I am confused. Paul Ryan has just introduced his budget – actually the budget voted out of his committee. It is apparent that Ryan must not have a life. Why go to all the trouble since the budget has no chance of passing the senate and being signed by the president. This budget is essentially the same as the one introduced last year predictably to be body slammed by the democrats (remember the ad with the Ryan look alike pushing granny over the cliff)? It was also body slammed by Newt Gingrich who called it “right wing social engineering”. With its rather arcane provisions on medicare and targeted decreases in federal expenditures including defense, it almost begs the question as to why Ryan did not come up with something that the republican nominee could embrace and incorporate into his platform. Sure there are the lowering of the corporate income tax and the elimination of 4 of the income tax brackets but the rest of the document contains stuff to run from rather than to run on. This is evident since Ryan could not even get 100 percent of the republicans on his committee to vote for this budget. So I am confused. Why would Ryan choose to introduce a budget that seems to not help the republican nominee and then has no chance of passing even if the republicans win the presidency and take over the senate? Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to adopt for the most part the recommendations of Bowles-Simpson? It is bipartisan, reduces the budget, lowers the deficit and strengthens the dollar. What is there not to love?
Harold A. Black is professor emeritus in the Department of Finance, University of Tennessee, Knoxville having retired after 24 years of service. He has served on the faculties of American University, Howard University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. His government service includes the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and as a Board Member of the National Credit Union Administration. He also has served on the boards of directors Home Savings of America and its parent company, H. F. Ahmanson & Co., Irwindale, California prior to its merger with Washington Mutual Savings Bank, on the board of New Century Financial Corporation, Irvine, California, then the nation’s largest real estate investment trust and as director and later chairman of the Nashville Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He writes an occasional article for the Knoxville News-Sentinel at http://www.knoxnews.com/staff/dr-harold-black/. His web page is haroldablackphd.com