Paul Ryan’s unrealistic path to prosperity

Rep. Paul Ryan (Kevin Poirier/AP)
Rep. Paul Ryan (Kevin Poirier/AP)

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the House budget committee chairman, just released his latest “Path to Prosperity.” This one is for fiscal year 2015. As many have noted, this latest iteration is similar to previous paths to prosperity unveiled by the 2012 Republican vice presidential nominee and perhaps future chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means tax-writing committee. And it kills the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which renders it a non-serious fiscal blueprint.

This is political theater of the highest order. First, there’s this reality that can’t go ignored. “Lawmakers have already agreed to spending levels for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1, making Ryan’s budget unnecessary in terms of law,” report Sarah Mimms and Billy House of the National Journal. And then there’s the fact that Ryan is resting his fiscal house on the repeal of Obamacare.

“This budget provides for the repeal of the President’s onerous health-care law….,” Ryan writes. “Left in place, the health law will create pressures that will eventually lead to a single-payer system in which the federal government determines how much health care Americans need and what kind of care they can receive.”

It was lunacy for tea partyers to insist on the repeal of the ACA in exchange for yes votes on raising the debt ceiling. So, the same can be said about a budget plan that once again relies on President Obama to sign a bill into law that would decimate his major legislative achievement, not to mention strip millions of Americans of the benefits of the ACA.

That — like the Ryan budget — is never going to happen.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter: @Capehartj

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Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.
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