The Many Ryan Plans: Roadmaps to Nowhere

Romney and Ryan face the fundamental dilemma of not being able to straightforwardly say how they would govern because the truth would devastate their campaign. So they swerve and obscure and misdirect, or as The Economist once called them, “fudges and elisions, and the odd outright falsehood.”

The template for this fraudulence was forged in fire when Paul Ryan’s original economic “Roadmap For America’s Future” was floated in 2008, 2009 and then again in 2010. After the 2010 relaunch, Republican leaders quickly read the tea leaves on this socially draconian plan and began furiously backing away from it.

The pruned and tweaked 2012 version seems downright benign in comparison to its predecessors, yet, as David Stockman argued in an August, 2012 NY Times Op-Ed, “Paul Ryan’s Fairy-Tale Budget Plan,” the much-revised roadmap still leads to nowhere.

Key specific recommendations in the many Ryan plans, currently to be avoided at all costs:

  • the 8.5%  “business consumption tax” (intended to replace the corporate income tax)
  • the optional privatization of Social Security
  • the replacement of the health insurance premium exclusion with an indexed tax credit
  • the elimination of the estate tax and all investment income taxes
  • raising Medicare eligibility age to 69 by 2022

Click here for a comparison of the four Ryan Plans, by the Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget

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