In an oped in the Wall Street Journal, Sarah Palin has endorsed the Paul Ryan Roadmap, a plan developed by the incoming Chairman of the House Budget Committee to deal with the deficit through entitlement and tax reform.
In the same article, Palin attacks the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, primarily for its defense spending cuts and its acceptance of the Obama health care reform law.
“Among the few areas of spending it does single out for cuts is defense-the one area where we shouldn’t be cutting corners at a time of war. Worst of all, the commission’s proposals institutionalize the current administration’s new big spending commitments, including ObamaCare. Not only does it leave ObamaCare intact, but its proposals would lead to a public option being introduced by the backdoor, with the chairmen’s report suggesting a second look at a government-run health-care program if costs continue to soar.
“It also implicitly endorses the use of ‘death panel’-like rationing by way of the new Independent Payments Advisory Board-making bureaucrats, not medical professionals, the ultimate arbiters of what types of treatment will (and especially will not) be reimbursed under Medicare.”
The Internet is already buzzing with Palin’s use of the term “death panels,” which perfectly described one of the many detrimental effects of the Obama health care reform law. Palin was attacked for her use of the term during the debate over health care reform, but subsequent revelations have proved her to be correct.
Palin then goes on to describe why she prefers the Paul Ryan road map plan:
“On health care, it would replace ObamaCare with a new system in which people are given greater control over their own health-care spending. It achieves this partly through creating medical savings accounts and a new health-care tax credit-the only tax credit that would be left in a radically simplified new income tax system that people can opt into if they wish.
“The Roadmap would also replace our high and anticompetitive corporate income tax with a business consumption tax of just 8.5%. The overall tax burden would be limited to 19% of GDP (compared to 21% under the deficit commission’s proposals). Beyond that, Rep. Ryan proposes fundamental reform of Medicare for those under 55 by turning the current benefit into a voucher with which people can purchase their own care.
“On Social Security, as with Medicare, the Roadmap honors our commitments to those who are already receiving benefits by guaranteeing all existing rights to people over the age of 55. Those below that age are offered a choice: They can remain in the traditional government-run system or direct a portion of their payroll taxes to personal accounts, owned by them, managed by the Social Security Administration and guaranteed by the federal government. Under the Roadmap’s proposals, they can pass these savings onto their heirs. The current Medicaid system, the majority of which is paid for by the federal government but administered by the states, would be replaced by a block-grant system that would reward economizing states.”
Publishing the oped supporting the Paul Ryan Roadmap serves a number of purposes for Sarah Palin, besides bringing the plan back to the center of the debate over how to deal with the deficit.
First, the oped burnishes Palin’s credentials as a person versed in economic policy. No doubt there will be some naysayers who will claim that she just put her name to an article ghost-written by one of her brain trust of advisers. But the article does mitigate against the Tina Fey caricature of Palin as brainless bimbo.
Second, the article sets up a position that Palin can run for president on. In this, she seems to be following in the footsteps of Ronald Reagan. In 1980, Reagan seized upon a plan being championed by then-Congressman Jack Kemp to cut tax rates across the board as a means to jump start the economy from the stagflation it was suffering under during the Carter years. Reagan won the 1980 election in part because of the Kemp plan, passed it through Congress, and within a few short years broke the back of stagflation and brought back economic growth.
Ryan appears to be playing the Kemp role for Palin. The plan may well be to run on the Roadmap, with all of the perils for demonization from the Democrats; win the election; then pass it in the first year to finally bring down the deficit while jump starting economic growth.
It is a brilliant strategy, something that will force Barack Obama to fight on the ground of Palin’s choosing, and incidentally will distinguish her from the Republican pack during the primaries.
Sources: Why I Support the Ryan Roadmap, Sarah Palin, Wall Street Journal, December 10th, 2010
Is Paul Ryan’s ‘Road Map’ the future of the Republican Party? Mark R. Whittington, September 24th, 2010