Archive for Monday, April 4, 2011

GOP budget plan cuts more than $4 trillion

April 4, 2011


A Republican plan for the 2012 budget would cut more than $4 trillion over the next decade, more than even the president’s debt commission proposed, with spending caps as well as changes in the Medicare and Medicaid health programs, its principal author said Sunday.

The spending blueprint from Rep. Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is to be released Tuesday. It deals with the budget year that begins Oct. 1, not the current one that is the subject of negotiations aimed at preventing a partial government shutdown on Friday.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday,” Ryan said budget writers are working out the 2012 numbers with the Congressional Budget Office, but he said the overall spending reductions would come to “a lot more” than $4 trillion. The debt commission appointed by President Barack Obama recommended a plan that it said would achieve nearly $4 trillion in deficit reduction.

Ryan said Obama’s call for freezing nondefense discretionary spending actually locks in spending at high levels. Under the forthcoming GOP plan, Ryan said spending would return to 2008 levels and thus cut an additional $400 billion during 10 years.

Speaking broadly about the proposal, Ryan said it would include:

• A “premium support system” for Medicare. In the future, older people would choose plans in the marketplace and the government would subsidize those plans. Ryan said that would differ from the voucher system he has proposed in the past. Those 55 and older would remain under the present Medicare system.

Ryan acknowledged that the “premium support system” would shift more costs to Medicare recipients, especially what he called “wealthy seniors.” He did not define at what level someone would be considered wealthy.

• Block grants to states for Medicaid, the health program for the poor. Ryan disputed reports that the plan would seek savings of $1 trillion over 10 years from Medicaid, but would say only that the details would be in the plan.

“Medicare and Medicaid spending will go up every single year under our budget. They don’t just go up as much as they’re going right now,” he said. Ryan said governors have told members of Congress they want “the freedom to customize our Medicaid programs. ... We want to get governors freedom to do that.”

• A statutory cap on actual discretionary spending as a percentage of the economy. While Ryan did not specify the amount during the interview, he said it would be at a lower level than proposed by Obama and would return the government to its “historic size.”

• Pro-growth tax changes, including lower tax rates and broadening the tax base. Ryan said overhauling taxes would boost the economy. The plan will not propose tax increases.

Ryan was a member of the bipartisan debt commission but voted against its final recommendations, saying they failed to reduce spending on health care. The commission also endorsed tax increases along with painful spending cuts as necessary to dealing with the debt problem.

“We’re not going to go down the path of raising taxes on people and raising taxes on the economy. We want to go after the source of the problem, and that is spending,” Ryan said Sunday.

Ryan didn’t mention how the budget plan would address Social Security.


Richard Heckler 7 years, 2 months ago

The USA is infected with the RINO virus.

RINO's are not republicans. We may as well begin to talk about this matter. The republican party that represents republican views is dead. Has been for sometime.

What Kansas, Ohio and Wisconsin has as well as the USA is a party of RINO's masquerading as republicans. RINO's represent a very radical element known as neoconservative christian fundamentalists who are led by the likes of Grover Norquist,Koch family thinkers,Falwell thinkers and PNAC thinkers ( ) .

Many long time republicans were forced out because they were not christian enough. Now the party is dead.

My father in law finally defected to the democratic party two years ago. An agonizing decision yet necessary. He has been a lifelong fiscal conservative republican for about 55 years. About 4 years ago I told him the republican party is dead. Two years ago he decided I had a valid point and defected BUT let it be known the republican party walked away from him. The Bush/Cheney admin was the icing on the cake. My father in law has always been is active in politics.

No matter these RINO thinkers have permeated state legislatures. True republicans have no party. True republicans(before Bush/Reagan) have no place to go. These RINO characters sound a lot like republicans on the campaign trail except for the hateful tone now associated with their campaigns. Once elected they become very different animals who are reckless spenders and are NOT the economic giants of our time.

Please keep the reckless economics listed below associated with the RINO party of this nation:

Still A Bad Idea – The ENTITLEMENT program for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class

and Economically Challenged State Governments:

and: The big time Free Lunch

rtwngr 7 years, 2 months ago

You can't run your household by spending more than you have and you can't run a country the same way.

Merrill - Please stop posting links to sites that are extremely partisan. I can find a rebuttal for every one of those. Let's just come back to Earth. The government is not the answer for every problem.

vuduchyld 7 years, 2 months ago

"You can't run your household by spending more than you have and you can't run a country the same way."

As I'm sure you are, of course, aware, that is incredibly simplistic, reductionist, and, well, incorrect.

First of all, the budget of a legislative body is almost nothing like a household budget.

Second of all, you actually CAN spend more than you have...even when it comes to the running of a household. It's called CREDIT. Have you ever bought a house? Did you pay cash for it? Do you have any post-secondary education that you didn't "paygo" for?

It's called INVESTMENT. There have been plenty of years during which I have spent far more than I had in household revenues. I borrowed money during those years and I made INVESTMENTS in my future. They have turned out to be good investments, largely, and they have allowed me to generate even MORE household revenues and GASP work towards paying those loans back (or in the case of my education, pay it off completely).

The federal government has great credit, according to the market for its debt. It can borrow money to invest in the future.

If you want to argue which investments are good and which are not, well, that is a different story. However, to make the argument you have made is typical sloppy rhetoric.

dd0031 7 years, 2 months ago

This is false. The US has a lot of debt in real dollar amounts, but comparatively little debt when it comes to percentage of GDP. Furthermore, even if the debt were a problem, which it isn't, it wouldn't make sense to cut spending and leave a monetary gap in the economy. If and when employment begins anew, and the GDP begins growing at a faster rate, that's when you tax and cut spending.

dd0031 7 years, 2 months ago

"[C]utting spending would be a huge boost to the private economy." Utterly false, and, like, bizarre. This would be true were it the case that government spending is crowding out private spending. But it absolutely isn't, and, in fact, it's nowhere close to doing that. "drastically lowering unemployment caused by all the government spending." Again, strange. How is it that government spending increases unemployment? (Actually, in Kansas, it decreases it, as private employers are cutting jobs, and only the public sector has been adding jobs. Here government expenditures increase employment.) Actually, I'd like to see this. I'd like to see you explain, in clear detail, how government spending reduces jobs. Of course, you won't be able to, because it's an utter myth, dreamt up by those who spout about economics but can't be bothered to understand what they're talking about.

"Haven't you noticed that interest rates are rising?" Interest rates are at historic lows. But this is actually beside the point. Even if the personal interest rate is rising, this doesn't say anything about the bond yield, which, if you look at the historic yield of a 10-year T-bill, are at their lowest point since 1960. This means that investors are lending money to the US government at historically low rates. The debt is a non-issue, and concern for the debt is simply a masked interest in eliminating all government programs.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

So repeal the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy instead of shifting the cost onto the poor.

notanota 7 years, 2 months ago

People ask for foodstamps and welfare during an economic downturn? Shocking.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 2 months ago

I think this RINO term is about as confusing as the Republican Party using the term "Conservatives".

I used to think that a RINO was anyone who did not agree with Rush Limbaugh.

I think this term is not always used in the way that you mentioned. It may be a moving target as far as definition.

Here is a link to the Wikipedia definition.

I find your comments interesting because sometimes you seem to promote policies which are definitely not "Conservative" and not even "Moderate". They are very liberal and anti-business.

Sometimes I notice a "Socialist" flavor.

Just my impression.

I think you are right in the fact that there are no real Republican leaders that have any credibility right now but it is hard to accept the Democratic Party because both parties are not doing a good job of addressing issues being faced by average Americans. They seem to be playing games with the American people most of the time.

jayhawklawrence 7 years, 2 months ago

This spending cut issue is only going to help the Republicans and it is going to help improve the image of the Tea Party.

It seems to me that the Republicans have a leadership crisis and the Democrats have an issue crisis. The Democrats cannot seem to get it together on issues. They always lean too far left of center.

Most Americans believe the Republicans are a bunch of scum bags but they are winning on a lot of issues that the Democrats just fumble away.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

"We must eliminate medicare, medicaid and social security and drastically reduce military funding."

Well, yes, we can all agree that healthcare and pensions for the elderly are exactly equivalent to the corporate welfare of imperial war spending (sarcasm.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

Yes, we can afford them.

But I guess you just buy into the notion that because the rich say we're broke, the poor must pay. (and that isn't reality.)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

I couldn't care less about more of your fantasizing.

If you really believe we can't afford these programs, then it means that we need a "final solution" for those you intend to kick to the curb.

What's your "final solution?"

Jimo 7 years, 2 months ago

I realize that many modern people have incredibly short-term memories, but wasn't it the GOP that was running millions in election ads only a few months ago about how Democrats "cut Medicare" (when they chopped off some failed experimental program spending)? Haha Voters. Or should I say suckers?

I can't remember how often I've been attacked by pointing out that Republicans aren't interested in reforming entitlements but in exterminating them. Well, good morning to you!

Oh, and for those under 55 -- guess what? You get to both (A) fund the existing Medicare recipients and (B) will never see a dime of benefit for yourself.

This proposal will be sold as providing "savings." Translation: spend less, get less. The "savings" will come out of taxpayers pockets. You see, if you pay for it, then the gov't doesn't, hence, "savings." Yet, you, yourself, still have to pay. See the "savings" yet?

In fact, without the pressure that Uncle Sam currently exerts as the payor for Medicare, expect health costs to soar. What the gov't now pays $1,000 for on a 'take it or leave it' basis, you (poor little individual you) will pay $2,000 for on a different type of 'take it or leave it' basis - pay up or go die.

Oh - and as budget pressures continue despite "saving" all this money, you can expect your health voucher to get cut and cut and cut. You see, the GOP is still eying more tax cuts. From Nixon's 70% tax rate for millionaires, to Reagan's 50% rate, to Clinton's 39% rate, to Bush's 35% rate -- now, the GOP hopes for a 25% rate. Want to guess how big the budget deficit will grow then? Are you surprised at what extreme actions the GOP will take to protect their constituents, a/k/a, the wealthy? (Poor schlep, you probably think your representatives think of you as a constituent. Haha Is it Election Day already?)

Polling shows that 75% of Americans want Medicare funding to stay the same or go up. No wonder Republicans worked harm to keep the lid on this idea before the elections were over.

So there you have it Lawrence. Your choice is clear. On one hand, you can eat discount catfood and make your peace with your Lord when you break your hip or the Koch Bros. can pay their taxes. What's your choice?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 2 months ago

The reality is that we either have the resources to meet our true needs, or we don't.

Clearly, what you're saying is that we don't, so the poor must pay (and the rich get a very expensive free pass.)

I disagree.

Jimo 7 years, 2 months ago

Why do you insist on a over the top straw man rather than engage?

You know you keep pushing this idea that you're interested in this stuff, but whenever someone challenges you in the slightest, you run for the hills.

Seriously, I've had more substantive conversations with Tea Party activists at a coffee-klasch. And they thought 10% of the budget was for foreign aid and that taxes were at record highs!

Jimo 7 years, 2 months ago

I'll split the difference with you, deal? Let's go with Reagan's tax plan.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 2 months ago

Perhaps the health insurance industry profits, executive compensation and political graft need not be as high as they are today.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 2 months ago

The entire solution need not come from a single initiative. Raise taxes, curb health care insurance industry abuse, cut welfare for military workers and defense contracting leeches.

Scott Drummond 7 years, 2 months ago

Meaningful enforcement against illegal employers would also significantly help boost government revenues. Do that too.

notajayhawk 7 years, 2 months ago

"I realize that many modern people have incredibly short-term memories, but wasn't it the GOP that was running millions in election ads only a few months ago about how Democrats "cut Medicare" (when they chopped off some failed experimental program spending)?"

Apparently your own memory isn't sufficient to hold a thought for the time it took to scroll down to write that:

"“Medicare and Medicaid spending will go up every single year under our budget."

nytemayr 7 years, 2 months ago

First its, study the proposal baby, study the proposal baby!

Then its, agree to what you can baby, agree to what you can baby!

Finally its the Democratic two step, point at what you can't accept baby and propose an alternative approach baby!

Let's all get together and balance the budget!

Paul R Getto 7 years, 2 months ago

"Let's all get together and balance the budget!" ====== It can be done, but we're all gonna need a haircut. Pay more, get less back. Getting a strategy for this that lasts past the latest 24 hour news cycle or past one or two presidential terms will be tough, but it can be done if we start thinking like Americans and not selfish little rodents. Right now, no one is getting ready for a haircut; the federal plans are mainly decapitations, milk for babies and heating oil for seniors, to cite a couple of examples. The debt commission has some pretty good ideas, if people will discuss them and quit the blame game and name calling. We dug this hole for 2-3 generations and it may take that long to get back to ground level, if we have the collective wisdom and the guts to do it.

llama726 7 years, 2 months ago

It's going to take some substantial cuts, and it's going to suck, and I'm going to personally hate some of the cuts.

It's also going to take an honest evaluation of our tax code and, yes, a tax increase, especially on the wealthiest in the country, but probably on everyone.

It is absolutely imperative that we get out of debt, though - and that when the country begins to get a surplus, rather than coming up with a set of deep tax cuts, we need to work on saving the money and investing in programs that work until we can be assured of financial solvency. Many people talk about needing to run the country as you would a household, and not spend money you don't have. But a household also saves money for unforeseen emergencies, and it's hard to convince a set of politicians to leave that money alone.

One way I heard a while back, which would be interesting, would be to give an incentive to different government agencies to identify and implement cost-cutting measures. There isn't an incentive now, since that money just goes away if they don't use it. Perhaps bonuses for money saving ideas (not just fire everyone), perhaps even allowing the department to keep some of the money and assign it to a pet project if they want - that might be a way to help mitigate future costs.

We have to realize, though, that this would mean we'd have to commit to a decade of avoiding intervention in other countries, we'd have to endure tax cuts, and we'd have to look at the biggest pieces of the pie for cuts - including military spending. Will we? I doubt it. A man can dream, though.

beatrice 7 years, 2 months ago

Question, should the federal government continue to spend more in states than states contribute? Kansas, for instance, pays less in federal funds than it receives -- should this trend be stopped?

It will be interesting to see what the actual plan is. Did Ryan mention military spending?

Scott Drummond 7 years, 2 months ago

There is projection involved in most right winger positions: homosexuality, marriage, government intrusion, etc......(it is a long list.)

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