Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Paul Ryan's new budget has come out.  A common attack on this budget seems to be that it estimates that non-health, non-Social Security spending will be down to 3.75% of GDP by 2050.  Since defense spending alone has not been under 3% of GDP since World War II, that 3.75% number may be hard to hit.

Derek Thompson says that Obama's and Ryan's budgets are answering two separate questions:
Ryan's budget answers the question: What's the best way to reduce the deficit by cutting government health care spending without doing something too unpopular? Obama's budget answers the question: What's the best way to pay for the social programs we have and the job investments we need?
Thompson's approach here is interesting---and the questions are provocative.  However, perhaps the best way to pay for current social programs would be to turn around the economy by reinvigorating the employment prospects for the non-rich.  Obama's policies have been perhaps less than successful in accomplishing that goal.

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