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Marginally better than silence

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Ryan in Two Numbers

[Y]ou can learn everything you need to know [about Ryan’s budget] by understanding two numbers: $4.6 trillion and 14 million.

Of these, $4.6 trillion is the size of the mystery meat in the budget. Ryan proposes tax cuts that would cost $4.6 trillion over the next decade relative to current policy — that is, relative even to making the Bush tax cuts permanent — but claims that his plan is revenue neutral, because he would make up the revenue loss by closing loopholes. For example, he would … well, actually, he refuses to name a single example of a loophole he wants to close.

So the budget is a fraud. No, it’s not “imperfect”, it’s not a bit shaky on the numbers; it’s completely based on almost $5 trillion dollars of alleged revenue that are pure fabrication.

On the other side, 14 million is the minimum number of people who would lose health insurance due to Medicaid cuts — the Urban Institute, working off the very similar plan Ryan unveiled last year, puts it at between 14 and 27 million people losing Medicaid.

That’s a lot of people — and a lot of suffering. And again, bear in mind that none of this would be done to reduce the deficit — it would be done to make room for those $4.6 trillion in tax cuts, and in particular a tax cut of $240,000 a year to the average member of the one percent.

Filed under Krugman Paul Ryan

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