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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Budgets and Politics- Congressman Ryan's Duck Call

Now Congressman Paul Ryan is again harping about passing a government budget. There's little fiscal responsibility in Ryan's austerity clarion call. Rather, his argument is more political than financial. Yet, Ryan's common sense argument, in support of a government budget, ie, "every home has a budget and so should government", is postured to, primarily, put his name in the political headlines.

Ryan's call for Congress to pass a budget is like the duck hunter with a call horn. A duck horn is an appealing call to other ducks until they find themselves in the danger zone, within the hunter's rifle range.

This political saber rattling about passing a budget is like giving politicians like Ryan a "duck call". Ryan and Republicans fully realize that passing a budget will put Democrats on notice to make social program cuts. Republicans can't be trusted to compromise on a budget. Instead, they want to bully Democrats to vote for politically unpopular cuts to programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Veterans benefits. Following any proposed budget vote on Ryan's political decoy, I predict that Republicans will blame the ensuring cuts on the Democrats in the 2014 election.

Of course, Americans deserve to see Congress pass a budget, but the process should include revenues, as well as reasonable austerity measures.  Ryan isn't as interested in a budget as he is in making political noise. His budget is like using a duck call to beacon Democrats, so they might be tricked into voting for cuts to safety net programs.  Under Ryan's budget math, middle class Americans would suffer and programs for the poor would be nearly decimated, while the rich and super rich would not be asked to contribute any additional revenues.

This call for a one sided "cut programs" budget, is purely about politics.  It's a duck call, and those who hear it should fly in an opposite direction - toward the voters, who can un-elect politicians like Congressman Paul Ryan.

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