Doesn’t this just balance the books on the backs of the poor and elderly?
No. In fact, this proposal protects and strengthens the social safety net for those that need it most. The fact of the matter is that many of these government programs are in serious financial jeopardy. Medicare is on a crash course to collapse, Medicaid is crowding out both state and federal budgets, and Social Security will be permanently taking in less money than its paying out by 2015. These government benefit programs cannot be sustained as they are currently structured. Should policymakers fail to act those most reliant on these programs will suffer the most. This is unacceptable.
In addition to additional assistance to those that need it most, the Roadmap makes preserves these programs as structured for those 55 and over. My proposal protects beneficiaries in and near retirement, while saving these critical programs for future generation
Michael Gerson writes in the Washington Post: “Ryan courageously…presents his own alternative. His budget road map offers many proposals, but one big vision. Over time, Ryan concentrates government spending on the poor through means-tested programs, patching holes in the safety net while making entitlements more sustainable.” (“Paul Ryan tackles Obama’s path to deficit disaster” – Michael Gerson, Washington Post – 2/10/2010)
There are a lot of details in the plan about Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, but what about other areas of our Federal Government?
The Roadmap focuses on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid because they represent the key components of our social safety net and are the central drivers of our fiscal crisis. If nothing is done to control their growth, they will continue to crowd out spending on other important government priorities, such as national defense, education, and infrastructure. Today, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid account for 8.4 percent of GDP. If no policy changes are made, they will consume 18.6 percent of gross domestic product [GDP] in 2050, and 25.7 percent of GDP in 2082. Historically, total government spending is about 20 percent of GDP.
The Roadmap is a comprehensive reform proposal, tackling the interrelated nature of our fiscal and economic challenges. It achieves universal access to quality, affordable health coverage, reforms the cumbersome and anticompetitive tax code, offers a 21st century approach to federal job training programs, and puts in place budget process reforms to get a grip on government spending.
Does this plan reduce the budget deficit and national debt?
Additional responses to recent critiques:
Yes. This is the biggest debt-reduction bill ever introduced in Congress. It goes further than simply reducing the deficit or slowing the growth of our national debt; it actually eliminates the budget deficit and pays off our crushing burden of debt from future generations. This plan addresses the need for immediate job creation and economic recovery with pro-growth tax reforms, while taking the steps necessary to set our fiscal future back on a sustainable path for future generations.
For detailed analysis of the Roadmap’s impact on the deficit and debt, check out the Summary of Estimates from the Roadmap report: http://www.roadmap.republicans.budget.house.gov/Plan/#appendix2