Paul Ryan Plan or Higher Taxes, Take Your Pick: Amity Shlaes

April 15, 2011 06:01

[T]he U.S. has to show it realizes it is confronting an existential threat.

By Amity Shlaes at


We all are starving for growth. This week I’ll be in Dallas at a conference on economic growth hosted by the new George W. Bush Institute. It’s part of the group’s ambitious 4% Project, which seeks ways to achieve long-term economic growth of 4 percent.

This time yearly growth in the U.S. can’t reach 4 percent, or even 3 percent by tax changes alone. Cuts in debt and entitlement reform are also necessary. The federal debt is too big to outgrow, especially with interest rates heading up. The very structure of our entitlement programs guarantees that greater economic growth will yield larger budgetary shortfalls.

The best move for anyone of either party who wants even a shot at blocking tax increases before it’s too late ought to line up behind House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan like a recruit at basic training.

Ryan’s proposal is imperfect, but the plan is at least ready. Critics unhappy with elements of it can add their own changes to the next budget, once unity creates momentum.


The title should maybe be “Paul Ryan Plan or economic depression take your pick” – Editor

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