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Republican House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan introduced his latest budget plan Tuesday — his third in three years — kicking off another round of debate over the government’s spending priorities. Although Ryan’s 2014 fiscal plan is largely the same as the one he offered last year, one notable difference is that the new proposal would balance the budget in just 10 years. Ryan projects that the federal government will spend $4.6 trillion less over the next decade.
But in order to get to this balanced budget, Ryan relies on deficit reductions that were pushed through by President Barack Obama over loud protests by Ryan and his House GOP colleagues.
First, Ryan’s budget will keep the $716 billion in Medicare cuts included in Obamacare as a way to balance the budget. So Ryan keeps the savings, but gets rid of the reform part.
As First Read notes, Ryan campaigned vigorously against the Obamacare Medicare savings at the Republican vice presidential candidate last year, and even attacked the cuts in his convention speech.
Ryan’s budget also assumes all of the revenue from the fiscal cliff deal, which raised income tax rates for individuals earning more than $400,000 per year. That measure is estimated to raise about $600 billion over 10 years, according to various estimates. And those too are tax increases that the GOP opposed.
At the very least, this looks like Ryan is trying to have his cake and eat it too — a fact that his critics are likely to harp on as budget wrangling picks up with the unveiling of the Senate Democrats’ budget Wednesday.
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