Paul Ryan Budget Plan: 5 Things to Know

paul ryanThe House GOP Budget chairman, Paul Ryan, released his budget proposal today. Sounds kind of boring? Well, maybe it is. But the nation's deficit and the partisan arguments on how to solve the problem, or non-problem as some would say, have been on going for months and months. Ryan, a Republican representative from Wisconsin, released the GOP's 2012 budget, entitled The Path to Prosperity, to mixed reviews.

The budget would reduce the deficit by $4.4 trillion over the next 10 years (good) but at the expense of some pretty important public services (bad). There's always going to be some give and take when it comes to making budget cuts, but is Paul Ryan's plan the right thing for America, or the "right" thing for America. Here are five things to know about the Path to Prosperity.

  1. The budget eliminates Obama's Affordable Care Act. There would be a savings of $725 billion on the repeal of government subsidies that would help citizens pay for health insurance.
  2. It moves Medicare recipients to private health insurance providers. The goal would be to give the sick and the poor more access to health care, and shift some of the cost onto wealthier seniors. The GOP says this will bring down the overall cost of health care since there will be competition in the market -- the Dems say it cuts care from the elderly.
  3. Tax reform is mentioned in the budget, but the details are still a little cloudy. The highest individual and corporate tax percentage rates will drop from 35% to 25%. The gap would be made up for in yet-to-be determined ways, but the overall thinking is that the more money the rich have, the more they'll spend, which would boost the economy.
  4. Drilling would be re-allowed on both on- and off-shore locations, with the GOP counting on revenues from these sources.
  5. There aren't too many changes when it comes to Social Security, and the GOP is hopeful for a bipartisan agreement about how to handle its funding down the road.

The House is going to revise the budget tomorrow, but that won't be the end of it. Not even close. Delays will inevitably hold back the process -- but there's certainly a lot to review. I don't know what I'm hoping for, but I just know that something needs to change.

What do you think of the GOP 2012 budget plan?

Photo via Alex Wong/Getty

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