Rep. Paul Ryan has introduced the House Budget Committee budget plan, which attempts to cut trillions in government spending off of the national debt over the next decade. Ryan, who is the chair for the committee, have created this plan in an attempt to try and have the federal budget balanced within 10 years, but the cuts being called for are not, as expected, sitting well with constituents or politicians.
The plan has several key areas where budget cuts are made, chief among them is the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare. The plan calls for a repeal of Obamacare, tossing it into the waste basket, and there is no alternative program presented to take its place. Republicans and conservatives are making it clear that the government is still not welcome in health care. The federal government is not granted any power to be involved in health care, no matter how much the “general welfare” clause in the Constitution is twisted to justify their intrusion. Repealing Obamacare and the subsequent taxes that will fall heavy on small businesses is a good way to preserve jobs and encourage economic growth, which makes this provision in the plan something that both conservatives and libertarians can be happy about.
A large chunk of the federal budget goes toward Medicaid, and the Paul Ryan plan attempts to change the structure of the program in order to cut trillions in government spending. Ryan wants to turn Medicaid into a “block grant” program for states, which means that states will be given a specific sum of money and it is their responsibility to use it the way they see fit. Another controversial cut being proposed by the plan is to take the government completely out of Medicare privatize it. This would mean that Medicare would no longer be considered an entitlement, and would become a voucher program. The program would begin in 2024, and new retirees would be presented with the option to either stay on the traditional Medicare system or go on a competing plan. The reform to Medicare would also increase the retirement age over time, which has proven to be very unpopular with Democrats.
Ryan also calls for the food stamp program to be turned into a block grant program, similar to that of Medicaid. He stated that this will enable each granted to be tailored to the individual state’s low-income population. Agricultural subsidies will also take a huge blow, as $23 billion will be cut from this area of spending.
It is important to realize that this is just a plan to help the GOP prioritize their time, attention, and efforts and is not a law. While not every cut called for by Ryan is going to be beneficial for the country, the thing to keep in mind is that America simply cannot afford to keep on spending. The current way the U.S. spends money is completely unsustainable, and if maintained, will end up causing full economic collapse at some point. A country’s economics is not that much different from personal economics inside the home. If someone is in debt, they cut spending, start living within their means, save money, and pay off what is owed. This is the same strategy that will help America get back on track.
The problem is that those on the left do not want to see anyone suffer as a result of cuts, but unfortunately, that is unavoidable. When a family in debt starts cutting their spending, it stings. It makes things very uncomfortable and unpleasant, but this suffering is only short-term. The long-term benefits outweigh the short-term costs, making this path the best economical decision one can make. There is freedom and happiness in being out from under massive debt, and the hardship is soon forgotten. While this is an oversimplification, the principle still stands.
If the government continues to spend, go in debt, and print money it is going to be disastrous. While Paul Ryan and his plan to slash trillions in spending offers some good starting points, if people really want to repair this country, it is going to take even more drastic cuts to the federal budget, which is a hard pill to swallow for many folks.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell