Economy & Budget

Paul Ryan’s Economic Road Map

Political “roadmaps” haven’t fared well in recent history.  The “roadmap” to peace between Israel, the Palestinians and Israel’s hostile neighbors is perhaps the worst example. Rep.  Paul Ryan (R-Wi) may have one that might – if we follow it – lead to a more stable and prosperous American economy. 

Ryan, the ranking member of the Committee on the Budget, believes America has an entitlement crisis. His new bill, The Roadmap for America’s Future (H.R. 6110), is an action plan to a prosperous and sustainable fiscal policy that will benefit most the next generation.

When the federal government snatches large paycheck percentages for entitlement programs, the economy struggles, individuals lack choice and market elasticity stiffens. Ryan seeks fellow members to help him halt the taxing trend.

At a meeting yesterday on Capitol Hill, Ryan – joined by his six-year-old daughter — spoke of a future America where forty cents of every dollar will be required to run the federal government. He said Republicans and Democrats have been “neglecting their duties” by allowing this unsustainable fiscal path to continue.

With the growing wave of “Baby Boomers” reaching retirement age, retirement, social security and healthcare costs will multiply to costs that may literally bankrupt our economy.

Ryan’s three-pronged plan for generational change includes health and retirement security, lifting the debt burden and increasing competitiveness in the U.S. job market. The essence of conservative thought – individual choice – is the heart of his solution.

Americans need security and a competitive marketplace but to achieve both, taxes must remain low, in what Ryan called a “dramatically simplified system” where, “at the end of the day, it’s all about choice.”

Ryan proposes that healthcare be made affordable by restructuring the tax code and allowing health plans that works for each person, including shifting ownership. The “Roadmap” bill would provide a transferrable $2,500 tax credit for individuals and $5,000 for families.

“Healthcare would be patient-centered, individually driven…with benefits from job to job,” Ryan said, adding that no health insurance or government bureaucrats would be making decisions for people.

The bill would continue the current Medicare program for those 55 or older now but also implement a payment of up to $9,500 for those coming into the program.

According to a press release, that amount will be “adjusted for inflation and based on income, with low-income individuals receiving greater support.”

Social security plans would offer more options as well, including personal retirement accounts that incorporate property rights and the same total benefits as those in the current system. Ryan said this kind of social security plan is “permanently solvent,” according to the Chief Actuary of the Social Security Administration.

The tax reform aspect of the bill is appealing, offering a simplified tax system that has only two rates and eliminates the alternative minimum tax (AMT) and the death tax. The bill also abolishes taxes on interest, capital gains and dividends among other aggressive tactics that will make a noticeable, long term change. 

Ryan’s plan, which he said is being considered by several Democrats and many Republicans, will encourage Americans to lead in the era of competition.

“Our fate is not inevitable…we can change it,” he said. “I want to be the Paul Revere of fiscal policy in this country.”

Ryan views the bill as monumental because it lays out specific guidelines and goals that foresee an ending to the black hole of spending that Congress has anchored the country with. Members are often warned not to launch controversial programs in an election year, but since every other year is an election year that advice doesn’t fly if things are going to be accomplished in government, said Ryan.

He noted that no one should be getting a “miserable return on their taxes” and “personal retirement accounts give everyone a stake in the game.”

The bill’s research is backed by the conservative Heritage Foundation and moderate Brookings Institute, among other bipartisan think tanks and organizations.

Ryan bashed the Democrat Congress’s mindset of “taxing your way out” of problems and vowed that he will work to make the United States the most competitive economy in the world.

“You can’t grow your way out of this problem, but you can kill growth,” he said.

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