Shapiro: Paul Ryan budget is ‘as dumb as you could possibly be’

By Neal McNamara | April 2, 2014
PaulRyan

On Tuesday, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republicans’ main budget thinker, unveiled yet another budget that seeks to cut government spending drastically, but has almost no chance of actually becoming law.

Many Republicans hailed the Paul Ryan budget as ideologically pure, and the perfect way to eliminate the federal budget deficit. As sure as it does, KTTH host Ben Shapiro called the budget plan “a fine budget proposal” and said, “there’s a lot that’s great about it.” But, there’s just one problem.

“It’s so stupid,” Shapiro said. “It’s about as dumb as you could possibly be.”

Before we explain why it’s so stupid, here’s’ a rundown of some of the salient points from Ryan’s budget:

  • Cuts $5.1 trillion over 10 years mainly by reducing domestic programs
  • Turns Medicare into a “premium support” system, where anyone 65 or older would get a federal subsidy for private insurance
  • Increases military spending through 2024 by $483 billion “consistent with America’s military goals and strategies”
  • Repeals Obamacare entirely, saving an estimated $2 trillion
  • Turns food stamps into a block grant program, cutting spending on them by $125 billion over five years
  • Turns Medicaid into a block grant program too, and, since Obamacare is repealed, rolls back the $792 billion Medicaid expansion that came with it
  • Cuts education spending by $145 billion over 10 years – including cutting $90 billion in Pell grants
  • Charges college students interest on loans while they’re still in school, earning the government $40 billion
  • No more subsidies for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

These are all necessary cuts, and some are long overdue, like the cuts to welfare and the unsustainable NEA and PBS-supporting CPB. So why does Shapiro think it’s dumb?

“Why would you possibly go ahead and hand members of the other party a bat to wield against you?” Shapiro said. “This is a very long, detailed plan that Democrats are going to tear apart with their bare teeth and use to portray Paul Ryan as uncaring and nasty.”

And Shapiro is right. The headlines that appeared on Tuesday and this morning were praiseful of Democrats, who yesterday in the Senate passed a “jobless” bill to “help” the unemployed by increasing government spending. The headlines about Ryan’s were all about how heartless Republicans are.

Headlines from Tuesday and today include, “Paul Ryan rehashes an old Social Security lie – at your expense,” from the Los Angeles Times; “Paul Ryan’s unrealistic path to prosperity” from the Washington Post; “Republican budget proposes deep cuts in domestic programs” from Newsweek; and from MSNBC, “After poverty tour, Ryan proposes cutting food stamps.”

Washington Congressman Adam Smith, in typical Democratic fashion, sent out an almost gleeful press release Wednesday saying, “The proposal would be devastating to seniors, the middle class, and the poor, while giving even more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans who have already benefitted massively over the last decade from the Bush tax cuts.”

And though it’s possible that Ryan’s budget will pass in the House, it will never pass in the Senate, and Barack Obama would certainly never make it law. All Ryan’s budget does is give ammunition to liberals.

“This is how leftists win, by castigating Republicans as mean, nasty people who don’t care about the unemployed, who don’t care about the poor, people on welfare, or children,” Shapiro said. “Why is it Republicans are so obsessed with being right that they fail to win? I’m seeing all these people super excited about Paul Ryan’s budget – do they understand that the way to destroy a party is to make the pitch to the American people that you want to cut while the people on the other side are saying cuts are unnecessary and that if you want to cut, it’s because you’re mean?”

“Do not give the other side a baseball bat with which to hit you,” Shapiro said.

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