In a scathing analysis, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities noted today that under Paul Ryan’s budget, “most of the federal government aside from Social Security, health care, and defense would cease to exist.”
Ryan’s plan doesn’t tell you this, of course. Instead, it focuses mostly on steep cuts that most Republicans probably feel fine about supporting — such as cuts to Medicaid, S-CHIP, and subsidies from the Democrats’ health care law.
But as the CBPP analysis spells out, the math of the plan simply requires draconian spending cuts elsewhere that would do away with most of the government. Those are unspecified. Remember, too, that Ryan’s tax reform proposal implies “about $6.2 trillion in tax deductions and loopholes over 10 years,” which of course are also unspecified.
So here are ten questions for anyone who supports the Ryan budget:
1) Do you support eliminating the child tax credit?
2) Do you support eliminating the deduction for mortgage interest?
3) Do you support eliminating the National Weather Service and all of NOAA?
4) Do you support eliminating Pell Grants and student loans?
5) Do you support ending all federal spending on highways, air traffic control, and other forms of transportation?
6) Do you support shutting down FEMA?
7) Do you support shutting down federal prisons, the FBI, and other federal law enforcement agencies?
8) Do you support ending all foreign aid — including Israel?
9) Do you support eliminating NASA?
10) Do you support eliminating the FDA and all food safety inspections?
There certainly are some — Ron Paul, for example, or Grover Norquist — who would probably be comfortable answering yes to eight, nine or even ten of these (and Paul would have more room to work with if he wanted it, since he supports significant military cuts). Perhaps Paul Ryan himself is one of them.
But make no mistake: for Ryan’s numbers to work, you’d need to answer Yes to most, if not all, of these questions. If Republicans claim to support Ryan but don’t answer Yes to them, then they’re just frauds.