Paul Ryan Promises a Balanced Budget

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Robert Costa reports:

Speaker John Boehner told House Republicans this afternoon that the GOP’s upcoming budget will balance the federal books in a decade….According to sources in the room, Boehner made the pledge at a closed-door meeting in the Capitol basement. The speaker said that Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, the budget committee chairman, will lead the effort.

Well, I suppose this is possible. Paul Ryan’s previous budget was out of balance by about 1 percent of GDP in 2023, and as I recall, it included several tax breaks for rich people and corporations. If Ryan simply agrees to stay revenue neutral at the level set by the recent fiscal cliff negotiations, the next iteration of his budget might theoretically be in balance in ten years.

Of course, that seems unlikely, since tax cuts for the rich have always been Ryan’s primary target, not deficit reduction. But Ryan’s other primary target has been spending cuts on the poor, and there’s always room to nick the poor even more, isn’t there?

Alternatively, he could simply offer no details at all on where spending will be cut. That’s the usual wheeze. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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