August 16th, 2012

America has lost the battle over government

Economics & Politics

With Congressman Paul Ryan as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, the US election is shaping up to be a full-throated ideological brawl. President Barack Obama champions public investment and social support for the poor, while Mitt Romney and Mr Ryan call for a smaller state with lower taxes and spending. Yet for all the rhetoric, the small-government agenda has already prevailed. No matter who is elected on November 6, dangerous cuts in public goods and services are already in train.

There is considerable controversy about Mr Ryan’s budget plan, which exemplifies an aggressive Republican pitch to cut government spending, tax rates and social protection. Mr Ryan would reduce the top rate of personal income tax from 35 per cent to 25 per cent and slash transfer programmes for the poor, such as Medicaid and food stamps. His plan would also eliminate Mr Obama’s healthcare legislation. Radical stuff.

Read full article at the Financial Times


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