Just this month, the Congressional Budget Office crunched the numbers on Paul Ryan’s hotly contested ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget proposal and found that, by 2050, the budget would have reduced the size of government to 15% of the economy. The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson writes that, as a share of GDP, this would effectively reduce the size of the government to what it was in 1950.
Thompson fears the worst:
…Ryan would cut 40 percent from transportation, 40 percent from education and training, 30 percent from “income security” programs for the poor, and 24 percent from veterans, as Brad Plumer pointed out. It’s that his long-term budget, if you project forward defense spending, would cut 91 percent from these and all other non-defense programs. Ninety-one percent.
A central concern, to echo Thompson, is that deficit reduction is a monumentally difficult task — and when you decide to pursue it without increasing tax revenue, as Ryan’s plan stipulates, you make it nearly impossible.