April 11, 2012
The poet Robert Frost once wrote of two paths diverging in a yellow wood. After pondering the merits of each way, he makes a choice.
While our Federal city isnt much of a yellow wood, there are two fiscal paths that diverge in front of our lawmakers. Based on projections from the Congressional Budget Office, President Obama's budgetary path would substantially increase Federal social benefits as a share of GDPfrom about 16.7 in 2010 to 23.1 percent of GDP in 2085.
In contrast, the path proposed by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) would prevent such an increase by fundamentally reforming Federal health care programs.
In a recent interview with the Christian Broadcasting Networks David Brody, Chairman Ryan articulated the differences:
We want to restore the American dream for everybody in American society so that every person has a chance at equal opportunity to make the most of their lives. The presidents vision, I believe, is to equalize the outcome of peoples lives - not to promote natural rights and equal opportunity, but new government granted rights and equality of outcome. Its a very different vision of what it used to be, and I really think thats where the president is trying to take this country.
While we can assume that the President intends no personal malice towards the American dream, his budget threatens to curtail and redefine it.
Economist and author, John D. Mueller has crunched the numbers on the Presidents budget and compared it to Chairman Ryans alternative. He projects that the U.S. birth rate will fall significantly under current law, from about 2.1 to about 1.75 children per couple in 2085. He further projects that would remain almost exactly at the replacement rate of 2.1 under the proposed Ryan budget, approximating the Social Security Trustees' Intermediate Assumptions.
Join us today for a lunchtime lecture as Mueller releases his original research and why these birthrate projections even matter.
Two budgetary paths diverge in a partisan town. Taking the one less traveled by might make all the difference.
Register here for the live event, or to attend by webcast.