I just did a podcast with James Delingpole (yes, the climate change guy) and he had mentioned that we might discuss Paul Ryan’s budget. Turns out we didn’t talk about Ryan specifically, but here was the point I was going to make:
Go to the actual budget proposal [.pdf] (so no fear that we’re relying on Krugman’s interpretation) and look at page 84. It says:
This budget tackles this crisis head-on by cutting debt as a share of the economy by roughly 15 percent over the next decade. The CBO estimates that this budget will produce annual surpluses by 2040 and begin paying down the national debt after that. [Bold added.]
Everyone understand what that is saying? Even under the Ryan budget’s own rosy scenarios (which don’t assume a massive interest rate spike or another economic collapse, for starters), the federal government will run a deficit every single year from 2013 through 2040. It will take them 27 years just to produce the first balanced budget.
If someone can figure out how many trillions will be added to the absolute level of the federal (cash) debt, let me know. I did it back in 2010 for Ryan’s “draconian” budget, but I don’t have the time to sift through this latest version to see if the number changed.
And remember kids: This is the wish-list. This won’t survive the actual political process over the coming decades. They are saying if they got what they wanted, then we would only have the federal government spend more than it takes in, for another 27 years. After that, it’s fiscal responsibility time, baby! When times are tough, the government needs to tighten its belt just like a household.