Okay … I went back and pulled out my last summary of version 1.0 of the Ryan “Path to Prosperity” budget and added in the figures he’s proposing in his “version 2.0” of the Path to Prosperity. It’s startling. Before you start down through the figures, there are probably a few terms you should understand:
- Budget authority is the legal authority to incur financial obligations that will result in immediate or future outlays of federal government funds.
- Obligations are commitments to make payments, immediately or in the future. Examples include contracts and purchase orders.
- An outlay is a payment (usually a check drawn on the Treasury, or in cash) by the government in fulfillment of an obligation.
While the budget bill (H.Con.Res.112) doesn’t specify the amount of obligations that have been undertaken, you’ll clearly see a difference in new budget authority and anticipated outlays that will occur during each given budget year. All figures below are shown in millions of dollars ( number X 1,000,000).
Now, a budget is basically a statement of priorities. I don’t agree with the GOP’s statement of priorities. As you peruse the numbers, here are a couple of questions you should ask yourselves as to the GOP’s priorities:
- National Defense (050): Do we really need to spend that much money on weapons, war, etc.? Do you think it’s time to close down some of those foreign bases? A large number of those basest were necessary for “cold war’ security … but really … the cold war ended during Reagan’s term.
- Rep. Ryan claimed during introduction of version 2 of the “Path to Prosperity” that he was leaving Social Security alone … yet check the numbers, he’s cut back Social Security even further than he proposed under version 1.0. Are his figures realistic given the number of baby boomers headed into retirement … or does it look to you like he’s hiding a privatization scheme in his back pocket?
- Rep. Ryan claimed that he needs to change the way we fund and deal with Medicare (turning it into voucher program). Given that fact that he’s cut Medicare spending even further from his V1.0 Path … what kind of value might those vouchers have? And, how many Seniors will no longer be able to afford health care (or how many will be denied care by private insurance companies) before all is said and done?
- Funding for space and science has been increased. Hmmm. Is he hedging his bet just in case the Newster manages to pull of a major coup, win the Presidency and need the funding for his moon base?
- He pretty much cut Energy to the bone in favor of locking us into nothing but oil strategy for the foreseeable future.
- He cut education below what he proposed in Version 1.0 until 2017, when funding finally manages to eke past what he proposed in his Version 1.0 Path.
- He increased funding for the Criminal Justice System … is he planning to incarcerate even more Americans?
- And lastly … he proposes to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Plan … yet in doing so, the federal government saves nothing in the process. In fact, check out the rapidly escalating rise in health care costs (550). Are you looking forward to insurance companies once again being in charge of your health, denying coverage, limiting lifetime coverage, utilizing claims of “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage, charging women far more for insurance coverage than men, etc.?