Yesterday on the evening news, Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan proposed Tuesday to eliminate the annual deficit by 2023, in large part by cutting projected spending growth over the next decade by roughly $5 trillion. The plan, which contains many of the same provisions he offered last year, hits all the GOP high notes: less spending, lower tax rates and a rejection of most of President Obama’s health reforms. We have the same old disfunctional…HOLD THE PARTYLINE…no matter what.

Ryan’s proposal represents the start of a months-long process on Capitol Hill aimed at enacting a budget for the 2014 fiscal year, which begins in October. On Wednesday, Democratic Senate Budget Chairman Patty Murray will put out her own 2014 proposal that is expected to contrast sharply with Ryan’s. But the two sides are likely to view each other’s budget proposal as dead on arrival.

Here are the main provisions of Ryan’s budget proposal:

BALANCED BUDGET

He proposes a balanced budget, but does not really tell you how he is going to accomplish this, except to say that it will occur through lower spending and a revenue windfall from the fiscal cliff deal.

SPENDING

Broad reductions: Ryan estimates that his proposals will grow spending at an average rate of 3.4% a year, rather than the 5% projected.

In 2014, his plan calls for $3.53 trillion in spending — a little less than the $3.62 trillion projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

By 2023, however, spending under the Ryan plan would fall about $985 billion below the level the CBO has projected for that year.

His budget calls for discretionary spending levels that are lower than what CBO assumes. That’s partly because Ryan does not include emergency spending on disasters like Hurricane Sandy. He would also reduce transportation spending.

The budget relies on “unreasonably deep cuts” to non-defense discretionary spending to fund more defense spending than called for at the present time.

Reform Medicare, preserve cuts: As Ryan did last year, he is proposing the creation of a Medicare premium support system starting in 2024. That means those 55 and older would not be affected. Future seniors could choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and the premium support system, which would offer them a fixed amount of money to buy private health insurance. The premium support payment, which would be established through competitive bidding, would grow at a rate equal to economic growth plus 0.5 percentage points. Such a system would limit federal spending on Medicare, whereas today there is no cap on what the government pays. Ryan also wants to repeal major elements of Obama’s health reform law, a move that would cut spending by an estimated $1.8 trillion. That’s largely because he would repeal the new subsidies for Americans who buy their insurance on exchanges and he would repeal the expansion of Medicaid. But Ryan wouldn’t repeal all parts of the law. He has said that he would preserve the law’s spending cuts to Medicare, saving more than $700 billion. But instead of using those savings to fund insurance subsidies he would apply them to deficit reduction. Again with the partyline…lets get rid of ObamaCare. Medicaid block grants: Ryan again proposes converting federal Medicaid funding for states into block grants and repealing the health reform law’s expansion of the program to low-income, non-elderly adults. Currently, spending on Medicaid is variable because of fluctuations in enrollment. Block grants could increase the burden on states, but also give them more autonomy about how to set up their Medicaid programs. For example, a state could reduce how many people are eligible or increase enrollees’ cost-sharing obligations.

Food stamp block grants: Ryan would also convert funding for food stamps to block grants to states and change the terms of eligibility by imposing time limits on participation and work requirements. Currently, federal spending on food stamps varies because enrollment fluctuates. All of these proposals greatly affect the middle-class Americans and the lower-class Americans who need this type of Government assistance, but does not hurt the upper-class, of which, the vast majority of Congress falls into.

Require federal workers to contribute more to savings: Federal civilian employees under Ryan’s plan would have to contribute more money toward their retirement pension plans.

TAXES

Matches the CBO on revenue: Ryan’s budget would raise the same amount of revenue as projected by the CBO. Over 10 years, revenue would total $40.241 trillion. The Ryan budget calls on Congress to complete major tax reform by 2014. Fellow Republican Dave Camp, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, in a letter last week itemized GOP priorities: simplify the tax code; reduce the number of individual income tax rates to two (10% and 25%); repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax; lower the top corporate tax rate to 25%; and change the rules for international taxation. “The committee will continue to oppose any and all efforts to increase tax revenues by any means other than economic growth.”

JOBS

Ryan also proposed reducing the federal civilian payroll by as much as 211,000 jobs, but does not say where these jobs eliminations will come from. In March of 2011, (for just one month) the number of federal civilian jobs totaled 2,854,251 at a salary cost of $ 16,118,609,850. These figures do not include Homeland Security which totaled 192,845 at a salary cost of $ 1,108,869,671. These totals do not include any of our military personnel.

In conclusion: I feel that we need to suspend all foreign aid, which in 2011, amounted to 49.5 billion dollars. Bring our military home from all foreign countries. Eliminate the waste in government spending. Reduce the deficit and balance the budget, but not on the backs of the poor or the elderly. And finally, stop this partisan BS, fix the problem,,,once and for all.

Advertisements