Quick take: Ryan/GOP Budget Breakdown
April 5th, 2011
11:21 AM ET
12 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. Seattle Sue

    I think I will invest in casket making, funeral homes because people will be dying by the thousands. And here I thought Sarah Palin was full of BS with her death panel remarks but the death panels are coming fro the Republican/Tea Party people.

    April 5, 2011 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Ryan's budge is just "window dressing" to extend the Bush era tax cuts and the rest will just fall by the wayside because he knows it won't pass, we've seen this before so don't be fooled.

    April 5, 2011 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  3. colonelc

    It is about time someone with intestinal fortitude offered a plan such as Congressman Ryan. We keep hearing how we cannot cut certain programs or part of the budget but NO ONE is even guessing where the money will come from to pay for keeping worn out entitlements and other government handouts. Slash and burn some more.

    April 5, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  4. A True Centrist

    It's almost like the people who write comments on these articles don't even read the article. They write the same comment to every single article..."The Republicans are for the rich and oil companies, they want only the rich to survive" blah blah blah.

    I used to be a Republican but switched to an independent after seeing the Republican party lose its way under Bush. However, this plan is great! It doesn't end Medicare, it doesn't cut taxes just for the rich...you people need to read. It lowers the corporate tax rate while ending the tax loopholes. That means more tax revenues, not less...but more incentive for corporations to keep people employed here instead of moving their headquarters and jobs overseas. It changes the entitlement programs...let's face it, we need to change these programs if we want them to continue to exist. Not hard to figure out...we just need a politician with guts enough to tell people the truth instead of just want they want to hear. Well done Mr Ryan!

    April 5, 2011 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The tax rate could be reduced if all the loopholes were cut out. That would change how much is skimmed off the top with the deductions. As for the reduction in federal workers, it isn't clear where he'd cut. The problem is that businesses aren't doing what they need to do and we need more inspectors and auditors to prevent outbreaks and fraud. Cutting the workforce just makes it more likely that fraud will continue.

    April 5, 2011 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  6. Bob

    Yet another fantastic idea out of someone from Wisconsin. Is it something in the water? "Let's plow everyone under financially EXCEPT the wealthy. The wealthy don't really care about the Medicare program because they can afford their own Cadillac policy in their old age. If it's good enough for seniors, then it's good enough for Congress. Why don't YOU live under this type of plan and see how much fun it is trying to make ends meet, getting caught between the insurance companies (who don't want to pay out anything) and the doctors/hospitals (who extort you just so you can receive basic medical care).

    April 5, 2011 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  7. A True Centrist

    "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"

    Former Conservative, he did address this and said he would accept Secretary Gates' recommendations to cut the Pentagon budget. Again people, do a little research before you lose credibility like the former conservative here.

    April 5, 2011 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  8. Sebastian

    The American people don't want to see Ryan's political games around SPENDING. We want to see the National Debt eliminated – that means we want to see SURPLUSES to undo the damage done by Nixon, Reagan, Bush & Bush. A make believe balanced budget in 2040 is a political handjob.

    I am not impressed with a $5.1T additional deficit. Raise the damn income taxes on the RICH back to where they were under Reagan - 40% on incomes over $1M - Estate taxes on those greater than $4M.

    President Obama needs to be the leader of SHARED SACRAFICE and drive us to a surplus that can pay down the debt. Cuts to military spending and tax increases on the wealthy. Ryan wants to balance things on the backs of everyone but the wealthy.

    April 5, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. RiffRaff

    For those not paying attention,10 yrs out is the most they should go. Most economists dont agree with the "usefulness & accuracy " of long Range timelines. In other words, the Repubs are selling you another bill of goods-all just hoping it turns out their way,just like Medicare RX was grossly underestimated. All of these budget cut "numbers" are smoke & mirrors. The orig # of $61 billion isnt the real number,that comes from IF Obama's budget passed-working from his numbers. Its actually closer to $30 bil,of which $10 bil in cuts have been proposed. They cant even agree on the remaining $20 bil to cut just for this weeks argument. Do people really believe Congress is going to agree on cutting a few TRILLION within the next year? Puhleaze

    April 5, 2011 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  10. BlackPanthers2020

    How can republicans be serious about our debt . Why is it that we as a country have to give the wealthy a permanent tax break , and killing the pell grant program .....WOW !!! that's just crazy , people don't you see what they are doing ....KILLING THE MIDDLE -CLASS , I geuss the poor will no longer be able to afford to go to college and chase the American dream what the hell is wrong with these people , attacking education should be the last thing we want to cut !!!!

    April 5, 2011 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. BlackPanthers2020

    A revolution is at hand !!!!

    April 5, 2011 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. Sniffit - I Blog All Day While I Work On My High School GED

    I want the government to take money away from hard working people through income taxes and give it to me so I don't have to pay for anything.

    April 5, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. BlackPanthers2020

    IT'S the same plan as before , tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans , Ryan lost any and all credibility once he added that too the mix !!!!

    April 5, 2011 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Video Guy

    Ths guy is Wisconsin GOPer. What is wrong with this picture.

    April 5, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Anonymous

    "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?!?!" (i.e. Hope and Change)
    You got that right.
    It's time for Paul Ryan's plan to save our economy.........call it "COURAGE and Change"

    April 5, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. leona

    "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?!?!" That's Right ! i.e. "Hope and Change"......................it's time for Paul Ryan's "Courage and Change" !

    April 5, 2011 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. I Was Dumb Enough To Vote For Jimmy Carter

    Ryan's plan is the best proposal thus far to prevent the crippling impact from a future fiscal crisis in the United States. Greece, Spain and Portugal are social-welfare states whose economies are now collapsing under the weight of unrestrained government spending. They are precisely the type of social-welfare states that Obama and the Democrats tried to impose on the United States until they were stopped by the election in November of 2010.

    April 5, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  18. dumbasrocks [R]s

    DemoCommunists for a Better Way - What I see in this [R] joke-of-a-budget is: (i) no repeal of any significant corporate give-aways, (ii) no cuts to that part of the government which is bloated the most (i.e. defense), and (iii) a continued shift of tax burdens to the middle class which will certainly stifle economic growth in the future. And what do you present as analysis for your side? - an uber-partisan rant from the drama-queen rightwing. Pathetic!

    Given the level of your analysis, you had better hope that someone intervenes and starts making decisions for you. I feel sorry if you have any family dependent upon your mental output. You have all the genetic skills of the Neaderthals, just when homo sapiens started to populate the European continent. You are extinct, and you don't even know it yet.

    April 5, 2011 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  19. rob

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

    Yes you are. This sounds about what the Democrats and their friends in the Liberal Media will say about the plan. No policy discussions, no counter proposals, only name calling and demonization. Same old same old form you people.


    April 5, 2011 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  20. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit Axiom #6 – Need to comment on every ticker item in one of the following manners: (A) If there's a way to introduce class warfare, introduce it... (B) If there's a way to introduce race warfare, introduce it... (C) In the absence of (A) or (B), write a run-on sentence witl a bunch of polysyllabolic jargon insinuating a biased media on the hunt for increased ad revenue.

    It gets tired, Sniffit... real tired.

    April 5, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. ronalde

    In the mean time where is the plan to create jobs that they promised,this is a promie to keep on doing the same old thing supress the poor and middle class,i haven't seen one blueprint to create jobs.

    April 5, 2011 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  22. Josh

    Even if I were to agree with this plan from this tiny ouline... It is not a viable option. If if's and uneducated economic theory were currency, then DC would pay off the national debt in mere moments.

    April 5, 2011 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
1 2 3 4