Let's look at some specifics concerning what Paul Ryan has proposed about the budget and entitlements, including Medicare and Medicaid.
What Is the 'Ryan Budget'? has the details:
"There are probably three budget blueprints that have received the most
attention in Washington in the past three years.
The first is the White House’s annual budget, which comes out every February.
The second is the December 2010 plan from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson,
leaders of the White House’s deficit-reduction commission, which was called the
“Moment of Truth.” And the third is budget blueprint from Rep. Paul Ryan (R.,
Wis.), called the “Path to Prosperity.”
Ever since the “Ryan budget,” as its known, was first proposed in April 2011,
there have been competing attempts by Democrats and Republicans to define what
it is and what it isn’t.
Here’s the basics from the proposal he offered earlier this year:
1) It would spend $40.135 trillion over 10 years, compared with the
$46.959 trillion the White House said its budget would spend over 10 years.
2) It would bring in $37.008 trillion in tax revenue over 10 years,
compared with $40.274 trillion in the White House plan.
3) Lowers tax rates and cuts tax breaks. But the report doesn’t say which
tax breaks would be targeted for new limits or elimination.
4) Overturns the White House’s health care law and replaces it with
changes. New Medicare rules would not go into effect for those already using the
program or about to qualify for benefits. They would be able to use the existing
5) On Medicare, it would give Americans a choice to enroll in a
Medicare-type plan. The government would subsidize part of the payments for
private-run insurance plans. Mr. Ryan believes this competition between firms
“will help ensure guaranteed affordability.” For the poor or those with more
health risks, Medicare would offer additional assistance.
6) The Medicare piece is perhaps the biggest flashpoint in the entire
plan. The White House and Democrats have said it would gut benefits for seniors,
and even former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has kept some distance from
7) On Medicaid, the budget would turn it into a federal block grant
program, “thus freeing states to tailor their Medicaid programs to the unique
needs of their own populations.”
8) The plan offers no details for changes to Social Security, other than
calling on Congress and the White House to pursue modifications to it.
9) On taxes, the plan calls for two individual income tax rates – 10% and
25%. It also proposes “clearing out the burdensome tangle of loopholes that
distort economic activity,” but it doesn’t identify which ones should be
10) It calls for overhauling the corporate tax code by gutting exemptions
and lowering the top corporate rate from 35% to 25%.
11) The Ryan budget would reduce the deficit to just 3% of gross domestic
product by fiscal year 2014, three years faster than the White House estimated
its plan would reach that level. For comparison, the deficit is expected to be
$1.2 trillion this year, 7.8% of GDP.
12) The Ryan budget would not, at least according to its 10-year window,
balance the budget, as tax revenue would always lag behind spending."
Sounds good to me, all things considered.
Except for the part about not balancing the budget in the next ten years.