Paul Ryan's Calls for Eliminating Almost the Entire Federal Government

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Paul Ryan's Calls for Eliminating Almost the Entire Federal Government

Be not fooled. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), explains Baker, "has made his career by arguing an extreme position that is far to the right of even most of the Republican party. It is long past time that the media take seriously the position he is advocating." (Photo: Getty)

No, that is not some new concession that the Speaker made to appease Donald Trump, this is his budget wonkiness. According to the analysis of Ryan's budget by the Congressional Budget Office, he would reduce the non-Social Security, non-Medicare portion of the federal budget, shrinking it to 3.5 percent of GDP by 2050 (page 16).

This number is roughly equal to current spending on the military. Ryan has indicated that he does not want to see the military budget cut to any substantial degree. That leaves no money for the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, The Justice Department, infrastructure spending or anything else. Following Ryan's plan, in 35 years we would have nothing left over after paying for the military.

As I have pointed out here in the past, this was not some offhanded gaffe where Ryan might have misspoke. He supervised the CBO analysis. CBO doesn't write-down numbers in a dark corner and then throw them up on their website to embarrass powerful members of Congress. As the document makes clear, they consulted with Ryan in writing the analysis to make sure that they were accurately capturing his program.

For some reason, the media refuse to give Mr. Ryan credit for the position he has openly embraced. The NYT followed this pattern in its editorial implying that Mr. Ryan had compromised his respectable wonkiness in his endorsement of Donald Trump. Ryan has made his career by arguing an extreme position that is far to the right of even most of the Republican party. It is long past time that the media take seriously the position he is advocating.

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