Budget Politics

So Republican Representative Paul Ryan is out with his budget, and this year’s doesn’t look appreciably different from last year’s.  What has changed is the political context: last year Ryan was hailed as a serious budget hawk, but last year public concern about the deficit was high.  This year the issue of inequality is a bit more prominent and Ryan’s budget is being viewed through that lens.  This means that the reaction is far more focused on the fact that Ryan’s budget 1) contains a sizeable tax cut for the wealthy, and 3) it pays for it with cuts to progams like Medicare, education, transportation and others like Medicaid and foodstamps that the least well-off depend upon, and 3) Ryan doesn’t actually balance the federal budget. There is a lot of good policy wonkish stuff out there about this, but as always, I like Ezra Klein’s analysis in the Washington Post.  You don’t need to read this whole post — just the column portion at the beginning — stop when you get ot “Top Stories.”

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