A great piece by Tom Edsall on the Ryan plan. Executive summary: it cuts “Mandatory and Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending” down to 3.75% of GDP (by 2050) from its current level of 12.5% of GDP. Since defense itself is 4% of GDP and Ryan has pledged not to cut that, that means there is no non-defense discretionary spending at all. In particular:
By 2050, that would leave zilch under the Ryan plan for such separately funded programs as Veterans Benefits (Function 700); the administration of justice, including the F.B.I. (Function 750); Education, Train and Social Services (Function 500), and pretty much anything else.
Here’s why it’s a shell game: he never says specifically what he will cut (he probably says something about bear DNA and volcano monitoring on the stump, but you know what I mean). So if he gets quizzed by anyone who is afraid a program they like will be cut, he can just say “I am committed to saving your program”.
A neat trick.