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New Ryan budget same as the old Ryan budgets

Read the House Budget Committee's full report, "The Path to Prosperity:  Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution"

Read the House Budget Committee’s full report, “The Path to Prosperity:
Fiscal Year 2015 Budget Resolution

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan officially released his budget blueprint for the 2015 fiscal year Tuesday morning.

The document bears close resemblance to the proposals put forward the last few years by the Wisconsin Republican.

Democrats are already sharpening their knives, hoping to use the familiar plan to go after Republicans this year in hopes of mitigating potential midterm election losses.

The plan, among other things, would:

  • Cut $5.1 trillion in spending over the next decade
  • Repeal the Affordable Care Act. It proposes the law is replaced by a plan is not specified
  • Consolidate the number of tax brackets from seven to two, lowering the top bracket to 25 percent. Lower-income earners would pay 10 percent
  • Reduce the corporate tax rate from about 39 percent to 25 percent
  • Convert Medicaid into a block-grant program, giving states allotments to provide health coverage for low-income residents how they see fit
  • Transition Medicare to a voucher-like program for workers 54 years old and younger
  • Change other social safety-net programs, reducing funding for food stamps and expand welfare’s work requirements.
  • Avoid cuts to Social Security in the short term
  • Cut Pell Grants for low-income students
  • Cut federal workers’ pensions

On whether Ryan’s plan would balance the budget, The Associated Press notes it “claims balance by 2024, but relies on $74 billion in savings in that year from the macroeconomic effects of cutting deficits, which CBO says would have a long-term positive effect because it would free up savings and investment capital. Democrats are sure to seize on the maneuver as phony math; without these projections, however, Ryan’s budget plan would fall almost $70 billion short of balance.”

Unlike past years, the document is not being trumpeted by Republicans — or even Ryan himself. Short of a press release and Twitter announcement, there is no major press conference designed to drive the conversation.

Ryan did put out a statement. “As the House majority, we have a responsibility to lay out a long-term vision for the country, and this budget shows how we will solve our nation’s biggest challenges,” he said.

Predictably, Democrats had a different take on the proposal.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the ranking Democrat on the budget committee, called it “reckless” and said it “casts a dark shadow over the American Dream.”

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said in a statement that the plan did nothing for the “middle class” and took aim at its Medicare reforms. “It would end Medicare as we know it,” Carney wrote, echoing a familiar 2012 campaign charge, “turning it into a voucher program and risking a death spiral in traditional Medicare.”

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