David Stockman, former director of the Office of Management and Budget during Ronald Reagan’s first term, thoroughly broke down Rep. Paul Ryan’s “fairy tale” budget plan in a New York Times op-ed on Tuesday.
Stockman cuts through the Ryan plan, attacking the GOP for agreeing to Wall Street bailouts and cutting food stamp relief. He, instead, offers his plan for entitlement reform.
“A true agenda to reform the welfare state would require a sweeping, income-based eligibility test, which would reduce or eliminate social insurance benefits for millions of affluent retirees,” he writes. “Without it, there is no math that can avoid giant tax increases or vast new borrowing. Yet the supposedly courageous Ryan plan would not cut one dime over the next decade from the $1.3 trillion-per-year cost of Social Security and Medicare.”
To fix the economy, he argues, there needs to be a “sweeping housecleaning” of the Fed and tougher stance on Wall Street waste.
“Ryan’s plan is devoid of credible math or hard policy choices,” Stockman writes. “And it couldn’t pass even if Republicans were to take the presidency and both houses of Congress. Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan have no plan to take on Wall Street, the Fed, the military-industrial complex, social insurance or the nation’s fiscal calamity and no plan to revive capitalist prosperity — just empty sermons.”
Stockman served from 1981 to 1985, and is the author of an upcoming book: “The Great Deformation: How Crony Capitalism Corrupts Free Markets and Democracy.”