Martin Bashir | January 25, 2013
>>> congressman paul ryan known to some economists as the witch doctor of wisconsin, once claimed that his voodoo economics would eliminate the deficit in about 30 years. but now some gop leaders are making an even bolder claim about the new ryan budget .
>> in the house we're committed to producing a budget that will balance in ten years.
>> joining us now is jared bernstein, senior fellow at the center on budget and policy priorities and an msnbc contributor. welcome, sir.
>> thank you.
>> mr. ryan 's original 30-year plan, as you know, jared , was balanced on the backs of the poor and the jobless. are you able to estimate for our viewers how catastrophic his new ten-year budget is likely to be for low-income workers, the disabled, the poor, and those currently unemployed?
>> i think i can, and i think we start exactly where you did. the budget that the house now supports, the paul ryan budget , is a budget that doesn't balance until 2040 , but it's a budget that takes trillions of dollars from low-income programs and funnels them to wealthy people along the way kicking tens of millions off the public insurance rolls, raising the eligibility age of medicare , bloc granting medicaid food assistance, cutting educational programs. that's the one that balances in 2040 . so what do you think a budget that balances in ten years from now is going to look like compared to that? obviously much worse. we're talking about cuts of up to 37% in government services as he know them, and, remember, you can't get a penny for these budgets from revenue. it all has to come from spending cuts, and the number i just cited takes social security , medicare , and defense off the table as they've stated. so we're talking about far deeper cuts than the ryan budget that you and i have bemoaned many a time here.
>> so we're talking, okay, jared , about a 37% across the board cut.
>> now, what was it about last year's election results that have led paul ryan to believe that he wasn't brutal enough the first time with the economy?
>> exactly. this is the classical doubling down that i got to say at this point i am just -- maybe i should stop, but i'm just scratching my head over this. the election decisively was over this very argument about the role of government in people's lives. i actually thought the president's inaugural statements were, again, very clear on this point about the importance of the role of government in retirement security. so medicare , social security , in a safety net , in educational opportunity for disadvantaged people. if you go with the ryan budget , which balances in 2040 , the house republican budget , you're already taking all of those cuts from low income people. this is far deeper.
>> now, yourself and paul krugman have pieces out today in which you talk about how the improving economy proves that austerity doesn't lead to prosperity because in the cases of britain, spain, and italy, as you know, those nations are all back in deep recession. indeed, the nobel laureate calls paul ryan a con man. why would a political party appoint a con man as their chief exist?
>> well, i think i can answer that. the theme that paul and i were both getting at today is that this idea that there is a deficit crisis and we're going to be greece if we don't breach the debt ceiling and impose budgets that cut the government 40% in ten years, the idea behind those crisis mongers is that we have to slash the heck out of social insurance , out of programs that provide educational opportunities for poor people , out of things that push back against economic inequality. we can't afford it. we must cut them. the crisis dictates it. if there is no crisis and, as krugman and i argue, there is no crisis, if there is no crisis, they're just out there in nowhere land by themselves, by the way, without the majority of the electorate behind them.
>> very briefly, jared , if you can, eric cantor says taxes are done, no taxes, so i guess another stalemate to come on that?
>> i see -- it's hard to see how the budget that's going to come out of the senate, and i think patty murray is going to do a very good job on that, is going to reconcile with the kind of budgets we're looking at.
>> jared bernstein who absolutely deserves the nobel peace prize , thank you, sir, thank you for