Paul Ryan for veep

So, it seems Mitt Romney has chosen Paul Ryan as his running mate. It’s an interesting pick since neither one has been honest in their budgets. Kevin Drum talks about Ryan’s last budget (via the CBO here):

Well, it turns out that the Congressional Budget Office has put a concrete number to “whacked hard” here.Medicaid and CHIP (children’s healthcare) would decline from 2% of GDP today to 1% of GDP in 2050, and everything else — that is, everything other than Social Security and Medicare — would decline from 12.5% of GDP today to about 4% of GDP in 2050.

This is, to put it mildly, nuts. Defense spending alone amounts to 4% of GDP, and it’s vanishingly unlikely that this will ever fall much below 2-3% of GDP. This means that all domestic spending will decline from about 8% of GDP to 1-2% of GDP by 2050. That’s prisons, border control, education, the FBI, courts, embassies, the IRS, FEMA, housing, student loans, roads, unemployment insurance, etc. etc. It’s everything. Whacked by about 80% or so.

By the way, Romney wants the Defense budget to be at least 4%.

Also, both of them are eager to tell you that they’re going to cut taxes, but a little less eager to tell you how they plan to make up for the lost revenue. It could be because the only way would show that they will be cutting taxes on the rich and raising them on most of the rest of us. I’m sure this won’t come up though, since Ryan is a Very Serious Person.

Kevin Drum’s reaction is here, Charles Pierce’s is here, and you should probably read Paul Krugman (Mark Thoma has gathered a few relevant posts here).

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