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Idea of the Day: The Ryan Budget Is Based on Fantasy

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The newly released House Republican budget plan, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), claims to achieve balance by 2023, but that’s only true if you ignore the $7 trillion tax hole, and the utterly unrealistic cuts to a category of federal spending that’s already set to decline to historic lows. Without these egregious gimmicks and magic asterisks, Rep. Ryan’s plan not only fails to balance the budget but would actually dramatically increase the deficit and debt.

The Ryan budget’s claim to balance rests on purportedly reducing spending down to 19.1 percent of GDP by 2023, which is the same as the level of revenue that current projections expect for that year. But, in fact, Rep. Ryan’s tax proposals come nowhere close to generating 19.1 percent of GDP. In fact, the Ryan budget calls for enormous tax cuts but fails to explain how to pay for the cost of those cuts.

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This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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