The 62 Trillion Dollar Man Rebuts

Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered the official GOP response to the President’s State of the Union response.  Ryan is the chairman of the House Budget Committee and is the author of a document called the Roadmap for America’s Future, a plan that claims to put the United States on the road to a balanced budget.  Ryan’s plan will balance the budget.  But not until 2063, by which point it’ll add $62 trillion to the federal debt.  And, in his response last night, Ryan never really got down to specifics, merely alluding to nebulous, and as of yet undefined spending cuts.

As I’ve said in the past, if we don’t address the trifecta of Social Security, the cost of fighting two separate wars with no end in sight and Medicare /Medicaid, we will not balance the budget.  Together, those items represent 59.35% of the 2010 budget.  You cannot, you absolutely cannot achieve this without, at a minimum, mentioning those three biggest federal expenditures.

If even Republicans are unable to forge a consensus on how to address cutting those programs that are going to be most painful for Americans, we might as well throw in the towel now.  And that the Republicans who ran on little more than a platform of ‘Cut cut cut’ chose to make nebulous allusions to just how we need to ‘cut’ instead of offering specifics just underscores that the whole State of the Union affair is little more than an act of political kabuki on both sides.  It’s all a show.

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