Ryan budget aims to cut $5.1 trillion, reach balance in 10 years
April 1st, 2014
04:02 PM ET
9 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. Tampa Tim

    Tax cuts for the wealthy (25%), tax cuts for big corporations, increases inndefense spending, repeal ACA, cut all programs for the poor, cut programs for seniors. This is the true GOP with their war on everything that does not cater to the rich. Same old disgusting GOP.

    April 1, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. 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.

    April 1, 2014 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  3. bcrunner

    Yes!! Cuts everywhere for the poor but gives lots of taxcuts to the rich! The Koch brother must love his budget!

    April 1, 2014 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    “The Path to Prosperity.”

    The Pathology of Plutocracy.

    FIFY

    April 1, 2014 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  5. Sniffit

    "It also assumes that any replacement would have no net cost."

    LOL. Because magic? What a joke. And while the GOP/Teatrolls run around yammering and lobbing bombs at the reimbursement rate adjustments for Medicare in the ACA, they have voted for them already in Plutocrat Pauly's previous budgets and are about to vote for them again.

    April 1, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Rudy NYC

    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.
    ---------------------------
    It's pretty much the same plan that he rolled out the first time, folks. Just because he claims that it balances the budget in a decade doesn't make it so. Let's hear how the CBO scores it. “The Path to Prosperity” Whose prosperity is he talking about? It sure doesn't sound like mine, but no doubt there are millions of folks who think it applies to them.

    What's the difference between saying the glass is half empty, or half full. Nothing. It's the same old, failed policies of trickle down economics that only help the richest of the rich. Have you notice that they shifted from "trickle down" to "job creators" to what now sounds like "prosperity" and "economic growth". But, it is still the same policies, just with a new name!

    April 1, 2014 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "turn major social welfare programs, like Medicaid and food stamps, into smaller block grant programs for states."

    In other words, just another re-write of the GOP/Teatrolls' plan to help red states mismanage those programs horribly in an attempt to get the poor and minorities to leave their states for "bluer pastures" where they can actually get assistance.

    April 1, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  8. Lynda/Minnesota

    “The Path to Prosperity.”

    Thank God my husband and I have reached our "sunset" years. Any Paul Ryan path to prosperity can't be good.

    I'm done climbing GOPerville's Shinning City on a Hill road to prosperity. It was never worth the bother to begin with.

    Once we finished our climb ... well, the sewage stunk and the sludge wasn't worth the effort of cleaning up year after year.

    April 1, 2014 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    I'm with Sister Simone Campbell, who said, "The Ryan budget gives money to the top, not the bottom.”

    Or as a large group of Georgetown University faculty blasted Ryan for “continuing misuse of Catholic teaching to defend a budget plan that decimates food programs for struggling families, radically weakens protections for the elderly and sick, and gives more tax breaks to the wealthiest few.”

    Last time I checked, the top 1% saw their wages grow 275% from 1979 to 2007. At the same time, the income of other American households grew just 62%. (Source: CBO) Seems to me that the wealthy don't need any more help ...

    April 1, 2014 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "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."

    Yeah, nothing says "freedumb" like "corporate imperialism."

    April 1, 2014 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  11. S.B. Stein

    I think that he doesn't really practice what the Catholic Church wants people to do... Be charitiable and support the poor. If he can't get those very wealthy to form a non-profit to cover the entire country to feed the poor, then he shouldn't be cutting food stamps. This goes for other problems as well. He can't count on the generations coming being smart enough to plan their retirements either.

    April 1, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Lizzie

    Here is a thought
    1) No Tenure/ No Pension
    2) A Congressman/women collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office
    3)Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security
    4)All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the SS system immediately. All future funds flow into the SS system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
    5) Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
    6) Congress will no longer vote them selves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
    7) Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people
    8) Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
    9)All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/12. The American people did not make those contracts with Congressmen/women.

    April 1, 2014 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain: Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @Tampa Tim: "Tax cuts for the wealthy (25%), tax cuts for big corporations, increases inndefense spending, repeal ACA, cut all programs for the poor, cut programs for seniors. This is the true GOP with their war on everything that does not cater to the rich. Same old disgusting GOP."

    All part of the gop plan to turn our nation into a third-world country where the top 1% own and control everything and the rest of us are cannon fodder hunger-gaming it for slave-wage jobs (don't even THINK about education and healthcare; that's just for the deserving ones, aka, the rich).

    April 1, 2014 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Can he explain to the families of our Servicemen and Servicewomen why he is cutting a benefit (Food Stamps) many of them need to meet family nutritional requirements? Can he also explain to our Servicemen and Servicewomen why he wants to cut their pensions and reduce any potential pay increases?

    April 1, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Silence DoGood

    Nice words to appeal to so-called conservatives, but the spending and bloat is in there. Increase spending on the military? In other words I want to cut what I want to cut from people who cannot make a stink (poor, middle class). And increase spending on what I want (military, corporate welfare, tax cuts again for corporations). Or whatever the Koch Bros want now.

    April 1, 2014 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. pkMyt1

    The budget deficit this year is less than 500 billion. Why is it going to take 10 years for his budget to balance? He is proposing cutting 510 billion per year. Must be some huge tax cuts in there as well.

    April 1, 2014 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  17. sonny chapman

    I wonder what Pope Francis would think of his Budget? I wonder what Jesus would think? Matthew 25,35."You will be judged by how you treated the Least among you". "Or whoever is given much, much is expected" Luke 12,48.

    April 1, 2014 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  18. i'malib

    Is this budget in any way going to hurt my $2500 healthcare rebate or free phone?

    April 1, 2014 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. bcrunner

    Watching the president on TV! The ACA reached 7.1 million signups!! and Paul Ryan wants to repeal it! Good luck!

    April 1, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  20. Bill

    Repealing the ACA? Not going to happen goofy. Same crap, different year from the party lacking ideas and direction. It will prove a useful tool for the Dems. to highlight what these clowns are all about.

    April 1, 2014 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  21. vic , nashville ,tn

    Paul Ryan sending message his base he will run in 2016

    April 1, 2014 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. bcrunner

    @imalib: Regarding the free phone, ring Reagan's grave. He started it and he might have an answer for you...

    April 1, 2014 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Bessy

    Well, he said want he wants and plans to do, so, if you vote for him you are only " cutting off your nose to spite your face " as my Mother would have said. This goes for all Republicans.

    April 1, 2014 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. NC

    Oh well it is April Fools Day. I think the joke will be on Ryan.

    April 1, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. Silence DoGood

    @i'malib
    Is this budget in any way going to hurt my $2500 healthcare rebate or free phone?
    ------------
    I don't know but under Ryan if you are not in the 1%, you will get a free application to Walmart or one of the other Great Beneficent Overload Corporations. " I don't care if you cut your finger off – back to work ".

    April 1, 2014 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
1 2