What people have not been talking about enough is that the Ryan budget contains an $897 billion sinkhole: massive but unexplained cuts in such discretionary domestic programs as education, food and drug inspection, workplace safety, environmental protection and law enforcement.
The scope of the cuts – stunning in their breadth — is hidden. To find the numbers, turn to page 16 of the Concurrent Resolution on the Budget – Fiscal Year 2013. In Table 2, Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Resolution Discretionary Spending, in the far right hand column, you’ll see the nearly $897 billion figure, which appears on the line marked “BA” for Budget Authority under Allowances (920) as $896,884 (because these figures are listed in millions of dollars).
It goes on to give the clearest explanation of why the Ryan budget is either hokum, or else would mean cuts drastic beyond anyone but a Ron Paul supporter’s dreams:
Under the Ryan budget, “Mandatory and Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending” – which includes Function 920 Allowances, but excludes Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — would fall from 12.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product in 2011 to 6.75 percent in 2023, 5.75 percent in 2030, 4.75 percent in 2040 and 3.75 percent in 2050, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office.
The C.B.O. cautiously notes how difficult it would be to cut such spending to 3.75 percent of G.D.P.:
By comparison, spending in this category has exceeded 8 percent of G.D.P. in every year since World War II. Spending for defense alone has not been lower than 3 percent of G.D.P. in any year during that period.
My question is this: what is this analysis doing in the Opinion section? It sounds suspiciously like arithmetic. Is arithmetic relegated to “opinion” now that one party no longer believes in it?