Let’s assume that Representative Ryan wants to keep defense spending somewhere between its 3.0 percent of GDP low and the 4.0 percent current level. That leaves somewhere between zero and 0.75 percent of GDP for everything else the federal government does other than Social Security, health care and defense.
This spending must cover all of the federal government’s spending on road and bridges, airports and every other form of transportation. It covers its spending on aid to education, from running day care and Head Start to Pell grants and other college aid. It covers research and development including funding for the National Institutes of Health. It includes the money needed to run the State Department, the Justice Department, the FBI, and the federal prison system. It includes the money to pay for the border patrol and immigration enforcement, the patent office, and Food and Drug Administration. […]
The arithmetic in the Romney-Ryan budget says that they want to shut down the federal government outside of Social Security, health care and defense. Maybe the reporters who are singing about competing visions can try to tell the rest of us what the Romney-Ryan vision means, since the information on the table does not give a clue as to what the Romney-Ryan world looks like. […]
These are the questions that reporters should be asking about the Romney-Ryan vision:
How do they envision that Pfizer and Merck will make money when there is no patent agency to register their drug patents or courts to enforce them? The same applies to copyrights for Microsoft, Time-Warner and all the other firms that depend on copyright protection.
What will be U.S. immigration policy when we have no one to enforce borders or even issue passports? Is the Romney-Ryan vision an open country with no borders? How about the airwaves, what will broadcast and telecommunications giants like Comcast and Verizon do to secure their access to the airwaves when there is no Federal Communications Commission to parcel out bandwidth?
Will there no longer be an interstate highway system, since there will be no federal funds to maintain it? Will airports and air traffic control be left to states, since there is no money for the Federal Aviation Commission?
[…] Since the Romney-Ryan vision makes zero sense (challenge to pundits: try to show otherwise), let’s try an alternative story. Suppose that there is no Romney-Ryan vision. Suppose that Romney and Ryan are politicians trying to appeal to rich people by promising them big tax cuts. After all, big tax cuts for the rich is the item is that is most clearly defined in the Romney-Ryan budget.
So why don’t “neutral” reporters just tell us what the budget does — it gives tax cuts to the rich and guts programs that benefit the middle class and the poor. The stuff about “vision” is just nonsense to tell children and Washington pundits.