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mazingerz88's avatar

What does Ryan mean when he said shared scarcity?

Asked by mazingerz88 (18507 points ) August 14th, 2012

Heard the radio air a Ryan speech he made in Chicago last year. In talking about taxation, spending issues and healthcare, he mentioned that if the Democrats get their way, Americans would have “shared scarcity” instead of continuing progress.

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18 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Probably the old “rationing” thing.

Qingu's avatar

Taxing rich people to pay for social programs, according to Ryan’s objectivist cult, is like poison for capitalism. Capitalism and economic growth only happens if rich people don’t pay much in taxes and poor people rely on private charity for help, or better yet, magically help themselves.

Nevermind the greatest period of economic growth during the Clinton presidency, or the most tepid period of growth after the Bush tax cuts…

bkcunningham's avatar

Here is the portion of the speech that addresses your question: ...Shared scarcity represents a deeply pessimistic vision for the future of this country – one in which we all pay more and we all get less. I believe it would leave us with a nation that is less prosperous and less free.

To begin with, chasing ever-higher spending with ever-higher tax rates will decrease the number of makers in society and increase the number of takers. Able-bodied Americans will be discouraged from working and lulled into lives of complacency and dependency.

Worse – when it becomes obvious that taxing the rich doesn’t generate nearly enough revenue to cover Washington’s empty promises – austerity will be the only course left. A debt-fueled economic crisis will force massive tax increases on everyone and indiscriminate cuts on current beneficiaries – without giving them time to prepare or adjust. And, given the expansive growth of government, many of these critical decisions will fall to bureaucrats we didn’t elect.

Shared scarcity impedes economic growth, results in harsh austerity, and ends with lost freedom.

In a recent speech he gave in response to our budget, President Obama outlined a deficit-reduction approach that, in my view, defines shared scarcity. The President’s plan begins with trillions of dollars in higher taxes, and it relies on a plan to control costs in Medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to deeply ration care. This would disrupt the lives of those currently in retirement and lead to waiting lists for today’s seniors.

Now in criticizing the President’s policies, I should make clear that I am not disputing for a moment that he inherited a difficult fiscal situation when he took office. He did.

Millions of American families had just seen their dreams destroyed by misguided policies and irresponsible leadership that caused a financial disaster. The crisis squandered the nation’s savings and crippled its economy.

The emergency actions taken by the government in the fall of 2008 did help to arrest the ensuing panic. But subsequent interventions – such as the President’s stimulus law and the Fed’s unprecedented monetary easing – have done much more harm than good, in my judgment.

In the aftermath of the crisis, we needed government to repair the free-market foundations of the American economy, as it did under Reagan in the early 1980s, by restraining spending… keeping taxes low… enforcing reasonable, predictable regulations… and protecting the value of the dollar…

Qingu's avatar

Ryan isn’t stupid, so when he says the following:

” A debt-fueled economic crisis will force massive tax increases on everyone and indiscriminate cuts on current beneficiaries”

He’s lying. And his party is the one calling for austerity. the market will not force austerity on us; our debt remains ridiculously cheap.

“it relies on a plan to control costs in Medicare that would give a board of 15 unelected bureaucrats in Washington the power to deeply ration care”

Lying. The board is restricted from even making recommendations to ration care. source

“as it did under Reagan in the early 1980s, by restraining spending”

Lying. Reagan increased spending and blew up the debt.

What a slimebag.

AngryWhiteMale's avatar

My translation of Ryan: “Austerity for thee, but not for me.”

BhacSsylan's avatar

That’s funny that Ryan is so concerned with scarcity, when his budget spends 4.5 trillion on tax breaks and outlines no way to pay for them, save cutting spending that would heavily affect low income Americans. From The Center on Budged and Policy Priorities:

“In fact, TPC reported yesterday that the four major new tax cuts in the Ryan plan —cutting the top income rate to 25 percent and creating a lower tax bracket of 10 percent, cutting the corporate income tax rate to 25 percent and exempting from taxation the profits that U.S. corporations earn overseas, repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax, and repealing the tax increases in health reform — would cost $4.6 trillion in lost federal revenue over the next ten years (not counting the overseas corporate profits exemption). All four revenue-losing measures would disproportionately benefit wealthy Americans.

Moreover, this $4.6 trillion revenue loss would come on top of about another $5 trillion revenue loss over the coming decade, TPC reported, from Chairman Ryan’s proposal to make permanent all of the Bush tax cuts along with other tax cuts that are scheduled to expire, such as an estate-tax giveaway from late 2010 that benefits the estates of only the wealthiest one-quarter of one percent of people who die.

Chairman Ryan claims that these new tax cuts would be financed by scaling back tax credits, deductions, and other preferences, known collectively as “tax expenditures.” But while his plan specifies the new tax cuts that he seeks, it contains not a single specific proposal to narrow any particular tax break. Furthermore, the plan appears to place the low capital-gains tax rate off limits. If policymakers do not raise that tax rate when they cut the top income tax rate to 25 percent, they will find it virtually impossible to enact Chairman Ryan’s proposed tax changes without, as a consequence, providing massive new tax cuts for the richest Americans. ”

Emphasis mine.

ETpro's avatar

Same old same old. The 99% shared the scarcity so the 1/100th of 1% like him and his running mate can have vast new tax breaks. Under his budget plan, in the 2010 tax filing R0mney has released, instead of paying the 14.8% he did pay, Romney would pay 0.82% on $21 million in income.

We didn’t have shared scarcity for the 99% before Reagan started Trickle Down Economics and we won’t get rid of it till we end TDE once and for all.

Qingu's avatar

Ryan believes that if you raise rich people’s taxes, there is a real danger that they will “go Galt” and stop being productive industry leaders.

If a multimillionaire’s team of accountants notifies him that he will have marginally less of his vast disposable income next year because of a higher taxes, say, it is likely that this millionaire will close up his factories and go on strike as a productive job-creating citizen. It’s happened before! Well, in Ayn Rand’s fictional novel, at least.

Paradox25's avatar

Ironically it is the policies of those who think like Ryan that would inevitibly lead to the utopia that he fears to begin with. When the middle class makes decent wages for a fair days work, and when poor people get a decent chance at succeeding in life they put money back into the economy and give back to society, so if you want to eliminate the concept of a shared scarcity becoming a reality, do not vote for traditional conservatives then. It is the massive wealth gap between the wealthy and the middle class that is creating a shared scarcity.

The irony of all of this is that there is no evidence which suggests that conservative administrations and politicians really cut spending and balance budgets. If you’re going to talk the talk you have to be willing to walk the walk, and many traditional conservatives seem to have trouble with that when it comes to their smaller government rhetoric. Damn, Ryan didn’t even want to end the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan, and he wants to talk about shared scarcity and less government?! Ryan, like most other mainstream conservatives, are not true objectivists, but conservative communitarian corporatists.

Qingu's avatar

@Paradox25, there’s no evidence within Ryan’s budget that he wants to balance the budget.

Ryan’s budget slashes tax rates for the rich and eliminates capital gains taxes. It then claims to make up for this massive revenue shortfall with… .... .... oh, let’s just assume that if we cut rich people’s already-low taxes the economy will magically get better.

Ryan is a fraud.

Paradox25's avatar

I’m aware that Ryan’s budget is a misnomer. I actually read a variation of news sources to get my info, so I’ve been fully aware that the usual Republican talking points referring to smaller government, cutting spending, balancing the budgett and individual freedom being nothing more than a smokescreen, and outright lies. Actually I’ve been aware of the lies for the last 20 years now, which is why I’ve never voted for a Republican president since I was old enough to vote during Clinton’s first term.

Try telling what you’ve been posting on here to the conservatives around me. You can’t even mention remotely liking anything about Obama without harrassment, insults and sometimes worse. I do stick up for Obama despite not winning too many friends for my efforts. Perhaps just one person will listen to me, and maybe I could start my own information cascade. See look, we agree on something.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 It is sinking in with a few now. I’ve been watching the shift on radically right-wing Sodahead.com—a social Q&A site that is the polar opposite of Fluther.com

Paradox25's avatar

@ETpro Are you sure that it’s a true paradigm shift, or just more voices from the liberals/moderates that frequent that site? Sodahead has always had enough noncons to keep the site somewhat honest.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 I have been there long enough to know some of the posters. Paradigm shift? No. But a beginning, a slow awakening. Definitely so.

Paradox25's avatar

Ha, maybe I would reactivate my account on sodahead in that case, but the moderation sucks on there.

ETpro's avatar

@Paradox25 What moderation?

ragingloli's avatar

The moderation that moderates liberal posts for the slightest infraction but lets even the most vile rwnj posts stand. Not surprising, considering that even the founders of sodahead are rwnjs.

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Yeah, I have noticed that. But I’ve managed so far to avoid being banished.

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