Today House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan unveils his plan to save America’s future. I expect that three aspects will get a lot of attention: the proposal for Medicare, the reform of Medicaid, and the ten-year budget numbers. However, I think the most important feature of the budget is a vision for the role of government that restores the promise of long-term fiscal sobriety, economic growth, and intergenerational fairness.
Imagine this: It will pay off the national debt by 2050.
Similarly, the “block grant” is likely to be indexed for inflation and population, making it responsive to the current economic conditions. Governors will have the flexibility to take advantage of the potential for efficiency gains from managed plans and other approaches that match their populations.
But the simplest response to such criticisms is to note that Medicare and Medicaid are unsustainable. So their constituencies are already at risk and to do nothing is the cruelest of options.
The House budget proposal is commendable because it addresses the real problem: the structure of the entitlement programs. Under this plan, there is a vision of small, contained government that supports rapid economic growth, is fair to future generations, and restores America’s exceptionalism.
— Douglas Holtz-Eakin is president of the American Action Forum.