1. I am surprised that I agree with you. But I would completely oppose Ron Paul about whom you wrote, “Nor can I possibly count my political support for Ron Paul as support for the GOP…” He’s delusional and anti-semitic. And the GOP is infinitely preferrable to the Demokratik Party of Marxism, Atheism, Homosexuality and Abortion. True, God’s kingdom isn’t of this world and the GOP isn’t the party of God, but the Demokratik Party is the party of satan.

    Romney 2012, NOT Obama. That’s our choice, like it or not.

  2. The complexity of the tax code is the result of several things, one of them of course attempts at social engineering – at least in the sense of rewarding those actions the drafter sees as positive, and punishing that seen as negative. But another big driver of the complexity is the attempt to “work around” the tax code. The code will tax a transaction X, so taxpayers (at least those who can afford advisors), structure the transaction as Y. The IRS picks up on this and gets the code changed to now address Y. Then the taxpayers start to use Z, and so on.

    How much of the second complicating factor can be eliminated by “simplifying” the code is difficult to gauge. Regardless, my hat’s off to Ryan if he is truly sincere about incorporating CST into the fed budget. Even if he is not particularly successful, at least he is taking it into account and making the effort.

  3. c matt is correct about the Code, but the other driver of complexity is fairness. Fairness and simplicity are often not in alignment. After all, the simplest tax would be a head tax, but few people would consider that fair. There are other drivers of course, such as the desire to hide true tax incidence by taxing business entities which pass on these costs through some unknowable combination of reduced earnings/dividends, higher prices, or reduced wages, all accomplished somewhat organically and randomly. Trust me there are lots of others having to do with accounting complexity and division of tax bases among jurisdictions, etc. Any CPA (or even accounting major) knows that accounting rules and theory are not simple and can be subject to debate and uncertainty; it stands to reason that taxes will be at least as difficult.

  4. It could be just me, but Ryan sounds like he’d be a great running mate for a presidential candidate with no fiscal/business experience.

  5. Mr. McClarey: Failing to “man the barricades”, er, get protesters to show up for a demonstration, is one result of over-dependence on slackers. See Instapundit

  6. You know you are living in strange times when a politician does more to explain Catholic social teaching in a year than the bishops have done in over four decades.

    Like I said before, among the many things I like about Paul Ryan, his clear understanding of the importance of taking the Catholic social justice mantle away from the left and his efforts to do just that is far and away the thing I lke the most.

  7. That said, I bloody well know that the options are Mitt vs. Barack. And I’ll probably vote for Mitt, only because of Obama’s assault on the Church – otherwise I was going to stay home or vote Constitution Party.

    What Ron Paul has accomplished is setting the stage for Rand Paul in 2016.

  8. Paul,

    If you think I haven’t already heard about and rejected this nonsense, you’re denser than I thought.

    Ron Paul isn’t a racist or an anti-Semite. I will not “wash my hands of him.” I’ve seen the charges against him and I’ve already decided “not guilty”, so you are completely and totally wasting your time with this garbage.

  9. I will say that anyone, as Ron Paul did, who equates the U.S. going into Pakistan without their permission to kill bin Laden (never mind the fact there is good evidence that he was being harbored by the Pakistani government and would have been tipped off by them) with agents of the Chinese government doing the same to kill a Chinese dissident or that a nuclear armed Iran poses no threat has no business running for office of any kind.

  10. On page 3 of The Catholic Herald, Superior Diocese, the headline reads, “Ryan budget proposal worries bishops”.

  11. “You know you are living in strange times when a politician does more to explain Catholic social teaching in a year than the bishops have done in over four decades.”

    “On page 3 of The Catholic Herald, Superior Diocese, the headline reads, ‘Ryan budget proposal worries bishops’.”

    I would suggest the latter has something to do with the former. I might also suggest that the latter is due to a rather selective reading of CST by most bishops and the former, at a minimum, a lack of desire to teach the fullness of CST.

  12. Here is a budget indicator which ought to really worry Bishops.

    The US economy (GDP) last QTR grew by $142.4 billion. The US public debt grew $359.1 billion.

    This illustrates the fact that takers are taking 2.5x faster than makers are making.

    “The poor will always be with you.” Soon, we all will be poor.

  13. “The US economy (GDP) last QTR grew by $142.4 billion. The US public debt grew $359.1 billion. ”

    One doesn’t need to be a rocket scientist or a nuclear engineer to understand simple arithmetic. Thus will the Gospel of Social Justice die under the burgeoning and inexorable weight of its own illogic. Sadly, too many innocent victims will be (and are being) taken along for the ride.

  14. I have unapproved several comments because Bonchamps will not be around to respond, and since several of these comments are critical of him, I believe it only fair that he deal with them as he sees fits.

    The American Catholic is a group blog. Each of us deal with comments in our threads as we deem best. I would note also that we each determine the topic of our posts and normally we do our best to keep the comments on topic. This thread was about Paul Ryan, and not Ron Paul, and I believe Bonchamps made it clear that he did not want to debate the merits or demerits of Ron Paul in this thread. That declaration of his should be respected by commenters on this thread. Let us also avoid personal attacks. That is not what this blog is for. Bonchamps is a talented writer and an original thinker and he has much to contribute to the blog. So everyone take a deep breath. I will be around this weekend and if any of our commenters wish to cross swords with anyone my threads are always available! 🙂

  15. “On page 3 of The Catholic Herald, Superior Diocese, the headline reads, ‘Ryan budget proposal worries bishops’.”

    I am still hoping (against hope itself perhaps) that what Ryan is doing will force the bishops to actually address the issue of subsidiarity and its importance in a proper understanding of CST. If they had taken the opportunity during the Obamacare debate as well as at other times in the past to do that, we probably wouldn’t have had this HHS mandate problem to deal with. It seems they have thus far chosen to stick with being ideologues as oppsed to pastors and teachers on this issue and others like it.

  16. The left often crows about “income disparity”, although income disparity is not, in and of itself, a problem. After all, if I am satisfied and reasonably comfortable with the my income, why should I care about the disparity between mine and some super rich guy?

    But there is a real disparity problem. And that is what we spend on these so-called entitlement programs and what actually goes to the recepient. I would like to see people like Ryan point these things out in a way that the common person can understand. I suspect if people knew how bad this particular problem is, they would clamour for something that would make Ryan’s budget like modest by comparison in terms of cuts in actual spending.

    To be sure, the next Reagan does not seem to be on the conservative horizon. But you don’t have to be Reagan to do many of the things Reagan did. One of which was the clear persistent pedagogical appraoch he took in making his case to the American public.

    In any event, I am optimistic about what Ryan is doing and that there is more where that coame from.

  17. I simply cannot get ENOUGH of our bishops wondrous proclamations about politicos such as Paul Ryan and Arizona’s state legislators for example. Arizona’s resolute need to control its deluge of illegal immigrants prompted Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony to the cheers of other such Catholic pro illegal immigration advocates, to comment that Arizona immigration law is, essentially, akin to Nazism. The bishops’ who responded to Ryan’s budget proposal are as equally misguided, and they illustrate a manifest tunnel vision blindness to the practicalities of real governance. What they, and the organizations they foster, have themselves deemed necessary to do in light of Catholic America’s fiscal and moral crises of the last three decades, and to some degree by virtue of their own ineptitude; lock church doors or close the church altogether, close hospitals, schools, convents, seminaries, and adoption agencies is nothing that they would ever seemingly permit government similarly do. As one who has tried to avidly defend our beautiful Church against the onslaught of accusations from this secular, all the more atheistic society of ours, I in general find that the bishops make it ever so difficult to succeed at it.

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