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. Sarah Palin does not speak for me in Ohio

    Single payer health care!!!!

    April 5, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. TomInRochNY

    So, shift the cost to states and individuals in order for the fed to balance its budget. Nice R trick. When have we seen this before? All the time. Greed Over People, how about trying something new, have the rich pay for squeezing the middle class dry for years?

    April 5, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. Greg Smith

    Here's what I get from Ryan. Privatize medicare much like the proposed privatization of Social Security which given the events of the past three years would have devasted the SS program. Privatizing the medicare program essentially allows insurance companies to raise rates at will rather have the payments to health care providers be stabilized. There is no protection against rising costs for seniors on fixed incomes. Dismantling the Affordable Care Act basically takes away the foundation for health insurance/care reform away and puts big business back in control of the rising costs for health insurance/care. Then he wants to cuts the tax rates for the rich and corporations which essentially reduces revenue. Why not reduce the tax rates for the lower and middle class who can better utilize that money to stimulate the economy? No cuts to the miliary? Agree with getting rid of outdated useless programs and Ag subsidies.. Earmarks don't add money, they allocate. Republicans are once again backwards on their thinking. All benefits to the rich and big business and all additional costs to the lower/middle class.

    April 5, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  4. Marie Beryl

    This is brilliant. With the Health Care reform repealed, and seniors getting vouchers, their lack of access to health care will bend the life expectancy curve downwards, which should also bend the medical cost curve downwards.

    Why didn't the Dems think if this solution?

    April 5, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  5. McCain-in-4

    Hmmm. Medicare Premium "Support" payments – does that mean the non-working retirees now have to reenter the jobs market to keep their current level of Medicare? Do the "Support" payments support 100% of the current Medicare benefits? 80%? 50%? Sounds very much like balancing the budget on the backs of the Seniors – make it obvious that Medicare will continue supporting 80% of current levels (or place a figure) otherwise this becomes another political gotcha in 2022.

    April 5, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Former conservaive

    I expeced more from them. Cutting taxes does not, did not and will not fix the issue. I also see no cuts in Pentagon spending. That is why they lost me in 2008 and will not get me back. Mr Ryan I am severly disappoined in your lack of responsibiliy towars my kids. Go Obama.

    April 5, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. beevee

    I dont' think that Paul Ryan is academically qualified to propose this type of budget cuts. Did he consult with with any learned economists in the country in proposing the budget. I think a reasonable way to propose a revision of the budget that is different from what the administration has proposed is to open up a dialogue among leading economists in the country and then come to some decisions. I am not sure how these cuts would impact the finanical growth and employment in the years to come.

    April 5, 2011 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    GOP Axiom #27: Your life yshould end as quickly as possible once you are unable to contribute to the cheap, indentured servant labor pool we are trying to create.

    April 5, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    GOP Axiom #32: Getting rid of societal safety nets makes employees less likely to quit when their employer refuses to give them a raise for 15 years, decreases their benefits and asks them "weekend? what's that?"

    April 5, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Rudy NYC

    Gee. It has been a while since the last time the GOP introduced an budget and economic plan that looked this far into the future. That forecast predicted an explosiion of wealth that would trickle down to the masses.

    This sounds familiar. Privatization of entitlements. Tax cuts. Cuts that do not describe how loop holes would be closed. There is not commitment to close the loop holes. I know. This was proposed 10 years ago. The only part that was passed without major changes were the Bush Tax Cuts.

    Medicare was partially disassembled by introducing middle man insurance companies. It profited the insurance industry, and drove costs of these programs through the roof. Privatizing Social Security was flat out rejected.

    This proposal is simply a reworked version of the Bush plans a decade ago with only one word changed. Permanent.

    April 5, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. jim

    can't wait for the day DC turns to ash

    April 5, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. WISTOM

    More of the same old right wing Republican goobily gook. Give tax breaks to the wealthy and big business and screw everybody else, all in the name of progress. It's time to raise taxes on the rich like they have done in Brazil, now one of world's best economies.

    April 5, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Bc000469

    Finally, a sensible way to start dealing with the enormous hole the Dems spent us into. While I don't like means tested anything it is a start. How about the bottom 50% of taxpayers stop receiving "refunds" and pay taxes like the rest of us?

    April 5, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Inside the Blue Bubble

    Making the rich richer and making the poor believe that making the rich richer is in their best interest – that's the GOP/Tea Party way.

    April 5, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Fair is Fair

    How come the Obama budget won't look past 10 years? Kicking the can further down the road?

    Kudos, Ryan. You've got a lot of guts.

    April 5, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. A Real American

    DemoCommunists for a Better Way – Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America, Blame the "rich" (people who work)
    "Sure makes one wonder WHERE IS THE DEMOCRATS PLAN????????????
    Oh yeah, they only have plan to increase spending and taxes until we all pay everything we make to the government and then they give back to us what they think we need to survive. Yes, that sure sounds great to me! We can all be wards of the government. Why not? They think they can force us to buy products to suit their ends. Life will be sooo much easier and pleasurable when Hary Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama make all of our decisions for us and keep us from being so greedy and watching out for our families instead of sharing the wealth with their designated friends."

    Taxes are the lowest they've been in 50 years, moron. The problem is that middle class wages haven't gone up in 30 years. You can thank Ronny Rayguns for starting the war on the poor and middle class. Don't get me wrong, Obama's a corporate sellout like the rest of them. Welcome to Reagan's eighth term.

    April 5, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    GOP Axiom #12: The more tax burden shifted to the middle-class via flatter tax rates, the easier it is to get them angry about the debts and deficits we purposefully create in order to justify further shrinking the federal government in order to hand back all sorts of issues to the states because, well, we're still fighting the Civil War and still agnry about the Civil Rights Act.

    April 5, 2011 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  18. terry,va

    @ wire padallin, SF and Sniffit.....glad to see you boys on here. How about contributing some facts to go with your slurs. Eliminating tax loop holes is a GREAT thing. The top 2% of individuals already pay 47% of the taxes. The medicare revisions wouldn't apply to those who are 55. Time to adjust all programs including social security as the contributors are 2 for every 1 getting benefits. It used to be 8-1. The new borns or even those under 5 should have the age requirement increased as people are living 15 years longer than when SS was introduced. It's time to go back to ask what I can do for my country, not what my country can do for me. I for one am sick of all the spending the dumbocraps are doing to get votes. Time to move out of the parents basement and quit living on their medical insurance until age 26.

    April 5, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  19. jim

    To ...DemoCommunists for a Better Way – Steal the Wealth, Bankrupt America, Blame the "rich" (people who work) ...

    I bet you enjoy spitting on homeless people sleeping on sidewalks, don't you.

    with a smile on your face

    April 5, 2011 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  20. johnmenacherjr

    I dont understand why anyone is even listening to this Imp. Hes a wisconsin republican for god sake he can lie to anyone and every one. Just look at how many jobs they have driven out of wisconsin and programs ending like mandatory recycling, 1 college system into 3 systems, man hes just as bad as the rest of his decietful group.

    April 5, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  21. ConservaFascists/FUBAR

    I think Alan Grayson said it best on the House floor when he said republicans healthcare plan is for you to "DIE QUICKLY."

    April 5, 2011 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    " How about the bottom 50% of taxpayers stop receiving "refunds" and pay taxes like the rest of us?"

    How about employers start paying them enough to survive on something other than food stamps and predatory lending?

    The ratio of CEO to average employee pay in 1980 was 42:1. Now? It's 411:1. Middle-class wages have remained almost stagnant for 30+ years. Over the last 30 years, the wealthiest 1% of this country has grown it's share of the nation's total income by 15% to approxiately 25%. The wealthiest 2% of the country has increased its share of the nation's wealth and assets by 281% since 1979. The middle-class saw an only approximately 25% in wealth and assets increase during that time. 1% of this country controls 40% its wealth and assets. 20% control 90%. 400 families in this country have more wealth and assets than 150,000,000 Amwericans COMBINED. Average middle-class household debt has skyrocketed over that time period and is now a larger share of household income than it ever was in our history. THE MIDDLE-CLASS IS NOW SHRINKING AND THIS GENERATION OF CHILDREN IS THE FIRST IN OUR HISTORY PREDICTED TO NOT EXCEED THEIR PARENTS' EDUCATIONAL AND ECONOMIC STATUS. You are being shafted...slowly, firmly and deliberately and half of you have fallen all over yourselves to gobble up the false ideology that justifies it all because it's what you want to believe, what you want to hear and justifies all your anger and fears. This IS about wealth re-distribution: WEALTH RE-DISTRIBUTION TO THE ALREADY EXTREMELY WEALTHY. IT'S ABOUT STOPPING IT FROM CONTINUING.

    THERE IS NO ECONOMIC GRAVITY. WHAT GOES UP, DON'T COME DOWN. You are nothing more than economic fodder in the minds of the GOP, corporations and the obscenely rich. Your purpose is to make them more and more wealthy, then die when you can no longer contribute to amassing them greater and greater wealth and power...and are therefore, at that point, considered nothing more than a burden.

    April 5, 2011 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. kat

    I think he has a point. We must do something. Stop fighting for power dems. Let's get it done. We need to do something about fraud in our handout systems too. I personally know of several undeserving people who milk the system by collecting undeserved disability and others collect food stamps who are perfectly capable of working, not to mention having several babies ( at the expense of the taxpayers) and then giving them away to other family members to raise. It's a disgrace how bad our system is.

    April 5, 2011 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  24. people are stupid

    People relax and think about this. Amreica is a business and we are in the business of ruling the world. The proposal that he is making would kill our ability to rule. The first thing that needs to be cut to balance the budget is defense....I may be wrong but I doubt it. When our defense budget is the worlds defense budget combined and then mutiplied times two means we are spending too much money on defense... if that was cut by 20% we would be well on the road to balancing the budget. too bad people are too stupid to see the forrest for the trees. duh!

    April 5, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  25. malcolm in St Louis

    No mention of defense spending. If that is the case it is not serious. We can get the same level of security at a lot lower cost if we stop feeding the big primes and start doing smart purchasing from the mid level companies that prop up the big contractors. It is not what we spend on defense that matters, it is what we buy. We get a little for a lot. That ain't right!

    April 5, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
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