GOP reveals plan to spend $6.2 trillion less than Obama

ADDED at 10:10 a.m.: For those who prefer a visual, here’s a video of Paul Ryan making the case for the GOP budget plan. It’s heavier on the threat we face, but lighter on policy.

ORIGINAL POST:

Details to follow, but House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan outlined a Republican budget plan, one that spends $6.2 trillion less during the next decade than President Obama’s budget calls for, in an op-ed today in the Wall Street Journal. Here are the broad brush strokes:

Reducing spending: This budget proposes to bring spending on domestic government agencies to below 2008 levels, and it freezes this category of spending for five years. The savings proposals are numerous, and include reforming agricultural subsidies, shrinking the federal work force through a sensible attrition policy, and accepting Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s plan to target inefficiencies at the Pentagon.

Welfare reform: This budget will build upon the historic welfare reforms of the late 1990s by converting the federal share of Medicaid spending into a block grant that lets states create a range of options and gives Medicaid patients access to better care. It proposes similar reforms to the food-stamp program, ending the flawed incentive structure that rewards states for adding to the rolls. Finally, this budget recognizes that the best welfare program is one that ends with a job — it consolidates dozens of duplicative job-training programs into more accessible, accountable career scholarships that will better serve people looking for work.

As we strengthen and improve welfare programs for those who need them, we eliminate welfare for those who don’t. Our budget targets corporate welfare, starting by ending the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is costing taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. It gets rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year. And it rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.

Health and retirement security: This budget’s reforms will protect health and retirement security. This starts with saving Medicare. The open-ended, blank-check nature of the Medicare subsidy threatens the solvency of this critical program and creates inexcusable levels of waste. This budget takes action where others have ducked. But because government should not force people to reorganize their lives, its reforms will not affect those in or near retirement in any way.

Starting in 2022, new Medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health-care program that members of Congress enjoy. Future Medicare recipients will be able to choose a plan that works best for them from a list of guaranteed coverage options. This is not a voucher program but rather a premium-support model. A Medicare premium-support payment would be paid, by Medicare, to the plan chosen by the beneficiary, subsidizing its cost.

In addition, Medicare will provide increased assistance for lower- income beneficiaries and those with greater health risks. Reform that empowers individuals — with more help for the poor and the sick — will guarantee that Medicare can fulfill the promise of health security for America’s seniors.

We must also reform Social Security to prevent severe cuts to future benefits. This budget forces policy makers to work together to enact common-sense reforms. The goal of this proposal is to save Social Security for current retirees and strengthen it for future generations by building upon ideas offered by the president’s bipartisan fiscal commission.

Budget enforcement: This budget recognizes that it is not enough to change how much government spends. We must also change how government spends. It proposes budget-process reforms — including real, enforceable caps on spending — to make sure government spends and taxes only as much as it needs to fulfill its constitutionally prescribed roles.

Tax reform: This budget would focus on growth by reforming the nation’s outdated tax code, consolidating brackets, lowering tax rates, and assuming top individual and corporate rates of 25%. It maintains a revenue-neutral approach by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity and leave some corporations paying no income taxes at all.

As I said, these are broad parameters without many specifics — which will come when the House GOP unveils the full plan later this morning. I’ll post an update when the plan is out.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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181 comments Add your comment

Jefferson

April 5th, 2011
9:59 am

Icewater for hell’s patrons would be easier.

Don't Tread

April 5th, 2011
10:14 am

“eliminate welfare for those who don’t need it”…I can hear the screaming now. People don’t like it when “free” money is taken away from them.

GOP Literally Roots for Shutdown

April 5th, 2011
10:20 am

Under Ryan’s proposal, Medicare would be eliminated and replaced with a vouchers for private insurance that don’t keep up with rising health care costs and premiums. Medicaid would be gutted and sent to the states as a block grants that don’t keep up with rising health care costs.. The new health care law would be scrapped entirely.

Essentially, the uninsured and under-insured would remain uninsured and under-insured while millions more would join their ranks. On the other hand, Ryan’s proposal does absolutely nothing to control the health care costs in the U.S., by far the biggest driver of projected deficits, which are about twice as much here as in other industrialized nations.

Also, tax rates on corporations and the wealthy would be slashed. No worries though. These cuts are revenue-neutral. By definition, that means that the poor and middle class will have to make up the difference.

To the extent that a major political party and House majority is actually willing to rally behind such extremism — without a hint of shame or trepidation — I’ll give Republicans credit for putting their ridiculous wish list on the table.

But in this context, real, meaningful courage requires sound judgment, not just a willingness to fight for millionaires and corporations, while screwing over the elderly, the poor, the disabled, and working families.
_____________________________

Meanwhile, John Boehner, last week: “Democrats are rooting for a government shutdown,”

John Boehner, this week: House Republicans huddled late Monday and, according to a GOP aide, gave the speaker an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown.

Maybe now would be a good time to revisit which party is, literally, “rooting for a government shutdown.”

Will

April 5th, 2011
10:32 am

Let me try to bring all my experienced analysis to bear and offer a prediction about Congressman Ryan’s proposals: republican newspaper writers and republican radio and television entertainers will like this proposal. Democrat newspaper writers and democrat radio and television entertainers will not.

Congressman Ryan is correct in that democrats will use this against republicans in 2012 and will bring all the “scare tactics” to bear. Sort of like republicans did with the health care legislation (e.g., the “death panels”). That’s what politicians do best – wait for the other side to do something, test the political wind and then demagogue as needed. That’s why they are politicians, not legislative leaders or statesmen.

Republican congressmen from swing states, and/or those who were elected with less than 54% of the vote and those elected in districts that President Obama carried in 2008 and will likely carry in 2012 will be swept out by a combination of President Obama being on the ballot to energize the democrat base and the successful scare tactics regarding entitlement reform plus the likely continuing decline in the unemployment rate from now until next November.

And the band plays on……………..

carlosgvv

April 5th, 2011
10:32 am

GOP literally roots for shtudown

In other words, Republicans toady up to the rich and brutalize the poor.

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
10:47 am

And how would you slow rising health-care costs, Literally? By *increasing* subsidies so that health-care consumers are further insulated from those rising costs?

If you believe that, then I understand why you would (wrongly) think Ryan’s plan “does absolutely nothing to control the health care costs in the U.S.”

Folks, this is the dividing line on health-care reform, and has been since before the ObamaCare debate. One side says the way to slow rising health-care costs is to give government more control over the industry and consumer choices. The other side says the way to slow rising health-care costs it to make health care work like every other functioning market in human history, which means consumers have to respond to price signals.

No prizes for guessing which side is which.

itpdude

April 5th, 2011
10:47 am

Bottom line is this: The top ten percent will not have to do anything painful. That is a fact. This is shilling for the large mega-corps and the rich. In other words, it’s another GOP puff-piece.

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
10:50 am

carlosgvv: Did you even read the overview of the proposal I posted? I would have thought you’d like the parts about reducing corporate welfare and basing Medicare assistance on income and healthiness (or lack thereof).

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
10:52 am

Also couldn’t gloss over this gem:

“These cuts are revenue-neutral. By definition, that means that the poor and middle class will have to make up the difference.”

That’s true only under the most twisted of definitions. But since Ryan specifically said it would be revenue-neutral “by clearing out a burdensome tangle of deductions and loopholes that distort economic activity,” I’d say you need a new dictionary.

John

April 5th, 2011
11:02 am

Looks like Republicans are trying to rewrite history again. According to Paul Ryan…”It gets rid of the permanent Wall Street bailout authority that Congress created last year. ” The bailout was singed into law by President Bush in 2008…remember John Beohner crying on the House floor begging colleagues to vote for it.

Mike

April 5th, 2011
11:06 am

From 2000 to 2006 the Republicants controlled the White House, Congress and the Supreme Court; so why didn’t they go ape s!@# and clean things up then they way they’re now promising to? I don’t trust them and never will, just like those currently under the Gold Dome. No solutions to any problems, unwilling to make any decisions, just a ‘kick the can down the road’ mentality.

Junior Samples

April 5th, 2011
11:06 am

But we should still continue to subsidize one of the most profitable industries known. How many more billions do they need? The oil companies sure need our help, now more than ever.

Pay no attention to what’s behind the curtain…

We’re actually paying them billions after billions to come up with alternatives to oil. In the name of a free market economy.

The fact is we’ll never see their efforts in alternatives to oil. Because the lobbyists behind the curtain are paying our politicians to get re-elected.

Dave

April 5th, 2011
11:09 am

John,

They’re referring to the Wall Street reform bill from last year, which DID give the government permanent bailout authority. Not the one-time huge bailout that president Bush (and a Democrat congress) passed in 2008.

SwedeAtlanta

April 5th, 2011
11:12 am

While I’m sure there will be little in Ryan’s plan I can support I am glad to see the House doing what the Founding Fathers intended – spending proposals originate in the House.

This will get the conversation going.

jconservative

April 5th, 2011
11:15 am

My best estimate is that parts of this proposal will start getting passed by Congrss right after the 2012 election.

BW

April 5th, 2011
11:22 am

Kyle

This is all about political posturing. There will be a budget passed this year and it will make no one happy. Entitlements and/or tax reform won’t be seriously attacked until after the 2012 elections. It’s sad but this is where we are….it’s not just Obama’s fault…it’s the fault of the political gamesmanship that has been 30 years in the making.

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
11:23 am

jconservative: To a degree, I think this proposal chiefly sets the terms of debate for next year’s campaign. That’s because I can’t imagine the Senate and the president going for it. More likely, we’ll get through FY12 with another series of continuing budget resolutions, unless there’s a shutdown that ends up empowering one side or the other. And then, if Republicans win next year, they’ll be in position to enact this kind of proposal (allowing for the high likelihood that, even if they take the Senate, they’ll have to bend enough to get to 60 votes).

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
11:25 am

BW: See my 11:23. But I don’t know how you can call this proposal something other than “seriously attacking” the problem. You may not agree with the specifics, but there are specifics. It may not become law, because the Senate and Obama won’t go for it, but that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t being approached seriously.

carlosgvv

April 5th, 2011
11:28 am

Kyle, I read the whole thing, including the part about corporate welfare. The problem is Republicans are not know for being truthful, to say the least. They serve big business, and will use any and all forms of legal double-talk to fool as many people as possible as to their real motives.

BW

April 5th, 2011
11:31 am

Kyle

There are two battles: One for on discretionary and the other on non-discretionary spending. The former is the one that certain parties in Congress are going to shut down the government over…the one that comprises 14% of the budget and doesn’t nothing for long term stability. Perhaps if Republicans were willing to keep their powder dry for the more meaningful spending battle then I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. I’m not impressed by the Dems but I’m not ready to give Republicans carte blanche either. Paul Ryan is addressing the real budget which I applaud him for….unfortunately there are too many entrenched interests to see the crisis through to a rational end…or so says the cynical side of me. I’ll believe it when I see it….it will require the President and Republicans to agree on something in spite of the political ramifications and appeal to their respective bases….again I’ll believe it when I see it.

John

April 5th, 2011
11:34 am

I wouldn’t matter whether the Senate or Obama would or wouldn’t go for it since it’s not even going to be a piece of legislation in the House. According to the AP…”the GOP plan is not actual legislation but provides a nonbinding, theoretical framework for future action in Congress. ” It’s just a big stunt…just like the “Government Shutdown Prevention Act” House Republicans passed on Friday which stipulates that if the Senate does not pass a long-term resolution by April 6, the measure passed by the House in February, H.R. 1, and it’s $61 billion in spending cuts, would be law. Also, the bill would prevent members of congress and the president from receiving their salaries in the event of a government shutdown.

John

April 5th, 2011
11:46 am

@Kyle

Why do you believe it may not become law, because the Senate and Obama won’t go for it, but that doesn’t mean the problem isn’t being approached seriously. Republicans believe they can pass a bill in the House and it become law without the Senate passing it of the President signing it into law.

mrs. w

April 5th, 2011
11:50 am

Carlos: do you think Democrats are honest!? Keep in mind that regardless of party affiliations they are all politicians and they are all dishonest to a large degree.

At least this guy mentions what I consider to be a “true” entitlement and that is food stamps. Too many people are on welfare for literally decades and it is surely time to put a stop to that.

poison pen

April 5th, 2011
11:55 am

Carlos, I would list the times that Obama lied but I don’t have all day, and you know that also.

Jefferson

April 5th, 2011
11:56 am

Election carrots…again a waste of time if you know it won’t work.

T

April 5th, 2011
12:18 pm

I love how it is all playing out. I read a lot of poiltical blogs which are more in the center and not biased almost robot like responses like Wingnut’s. People are turning on the Republicans. One reality of the GOP party is they talk a good game when they are on the sidelines, but when it comes to running the show they are the biggest hypocrites in the world. Obama’s reelection looks really good at this point, and the GOP continues to alienate Hispanics, women, middle class(basically anyine not rich, male, and white). It just seems like you all thought Obama didn’t know what he was doing when in reality he is two steps ahead of you all the time. Just saying…..

GOP Literally Roots for Shutdown

April 5th, 2011
12:32 pm

KW: “One side says the way to slow rising health-care costs is to give government more control over the industry and consumer choices. The other side says the way to slow rising health-care costs it to make health care work like every other functioning market in human history, which means consumers have to respond to price signals.”
————————————————–
When an industry denies coverages, denies covered claims, and gouges sick people because it can, leading to millions uninsured, millions more under-insured, and health care costs that are double that of the rest of the industrialized world, then yes, a bit of regulation (aka: “government control”) is in order to get health care costs under control.

Just like we need regulation for the oil industry so they don’t continue to destroy our oceans. Just like we need regulation for the airline industry to so passenger don’t get sucked out of a hole in the ceiling of a plane at 35,000 feet. Just like we need regulation of the food industry so that people don’t die of food poisoning. Yes, properly balanced, “government control” can be a good thing because we know that corporations, by definition, are obligated to put profits before what is morally right.

My pro-regulation position, by the way, is the pro-capitalism position. On the other hand, the notion that industry can do what it wants with impunity, especially as the right seeks to pack courts with corporatist judges, is anything but capitalism and free enterprise. It’s a plutocracy.

carlosgvv

April 5th, 2011
12:40 pm

mrs. w – poison pen

Nowhere have I ever said the Democrats are honest. It is a matter of degrees and who is serving whom. Republicans serve Big Business. Democrats serve Unions and professional victims. It’s just that the Democrats are really bad but the Republicans are even worse. As proof, just look at the likely candidates, including Obama, for the 2012 presidential election. I know there are better people who could run for this office, Republicans and Democrats, but there seems to be no way to persuade them to run.

retired early

April 5th, 2011
12:46 pm

Let’s put that 25% cap on top incomes tax rate into perspective.
The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances reports that the top 10% of all American households owns 72% of the nation’s private wealth, while the bottom 90% owns only 28%. The survey goes on to even starker numbers: the top 1% of all households owns 37% of all the wealth, while the bottom 90% owns but 28%…which is to say that the top 1% owns more…9% more…than the bottom 90%.
Now you Republicans want a top rate of 25%…and then make it “revenue neutral”…translation… no real changes, like limiting the mortgage interest deduction which now allows the wealthy their most prized deduction allowing them to offset millions via mortgage interest…then cash it in…downsize and retire with… no capital gain… on the sale of their multimillion dollar properties. Watch for this deduction survive any and all others.

GOP Literally Roots for Shutdown

April 5th, 2011
12:51 pm

By the way, the health care law that went into effect last year will EXPAND consumer choices.

Today, parents of children with pre-existing conditions have the ability to purchase health insurance for their children—a choice many of them didn’t have before health care reform law was passed. When the health insurance exchanges come online, all Americans will have tremendously expanded choices in both breadth and cost of health care coverage—choices that our representatives in Washington currently have and have had for a long time.

So, when government control over consumer choice expands consumer choice, then yes, I’m for that too. The increased competition by way of the health insurance exchanges should increase competition for affordable premiums too. More supply drives down prices. Again, that’s the pro-capitalism position.

retired early

April 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

Roots for shutdown

Well said….but common sense is not common with those on the “Right”.

Take the time to read this interview then pass it on.
http://motherjones.com/politics/2010/08/bob-inglis-tea-party-casualty

John

April 5th, 2011
12:57 pm

@Kyle

“One side says the way to slow rising health-care costs is to give government more control over the industry and consumer choices. The other side says the way to slow rising health-care costs it to make health care work like every other functioning market in human history, which means consumers have to respond to price signals.

No prizes for guessing which side is which.

When you mention…give government more control over the industry and consumer choices, I know you’re meaning Democrats. But Republicans should be included in that as well. Republicans say they believe and want smaller government, but at the same time they want to be in doctors’ offices of every pregnant woman to be sure she can’t have an abortion. Isn’t that government control. Republicans want to be in every marriage, defining who can and cannot get married. They want government to take away workers’ rights but busting up unions. They actually want smaller government with respect to business but much larger government when it comes to individuals.

enough

April 5th, 2011
1:00 pm

Dems and Repubs are the same monster in different clothing. They would cut off their noses to spite their face and wouldn’t even spit on you if you were on fire. They are more concerned with how their constituents perceive them, rather than how they can best represent their constituents. As long as we, the voters, continue voting status quo, we will get status quo.

And get us the hell out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. That’ll save a couple $$ trillion

DebbieDoRight

April 5th, 2011
1:00 pm

Not the one-time huge bailout that president Bush (and a Democrat congress) passed in 2008.

And the one the Republican Lead Senate passed — it seems you conveniently forgot that part……

Cutty

April 5th, 2011
1:01 pm

Yeah GOP Literally, republicans have been trying to cut spending for everything but the military, ’small businesses’, the top 1%, and big oil. Why would you NOT believe that they would increase subsidies (spending) for health care consumers?

When they say shared sacrifice, they mean us not them. And I like Paul Ryan, he’s not off his rocker like the rest of his party. I’m just wise enough to know by the time the rest of his party ‘tweaks’ his so-called framework, it won’t resemble what it looks like today. Sure, Wingfield will blame dems but we all know who the GOP represents and who will be exempt from the shared sacrifice.

Big D

April 5th, 2011
1:02 pm

We must stop the give away programs for foreign Government programs FIRST..before we take one thing away from an AMERICAN…PERIOD or Rand is going to feel the wrath of the LEFT from all angles…we must also put a VAT or tariff on all Chinese imports.

yuzeyurbrane

April 5th, 2011
1:03 pm

Kyle, if you believe this spin then I have a bridge in Brooklyn I want to sell you.

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
1:04 pm

Literally: You would do well to take Ruth Marcus’ advice linked below…you don’t use the words “false choice,” but the way you frame this debate (and everything else you comment about on this blog) is a good illustration of what she’s talking about.

http://wapo.st/fcJsCU

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
1:06 pm

Debbie: The Dems have controlled the Senate since 2007. Which bailout are you talking about?

Big D

April 5th, 2011
1:09 pm

Cutty,
I think you are at least half right, we cannot cut too much on the military( it is the only expenditure the Constitution really allows for) with our money going to build the best military in the world…CHINA.
If we don’t cut NOW and we keep paying China to build the weapons of our destruction this will all be academic.

DebbieDoRight

April 5th, 2011
1:10 pm

Frankly Kyle I’m amazed that the repubs even WANT to do anything about the deficit they created. When there was republicans up and down the 3 branches (pres., house, sen.); they spent like drunken sailors on leave with their grannies credit cards. We’ve seen what they did with Medicaire Part “D”; we’ve seen how they reacted to the Terri Schiavo debacle, we’ve seen how they’ve governed by fear and intimidation (Rove et. al); we’ve seen them out a CIA operative because her husband didn’t want to kiss their azzes; but NOW you want us to believe that they’ve “reformed”? HA!

PS: Anyone ever find those WMD’s?

Cliff

April 5th, 2011
1:12 pm

–”And it rolls back expensive handouts for uncompetitive sources of energy, calling instead for a free and open marketplace for energy development, innovation and exploration.”

I wonder if the plan will also roll back the billions in corporate welfare for the “competitive” sources of energy, i.e. the oil companies. That would move toward a “free and open” marketplace and help level the playing field for the “uncompetitive” technologies. And on that subject, I would prefer a small investment in developing those “uncompetitive” home-grown technologies rather than continuing to send billions overseas to countries that don’t seem to like us very much. All the money we send away to buy oil from the Middle East could have a great stimulating effect on our economy while employing a large number of people in a new energy industry.

Big D

April 5th, 2011
1:15 pm

Debbie,
You are wrong on most of your points…The deficit under Obama dwarfs ALL the years of Bush and on the WMD’s they were brought back very close to here in Alabama and destroyed…they just didn’t need to tell everybody what was going on for obvious reasons…national defense.

retired early

April 5th, 2011
1:15 pm

I agree with Cutty that Paul Ryan comes across as more of a centrist. The problem is the Tea Party doesn’t like “compromise” in any form and they are controlling the GOP right now. The interview I posted a link to @ 12:57 with former conservative Republican Representative Bob Inglis says it all.

Kyle
Read that interview with Mr Inglis…one of your own, and tell me the moderates in the GOP are not in trouble.

Big D

April 5th, 2011
1:19 pm

I’m sorry people, but the times for being timid about this problem has past and our ship is about to sail away into the sunset if we DON’T do something BIG NOW.

Cutty

April 5th, 2011
1:23 pm

Big D, Defense spending is almost 20% of the federal budget. Instead of spending more than the next 22 country’s combined spend on their militaries, I would still feel safe if we only spent more than the next 17. What with repubs and the NRA wanting you to pack heat in churches, bars, daycare, and nursing homes, we already have a homegrown militia.

DebbieDoRight

April 5th, 2011
1:27 pm

Big D – A) so how do you know if they didn’t tell anyone? B.) why would anyone take highly volatile and radioactive missiles and projectiles, transport them across the water, and detonate them HERE on american soil? Just asking……..

correction

April 5th, 2011
1:28 pm

Big D, China may have the biggest military but it certainly is not the best. Israel probably has the best all-around military in the world.

Wait….that was bought by us too.

Kyle Wingfield

April 5th, 2011
1:29 pm

HDB: Please just post one link and a (very brief) summary of the article you tried to post here. Thanks.

GOP Literally Roots for Shutdown

April 5th, 2011
1:29 pm

Retired Early,

Thanks for the link. It was interesting to read that South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis opposed the Tea Party on Christian principles—not bearing false witness and not doing anything on your property that damages your neighbor’s property. He also made a strong free enterprise argument for supporting a carbon tax over cap-and-trade.

About Paul Ryan, I agree that he seems centrist. But his proposal is not. What he actually wants to do is repeal the health care law, slash Medicaid and privatize Medicare. It would leave more Americans uninsured than the status quo does. Ryan essentially yanks health-care insurance away from various groups of people, pockets the savings and calls it a day.