By Amanda Chiarello,
Domestic News Writer
Representative Paul D. Ryan unveiled his newest Republication budget plan, called the “Path to Prosperity,” on Tuesday, April 1. Ryan is the House Budget Committee chairman and a possible White House contender in 2016.
Ryan’s 99-page budget plan would cut $5 trillion in spending over the next decade. According to The New York Times, Ryan said, “it would bring federal spending and taxes into balance by 2024, through steep cuts to Medicaid and food stamps, and the total repeal of the Affordable Care Act just as millions are reaping the benefits of the law.
The budget relies on imposing new work requirements on food stamp and welfare recipients.”
“Such an approach empowers recipients to get off the aid rolls and back on the payrolls,” said Ryan.
The plan will increase defense spending and domestic programs would be reduced to the lowest levels since modern government accounting. Military spending through 2024 will increase by $483 billion and nondefense spending at Congress’ annual discretion would be cut by $791 billion.
Medicare would be converted into a premium support system. This means that people 65 years and older could buy private insurance with federal companies instead of government-paid health care.
Ryan assumes his cuts would prompt a burst of economic growth to raise tax revenues above what independent economists believe, resulting in a budget balance in 2024.
“This is what elections are about,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the ranking Democrat on the Budget Committee. “Budgets are the clearest roadmaps for discovering what people’s priorities are.”
The budget will be voted on by the House. 217 votes are needed for the plan to be passed. However, there are many concerns. Moderates believe it goes too far and conservatives believe it does not go far enough.
Ryan also covered some controversial issues in the plan. According to the New York Times, “education funding would be cut by $145 billion over 10 years. Pell grants for college students would lose $90 billion. University students would start being charged interest on their loans while still in school, reaping $40 billion.”
“This is a plan to balance the budget and create jobs, and it builds off a simple fact: We can’t keep spending money we don’t have,” said Ryan.
The budget is expected to serve as a campaign manifesto for Republicans in November’s congressional elections.
Along with Governor Christie of New Jersey, Paul Ryan is one of the leading candidates to receive the Republican nomination for president in the next election. This budget plan works as a model for the type of reform his presidency may hold if elected.
Looking at the budget plan he has proposed, Ryan seems poised to shake up the direction the country is headed.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Apr. 7 print edition.
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