On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled the latest Republican blueprint for cutting federal spending. Ryan’s proposed 2013 budget, “The Path to Prosperity,” would cut $5 trillion more than the plan President Obama released last month through sweeping reductions to safety net programs.
The Ryan budget proposes cutting Medicare by $205 million and Medicaid by $770 million. It would repeal the president’s healthcare reform law, which Ryan says would save another $1.6 trillion. For tax reform, Ryan proposes lowering the tax rate for top earners, simplifying the tax code by introducing just two income tax rates--10 percent and 25 percent, and setting the corporate tax rate at 25 percent. The plan protects defense spending from the automatic cuts agreed to in last year’s debt deal while asking six Congressional committees to trim away at programs like food stamps.
The Ryan plan will be dead on arrival at the Senate after passing the Republican controlled House, and many see it more as a 2012 campaign document than an actual budget plan.
Proponents of the plan argue that spending cuts are the only way to solve the country’s deficit problem. They point to Obama’s proposed budget as another example of out of control federal spending, and they seek to use the Ryan plan as a referendum on the president’s policies.
Opponents of the plan call it another attempt at “trickle down” economics, and they are upset about the brazen attempt to cut welfare programs while giving tax breaks to the country’s top earners. They believe the plan will alienate voters who rely on safety net programs from the Republican Party.
Will the new Ryan budget plan hurt the GOP in 2012? Here's the Debate Club's take:
Eric Griego Democratic Candidate for Congress in New Mexico's First District
Travis Waldron Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org
Stephanie Slade Project Director at The Winston Group
Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference