House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released the GOP’s new budget this morning, and in doing so, he touted it as a plan to make America’s level of debt more sustainable. “We’ve shared with Americans a specific plan of action that cuts spending, pays off the debt and gets our economy back on the path to prosperity,” Ryan said.
The problem with Ryan’s rhetoric is that his plan fails to match it. By giving massive tax breaks to corporations and the top one percent and preserving unsustainable levels of defense spending, the House GOP’s plan to reduce the debt would fail to reduce the debt. In fact, because it assumes levels of revenue that are pure fantasy under his tax proposals, the plan would actually increase the debt, according to an analysis by Center for American Progress Tax and Budget Policy Director Michael Linden:
But the House budget’s entire claim to deficit reduction is built on the foundation of those fantasy revenue levels. Without them, the debt goes up, not down. In fact, with all the House budget’s tax cuts properly accounted for, revenue would average just 15.3 percent of GDP from 2013 through 2022, not 18.3 percent. The result: deficits would never drop below 4.4 percent of GDP, and would rise to more than 5 percent of GDP by 2022.
The national debt, measured as a share of GDP, would never decline, surpassing 80 percent by 2014, and 90 percent by 2022. By comparison, President Barack Obama’s budget proposal, released in February, would stabilize the debt by 2015, and bring it down to 76 percent by 2022.
As Linden notes, the GOP’s “debt reduction” isn’t just based on fantasy levels of revenue — it’s based on “massive, unrealistic” spending cuts as well. Medicaid would face $1 trillion cuts in the first decade, while education and workforce training programs would get cut in half and transportation funding would be reduced by nearly 25 percent. The plan, which also ignores previous deals and increases defense spending, would also require deep cuts in other vital domestic programs.
“If you agree it’s morally wrong to ignore the most predictable crisis in U.S. history, this is your budget,” Ryan tweeted yesterday. Apparently, though, it seems Ryan and his Republican colleagues got so wrapped up in creating a budget that benefits the top one percent, they forgot to actually reduce the debt.