Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s budget — which gives massive tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans, drastically slashes funding for social programs, decimates state budgets, and still ends up ultimately raising the deficit — has garnered critics ranging from Catholic bishops to top economists. Yesterday, former President Reagan’s budget adviser, David Stockman, added his voice to the dissent.
Stockman, who was the director of the Office of Management and Budget during the Reagan administration, blasted Ryan’s budget as an “empty conservative sermon” and “fairy tale” in an op-ed published in the New York Times:
The Ryan Plan boils down to a fetish for cutting the top marginal income-tax rate for “job creators” — i.e. the superwealthy — to 25 percent and paying for it with an as-yet-undisclosed plan to broaden the tax base. Of the $1 trillion in so-called tax expenditures that the plan would attack, the vast majority would come from slashing popular tax breaks for employer-provided health insurance, mortgage interest, 401(k) accounts, state and local taxes, charitable giving and the like, not to mention low rates on capital gains and dividends.
…In short, Mr. Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices. And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.
Stockman’s scathing critique of the Ryan budget also notes that it preserves an unnecessarily large national security budget that currently “saddle[s] our bankrupt nation” and continues to eschew regulations for “dangerous” Wall Street banks.
Stockman isn’t the first Republican to oppose Ryan’s extreme budget plan. Reps. Denny Rehberg (R-MT) and David McKinley (R-WV) have refused to support Ryan’s budget because they recognize its draconian cuts to Medicare and Medicaid will negatively impact residents in their states. Donald Trump has referred to Ryan’s plan as a “big mistake” and a “dangerous plan for Mitt Romney” to support.