House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget blueprint released Tuesday morning cuts $6.2 trillion in spending and $1.8 trillion in taxes relative to President Barack Obama’s 10-year plan, setting up a major clash over Medicare, Medicaid and domestic spending.
Still, while the plan envisions paying off the national debt sometime after 2050 principally by squeezing spending on health care and other programs, it would still add more than $8 trillion to the national debt over the next decade — reaching $23 trillion in 2021. Indeed, the plan does not come close to balancing the budget in any year over that span.
That violates proposed balanced budget amendments to the Constitution backed by every Senate Republican and a majority of the House.
The Wisconsin Republican’s 73-page plan borrows heavily from his earlier “Roadmap” proposal, privatizing Medicare insurance, shrinking Medicaid and eliminating the health care subsidies and other spending in Obama’s health care law.
Under the plan, individuals and corporations would pay a top tax rate of 25 percent, and other tax increases proposed or enacted under Obama would be eliminated.
Over the longer term, Ryan’s budget would keep tight caps on overall spending and on discretionary spending, cutting federal outlays first to 20 percent of the economy from the roughly 25 percent today, and eventually to 15 percent in 2050. Many of the cuts don’t take effect for a decade, when new Medicare enrollees would no longer be allowed to enter traditional Medicare but would have to buy private insurance with the help of federal subsidies.
Ryan will present his budget at a press conference Tuesday morning.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.