Rep. Paul Ryan Concedes GOP Alternative Budget Would Increase The Deficit ‘A Lot’

Last week, the House GOP presented its alternative budget proposal. Members of the media, including conservative commentators, widely panned the document for being scant on details and appearing more as “campaign-style talking points.” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, has said he will release yet another budget proposal, but this time with more specifics.

Though Ryan has been most critical of the deficit impact of Obama’s budget, he has been unable to assess the deficit impact of his own budget. After being repeatedly asked this weekend by Bloomberg’s Al Hunt about “how large” the deficit would be under the Republican plan, Ryan finally respond, “A lot”:

HUNT: But the Obama budget deficit is $1.4 trillion. How, roughly, how large will yours be?

RYAN: Their budget deficit is $1.8 trillion. […]

HUNT: Gimme an idea of how large yours will be?

RYAN: A lot. Let’s put it that way.

HUNT: Pardon me?

RYAN: Now I can’t give you the specific numbers because we’re still waiting for some numbers back from CBO. But clearly we don’t want to have this kind of run up of deficits and debt.

Watch it:

As ThinkProgress previously noted, Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) also stumbled and refused to offer a number when questioned by MSNBC about the deficit under the GOP plan.


Citizens for Tax Justice analyzed the income tax provisions of the GOP alternative budget and concluded that they would cost $300 billion more annually than the President’s income tax plans.

Ryan’s refusal to provide a deficit number only reinforces the statement made by OMB Director Peter Orszag that Republicans have gone from “the party of ‘no’ to the party of ‘no detail.’”


The Wonk Room’s Pat Garofalo notes that Ryan was also asked about the deficit impact of the House GOP budget on C-Span by Politco’s Patrick O’Connor. Ryan again dodged the question.