A Roadmap for America's Future | The Budget Committee Republicans

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Ryan Response to Mischaracterizations of his "Roadmap" Plan
Friday, February 05, 2010

 

Congressman Paul Ryan said the following:

“I welcome a robust debate on how best to save our fiscal future. In fact, spurring this debate is one of the key reasons I introduced my own plan, A Roadmap for America’s Future. But as President Obama noted, it is politically difficult for anyone to propose real reforms for our largest and least sustainable entitlement programs, because attempts to do so will almost immediately be mischaracterized and demagogued for political gain.

“Regrettably, this appears to be what is happening now with my Roadmap plan. Clearly, both parties share in responsibility for our nation’s unsustainable fiscal and economic path; and both parties must be held accountable for correcting it. As one Member of the Minority party in the House of Representatives, I have offered a plan that puts the budget and economy on a sustainable path, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It was my hope that it would lead to a constructive debate about solutions – not partisan attacks and false claims – to a problem America must address.”  
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Below is additional information on Ryan’s Roadmap plan and the upcoming Congressional budget process.

A Roadmap for America’s Future (H.R. 4529) is a legislative reform proposal offered by Congressman Paul Ryan.  It is not the Republican budget. Over the next month or so -- after CBO provides Congress with a scoring of the President’s budget (usually takes about 4-6 weeks after the President submits his budget) -- the House Budget Committee will develop a budget for the Federal Government, called a “budget resolution.”  When that resolution reaches the House floor, House Republicans will have the opportunity to offer their own budget alternative (assuming the Majority rules it in order). There is a budget tutorial on the House Budget Committee website which explains the process.

In short, characterizations of Ryan’s Roadmap plan as the Republican Budget are false. As is always the case, Ryan will work with his colleagues on the Budget Committee, the Republican Leadership, and other Members of the Republican Caucus to craft the Republican budget alternative to the Majority’s budget.   

It is of interest, however, that instead of talking about the President’s budget – which OMB Director Orszag himself has characterized as “unsustainable” -- many are attempting to divert attention. They are using scare tactics, and blatantly false statements, to mischaracterize Ryan’s Roadmap – a real plan to tackle our nation’s greatest domestic challenges.

Here are few fact checks:

  • “Provides tax breaks for the wealthy” – The proposed simplified tax code retains its progressivity, and cleans out the tangled web of tax deductions and credits that are disproportionately used by the wealthy.  The tax base is broadened so that rates can be lowered. It also offers generous standard deductions so that a middle-income family of four pays no taxes on the first $39,000 of its income. More important, the business-tax changes in the Roadmap would deliver what all Americans seek at this time — increased job opportunities and higher economic growth.
  • “Ends Medicare as we know it” – Under the President’s budget, Medicare would simply grow itself right into bankruptcy. Unlike the Majority’s health care overhaul that cuts Medicare by nearly a half-trillion dollars to create a new entitlement, the Roadmap makes no change for people 55 and older.  The Roadmap makes Medicare  permanently solvent so that it can fulfill the mission of health and retirement security for today’s and future generations of seniors.  The Medicare reforms provide future beneficiaries (those currently under 55) with  health coverage options just like the program enjoyed by Members of Congress.
  • “Privatizes Social Security” -- The Roadmap makes no change for those 55 and older. It provides future retirees with the option to either stay in the traditional government-run system or to enter a system of guaranteed personal accounts. Neither option is privatized. In the personal-accounts system, the accounts are owned by the individual, and managed and overseen by a government board — not a stockbroker or private investment firm. People choosing the reformed system select from a handful of low-risk, government-regulated options — just as Members of Congress and Federal employees do.