“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sarah Palin Backs Paul Ryan's "Roadmap"

Sarah Palin's plans to eventually run for the Republican presidential nomination were reinforced with her Wall Street Journal editorial on December 10th endorsing Wisconsin Republican Representative Paul Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future.

By contrasting Ryan's Roadmap with the recent Bowles-Simpson Commission's recommendations, Palin hopes to demonstrate an appreciation for the policy nuances contained in both, as well as re-stating her conservative bona fides.

The difference between the two plans is fundamentally ideological. The former attempts to square the deficit circle by jiggering various details of existing programs- social spending and taxation- while Ryan engages in wholesale programmatic changes to provide for more individual responsibility and less borrowing and federal spending.

In fact, Palin does many a service by concisely and clearly re-stating Ryan's recommendations in just a few paragraphs. In doing so, she allies herself with those calling for an overhaul of federal social programs which exhibit such poor, 1930's era design. I've written about this in prior posts.

Social Security is surely one of the most poorly-designed old-age insurance schemes ever. It contains no total spending constraints, employs a single communal pot of so-called assets from which to play uncapped, unlimited claims, and featured no conditional payout changes based on the forecasted financial solvency and sustainability of the program.

This insane model was then carbon-copied for Medicare and Medicaid, when all three could just as easily have been designed as personal, portable defined-contribution schemes.

There's much about Palin that I don't trust in the context of her being president. But her clear-cut explication of Ryan's plan, and solid support of it probably helps the overall GOP presidential primary campaign environment by challenging other candidates to match her unequivocal endorsement of Ryan's Roadmap.

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