Saturday, August 09, 2008

Top Budget Committee Republican: U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy

The ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), said the U.S. government is headed toward bankruptcy if it stays on its current fiscal course.

To back up this claim, Ryan cited an estimate by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office that says the government faces a $53 Trillion shortfall to cover the costs of promised benefits in its entitlement programs: Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Ryan said that to deal with this situation the government must either reform the entitlement programs or eventually impose massive tax increases on American workers. “By the time my three children – who are three, five and six years old—are my age, the federal government will have to tax 40 cents out of every dollar made in America just to pay the bills for the federal government at that time,” he said.

“What [the Congressional Budget Office] told me was really startling,” said Ryan. “They said that the current low rate, the 10-percent bracket for low-income Americans, would have to go up to 25 percent. The middle-income tax rate for middle-income Americans would have to go up to 66 percent, and the top rate, which is what small businesses pay, would have to go to 88 percent.

“And if you did that, all experts conclude, you would literally crash the American economy.”


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