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Rep. Paul Ryan and the "Path to . . . Something." (Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS)
House Republicans have just a tiny problem with pushing their budget proposal without Medicare privatization. It doesn't work.
[A] huge chunk of the savings in the plan came from ... the now-withered plan to privatize Medicare—to shift a significant portion of Medicare costs on to consumers.
It turns out that if you strike the Medicare plan from the GOP budget—authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)—it doesn't achieve fiscal balance anymore.
"It certainly blows a major hole in his plan," said Paul Van de Water, a health care and budget expert at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in a phone interview.
If you take Ryan at his word, and assume that the tax-side of his plan is revenue neutral—a big "if"—his plan balances the budget over decades entirely on the spending side of the government's ledger. Van de Water explains that if you take the Medicare privatization plan out of the equation, the budget sinks—dragged down by higher spending, and then higher interest payments as a result of larger-than-projected deficits.
"That plus interest gets you into a range where you no longer balance the budget," Van de Water said.
Of course, the thing to remember about Republicans is that they don't care about the deficit. They care about transferring as much wealth as possible from 98% of us to the other 2% and making sure that 2% doesn't have to pay any taxes on their bulging bank accounts.
Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat May 07, 2011 at 06:00 PM PDT.