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Military Spending v. Health Care
In his budget proposal, Ryan seeks an increase in defense expenditures. He obviously believes that it is the responsibility of the federal government to spend whatever is necessary, without any constraints, to protect all American citizens, rich and poor, from an attack by an enemy which can cause death and disabilities.
Yet, Ryan’s budget indicates that the federal government has little or no responsibility to protect all American citizens from death or disability due to an attack from cancer or any other disease, or even an accident. If we were to protect citizens from foreign enemies the way that Ryan would have the government protect seniors from disease via a voucher program for health insurance, then the government should give each American household a voucher they could use to buy some small level of protection from a market choice of private armies of mercenaries. These mercenaries would provide competition for the U.S. armed forces and would, under the Ryan philosophy, force the Army, Navy and Marines to be more efficient.
Moreover, if any American citizen felt he was not getting enough military protection for his family from the value of his voucher, he would be free to spend his own money to hire more mercenaries to protect his family. Wouldn’t that be the efficient “free market,” “free choice” process for the American people to buy the best military defense possible, instead of increasing the government spending on the military?
A Budget for the 1 Percent
Taken as a whole, Ryan’s proposals are simply a smoke-and-mirrors way to benefit the 1 percent at the expense of poor and middle-class Americans. Hardly a “super-wonk,” Paul Ryan is simply a poser whose ignorance of economic history and extremism make him poison to any vision of true prosperity.
Paul Davidson is the author of “The Keynes Solution: The Path to Global Economic Prosperity” and the editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics
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