Paul Ryan told CNSNews.com four years ago, in August 2008, that the U.S. was heading toward bankruptcy on the fiscal path it was then following and that it would be “mindboggling” to make the problem worse by adding the sort of health-care plan that then-Sen. Barack Obama was advocating in his presidential campaign.
CNSNews.com asked Ryan: “If our country, if the federal government of the United States, stays on the fiscal path it is currently following, is the government going to go bankrupt down the road?” “Yes. We know that for a fact,” said Ryan. “All the actuaries, all the objective score-keepers of the federal government are predicting this. So, this much we know. What we know is our government is growing at an unsustainable pace and it will overwhelm our economy’s ability to pay the bills.”
Since CNSNews.com first published Ryan making this prediction on Aug. 4, 2008, the debt of the federal government has grown by $6.35 trillion–rising 66 percent, from $9,565,042,361,845.53 then to $15,915,814,457,919.46 now.
Ryan then pointed out that estimates by the Government Accountability Office at that time indicated that the U.S. government already faced $53 trillion in unfunded liability to pay the promises it had made through entitlement programs, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Each year the government put off dealing with these problems, Ryan said, the unfunded liabilities would increase by $3 trillion. To pay for these government promises without reforming the entitlement programs themselves, Ryan explained, would require imposing massive tax increases on future generations of Americans.
Ryan said he had asked the Congressional Budget Office to calculate what the tax rates would need to be on Americans of his childrens’ generation to pay for the entitlement promises the government had already made.
“Well, what they told me was really startling,” said Ryan. “They said that the current low rate, the 10 percent bracket for low-income Americans, would have to go up to 25 percent. The middle-income tax rates for middle-income Americans would have to go up to 66 percent. And the top rate, which is what small businesses pay, would have to go up to 88 percent. Those would be the tax rates you would have to if you wanted to tax your way out of this problem. And if you did that, all experts conclude you would literally crash the American economy.”
Currently, the federal poverty level for a family of four—two parents and two children—is $23,050. That means Obamacare would subsidize the health insurance premiums of a family of that size earning up to $92,220 per year.