By Igor Volsky, Travis Waldron and Tara Culp-Ressler
Mar 12, 2013
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the third iteration of the GOP budget on Tuesday morning. The document achieves balance in 10 years by maintaining the high revenue levels and health care savings that Republicans have vociferously opposed and slashing the health and safety net programs that middle and lower income Americans rely on. Top-income earners and corporations, meanwhile, would benefit from huge tax breaks.
Here are the five worst things about Ryan’s budget:
- 1. Gives Huge Tax Cuts To The Rich And Corporations:
Ryan’s plan would reduce both top income and corporate tax rates to 25 percent, resulting in trillions of dollars in tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. The government would lose roughly $7 trillion in revenues compared to Ryan’s projections, and while he plans to close loopholes to pay for the cuts, he has in the past failed to specify which loopholes he would close, and raising enough revenue from the elimination of tax expenditures would prove politically difficult, if not impossible. Ryan would also convert the corporate tax code to an “international” plan, resulting in an even bigger giveaway to American companies that are already paying historically low tax rates.
- 2. Forces Seniors To Pay More For Health Care:
Beginning 2024, the guaranteed Medicare benefit would be transformed into a government-financed “premium support” system. Seniors currently under the age of 55 could use their government contribution to purchase insurance from an exchange of private plans or traditional fee-for-service Medicare. But the budget does not take sufficient precautions to prevent insurers from cherry-picking the the healthiest beneficiaries from traditional Medicare
By ANDREW TAYLOR, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON — House Republicans unveiled their latest budget outline on Tuesday, sticking to their plans to try to repeal so-called Obamacare, cut domestic programs ranging from Medicaid to college grants and require future Medicare patients to bear more of the program’s cost.
The point is to prove it’s possible to balance the budget within 10 years by simply cutting spending and avoiding further tax hikes, even though the fiscal blueprint released Tuesday by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will be dead on arrival with the White House and Democrats controlling the Senate.
The latest Ryan plan generally resembles prior ones, relying on higher tax revenues enacted in January and improved Medicare cost estimates – along with somewhat sharper spending cuts – to promise balance.
By Eugene Robinson, Published: March 11
If Rep. Paul Ryan wants people to take his budget manifestos seriously, he should be honest about his ambition: not so much to make the federal government fiscally sustainable as to make it smaller.
You will recall that the Ryan Budget was a big Republican selling point in last year’s election. Most famously, Ryan proposed turning Medicare into a voucher program. He offered the usual GOP recipe of tax cuts — to be offset by closing certain loopholes, which he would not specify — along with drastic reductions in non-defense “discretionary” spending.
If the plan Ryan offered had been enacted, the federal budget would not come into balance until 2040. For some reason, Republicans forgot to mention this detail in their stump speeches and campaign ads.
Voters were supposed to believe that Ryan was an apostle of fiscal rectitude. But his real aim wasn’t to balance the budget. It was to starve the federal government of revenue.
Written by Tiffany Germain
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his fiscal year 2014 budget yesterday. Once again, he offers a path to prosperity that is limited to corporate special interests like Big Oil.
Despite nearly two-thirds of Americans echoing President Obama’s push to tackle climate change through regulation, Ryan decided to concentrate his energy strategy on “restoring competition to the energy sector” and “stopping the government from buying up unnecessary land.” Unsurprisingly, Ryan has multiple cases of misinformation and at times, blatant lies.
Let’s break down the eight biggest falsehoods from Ryan’s energy vision:
1. “The construction of the Keystone XL Energy Pipeline would create more than 20,000 direct jobs and 118,000 indirect jobs while battling the high cost of gas.”
Contrary to Rep. Ryan’s claims, the Keystone XL pipeline would actually only support 35 permanent and 15 temporary jobs after construction is complete, with “negligible socioeconomic impacts,” according to the State Department’s revised draft environmental impact assessment.
2. “Once it was in operation, the pipeline would contribute an additional $5.2 billion in property taxes to communities along the route during the life of the pipeline.”
The TransCanada assessment that claims that the six states crossed by the pipeline would receive an additional $5.2 billion in property taxes fails to account for the likely damage caused by oil spills along the pipeline route. “In the past five years, more than half a million barrels of oil and other hazardous liquids have been spilled from U.S. pipelines, killing 76 people and causing some $2.4 billion in property damage, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.”
By Michael Linden | March 12, 2013
The newly released House Republican budget plan, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), claims to achieve balance by 2023, but that’s only true if you ignore the $7 trillion tax hole, and the utterly unrealistic cuts to a category of federal spending that’s already set to decline to historic lows. Without these egregious gimmicks and magic asterisks, Rep. Ryan’s plan not only fails to balance the budget but would actually dramatically increase the deficit and debt.
The $7 trillion tax hole
The Ryan budget’s claim to balance rests on purportedly reducing spending down to 19.1 percent of GDP by 2023, which is the same as the level of revenue that current projections expect for that year. But, in fact, Rep. Ryan’s tax proposals come nowhere close to generating 19.1 percent of GDP. In fact, the Ryan budget calls for enormous tax cuts but fails to explain how to pay for the cost of those cuts.
Specifically, the Ryan budget plan includes the following detailed tax cuts:
- Reducing the top marginal income tax rate by nearly 15 percentage points
- Reducing the corporate tax rate by 10 percentage points
- Repealing the alternative minimum tax
- Repealing the Affordable Care Act revenue provisions
Last year the Tax Policy Center estimated that these provisions would generate revenue equaling just 15.8 percent of GDP in 2022. Extrapolating to 2023 suggests that Rep. Ryan is missing about $840 billion of revenue in 2023 alone, and approximately $7 trillion over the entire 10-year period from 2014 through 2023.
By Richard Kirsch
Ryan’s budget priorities expose a disregard for the fundamental right to a healthy life.
I know you are not supposed to write in hyperbole, but sometimes the truth needs to be told. Paul Ryan’s budget, which kills Obamacare and cripples Medicare and Medicaid, would kill tens of thousands of people. Every year.
I have trouble with putting policy glosses on proposals that would deny health care coverage to millions of people and make care much more expensive to millions more. Because when more people lack health coverage, more people die. And when health costs prevent people from getting the care they need, they get more seriously ill.
How many people are we talking about? Estimates of the number of people who will die because they are uninsured vary, from about 500 to 1,000 for every one million who lack coverage. Repealing Obamacare would block promised coverage for 32 million people, so that would mean somewhere between 16,000 and 32,000 each year who will die prematurely. Of course, since some Republican governors and legislatures are not implementing the expansion of Medicaid coverage in their states, some of those deaths are already on their hands.
Which leads us to the Ryan plan for slashing Medicaid. He replaces a program that now entitles low-income people to health coverage with a block grant to states to spend however they want on health care for the poor. The federal government would save money by decreasing what it pays to state governments and states would get to do the dirty work of cutting people’s health care. That will mean fewer people on the program, higher out-of-pocket costs, or a reduction in coverage of medically necessary care. And more people dying who would have lived if they had kept their previous health coverage.
Posted by E.J. Dionne Jr.
March 13, 2013
Paul Ryan’s budget could prove to be a perversely useful document.
Thanks to this plan, nobody can take the House Budget Committee chairman seriously anymore as a policy wonk or a true deficit hawk. His budget is the work of an ideologue. It’s a bargaining ploy that even Ryan concedes is merely “a vision.”
It is full of holes and magic asterisks, the biggest being his refusal to detail any of the middle-class tax deductions he would have to scrap to get to his 25 percent income tax rate. This would represent an astonishingly large cut from the current 39.6 percent rate for incomes of over $450,000 a year.
It’s a cruel budget. To finance his largess to the very well-off, Ryan would — through steep Medicaid cuts and the repeal of Obamacare — leave an additional 40 million to 50 million poor or moderate-income Americans without health insurance, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
He’d impose big reductions for food stamps, college tuition aid, child nutrition programs and a slew of other programs that help the least among us. Even here, Ryan doesn’t come clean. He fuzzes up exactly how such cuts might be made by lumping them together in large categories.
Those who think of themselves as compassionate conservatives have a moral obligation to oppose Ryan’s design.