Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paul Ryan Includes Government Shutdown in Proposed Budget as Primary Cost Cutting Measure

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The federal government is bracing itself for a shutdown as Congressional Republicans and Democrats remain at an impasse over the budget. House Republicans today proposed a fundamental overhaul of government-run health programs, tax cuts, and sharp spending caps for the coming fiscal year, which begins October 1. Democrats, meanwhile, want to protect scientific research and education while striking over $2 billion from defense and security spending. Republicans want to exploit the budget to eradicate dozens of Obama priorities, such as health care reform and environmental protection. But perhaps the only surprise in House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal is including the government shutdown in the budget as the primary cost avoidance measure.

Big Numbers
Paul Ryan’s budget purports to reduce spending by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years, with deficit cuts of up to $4.4 trillion. It also slashes the top tax rate by 10 percent.

An aide close to Ryan said, “By eliminating the nation’s under-performing and dramatically overpaid teachers, civil servants, federally funded infrastructure projects, and a host of people that will likely die when the socialist health care initiative is repealed, who needs to pay taxes? If we privatize everything, we create jobs, cut spending, and really thin the herd.”

Ryan’s budget spends less than Obama’s on nearly every major fiscal category. Over the next decade, Ryan will seek to cut $389 billion from Medicare, the public health insurance program for seniors. Over the same period, Ryan’s budget takes away $735 billion from Medicaid, which benefits Americans too poor to afford private insurance. Discretionary spending on domestic programs is also downsized by $923 billion.

Shutting Down the Government is the Best Way to Cut Spending
“With all the fear-tinged rhetoric about the threat of a government shutdown, I think people are ignoring the logical benefit,” said Ryan. “Government spending is just that -- spending on government programs. I not only welcome the shutdown of the federal government, I’m advocating it in my Party’s proposed budget.”

Ryan provided an exhaustive list of government fat to be trimmed, which he claimed could lead to a flat tax of $12 per American per year.

Libraries topped the list. Ryan cited Amazon, Google Books, iTunes, and other retailers as acceptable substitutes: “These are free market companies generating revenues for the economy. Amazon isn’t going to fine you for late returns, because you own the books. Everyone in this country has a Kindle or a Nook or an iPad. They can purchase and download books immediately. Libraries are pork projects; nothing but overhead. It costs you more in taxes to operate these ‘free’ libraries than to buy the books you want from an on-line seller. If you want to see the fate of public libraries, with their outrageous operating and payroll costs, look no further than the Blockbuster and Borders bankruptcies.”

Privatizing education, not suprisingly, was next on the list. According to Republicans, teachers have virtually pillaged the government’s coffers for years with annually fixed three-month vacations, numerous holidays, six-hour work days, generous tax-subsidized benefits, and intransigent tenure policies.

“Add that together and teachers make more than some private sector executives,” said Len Waybill, an economist for the conservative Peter Pinguid Society, a San Narciso-based think tank.

“And you can’t cost justify these salaries when test scores in this nation are so abysmal. We can’t even compete with Korea. It’s nearly impossible to tell how much money teachers have cost us after factoring in our non-existent return-on-investment. I believe we need to look toward higher performing, for-profit schools as examples of the new world order. Distance education affords students a dynamic and on-demand learning environment, schedule flexibility, teachers who receive more reasonable compensation, no associated travel costs to and from the facility, and no overhead. Students take their classes on line, which is a lot more convenient than going to an expensive campus. That kind of real estate requires overhead, maintenance, and resources. Why should we deprive our elementary school students these advantages? Parents can schedule courses to better match the ultimate career path they’ve chosen for their children, with a ‘pay as you go’ policy. Again, that’s less money per year than paying taxes.”

Waybill also cited Obama’s environmental programs and health care reforms as anti-capitalist, job killing measures.

“Going green, as they call it, is an interesting phrase,” Waybill continued. “It’s green all right, in the sense that a pile of money on a pyre is green. Building a new energy infrastructure means killing all the existing utilities jobs that thrive today. For what? Solar and wind? If these sources of energy were so efficient, we’d be living in solar powered homes, taking the blimp to work, and traveling by sail boat. And socialized health care is a luxury. The most recent medical studies conducted found that the healthiest Americans, who live on an island in Washington State, never see their doctors. They just eat right, don’t smoke, and do a lot of manual labor. That’s the secret to longevity. Public medical care enables people to become sick, with the rest of us footing the bill for their recoveries. Why should we be rewarding this behavior? It’s as ridiculous as paying the government to fund your neighbor’s gardener.”

The GOP budget predicts that with an indefinite closure of federal agencies, the U.S. economy could be turning unprecedented profits within a few short years. Of course, under federal law, members of Congress would continue to receive their requisite pay, but Ryan said this percentage of the taxes would be imperceptible to the average American.

“And,” Ryan added, “the law only protects pay for members of the 112th Congress, since there won’t be a 113th. It’s only a couple of years, and then you’ll never have to worry about it again.”