By Joe Conason
If the foreign adversaries and competitors of the United States imagined a future that would fufill their most ambitious objectives, it might begin with a government crippled by the House Republican leadership’s “Ryan budget” released on Tuesday. Followed to its absurd conclusion, this document would lead America toward a withered state, approaching the point where Marxian dreams and Randian dogma converge.
Or at least that’s the view suggested by the sober analysts at the Congressional Budget Office, whose report on the Ryan budget  shows that nearly every department of government today, from law enforcement and border patrols to scientific research, food safety, environmental protection, federal highways, national parks, weather monitoring, education, and all the other essential functions of a great country. There would not be much left for Medicare and Medicaid, either. Social Security would continue in some form, and defense – of course – would increase.
But in a nation stripped of science and infrastructure, with a people demoralized by insecurity, unemployment and inequity, exactly what would be left to defend?
Certainly Paul Ryan and his Republican colleagues will deny that their new budget – like their old budget – would cripple the federal government and render the United States unrecognizable over the coming decades, if implemented. Yet the calculations released by the CBO, a nonpartisan arm of the Congress, permit no other conclusion. … Read More