Replace fiscal rhetoric with reality

Following Mitt Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate, Obama surrogates saturated the battlefield with claims that Ryan wanted to kill Medicaid and Medicare. Blogger Iowahawk shot down that canard with one sweet tweet: "You know what will end Medicaid as we know it? Medicaid as we know it."

In another tweet, Iowahawk reminded voters that the Ryan budget got 218 votes in the House, 41 in Senate. Obama budget got zero votes in House and Senate — three times.

No one is going to believe that that party of no budget for more than three years stands for fiscal sanity. In a third tweet, Iowahawk did the math: The net present value of unfunded U.S. government spending obligations: $222 trillion — enough to carpet 24 percent of the United States in dollar bills.

Economist and blogger Keith Hennessey arms readers to defend themselves against the political rhetoric: "Every ‘cut program X by Y%’ quote about the Ryan budget will be relative to an unsustainable spending path. The irresponsible part isn’t the proposed spending cut, it’s the promise to keep spending growth going without specifying how you’ll pay for it."

"If President Obama were proposing tax increases to match his future spending growth, then this would be a fair attack," Hennessey adds, "but he is not. More generally, the Obama fiscal path and campaign message rely on the false presumption that everything will be OK if we raise tax increases only on the rich and make small, mostly painless spending cuts. This is incorrect. Whether you support spending cuts, tax increases, or a combination, you need to make big, structural fiscal policy changes to get on a long-term sustainable fiscal path. Our federal government spending path is seriously out of whack and minor adjustments won’t fix it."

Paul Ryan, stated the stark difference between Obama’s four years and what the Romney/Ryan ticket proposes: "We promise equal opportunity, not equal outcomes. This idea is founded on the principles of liberty, freedom, free enterprise, self-determination and government by consent of the governed. This idea is under assault."

Milton Friedman explained, "The only cases in which the masses have escaped from the kind of grinding poverty you’re talking about, the only cases in recorded history are where they have had capitalism and largely free trade. If you want to know where the masses are worst off, it’s exactly in the kinds of societies that depart from that. So that the record of history is absolutely crystal clear that there is no alternative way, so far discovered, of improving the lot of the ordinary people that can hold a candle to the productive activities that are unleashed by a free enterprise system."