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07-14-2010, 10:42 AM   #1
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Republican Change We Can Believe In

The Roadmap Plan | A Roadmap for America's Future | The Budget Committee Republicans

Congressman Paul Ryan has a Roadmap Plan that looks intriguing - probably not everything will find wide support, but there are pieces that might suit even Obama.

Is this Republican change we can believe in?

QuoteQuote:
Health Care:
The plan ensures universal access to affordable health insurance by restructuring the tax code, allowing all Americans to secure affordable health plans that best suit their needs, and shifting the ownership of health coverage away from the government and employers to individuals.
  • Provides a refundable tax credit – $2,300 for individuals and $5,700 for families – to purchase coverage in any State, and keep it with them if they move or change jobs.
  • Provides transparency in health care price and quality data, making this critical information readily available before someone needs health services.
  • Creates state-based health care exchanges, so individuals and families have a one-stop marketplace to purchase affordable health insurance without being discriminated against based on pre-existing conditions.
  • Equips states with tools like auto-enrollment programs and high-risk pools, so affordable health coverage can be accessed by all.
  • Addresses health care’s growing strain on small businesses, by allowing them to pool together nationally to offer coverage to their employees.
  • Encourages the adoption of health information technology and assists states in establishing solutions to medical malpractice litigation.

Social Security:

The proposal strengthens this important retirement program and makes it sustainable for the long term.
  • Preserves the existing Social Security program for those 55 or older.
  • Offers workers under 55 the option of investing over one third of their current Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts, similar to the Thrift Savings Plan available to Federal employees. Includes a property right so they can pass on these assets to their heirs, and a guarantee that individuals will not lose a dollar they contribute to their accounts, even after inflation.
  • Makes the program permanently solvent – according to the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] – by combining a more realistic measure of growth in Social Security’s initial benefits, with an eventual modernization of the retirement age.


Tax Reform

This plan discards a needlessly complex and manipulative tax code, replacing it with a simplified mechanism that promotes work, saving, and investment.
  • Provides individual income tax payers a choice of how to pay their taxes – through existing law, or through a highly simplified code that fits on a postcard with just two rates and virtually no special tax deductions, credits, or exclusions (except the health care tax credit).
  • Simplifies tax rates to 10 percent on income up to $100,000 for joint filers, and $50,000 for single filers; and 25 percent on taxable income above these amounts. Also includes a generous standard deduction and personal exemption (totaling $39,000 for a family of four).
  • Eliminates the alternative minimum tax [AMT].
  • Promotes saving by eliminating taxes on interest, capital gains, and dividends; also eliminates the death tax.
  • Replaces the corporate income tax – currently the second highest in the industrialized world – with a border-adjustable business consumption tax of 8.5 percent. This new rate is roughly half that of the rest of the industrialized world.
Whaddaya think?

07-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #2
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What did the General Accounting Office say?

They're the only ones who can really determine if the math works.
07-14-2010, 11:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
What did the General Accounting Office say?

They're the only ones who can really determine if the math works.
Yeah, there's an awful lot of complex math there, especially in a system that allows the taxpayer to pick his/her tax code.

Here's a few other issues:

The tax credits don't buy much coverage for a family or even an individual who is over the age of 30. Like Obama's plan, it's a subsidy to insurers, and I don't readily see the cost savings. These pools and exchanges are pretty vague, and it is not apparent how they would work. I don't get why writing a check to a taxpayer, on condition that the taxpayer writes a check to an insurer who then pays part of it to a doctor is preferable to writing a check to a doctor whom the taxpayer chose.

The point of SS is and was to insure that people who worked hard all their lives don't end up eating dog food as seniors. I'd rather see the age extended than getting the stock market involved. I question whether it really is a good idea to put more people in the hands of financial managers and put more reliance on maintaining a stock bubble. At my house, we just noticed that we contributed thousands to my wife's 401k, the company matched a nice piece of it this year, and we have less than we had last year. Most federal employees I know aren't all that thrilled with the current Thrift plan, and many retired early to avoid it. It seems like another chance to privatize the gains and socialize the losses of seniors whose investment firms don't do well for them.

I like changing business taxation, but the rest seems like a mess. The term "death tax" is a term of propaganda. Collecting from heirs who did not earn a large estate seems like the best possible place and time to tax. Taxing inheritance has always seemed to make more sense than taxing the income of living, productive, people.

Most of this seems like the same stuff repackaged, but maybe there are differences in the details.
07-14-2010, 11:22 AM   #4
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More Republican fairy tales.

07-14-2010, 11:26 AM   #5
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http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10851/01-27-Ryan-Roadmap-Letter.pdf

Basically CBO validates the assumptions.

Understandably Ryan's excited and feeling validated:
QuoteQuote:
Last week I received via snail mail a seven page brochure titled, "A Road Map for America's Future" from Congressman Paul Ryan's office. Excerpts:

(Road Map on Social Security) Makes the program permanently solvent, according to the CBO...

Makes Medicare permanently solvent, based on CBO estimates and consultation...

I asked the CBO what our tax rates would have to be when my three children are my age....The answer was shocking.

The charts ... were prepared using data from the CBO and GAO and reflect the country's dire fiscal situation.

During an interview in March on The Mark Levin Show, Ryan had little respect for CBO estimates when Democrats' drew on them for health care reform.
DirectorBlue Blog Excerpt:
Ryan: That's right. And the Congressional Budget Office can't tell you this. Because their statute is that they estimate whatever you put in front of them. And if you put in front of them garbage in, you'll get garbage out.

If you put in front of them a manipulated bill and all of the smoke and mirrors, they have no choice but to score the bill as you wrote it. And if you write it intentionally to disguise all of this, then you'll get a disguised estimate, and that's what we have here.
Democurmudgeon: Rep. Paul Ryan's Mental Confusion (hypocrisy) over the CBO

In other words, the CBO document's worth is exclusively in the eye of the beholder.

As far as I've googled, the GAO hasn't weighed in on this.

The Ryan Budget's Radical Priorities — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
QuoteQuote:
Assertions that the Ryan plan is fiscally responsible rest on a serious misunderstanding of a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analysis of the plan. CBO only partially analyzed the Ryan plan. Contrary to some media reports, CBO has not prepared an actual cost estimate of it. [2] CBO generally does not produce estimates of the effects of proposed changes in tax policies; that is the responsibility of the Joint Committee on Taxation. In its analysis of the Ryan plan, CBO did not attempt to measure the revenue losses that Rep. Ryan’s proposals would generate.

Instead, as its report states, CBO simply used an assumption specified by Rep. Ryan’s staff that the overall level of revenues would remain unchanged from what the federal government would collect through 2030 under current policies, and would equal 19 percent of GDP in later years. CBO did not find that the Ryan plan actually would achieve these assumed revenue levels. (For commentary by Howard Gleckman of the Tax Policy Center on the widespread misunderstanding of the CBO analysis, see the box on page 5.)

The reality is different; TPC finds that the Ryan plan would result in very large revenue losses relative to current policies. TPC estimates that even with its middle-class tax increases, the plan would reduce federal revenues to 16 percent of GDP in 2014. Because the tax cuts for the wealthy would dwarf the tax increases for the middle class, the Ryan plan would allow the federal debt to continue growing for a number of decades to come, despite its steep cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

---------- Post added 07-14-10 at 02:54 PM ----------

Some more from the CPB analysis
QuoteQuote:
The Roadmap would give the most affluent households a new round of very large, costly tax cuts by reducing income tax rates on high-income households; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax. At the same time, the Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.

The tax cuts for those at the very top would be of historic proportions. A new analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center (TPC) finds:

The Ryan plan would cut in half the taxes of the richest 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes exceeding $633,000 (in 2009 dollars) in 2014.
The higher one goes up the income scale, the more massive the tax cuts would be. Households with incomes of more than $1 million would receive an average annual tax cut of $502,000.
The richest one-tenth of 1 percent of Americans — those whose incomes exceed $2.9 million a year — would receive an average tax cut of $1.7 million a year. These tax cuts would be on top of those that high-income households would get from making the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of 2010, permanent.
To offset some of the cost of these massive tax cuts, the Ryan plan would place a new consumption tax on most goods and services, a measure that would increase taxes on most low- and middle-income families. TPC finds that:

About three-quarters of Americans — those with incomes between $20,000 and $200,000 — would face tax increases. For example, households with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 would face an average tax increase of $900. (These estimated changes in taxes are relative to the taxes that would be paid under a continuation of current policy — i.e., what tax liabilities would be if the President and Congress make permanent the expiring 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and relief from the alternative minimum tax.)
The plan would shift tax burdens so substantially from the wealthy to the middle class that people with incomes over $1 million would face much lower effective tax rates than middle-income families would. That is, they would pay much smaller percentages of their income in federal taxes.
OK, so this is standard criticism of 'tax cuts for the wealthy'.

Ryan responded to the center's analysis:
Rep. Ryan Responds to CBPP's Analysis of "A Roadmap for America's Future" | A Roadmap for America's Future | The Budget Committee Republicans
and the center rebutted:
Ryan?s Response to Center?s Analysis of ?Roadmap? Is Off Base — Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The most interesting part is that it appears Ryan does not attempt to refute the above quoted taxation impact analysis.
07-14-2010, 12:12 PM   #6
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The middle class in this country, especially between $50,000 and $100,000, is not undertaxed when you consider FICA. Warren Buffet is right about his assistant paying a higher tax rate than he. Taking money out of the FICA system and into a privatized retirement program will also require an income tax increase. Rightly or wrongly, those (excess) FICA revenues have been part of the budget for decades. They will have to be replaced somehow, and taking more money out of the federal bonds will only increase that need.
07-14-2010, 12:18 PM   #7
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The funny thing about all this tax talk and vitriol is, the actual total amount of taxes anyone not utterly-filthy-rich pays has added up to no more difference than pennies on the dollar all along.

Down here, 'income tax' may as well be an obscenity, but they don't even burp when someone say, 'Let's make the food tax ten percent rather than 'just eight.'
07-27-2010, 12:07 AM   #8
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But it's not fair! A person who has more money doesn't need as much. As a starving artist, I probably make way less than a lot of you. My suggestion is to send that money to me. Just because I didn't make that money doesn't mean I don't want to spend.

---------- Post added 07-26-10 at 11:12 PM ----------

Rat,
Here in California if one prepares their own food it's tax free. I could care less about eating out. I'm a vegetarian and the evil meat horde thinks it's hilarious to call it vegetable only soup but use pieces of chicken or beef as stock, calling it

---------- Post added 07-26-10 at 11:14 PM ----------

vegetarian. Bah.
For the rest I rely on the commerce clause for all my non-food neds.

07-27-2010, 06:24 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
The Roadmap Plan | A Roadmap for America's Future | The Budget Committee Republicans

Congressman Paul Ryan has a Roadmap Plan that looks intriguing - probably not everything will find wide support, but there are pieces that might suit even Obama.

Is this Republican change we can believe in?



Whaddaya think?
You might as well just throw your grand kids off a train....................
There are a thousand ways to "balance the budget". Point is finding the least painless way not the most painful way..............
There are things that should never be "privatized" since you now leave critical decisions to many who are incapable of "getting it right" through no real fault of their own or real fault on their own, makes no difference.. And at the same time you open the door to "predation".... I fail to see how anyone, after seeing what just happened, can't understand that. That's why I'm thinking that people have become clueless.................
Most of what he suggests just pumps money into business, which on a surface level seems like a "good thing" but it's never worked in the past. Where are all the private pensions?????????? most GONE... replaced by dinky 401K's and the like. No this just increases "class separation"........ a bad thing and regressive.

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-27-2010 at 11:23 AM.
07-27-2010, 09:58 AM   #10
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I'm a bit surprised - or not - that our resident right wingers or republicans aren't talking on this thread. I guess substantive policy discussions and other such really are for liberal democrat weenies, red blooded republicans only speak in oracular slogans.
07-27-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I'm a bit surprised - or not - that our resident right wingers or republicans aren't talking on this thread. I guess substantive policy discussions and other such really are for liberal democrat weenies, red blooded republicans only speak in oracular slogans.
except for a few loud mouthed congressman, I think most accept it as a BAD idea no matter how "fiscally responsible" it looks.....
But to be fair here is a pretty good outline BUT you can find all the same "scarey stuff" as in any gov. program...
Case in point, pg 10 of the document:
QuoteQuote:
define and regularly adjust the standard health
benefits to reflect changes in standards of care,
advances in technology, and fiscal realities;
Seems the whole thing is equal to a US single payor system
http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/rc/papers/2007/07useconomics_emanuel/...nuel_fuchs.pdf
07-27-2010, 11:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I'm a bit surprised - or not - that our resident right wingers or republicans aren't talking on this thread. I guess substantive policy discussions and other such really are for liberal democrat weenies, red blooded republicans only speak in oracular slogans.
Or on my "Republican done right" thread.
07-27-2010, 12:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Or on my "Republican done right" thread.
I noticed.

I think perhaps the 'government is not the solution, government is the problem' mantra pretty much ensures current orthodox Republicans don't believe any improvement or fix (short of summary dismantling) is worth even talking about. Kind of ironic when the politicians are in the business of competing for a chance to govern.
07-27-2010, 12:43 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nesster Quote
I noticed.

I think perhaps the 'government is not the solution, government is the problem' mantra pretty much ensures current orthodox Republicans don't believe any improvement or fix (short of summary dismantling) is worth even talking about. Kind of ironic when the politicians are in the business of competing for a chance to govern.
So far however there has been nothing heading toward improvement or a fix. When there is we can discuss it.

According to the powers that be our healthcare system couldn't be repaired and they summarily trashed it. Yet it simply needed regulation. Now we have ObamaScare. That the majority didn't want. Yet they shucked and jived and gave millions of our money to ram it thru.
07-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by graphicgr8s Quote
So far however there has been nothing heading toward improvement or a fix. When there is we can discuss it.

According to the powers that be our healthcare system couldn't be repaired and they summarily trashed it. Yet it simply needed regulation. Now we have ObamaScare. That the majority didn't want. Yet they shucked and jived and gave millions of our money to ram it thru.
It needs to be trashed. The basic assumption is the majority have good paying jobs that USED to cover all health care. That is no longer the case. The heathcare "administation/profit form is a dinosaur of old and better times, and it wasn't perfect then.
According to the "voucher" paper I posted you get 100% coverage. I find nothing short of that UNACCEPTABLE to a civilized society.......... even Obama care is short to o be HONEST BUT without it there would be no "other plan"....... THAT is HISTORICALLY obvious.
And to be pretty blunt the "majority" is generally pretty clueless, or at least if we are HONEST with ourselves it is the way most of us feel...
George you know you believe that, that the majority couldn't punch their way out of a paper bag. Just admit it.
AND our founding fathers KNEW darn well that was true then (Electoral college) and is still true today..................
Addendum: It's not the're stupid just ignorant since it is almost impossible (and likely not a good idea for those in power) to know all the facts on which to base an intelligent decision.........

Last edited by jeffkrol; 07-27-2010 at 01:05 PM.
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