Arnold Kling  

Real Change in Domestic Policy

Easterly and the Caplan-Cowen ... Why You've Got to Read Gogol's...

From a web site put together by Congressman Paul Ryan,

It is a real plan, with real proposals, real numbers to back them, and real legislation to implement it. Based on the analysis of government actuaries, this plan is projected to make the Social Security and Medicare programs permanently solvent. It will lift the growing debt burden on future generations, and hold Federal taxes to 18.5% of GDP.

The plan makes Medicare and Medicaid more like vouchers, which plugs the big leak in future budgets. It includes some personal accounts for Social Security, but it also trims benefits and eventually raises the retirement age. It also includes some interesting tax reforms, including a simpler, flatter income tax, reduced taxes on capital, and replacing the corporate income tax with something called a "border-adjustable business consumption tax." I have no idea what that is.

Those of us who worry about fiscal sustainability should encourage these sorts of plans, rather than the audacity of hope being offered by the two parties' candidates for President.

One should not under-estimate the radical nature of these proposals. But if you want to take this country off the path of a fiscal train wreck, you have to propose real change.

Speaking of real change, the Wall Street Journal has editorials here and here that describe health insurance reforms at the state level that have more of a free-market flavor.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (2 to date)
aaron writes:

I like fixing taxes to GDP, but we should also limit the amount of interest on debt to a certain percentage as well. When the juice goes up, we should pay down debt.

Paul writes:

I believe a "border-adjustable business consumption tax" would be a European-style VAT.

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