Like a number of conservatives in Washington and 13,496 fans on Facebook, Pamela Wolffe thinks Republican congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin should run for president. "He is my ideal candidate," Wolffe, apsychiatrist in Ryan's district,told me during last night's Wallworth County GOP boat trip on Lake Geneva, located an hour southwest of Milwaukee.That says a lot about some psychiatrists, doesn't it. Economics not being one of their strong suits. Remember when Obama health the health care summit with Republicans? Ryan took on Obama with wonky numbers and didn't mention many of the cliched talking points voiced by his fellow GOP panelists. That performance passed as a "sparring" match:
Ryan's popularity among Republicans has surged following his sparring matches with President Obama on health care. And as the issues of debt and the economy rank among the top of voters' concerns, now may be the moment for Ryan and his Road Map.His "Road Map?" Yes, let's take a look at that Dickensian plan at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
Not a welcome future. But how can over 13,000 Facebook fans be wrong. And besides, Ryan is so lovable:
The Ryan plan would cut in half the taxes of the richest 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes exceeding $633,000 (in 2009 dollars) in 2014. The higher one goes up the income scale, the more massive the tax cuts would be.
About three-quarters of Americans — those with incomes between $20,000 and $200,000 — would face tax increases.
The plan would shift tax burdens so substantially from the wealthy to the middle class that people with incomes over $1 million would face much lower effective tax rates than middle-income families would. That is, they would pay much smaller percentages of their income in federal taxes.
Because of the Ryan plan’s enormous tax cuts for the affluent, even the very large benefit cuts that the plan would make in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — and the plan’s middle-class tax increases — would not put the federal budget on a sustainable course for decades. The federal debt would soar to about 175 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2050.
In contrast, most fiscal policy analysts recommend that the debt-to-GDP ratio be stabilized within the next ten years, and at a far lower level.
"I want to be a normal person," Ryan continued. "Other people can run for that thing. Other people can’t do this," he said, pointing to one of his three young children sipping a kiddie cocktail.