Quick take: Ryan/GOP Budget Breakdown
April 5th, 2011
11:21 AM ET
7 years ago

Quick take: Ryan/GOP Budget Breakdown

Capitol Hill (CNN) – Here it is folks. The American Sauce easy-to-scan bullet points, from my reading of the 78-page ten-year plan from House Budget chief Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. Add comments below.

This is important stuff. (Duh.):

Deficit Cuts

– Ryan cuts $5.8 Trillion in government spending over the next ten years, relative to current policy path. It is a cut of $6.2 Trillion relative to the Obama budget.

Balancing The Budget

– Ryan balances the budget by the late 2030s. The government would run deficits until then. Surpluses are forecast to start 2040

– Obama comparison: The Obama budget looks at a ten-year timeline only and because of that, does not indicate the specific future year when his budget would reach balance. Experts debate the usefulness and accuracy of long-range timelines.
“Primary Balance”

– Ryan achieves “primary balance” by 2015. That means revenues equal outlays except for interest on the national debt.

– Obama comparison: Obama comparison: The White House initially said the Obama budget reaches primary balance in the next ten years but the CBO indicates it does not reach primary balance in that timeframe.


– The Ryan plan says it would cut the debt in half, relative to where it is now, by 2050.

– Obama comparison: Again, the Obama budget does not issue forecasts beyond a ten-year window. It is not clear when his proposal would start to decrease the national debt. Additionally, the president has indicated that while there is no entitlement reform in his budget, he wants to address it directly with Republicans.

Next Year

– Ryan would cut $3.5 Trillion in federal spending. (Obama budget cut $3.7 Trillion)

– Estimates $2.5 Trillion in increased revenue.

– So, cuts deficit to estimate of just under $1 Trillion.

Big Policy Changes

– Ends current Medicare system, replaces with a “premium support” version of Medicare starting 2022. See below.

– Begins significant tax reform, cutting corporate rate and top individual rate from 35% to 25%

– Assumes elimination of the Affordable Care Act or new health care law.

– Ends some subsidies to farmers.

– Makes Medicaid and the SNAP (food stamp) program block grants to states. Caps funding for each (subject to inflation, population).

– Cuts Pell grants to 2008 levels.

Cuts/Pay Freezes

– Cuts discretionary spending to “well below” 2008 levels.

– Targets “hundreds of government programs that have outlived their usefulness”.

– Freezes pay for federal workers for five years.

– Would cut 10% of federal workforce over three years, through attrition.


– Would extend ban on earmarks another year, through FY 2012.

Tax Reform

– Cut top individual rate from 35% to 25%

– Consolidate all six individual tax brackets. (Waiting for more specifics on that, folks.)

– Cut corp. tax rate from 35% to 25%.

– At same time end or reduce many deductions and loopholes for individuals and corporations. (Also waiting.)

– Note: Ryan would extend the Bush tax cuts and the AMT patch.


– Starting in 2022, a new Medicare system goes in place.

– New beneficiaries would chose from a number of private health care plans offered through Medicare and guaranteed by the Feds.

– The federal government would directly send those programs a “premium support” payment for each individual who signs up.

– Ryan’s summary describes it as similar to the “Medicare prescription drug program”.

– Means tested: It would give lower subsidies (higher “premium support” payments) to wealthier Americans and provide money to lower-income people to help with out-of-pocket costs.

– Unanswered/Unclear: How much in additional premiums Americans would have to pay for various privatized Medicare plans.

Social Security

– This is a punt with a game plan.

– Ryan says his proposal would “force policymakers to come to the table” and “move the conversation”.

– He would require the president to submit a plan to put Social Security. in balance if it is declared unsustainable. It does not seem to require Congressional action on such a plan.

Filed under: American Sauce • Budget • Government Shutdown • Paul Ryan
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Marjee123

    I can explain it even further......take from the poor, take from the middle class, slash and burn everything to do with seniors.
    GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE TO THE RICH AND CORPORATIONS. Cut regulations. Let the corporations pollute everything. Fill the republican pockets in the mean time.

    April 5, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  2. lou

    He wants to give another tax cut to corporations and individuals at the top of the bracket. That' just hard to believe. When will the GOP realize trickle down hasn't produced jobs? Unless you count the ones they ship overseas with our tax breaks. It's time to make some noise middle class!

    April 5, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    Paul Ryan's Budget Plan: FASCISM

    Mr. Ryan's voucher plan to replace Medicare does not account for the increase of medical premiums every year. So what happens when your voucher is not valued enough to cover your services? You'll be stuck with the bill! Way to look out for seniors Paul. As a medical biller, this is something I know way too well. Then on top of that he wants to cut Medicaid. That's just EVIL. There is no other way how to describe it. I want Mr. Ryan to come to my clinic and see how many children with special needs are on Medicaid.

    April 5, 2011 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  4. Mark from Louisiana

    It's pretty obvious what needs to be done, but we don't have a leader in the white house to push it.

    April 5, 2011 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  5. GOP = Greed Over People

    Killing old folks and kids by cutting WIC and Medicaid are discretionary spending cuts.

    On the positive side, once the old invalids that use to be in nursing homes are dumped on the street they should "die quickly".

    Guess we will all have to wait until the CBO scores Ryan's "budget" to see if the cost per human life was "worth it" and met his financial "goals"!

    P.S. Block grants to the state for Medicaid? How convenient, then GOP governors like Pompadour Perry can use the grant to balance the state budget like he did with the stimulus funds instead of using the funds as intended for education, the GOP govenors will never use the money for Medicaid. Obviously, a ploy by the GOP to kill off all the poor.

    But then that is what the "failing of America" looks like in an "every child for him/herself" country and what you folks voted for, or in some case, did not vote to prevent.

    April 5, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  6. Four and The Door

    Excellent summary of the proposal and comparison with the Obama Administration's approach.

    Ryan is on his way to being a star with this effort! It is exactly what is needed and nothing more. By looking at the moderate goals of his program and the difficult things that need to be done to get there, it is obvious how completely out of control our country is right now. How can anyone call our nation's current situation and Obama's pathetic attempt to look like he is dealing with it anything but unacceptable?!?!

    April 5, 2011 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  7. robert marsach

    Great!! Now where are the jobs?

    April 5, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  8. guy from NM

    Ryan a economist? Since when? All he has for him is a better haircut. But an economist,peeeeeelease!!!

    April 5, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  9. Terrence Keeley

    What's this? An honest politician who reveals Medicare and Medicaid for what they have always been – unfunded Ponzi schemes, promised but never properly funded by politicians from either party. Watch Democrats attack Ryan – but propose no credible, workable plan of their own. Without strong actions like those Ryan proposes, medical care and social security for those who truly need it will not be possible in 30 years time.

    April 5, 2011 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  10. Greg in Arkansas

    Cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%, but at the same time do away with tax loopholes for corporations. Those loopholes helped General Electric find a way to pay no taxes last year???
    Didn't think so................

    April 5, 2011 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  11. Poser

    Huge tax breaks for the wealthy. This part makes the deficit worse.
    Cutting Medicare for seniors. Good for the budget. Not good for people.
    Cutting Pell grants so poor kids can't afford college. Right. Kill the American dream for poor kids. They were born poor so they should stay that way and not be so uppity.
    Social Security: “force policymakers to come to the table” and “move the conversation” - I think we can all assume that means privatize unless the GOP says otherwise.

    It should be blatantly obvious to everyone by now that the GOP doesn't care about you unless you are rich or you are a large corporation. The GOP hates the poor and middle classes.

    April 5, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    – Obama comparison: The White House initially said the Obama budget reaches primary balance in the next ten years but the CBO says it never achieves primary balance.

    This wasn't just "The White House" who said this, it was the President of the United States Barrack Obama. An out and out LIE !!!!!!

    WHERE IS THE TRUTH DETECTOR CNN ????????????? Why do Democrats get the free pass from the Media when the tell LIES over and over again????????

    April 5, 2011 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  13. Chas in Iowa

    I'd like to see how Ryan is going to cut 5.8 trillion without shutting down the country. I know,...we can shoot anyone who gets sick or is over 65. Then confiscate their Soc. Sec. to pay off the national debt.
    Now where is Ryan going to come up with 2.5 trillion in increased revenue? Now that we already passed a big tax break for the wealthy I suppose this represents some miraculous new generation of business proffesionals (don't take into account that there are no new business proffesionals).
    Do not look behind the curtain, pay no attension to the little man behind the curtain.
    The great Oz has spoken..

    April 5, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Harry Wortz

    Not a single mention of cutting their own salary or benefits. If they want to be take seriously that's where they should begin. Congress shouldn't ask the people to make any sacrifices they aren't willing to make themselves.

    April 5, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  15. Speechless

    It took a whole 78 pages to write in detail an entire financial overhaul? Amazing!! I wonder how many more pages it would take to fill in the blanks.
    I see the rich would het richer...that sais it all...

    April 5, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  16. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    At least Ryan's plan would make seniors, workers, middle class, poor people subsidize the wealthiest Americans. That is so republican of him to screw everyone but the wealthy.

    April 5, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Calvin

    Won't happen. It makes too much sense.

    April 5, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |

    what is so horrendous about raising the tax on rich? I mean "we don't have a tax problem?" who says? GE gets a tax rebate, Big oil gets tax breaks.. and we don't have a problem??? I mean how long will the middle class continue to get sc***ed?

    April 5, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  19. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    If I say the GOP plan is crap, am I demagoguing their attempt to destroy America?

    April 5, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  20. Kathie

    Leave it to the gop to give huge tax breaks to their corporate donors and let the working class and poor people get the shaft.

    April 5, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. CaliforniaBC

    "Ryan’s summary describes it as similar to the “Medicare prescription drug program”.

    Is this really a defensible comparison?? This program isn't and hasn't worked too well has it. And from what I understand, it has actually cost more money than was being paid before its inception. Then I guess it didn't help that it wasn't paid for either.

    April 5, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. John

    NEED more in cuts:
    reduce the Federal workforce to 2004 level.
    reduce Federal spending to 2004 level.
    make an accurate reporting in employment, use the number of workers in workforce from 2004 to compare against those now employed to calculate the unemployment rate.

    April 5, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Rick B.

    Here is a better idea from a Tax perspective.... Institute the Fair Tax (consumption tax of 23%) and then institute a Transaction Tax of 2% (1% on buy, 1% on sale) of Stocks, Bonds, and Derivative based investments, have the Transaction Tax revenue dedicated purely to the National Debt and have it set to expire in 10 years. If you continue to pay interest only from the general fund (unless you have a surplus and can pay more) and use the Transaction tax to pay down principal, then the National Debt should be paid down within 10 years under this model. And dont give me any BS on how bad a transaction tax would be, we had one for several decades before it was finally removed in the mid 60s by the Dems.

    April 5, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Name king

    First of all when you cut taxes for corporations and the rich and take money from middle class and poor, where will corporations get their demand money from since you took the spenders money out of their pocket. When will these repugs get in their heads, that this a global market and corporations will always go where the money is. Which fool will invest in a place where the people no longer have spending money.

    April 5, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. scrapster

    Sooo, has Ryan's plan been vetted by the CBO yet? Or, is the author just taking all his claims and braggadocio at face value?

    April 5, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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