That was an interesting vice presidential debate Thursday night, if you consider it compelling or a surprising to have seen endless hectoring, laughing and smirking by Joe Biden — and a moderator who was constantly challenging and interrupting Paul Ryan, and not a vice president who would have a hard time defending his administration’s record.
I didn’t have my hopes up for a fair debate, but I expected ABC’s Martha Raddatz to be a little more subtle with her Biden advocacy. All night she was tagging in and out of the ring with Biden like they were the British Bulldogs in the old WWF.
Perhaps Raddatz focused more on foreign policy than in a typical VP debate because recent events warranted that, but that’s hardly what VPs need to deal with — and it’s hard to not think she focused on that because it’s supposedly Biden’s strength. If Raddatz really wanted to challenge Ryan, she should have gone after him on his budget — which Mitt Romney has only partly embraced. Maybe Raddatz avoided drilling down on this subject because Ryan would have knocked such questions out of the park.
As it happens, so has Heartland’s Peter Ferrara in a new Policy Brief titled “The Ryan Budget vs. The Obama Budget.” As Peter notes, by selecting Ryan as his running mate, Romney reframed the 2012 presidential election as a contest between Ryan’s 2013 proposed budget, which was adopted by the entire Republican House, and President Barack Obama’s 2013 proposed budget, which can be taken as Obama’s most authoritative and detailed statement of what he would do in a second term.
“Obama’s budget establishes a future course that exacerbates the current fiscal problem, what I have called elsewhere ‘America’s ticking bankruptcy bomb,’ into an even worse nightmare scenario,” writes Ferrara, who is senior fellow for entitlement and budget policy at The Heartland Institute. “Ryan’s budget fixes the problem so it doesn’t eat alive the United States’ world-leading standard of living. That stark contrast is explained in detail in this paper.”
Among Ferrara’s findings:
- The Ryan budget restores and maintains federal spending to 20.1 percent of GDP by 2015; the Obama budget increases federal spending to 30 percent of GDP in 2027, 40 percent by 2040, 50 percent by 2060, and a staggering 80 percent by 2080.
- The Ryan budget would spend nearly a trillion dollars fewer per year than the Obama budget.
- The Ryan budget includes pro-growth tax reforms that would restore federal revenues to their long-term, postwar, historical average of 18.3 percent of GDP by 2015; the Obama budget proposes increasing taxes by $2 trillion over the next decade, including a doubling of income tax revenues, corporate tax revenues, and payroll taxes in stages over the next decade.
- The Ryan budget would reduce the annual federal deficit to no more than $182 billion by 2017; the Obama budget contains trillion-dollar deficits now, and as far as the eye can see.
- The Ryan budget would reform Medicare, and increase its long-term solvency, by introducing private-market reforms to drive down costs; the Obama budget contains Obamacare, which cuts nearly $5 trillion from Medicare through 2023.
- The Ryan budget would reform Medicaid by block-granting federal dollars to the states, saving $810 billion over the first 10 years and increasing efficiency in the system; the Obama budget, under Obamacare, puts 100 million Americans on an unreformed Medicaid program by 2021, up from 57 million today.
Writes Peter Ferrara in his conclusion:
“Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2013 budget provides a roadmap to regaining control over federal taxes, spending, deficits, and debt, rebuilding the economy and restoring the American Dream in the process. President Barack Obama’s 2013 budget provides a roadmap to record-smashing government spending, deficits, and debt, promising long-term economic stagnation and decline for America. The American people will decide this fall which road they want to take.”
Click here to download a free copy of the new Heartland Policy Brief, “The Ryan Budget vs. the Obama Budget” by Peter Ferrara.