Paul Ryan: Reformist Conservative ?

Editorial writer Michael Gerson argues that Paul Ryan is not a Tea partyer. He is not like the Libertarians who want to remove all federal government. No, he is a Reformist Conservative.

What a load that is! He wants to reform like someone wielding an ax wants to do a surgical operation. Ryan’s proposal is to cut all non-entitlement spending (not Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) to 3.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The federal government in order to run all these other operations spends 12.5% of the GDP.

So what happens when you cut 9% of the federal spending on defense, law enforcement, national parks, intelligence operations, archives, and protecting the environment. Common sense tells one that none of these activities can be run anywhere close to effectively without the money. Therefore, endangered species do not receive protection. Strip mining operations can not be watched for illegal labor practices. Museums, archives and national parks can not stay open. Lawyers prosecuting cases, and police gathering evidence comes to a screeching halt.

The argument that the Republicans will make is that they are getting rid of government activities to remove the deficit problem. Half of the current deficit goes to health care, pensions, and paying interest on our debt. These are the areas where the budget is going to grow because of payments due to the increasing number of retirees.



That only leaves 44% of the budget to cut. Romney promises increased military spending so that takes that 24% off the cutting board. What’s left is 20% of the budget which would make only a small dent in the debt and not address the areas where government expenses are rising.

Instead, that 20% pays for many agencies and thousands of programs. This gets to the heart of the plan. Eliminate those agencies and their programs, regardless of how important federal expenditures in these areas are to maintaining state and local governments in education and social services. Get rid of those programs and you remove the regulations that keep companies and rich people from exploiting workers, ruining the environment, and providing opportunities for kids to receive strong education regardless of their economic class.


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