National treasure Paul Krugman expresses a truth rarely seen in the nation’s op-ed pages: Paul Ryan’s plan is a ludicrous fraud that uses deficit reduction as a flimsy pretext to advance long-discredited radical economic proposals, the upshot of which would be to return the United States to Mickinleynomics. It’s rife with unicorns turning lead into gold: upper-class tax cuts increase revenue! Despite the highly unimpressive economic performance of the Bush era, upper class tax cuts will lead to -3% unemployment and eleventy-kajillion dollar suprluses! And when I say this Astrology Economics is being used in the service of opposing the New Deal, I mean it:
How drastic? According to the budget office, which analyzed the plan using assumptions dictated by House Republicans, the proposal calls for spending on items other than Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — but including defense — to fall from 12 percent of G.D.P. last year to 6 percent of G.D.P. in 2022, and just 3.5 percent of G.D.P. in the long run.
That last number is less than we currently spend on defense alone; it’s not much bigger than federal spending when Calvin Coolidge was president, and the United States, among other things, had only a tiny military establishment. How could such a drastic shrinking of government take place without crippling essential public functions? The plan doesn’t say.
This plan is a joke. Anyone who takes it seriously cannot be taken seriously. And if it doesn’t become an albatross around the neck of the Republican Party for years Barack Obama should be sued for political malpractice.
…As noted in comments, noted Trotskyite Bruce Bartlett is also very unserious.