Ryan budget aims to cut $5.1 trillion, reach balance in 10 years
April 1st, 2014
04:02 PM ET
6 months ago

Ryan budget aims to cut $5.1 trillion, reach balance in 10 years

Washington (CNN) - Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget plan Wednesday that would achieve some key conservative goals – balancing the federal budget in a decade while starting to contain the national debt – while also rekindling some old controversies by changing Medicare, repealing Obamacare and significantly cutting social programs like food stamps.

A balanced budget

“Washington owes the American people a responsible, balanced budget,” reads the first line of Ryan’s 2015 budget outline, which is titled “The Path to Prosperity.”

The title is the same as past Ryan budget proposals, and the content largely mirrors his past approaches with a few notable exceptions.

Without action, the federal budget will take Washington to new heights of debt. Within a few years, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts deficits will again start to rise, reaching above $1 trillion a year. Ryan’s budget would reverse that course by balancing the budget in a decade, slashing the national debt from 73% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product now to 54% in 2024.

Ryan achieves his balance by cutting $5.1 trillion in overall spending growth. The largest chunk of those savings, over $2 trillion, comes from repealing Obamacare’s insurance coverage extension while keeping certain tax revenues and Medicare cuts included in the law.

Ryan’s proposal calls for Obamacare to be replaced, but does not provide specific alternatives. It also assumes that any replacement would have no net cost.

Program cuts and Medicare

As with his past budget proposals, Ryan would turn major social welfare programs, like Medicaid and food stamps, into smaller block grant programs for states. It continues the GOP’s push to bolster the military while cutting other agencies, increasing defense spending nearly $500 billion over the next decade while cutting non-defense by nearly $900 billion.

And notably, the Ryan plan would rewrite Medicare starting in 2024, allowing those eligible to choose either a fee-for-service Medicare program from the government or use a single government payment to help pay for a private insurance plan.

Democrats quickly fired back.

“The problem is the Ryan budget wouldn’t do a thing to help the middle class,” charged Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York. “Simply attacking Obamacare won’t get them the political victory they seek.”

The economy and a “fiscal dividend”

Ryan argues that a balanced budget would help improve the economy and job growth.

“By balancing the budget, the ‘Path to Prosperity’ will promote economic growth,” his plan states. “By paying down the debt, the federal government will help keep interest rates low, which will spur greater investment and productivity”

The former GOP vice presidential nominee’s budget counts on that economic gain in order to balance. The proposal forecasts that a “fiscal dividend” of $175 billion will come to the federal books as a result of better budgeting over 10 years.

Sidesteps

While the potential White House hopeful tackles some controversial areas in his proposal, he sidesteps others.

Ryan sets a goal of collapsing the tax code down to two income tax brackets, with a top rate of 25%. But he does not give details for exactly how that would be done.

In addition, as he has done in the past, Ryan does not tackle the issue of Social Security. His proposal states that the president should first submit his plan.


Filed under: Budget • Congress • House Republicans • Paul Ryan
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Pander Bear

    Repealing ACA and replacing it with nothing is a farce. Just stop already.

    April 1, 2014 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  2. brian

    Always about the Koch brothers! The informed know that they are 15th in political backing. The first 14 are demacrats. CNN forgot to tell the uniformed because they might know that the democratic backers are the ones with the money and it would hurt their class warefare

    April 1, 2014 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. just asking

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House
    It continues the GOP’s push to bolster the military while cutting other agencies, increasing defense spending nearly $500 billion over the next decade while cutting non-defense by nearly $900 billion.
    --------------
    The defense budget is bloated. We are not fighting conventional wars, so what's the purpose of conventional weapons. We have a stockpile of tanks that have no purpose whatsover. Talk about waste.
    --–

    we have defense commitments around the world, including the korean peninsula. you don't think if that were to explode we would need those weapons? or do you expect our troops to throw stones? clueless lefties... simply clueless.

    April 1, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  4. Bill

    Also, this buffoon has never had a real job. He has been on the public doilk his entire adult life and has no idea what the private sector is like. I hope the people of the WI 1st district wake up and give this jerkweed the boot. Go Rob Zerban!!

    April 1, 2014 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  5. republiderp

    Increased spending to the military industrial complex, aka Republican approved socialism.

    April 1, 2014 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. ProudDem

    Good grief. Same thing every time...slash funds for the poor, raise spending on the military, reduce taxes (vastly) on the rich and raise them on the poor by these two tax tiers, and replace the ACA with "something".....this guy can't do basic math...why does anyone listen to him anymore?

    April 1, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Anthony

    "And notably, the Ryan plan would rewrite Medicare starting in 2024, allowing those eligible to choose either a fee-for-service Medicare program from the government or use a single government payment to help pay for a private insurance plan."

    So, one part of the Ryan plan to replace Medicare is using a single government payment to help pay for a private insurance plan. What does that sound like? A subsidy for a private insurance plan? Haven't we heard of that before?

    The Ryan budget also repeals the insurance coverage provision of the ACA. What does the insurance coverage provision do? Among other things, It provides subsidies to help people pay for private insurance plans. Seniors, do you feel safe with Ryan and his fellow Republicans in control of your Medicare?

    April 1, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Joel

    We spend more annually on our military than the next 10 largest militaries (8 of whom are our allies) combined. Now this guy wants to increase military spending substantially and pay for it by depriving our nation's poorest families of food assistance? That is incomprehensible to me. I used to like this guy.

    April 1, 2014 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. DJ Reality

    I'd like to see the republicans cut food stamps, medicare, social security, & welfare. I really would. With southern state taking more money from the federal government then they give to it, The southern states will rebel and all vote democrat the next election after they do it.

    April 1, 2014 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Jerry

    Oh those Republicans always trying to stick it to the poor and middle class.

    April 1, 2014 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Steve

    I can balance the budget even easier; just go back to the Clinton tax rates.

    April 1, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  12. dalla

    Lie-ing Ryan,
    Fool, The budget control act (sequester) was the law until you and Senator Murray brokered another deal and Republicans got nothing...except for throwing the benefits Veterans had earned out. Fool, you start that with the new troops not people already vested in the system. Don't believe anything that Lye-ing Ryan has to say!

    April 1, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  13. Name. MADMOTHER

    Ha the living dead. Pack mouth full of lies n hot air !!!!

    April 1, 2014 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    So he finally ran the numbers huh? Loser. Never even had a real job in his life. Yep we'll make everybody give birth to their fetuses and tell them hell no when those same fetuses are starving to death.

    It must be great being a republican.

    April 1, 2014 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Interesting

    I find it interesting that every comment about this is coming from liberals. I guess the republicans are too busy working and paying taxes.

    April 1, 2014 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  16. Gail me Name

    When this guy has had to work for a living then he is qualified to make a budget. Daddy's money bought him a house seat. He's never worked a real job. Has no accounting knowledge, never even worked in a bank. But now apparently he is qualified to draw up a budget for the USA. Just another unqualified idiot in congress. Vote the bums and hangers on out!

    April 1, 2014 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  17. jinx9to88

    "increasing defense spending nearly $500 billion over the next decade while cutting non-defense by nearly $900 billion." Ryan stated. Is this clown for real? More defense spending? hahahaha

    April 1, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  18. Dead Bear

    @brian... I guess Fox informs you, right?

    I can balance the budget even faster. Put tax rates and military spending back to pre-Reagan levels.

    April 1, 2014 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  19. Dead Bear

    Why is anyone paying attention to this racist rich boy anyhow???

    April 1, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  20. Barbara

    If DC is serious about reducing the budget, they should stop the charade that the main problem is entitlements and get serious about the mind-blowing expenditures in the name of foreign aid and defense. There are SO MANY other places to eliminate expenses. The shoemaker's son has no shoes! Good Lord, its so obvious! Are they all idiots?

    April 1, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  21. jinx9to88

    @ Interesting
    I find it interesting that every comment about this is coming from liberals. I guess the republicans are too busy working and paying taxes.

    -------

    But yet your here on here making a comment. hahahaha What a clown, I guess today is your day off? What a hypocrite!!!

    April 1, 2014 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
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