House Republicans on Wednesday unveiled an alternative budget plan that their leaders said would cut income tax rates and radically overhaul the Medicare program to improve health care to the elderly.
The plan, released by Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan, repeals most of the spending in President Barack Obama's economic stimulus bill and freezes overall spending on domestic programs.
“Our budget applies our country's enduring first principles to the problems of our day,” Ryan wrote Wednesday in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal. “Rather than attempting to equalize the results of peoples' lives and micromanaging their affairs, we seek to preserve our system of protecting our natural rights and equalizing opportunity for all. The plan works to accomplish four main goals: 1) fulfill the mission of health and retirement security; 2) control our nation's debts; 3) put the economy on a path of growth and leadership in the global economy; and 4) preserve the American legacy of leaving the next generation better off.”
Despite the spending cuts outlined, though, the Republican plan still projects permanent deficits exceeding $500 billion into the future, fueled largely by big tax cuts, according to the Associated Press.
The GOP plan would offer couples the option of a 10 percent rate on the first $100,000 of income, with a 25 percent rate thereafter, the AP reported. On Medicare, workers under the age of 55 would receive premium subsidies equal to the average Medicare benefit when they retire.
The plan, Ryan told reporters Wednesday morning, has "real policies and real numbers, and real choices for a better pathway forward."
The ranking member of the House budget committee, Ryan called Obama's proposed budget "little more than a thinly veiled attempt by Washington to spend its way into prosperity, tax its way into tax relief and borrow its ways into debt reductions. This simply cannot work."
The plan, according to USA Today, also: Rescinds the newly passed economic stimulus package in 2010, except for unemployment insurance for those who have already lost their job.Repeals the latest budget and continues a freeze in non-defense, non-veteran spending.Converts Medicaid into an allotment to states. Reforms Social Security and Medicare, including "means testing" for drug prescription benefits.Simplifies the tax code. Taxpayers would have a choice of keeping the current system, or choosing one that would tax couples making $100,000 (or individuals making $50,000) at a10 percent rate and taxing those above at 25 percent. The plan would include what Ryan called "generous" personal and standard deductions.Cuts the corporate tax rate to 25 percent as a job-creating measure.Increases offshore oil drilling.Places a moratorium on all earmarks.
“Under the president's plan, spending will top $4 trillion this year alone, and consume 28.5 percent of our nation's economy,” Ryan wrote in the Journal article. “His plan would mean a $1 trillion increase to the already unsustainable spending growth of our nation's entitlement programs -- including a "down payment" toward government-controlled health care and education; a $1.5 trillion tax increase to further shackle the small businesses and investors we rely on to create jobs; a massive increase in energy costs for families via cap and trade.”
The GOP’s plan, by contrast, will not saddle young Americans with massive “generational debt,” Ryan said.
“Instead of doubling the debt in five years, and tripling it in 10, the Republican budget curbs the explosion in spending called for by the president and his party,” Ryan wrote in the Journal. “Our plan halts the borrow-and-spend philosophy that brought about today's economic problems, and puts a stop to heaping ever-growing debt on future generations -- and it does so by controlling spending, not by raising taxes. The greatest difference lies in the size of government our budgets achieve over time.”
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