Rep. Paul Ryan on Why You Can't Solve the Deficit Problem Without Addressing Medicare


Politico reports that Rep. Paul Ryan, the top Republican on the House Budget Committee and a member of the president's fiscal commission, is skeptical of some key parts of the fiscal commission's proposal:

Reps Paul Ryan (R-Ohio), and Jeb Hensarling, (R-Tex.), said that the plans called for too much in tax increases, and they claimed that the Bowles Simpson approach to health care would have the effect of furthering the Obama health care reform, which Republicans have vowed to repeal. Ryan and Hensarling said they would push Ryan's "Roadmap" plan to budget reform.

And via RealClearPolitics, here's Rep. Ryan explaining why you can't solve the deficit problem without addressing Medicare:

If you're in the Washington area tomorrow morning, you can see Ryan debate New York Times columnist David Brooks at the American Enterprise Institute. The topic of debate will be a question near and dear to the hearts of Reason readers: How much government is too much?

I'll be in attendance, and I'll also be staying afterwards to tape a post-debate discussion panel with Ezra Klein and Jennifer Rubin of The Washington Post

You can read my feature on Ryan and his deficit plan from the June 2010 issue here

NEXT: Republicans Nix Global Warming Committee

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Reps Paul Ryan (R-Ohio)…

    I was going to make a joke about how old people must not vote in Wisconsin, but Politico effed that up for me. (I should probably thank them for that.)

    1. Requires a [sic].

  2. 6 1/2% VAT, Bitchez.

    1. Or a $1.00 surcharge for every office visit. But I suppose that’ll just shift the unfunded liability from Medicare to dog food.

      1. What I’ve heard, is a 6 1/2% VAT, in return for a 2 year exemption on all payroll taxes. What that actually means, your guess is as good as mine. I’m assuming the VAT will be permanent, and payroll taxes will return in 2 years. Of course, this is just being “floated”, for now, but I have a feeling we will see some formal recommendation of this type of “trade-off” in the near future.

        It should work well with the American people, in general. It’s like the financing gimmicks for new furniture. “No finance charges for the first two years!!!”. “Wow. I’m gonna git me sum of dat thar new fernture”.

        1. Any tax levied in order to pay down the deficit was about a 150% chance of remaining permanent. That is even if they miraculously manage to pay it down. (A big IF).

          1. “has”, not “was”

        2. Oh, and as for whether it will work with the American people, I would say normally use, but they seem to have a heightened awareness of bullshit these days, which will probably go away if the good times ever return.

          1. normally “yes” not normally “use.” Can’t type today.

  3. When you have a wound with a ruptured artery, and 20,000 band-aids on it, the only thing to do, is kill the patient.

  4. Really, Ryan v. Brooks in a public debate? Will the Congressman at least undergo a lobotomy this evening to keep the affair sporting?

  5. Cue the hardcore libertarians to come in and point out how Ryan’s vote on this or that completely negates him as a small government advocate.

    1. NAL: You don’t have to be a “hardcore libertarian” to be skeptical of Paul Ryan’s recent small government evangelism. Those of us who are skeptical of Ryan are not simply concerned about a couple of deviations on unimportant issues. Paul Ryan has a very long and consistent record of voting in favor of big spending, government expanding programs.

      Paul Ryan talks a good game, and I think that his Road Map contains a lot of interesting ideas. I certainly hope that his recent small government rhetoric is sincere and not mere partisan posturing. I am open to changing my opinion about him, but I think there are plenty of legitimate reasons to remain skeptical.

  6. That’s why he voted for Medicare Part D, right?

    Ryan is the slipperiest of the born-again fiscal conservatives. A wolf in sheep’s clothing, indeed.

    1. Perfect timing.

      At least Ryan is pushing for balanced budgets now.

      1. Not with any meaningful proposals. Why is anyone supposed to be impressed that a member of the GOP talks a good game with respect to the budget? Anything they’ve ever proposed or enacted has been awful for the budget, not to mention the economy.

        1. You mean except for this one

          That’s already been scored by the CBO, and which will balance the budget.

          Come on Tony, I believe in externalities, least you can do is admit that there are some republican proposals for balancing the budget (well at least this one).

          Whether it will happen, I don’t know. But I give Ryan credit for putting it out there.

          1. Well if you call shifting medicare and SS funds to the wealthiest 5%, all the while increasing taxes for everyone but the top 5%, all while pretty much only guessing on the revenue side of the budget, meaningful, then I stand corrected.

            1. Hmm, I didn’t see any of that in there. Maybe you went to the wrong link.

      2. If the GOP wins the White House in 2012 and he’s still interested in cutting spending, that will mean something.

  7. Both parties are exactly the same and there’s not a dimes worth of difference between them. The Republicans aren’t really going to try to cut the budget. I am justified in continuing to vote for Democrats so I can get invited to the cool parties with dumb-but-hot liberal chicks.

  8. These cuts combined with the tax cuts being continued, will help the economy. This is what happened after the cuts originally were passed. This reminds me of a post on “Bush tax cuts caused the recession?”.

  9. The first thing to do is cut loose the people who DON’T WANT MEDICARE. It was supposed to be optional, changed by bureaucratic fiat.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.