My latest from the Los Angeles Times:
Not that long ago, Rep. Paul Ryan was freaked out about the national debt.
The “red tidal wave of debt,” he told Sean Hannity back in 2012, would trigger what he called the “most predictable economic crisis we have ever had in this country.” Debt would mean nothing less than the “end of the American dream.”
In 2012, the debt stood at $15 trillion, and the exploding costs of entitlements, Ryan said, meant that “by the time my grandkids are raising their grandkids, we are taking 80 cents out of every dollar just to pay for this federal government at that time.”
Ryan, who was then House Budget Committee chairman and soon to be the GOP’s vice presidential nominee, warned that the debt crisis would be catastrophic to the American way of life, leading to a massive rise in interest rates and — eventually — “bitter austerity” measures including “cuts to current seniors” and “cuts to the safety net.”
He also said the crisis was imminent: “All the experts are telling us we have about two to three years, is the time frame they tell us.”
That was five years ago. Ryan is now speaker of the House, and the national debt now exceeds $20 trillion. But he’s pushing ahead with tax cuts that are likely to increase that figure by trillions more. And that’s only part of the story.
The GOP retreat from fiscal conservatism is twofold: The tax plan helps balloon federal deficits, and it does nothing to address the rising costs of entitlements as the population grows older and sicker.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget estimates that the proposed GOP House tax cuts would “result in debt reaching the size of the economy by 2028 and exceeding its post-World War II record a year or two later.”
Read the rest here: http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-sykes-gop-fiscal-20171110-story.html