Paul Ryan's Doomed Budget Proposal Is Typical GOP Establishment Stuff

Less social welfare spending, more military spending! Cuts trillions from federal spending, but doesn't actually reduce federal spending.


The narrative was practically already written, and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) had to have known it when he released his party's latest budget plan today. The plan would slash $5.1 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years (spending will still increase, of course, just not as quickly). It cuts spending from welfare programs, but actually adds more spending on the military, restoring it to pre-sequestration levels. And of course, they're still afraid to touch Social Security. But vouchers for Medicaid are on the plan. So is repealing the Affordable Care Act. From the Associated Press:

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled an updated Republican budget plan Tuesday that would slash $5.1 trillion in federal spending over coming decade and promises to balance the government's books with wide-ranging cuts in programs like food stamps and government-paid health care for the poor and working class.

Ryan's plan would also cut Pell Grants for low-income students and pensions for federal workers, while steering away from cuts to benefits for senior citizens, at least in the short term. The proposal would reprise a voucher-like Medicare program for future retirees that would be the basis for GOP claims that the measure would drive down government debt over the long term. It also relies on unofficial scorekeeping help from the Congressional Budget Office, reflecting the beneficial effects of deficit cuts on long-term economic growth and tax revenues.

The plan should skate through the Budget Committee on Wednesday but faces challenges on the floor next week since it endorses a bipartisan pact—negotiated by Ryan and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., in December— to increase agency operating budgets this year and next.

Of course the Democrats hate it

Here's part of the White House's response:

Budgets are about choices and values.  House Republicans have chosen to protect tax breaks for the wealthiest rather than create opportunities for middle class families to get ahead.  The President believes that is the wrong approach and that we should instead be making smart investments necessary to create jobs, grow our economy, and expand opportunity, while still cutting the deficit in a balanced way and securing our nation's future.

Reminder: Ryan's budget reduces by $5 trillion the amount the federal budget will increase over the next 10 years.

Failing to do anything about Social Security didn't stop House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from accusing Ryan from trying to throw old people down the stairs with his plan to turn Medicaid into a block grant program managed by the states:

"Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn't be asked to pay even a little more.  But seniors would be asked to pay more for preventive services and prescription drugs and see the end of the Medicare guarantee.  Families would witness devastating cuts to research, innovation, education, clean energy, and manufacturing, ceding economic leadership to other nations.  All Americans would see a budget that rejects comprehensive immigration reform, with its promise of job creation, stronger small businesses, a growing economy, and a shrinking deficit.

And in this corner!

Over at Townhall.com, Guy Benson gives his analysis of the GOP's "Path to Prosperity." A couple of choice reforms he analyzes:

(5) Saves Medicare for future seniors, employing the bipartisan premium support system featured in previous iterations of this budget. Less affluent and sicker future seniors would receive more assistance than richer and healthier future seniors. Current seniors—and anyone who was at least 55 years old in 2013—would see no changes. Yes, that "cushion" has effectively been sliced down from ten years to nine. The debt clock keeps ticking, and unless we corral our spending on our own terms, Americans will soon enough experience the very unpleasant business of actual austerity. The government's own bookkeepers have concluded that absent reform, Medicare will be insolvent within the next dozen years.

(6) Simplifies the tax code and broadens the tax base by reducing income brackets to just two: 25 percent and ten percent. The plan repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax (which every year must be "patched" to avoid impacting the middle class), and lowers the corporate tax rate to 25 percent. In exchange for a simpler system and lower rates, a number of deductions and loopholes would be closed.

The full budget proposal may be read here (pdf). And below is the chart the proposal provides detailing the difference between the GOP vision of future public debt and the current direction we're heading:

No really, it's more spending

Over at the Cato Institute, Nicole Kaeding hits on the fact that Ryan's budget is still increasing government spending, providing a nice chart comparing current Congressional Budget Office projections with Ryan's:

NEXT: Obama Takes an Obamacare Victory Lap

Budget Paul Ryan Republican Party Government Spending Budget Deficit Entitlements

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 Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

13 responses to “Paul Ryan's Doomed Budget Proposal Is Typical GOP Establishment Stuff

  1. No Alt Text, no comments, what’s going on here?

  2. Not great, but not terrible.

    1. Over the last 6 years, the deficit was lowered 3X as much (150 billion per year) during a horrible recession.

      Now Ryan proposes to lower it by 1/3 that amount over 10 years….and people are OK with that?

      Double or triple standard here?

    2. A budget that grows government at 3.5% each year, while the private sector is floundering and shrinking, is worse than “not terrible”.

      A truly conservive budget would be similar to federal government budgets from 1792 thru before WWI, where the federal government consumed less than 3% of what we produce (GDP). Today the feds consume over 20% of what we produce, in essense stealing 17% of what we produce.

      Here’s a link to historical federal spending: http://danieljmitchell.files.w…..ending.jpg

      Ryan’s is a RINO budget. That’s a budget that pretends to be conservative, when in fact it’s a big governemnt, statist budget that reduces our freedom to keep the fruits of our labor. Only Rand Paul has produced a budget (really cutting $1 trillion in the first year alone) that is “not terrible.”

  3. Should say “ten years” in the first paragraph instead of “two” and I had not heard that Nancy Pelosi switched parties

  4. So a 2.6% CAGR for Ryan’s plan vs. a 5% CAGR for current law which itself is too low for Team Blue. Bloodsucking fuckers. As if taking almost half my income isn’t already enough.

  5. from the title i thought there was going to be actual criticism of Mr. Ayn Rand from a Reason contributor, but alas all i’m left with is the usual gripes about nancy pelosi.

    we could just remove the income cap on social security– in effect making these wonderful “job creators”– i put the quotes there for a reason– pay the same tax rates as the rest of us, but i’ve been instructed that this is class warfare, which will result in the deaths of hundreds of millions.

    1. At some point someone has to say no to something, AS. You can’t just keep spending more and more and more each year.

  6. I feel that Ryan is saying this:

    Hey, the other party (admin) just lowered the deficit from 1.4 trillion to 560 million during the worst recession in modern history. This was done at the rate of 150 billion per year (6 years of approx 150 billion avg reduction).

    But, ELECT ME and my friends and tell you what! We will lower it 50 billion per year for ten years…if you give us full power.

    So, what’s better? Lowering it 150 billion per year in bad times? Or promising to lower it 1/3 as much per year in good times?

    Only a fool could propose a budget like that and have people listen.

  7. So in fact there are no spending cuts. There are only spending increases.

  8. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail
    ?????????????? ? w?w?w.?w?o?rk?b?a?rr.c?o??m

  9. Pelosi: “Under this Republican budget, the wealthy and well-connected wouldn’t be asked to pay even a little more.”

    Pelosi won’t ever say what is enough for the 1% rich to pay, because for her, it’s always more (except for her and her wealthy and well-connected husband).

Comments are closed.