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Budget Faceoff: Ryan vs. Obama

August 29, 2012 by John Prestbo

Gene Epstein, Barron's As Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee, Paul Ryan has been prominent in budget battles with the White House. This has made him a national figure, even earning him a spot on Barron's cover in a mud-slinging contest with the president ("Grow Up, Guys!" May 2, 2011). That story proved more prescient than we anticipated. In naming the seven-term Wisconsin congressman as his vice-presidential running mate, presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney has placed in much bolder relief his campaign's position on the federal budget. Budgets, remember, consist of two halves: revenue and outlays. While Ryan and Romney have had similar plans for the revenue side of the ledger—both have advocated an extension of the Bush tax cuts—the spending side is where Ryan's position brings a sharper focus to Romney's campaign. The two halves together produce a noticeably different outcome from the one proposed by President Obama. Neither Obama nor Ryan would achieve a balanced budget, even by 2022. But under the VP contender's plan, the red ink would flow at nearly half the rate of the president's. Read More


Author

John Prestbo
John Prestbo

2012 Economic Growth Fellow

John Prestbo is retired as editor and executive director of Dow Jones Indexes. Previously he was markets editor at The Wall Street Journal. He has co-authored or edited several books over the past 30 years. The most recent is “The Market’s Measure: An Illustrated History of America Told Through the Dow Jones Industrial Average,” published in 1999 by Dow Jones Indexes. His column, Indexed Investor, appears on the highly regarded “MarketWatch” business and finance website. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University.

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