If Not the Ryan Plan - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
If Not the Ryan Plan

In his column yesterday, Ross Douthat made the point that the alternative to a free market deficit plan like Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity would be the European high tax, low growth model. Then he suggests that that model might not work as well in the U.S. as it does in European countries: 

Historically, the most successful welfare states (think Scandinavia) have depended on ethnic solidarity to sustain their tax-and-transfer programs. But the working-age America of the future will be far more diverse than the retired cohort it’s laboring to support. Asking a population that’s increasingly brown and beige to accept punishing tax rates while white seniors receive roughly $3 in Medicare benefits for every dollar they paid in (the projected ratio in the 2030s) promises to polarize the country along racial as well as generational lines.

…what Obama didn’t acknowledge is that the alternative path could lead to a different country as well – a more stagnant and balkanized society, in which our promise to the elderly crowds out the fundamental promise of America itself.

Yet Obama still hasn’t promoted that alternative path. Instead, he’s stuck to using “millionaires and billionaires” as scapegoats, without advocating measures that would lead to fiscal sustainability. The left-wing scenario Douthat sketched out involves eliminating the Bush tax cuts for everyone, including middle class workers, and raising all kinds of other revenues as well. 

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