and almost all Republicans in the U.S., want to let these job-stealing, America-killing corporations continue getting fatter and richer and paying less and less. Remember, although they are Americans, these corporate folks are not loyal to our people, to our nation's progress, to the well-being and strength of our COUNTRY. No: their first, and only, loyalty is to profits!

    So much for the Republicans' mantra that not taxing corporations "creates jobs for the people." Of course: for the people of India, China, and the other third world nations who are getting hired by the millions, while our own American millions of workers are getting pushed out.

  89. 6T is not enough. Why not 12T or 25T? All you lazy, wimpy liberals. Can't stand on your own two feet. It's time you suffer! Go to work ... your not entitled to anything. Nothing!

  90. Explain to me what is "burdensome" about our current tax structure. Apparently, General Electric didnt' find it all that much of a burden, since it didn't pay any taxes last year. Why do corporations and the wealthy have to be coddled? Can't they also learn to "live within their means," "make sacrifices," and the other stuff that's being asked of public workers, the poor, and the middle class? Do they have to have all of these lavish "incentives"? Speaking of cutting "entitlements," why not cut all of these perks that the "entitled class" seems now to expect? I don't think heating, children's lunches or healthcare, or decent retirement are "entitlements." Who invented all of this absurd propaganda anyway?

    In any case, even when corporations are indulged with every imaginable "incentive", they continue to outsource all of our jobs and all our wealth in direct investment elsewhere. Corporations and the wealthy do not create jobs; they cut jobs to save on "productivity."

    Don't they have an ounce of common decency or concern for society? What happened to the concept of the common good? Did they skip Sunday School? We know they skipped or flunked out of Civics, History, Logic, Math, Social Studies, and READING.

    Obama and the Democrats always cave to this absurd logic. Who can we vote for now? Obama--No Republicans--No.

  91. Dont underestimate Paul Ryan - he looks like a lemur; Lemurs are among the smartest of primates

  92. Massive tax cuts for the rich, in an era where the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more money than the bottom 160,000,000 Americans, and where EACH of the top 25 Hedge Fund managers in 2009 took home more income than 20,000 typical American families.

    Brilliant idea.

    The idea of closing loopholes (huge tax breaks for the rich) is good, though - if it actually happened.

  93. All we need to do is back the dollar with gold again. Let's get back to the gold standard. Back the dollar with gold!

  94. After 30 years of tax cuts and 30 years of deficits it should be clear that tax cuts can not reduce deficits. Common sense tells use that if you reduce the tax rate for the wealthy and for corporations you also reduce the revenue the federal government takes in. But maybe these Republican proposal need to become reality in order to sober up the tens of millions of Americans who continue to support these ideas.

  95. Kabuki theater. The republicans need to avoid the shutdown, so this proposal - and the timing of it - will let the Tea Party caucus know they are serious about cutting the budget...just not this week.

    Ryan's proposal doesn't deserve the publicity it is getting. It's nothing but a red herring.

  96. You have to grudgingly admire the Republicans' sheer chutzpah, even as you despise it. They create a financial catastrophe by doubling the national debt in 8 years under Bush and by deregulating the financial services industry over the past 30 years so that it ran amok and brought the whole economy to its needs.

    Having caused the mess -- aided, to be sure, by a spineless opposition afraid of its own shadow -- the Republicans then use it to enact a strictly ideological agenda that serves only the interests of their core constituents: the wealthy and corporations. The middle class, the needy, and the poor are thrown to the wolves.

    Why the middle class, the needy and the poor continue to vote for these people, whose heartless agenda is so obvious and blatant, and so adverse to the interests of those constituents, is the single greatest mystery of modern American politics.

    The "trickle down" ideas proclaimed in this budget proposal have been tried for the past 30 years, and the jury is in. We've seen the results. It is very, very clear that when you give rich people and corporations tax breaks, it only serves to make them richer. They do not invest in America or create American jobs. They invest in China and great Mexican jobs. They hoard their increased earnings in foreign tax havens, buy more yachts and houses and cars. And they also back the careers of Republican politicians, who continue to feed them tax breaks and privileges at the expense of the rest of us.

    I honestly feel that unless the average American does not wake up and smell the coffee soon, if the Democrats and the President do not find their spines and offer real alternatives to this corporatization of the nation, then America as we know it is done. The country is bought and paid for by what George Carlin called "The Ownership" of America. Real change is becoming almost impossible, as conservative ideologues are stuffed into positions of influence and on the benches of the judiciary, so that desctructive conservative policies can be unchallenged in any venue.

    The process is almost complete. Either we act, or we sink into the Darwinian social jungle the Republicans want to see replace any semblance of fair society. This proposal is one more step toward the undergrowth.

  97. “This budget improves incentives for job creators to work, invest and innovate in the United States,” said a summary of the proposal, which Republicans are calling the “Path to Prosperity.”

    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for the corporations to create more jobs here in the U.S. They'll just pay less taxes and still outsource jobs overseas.

  98. starve the beast means feed the rich and starve everyone else. yeah, great idea... let all the old folks croak without healthcare; kids too. who needs a bunch of old people or youngsters anyway. the poor rich get another tax cut? well of course, this is america, land of the rich and home of the slave. government of garbage, throw it out. they never cut the mmilitary or police-prison state funds as they need those to protect themselves from the people.

  99. The discourse of all these comments (including this one) are worthless. The majority of politicians are sociopaths incapable of being present to the reality of anything other than feeding their face, stuffing their pockets and listening to the internal vanity of their coprolitic small minds.
    Financial tyranny and economic oppression are rampant in this country. The revoulution will be televised.

  100. Anyone serious about cutting the deficit would:
    a) cut the military budget by 25%
    b) cut farm subsidies to corporate factory farms
    c) cut subsidies to oil companies
    d) restore marginal tax rates to those in the glorious days of Saint Ronnie
    Oh, and quit carping about Social Security, which is running a surplus.

    It's easy to see that no one in Washington thinks the deficit is important or is serious about reducing it.

  101. What is it with the GOP? They continue to be a one trick pony. They've been giving the wealthy and corporations tax breaks for 20 years now and it's never trickled down. Forget the 25% and no loop holes - how about 40% and no loop holes?

  102. Them that's got shall get
    Then that's not, shall lose...
    God bless the child who's got his own.

    How many Americans, having lost jobs, homes, savings, pensions, collective bargaining, and medical care, STILL believe that someday they'll benefit from these policies they're voting for? How many believe that ruining the country in this generation will somehow preserve it for their kids and grandkids?

  103. Poster # 1: Love all of the typical "anti-rich, fat cat" Left wing rhetoric that gets thrown around! Hey, it's campaign time: gotta stir up the base. Gotta incite the mobs! Amazing. Just who do you think pays for all of these endless entitlement programs so desired by the Democrats? Read my lips: It's the taxpayers! It isn't the "poor," who do not pay any taxes. Apparently, you are pontificating to the poor in logic. They are the only ones who buy into this crazy, rabble rousing rhetoric. Guess a corollary to the Obama Campaign of 2008 (Blame Bush) in 2012 is " Blame the Rich, Fat Cat Capitalists ." Oh, brother...

  104. Yes, this is a bad idea in many ways. Now where is Obama's/the Democractic party's response? They can't continue to play defense; they need to stand up and show some backside with their own proposal, including (shudder) getting rid of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and cutting military spending where it's unnecessary. Otherwise the GOP controls this debate.

  105. Republicans have a great fondness for the traditions of the past . . . like the Gilded Age when robber barons ruled over a mass of poorly educated, over worked, under-fed, unhealthy and short-lived Americans. No bothersome unions. No environmental rules. All of our jobs shipped to China. No opposition to their control of the political puppets who rubber stamp their needs.

  106. I love the NYT's term for all this, "ambitious plan." This is the same plan we have been seeing for years. Cut the safety net, destroy education, leave the roads in ruin, and give heaps of cash to the wealthy. Socialism for the rich.

  107. The headline should read: "GOP proposes bill to privatize Medicare"

    It's a real shame that's not clear.

  108. Let's just keep going the way we are. 50% of the people in America vote (& don't pay any Federal taxes) on how to spend the other 50% of the tax dollars. My take is if you don't pay taxes, you shouldn't have a say. $14 trillion & counting and you don't want to stop this insane borrowing?

  109. Allowing tax payers keep their own money is ridiculous They don't know how to spend it for the good of ur country

  110. This proposal is just a starting point towards some fiscal responsibility. It will be changed as a result of bargaining and compromise.

    What is does do is show that the Republicans at least have a plan and that they are willing to face a problem which the country have ignored for years. It is not enough to issue the same outdated talking points of the left. The conutry as a whole is not buying this, as everyone aside from the editorial borad of the Times has had enough of the tired old tax and spend -- and borrow from China--formula.

  111. it looks like the GOP wants to apply the Arizona model (low taxes, lower services) to the entire country. The only thing missing is a Supreme Court approved federal tax credit for contributions to religious institutions.

    By the way; the Arizona model is not working too well here.

  112. I appreciate Paul Ryan's seriousness in trying to re-frame the debate in a more responsible way, and he clearly has better ideas than almost anyone in the Republican party. That is, that's what I thought until I read the part about lowering the corporate and individual tax rate.

    How is it that no matter how many times Republicans start sounding reasonable and sane again they have to resort back to tax cuts for the wealthy? It seems the Republican party is forever going to be shackled to its corporate and incredibly wealthy donors, unable to put together any sort of legislation that doesn't have something in it for them.

    The proposal says that our nation is in decline and everyone is going to have to take painful cuts now in order to avoid the worst. Yet somehow, the Republicans again find a way to not only make an exception for the rich but to give them more money! This is insane! Has no one told them that trickle-down economics does not work? Of course they have, but that would mean they would have to stop giving money to the rich, which the GOP just can't do.

  113. Good, it's a great move on behalf of the GOP. Hopefully, this move will be the impetus to loose their majority in the house in 2012!

  114. Lemme see if I understand this. A tax cut, yet another one, is the start of a disciplined, careful deficit reduction program? The top rate of taxes is paid only by a small minority of tax payers. They need more help to make it through the next few years while social programs are cut?

    One of the wisest, reasoned comments I've seen here refers to the fact that the Republicans have not won any sort of national mandate to lead the country in the direction they want to go. This sort of change requires not only electoral victory in both houses of Congress and holding the White House, it requires the advance knowledge of the public and some sort of ground swell of public support for massive change. Has that happened? No.

    One key test for any budget plan is whether politicians are willing to play fair with their own constituents and those who supported them in getting elected. The news item here does not mention the size and proportion of cuts recommended for farmers who receive billions of dollars in government welfare every year through price supports and direct payments. These voters have formed the core of the Republican party since at least the 1950s. Most of our political fighting, in fact, primarily reflects politicians trying to protect those in their regions, and their favored programs, from cuts. In other words, it is regional politics of one versus the other. Does Ryan's budget cut equally on those who support him?

    The current budget situation does not require sweeping away 70 or 80 years of government activism aimed at improving Americans lives and of hose, especially, who are poor, aged or otherwise unable to improve their own situations. The primary problems are, first, the recession which, when fully ended, will result in large increases in revenues and, two, the so called entitlement programs, Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security. Those, along with defense spending make up the bulk of Federal programs. Fix those problems and allow the economy to come back and the rest generally will take care of themselves.

    Doug Terry
    http://terryreport.com

  115. Republicans cutting taxes for the rich while reducing services to the rest of us? Shocked, I am.

  116. YES, YES, YES

    Finally -- someone cutting the Pentagon, Medicare waste, and Medicaid waste.

    About time.

    The alternative? Detroit (D). The near-BANKRUPT Illinois (OweBama).

  117. Farm subsidies, socialism for rich land owners. Of course THAT can't be touched! GET REAL!

  118. It seems that Republicans have long been with us.

    From Isaiah 10:1-3. Woe to those who enact evil statutes, and to those who continually record unjust decisions, so as to deprive the needy of justice, and rob the poor of their rights... Now what will you do in the day of punishment, and in the devastation which will come from afar?

    From James 5:1-6: Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries which are coming upon you. Your riches have rotted and your garments have become moth-eaten. ...Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and with you have withheld, cries out against you; and the outcry of the harvesters has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.

    From Luke 6:33: And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, in order to receive back the same.

    From Matthew 6:24: No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Money.

    The Democrats, though, arrived a bit later, but they followed their hearts, and they prospered.

    From Acts 4:32-35: And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles' feet; and they would be distributed to each, as any had need.

    From Matthew 25:31-46: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. And all the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on His left.
    Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
    Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink? And when did we see You a stranger, and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
    And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
    Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink; I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
    Then they themselves will also answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
    Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

    Now, I don't claim to be a Christian or a Jew, but I know that the Republican legislators and political operatives who have pushed this "trickle-down" ideology for years, bringing this economic bomb closer and closer to the American heart like so many strapped suicide bombers slipping through any means possible into the public halls of governance, claim to be seers among the righteous. What really goes on inside their heads, I can't say, but they should harken a bit more to their chosen sacred texts. The message is there.

  119. What is it with these legislators from Wisconsin? They are the most hypocritical, mean spirited, negative lackeys of the Koch brothers et al ever. Wisconsonites unite! Get rid of the Republican governor and his handmaidens and make Paul Ryan next!

  120. The US needs to restore marginal tax rates on incomes over $1 M to the levels that were in place prior to the cuts of the Reagan, Bush, and Bush Administrations.

    This proposal does the opposite--proposing to to cut marginal tax rates on top incomes even further.

    Are all Republican politicians from Wisconsin insane? (Walker clearly is. This clown Ryan clearly also is.)

  121. Twelve years ago, the country had a budget surplus and pundits were trying to guess at what it would mean when the US government wiped out its entire debt. We should ask ourselves: What happened between now and then that makes Ryan's plan so necessary?

  122. Ryan has more guts than any pol out there. I don't know if that is in there or not, but the ethanol subsidies must end yesterday.

    Now let's see where the Dems stand on this. Let the demonization begin.

  123. I really would like to have more of an explanation from #5 Doug, #6 nand and #41 Paul. The last time I checked the budget had been balanced under a Democratic President, Clinton, who raised taxes and ended with a surplus. So, 2 wars were put on credit cards under a Republican, 2/3 of corporations don't pay taxes, GE didn't pay any taxes and got a refund of $3.2 billion, and the top 2% had their cuts extended even though it adds hundreds of billions to the debt.
    I really want to understand your thinking on this so stop calling people names and explain this.

  124. To begin with, Social Security and Medicare (not to mention ObamaCare) are unConstitutional. No semblance of them resides in the Enumerated Powers.

    Given that we are stuck with them, however, we need to strictly cut back on them. They both need to be means-tested. They were originally intended to be insurance against poverty, not middle- and upper-class entitlements.

    All these middle-class recipients and potential recipients bellyache and blunderbuss, "Hey, I paid into SS, so I am entitled!" Well, they are insurance! You pay for homeowner's fire insurance, but don't collect unless your house burns down. It should be the same with SS and Medicare. Unless you are near or in poverty, you shouldn't collect them, either.

    We should follow the Constitution and make old-age welfare and medical programs state-run. Why have all that money slosh into and slosh right back out of Washington? It needs to be cycled through Austin, Albany, Sacramento, Tallahassee, etc., and not Washington.

    Myself, I'm not going to collect SS or Medicare. I'm going to join a boutique medical practice and get taken care of on my own nickel. To heck with socialism.

    Government "Programs" are the real crime of money in politics, not campaign finance. As long as politicians promise goodies to the populace, they'll get voted back into office. That's the scam. That's the "bread." Add in the Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, and Lindsey Lohan "circuses," and you have the makings of the decline and fall of the American Republic.

  125. Reaganomics!