At a Wall Street Journal breakfast, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI), who is re-emerging into the public eye following his failed bid for Vice President, adopted the Republican line that December’s deal to avert the so-called fiscal cliff is the final word on taxes going forward. Ryan falsely claimed that Democrats received revenue, while Republicans have “yet to get anything,” meaning that the next budget deal should only include spending cuts:
“They already got their revenues,” Ryan said. “So what, we’ll roll over and they get more revenues? That’s not how it works. In the spirit of bipartisan compromise, they’ve gotten revenue increases already. We’ve yet to get anything as a result of it. It used to be 3-1. Isn’t that what Erskine says? $3 of spending cuts to every dollar of tax increase. The president in his own budget last year claimed 2.5 to 1. We’d argue with whether they actually achieved that, but where’s the 3? Where’s the two-and-a-half? Where’s the $1.8 trillion in cuts?”
If the $600 billion in revenue adopted in the fiscal cliff deal counts, then the $1.5 trillion in spending cuts passed by Congress during the last session do also. Adding in reduced interest payments on the debt, spending cuts have outnumbered revenues by nearly 3-1, exactly the ratio Ryan describes:
Here, in fact, is Ryan bragging about the cuts included in the Budget Control Act adopted in 2011. “We’re actually cutting spending while we do this,” he said. “We’re getting two-thirds of the cuts we wanted in our budget.”
Ryan is reportedly planning to bring a budget to the floor that will balance in 10 years, with no new revenue. His last budget, which voucherized Medicare and decimated Medicaid, didn’t balance for nearly 30 years.