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Congressman Paul Ryan after being introduced by Mitt Romney as vice presidential choice, 11 August 2012
Paul Ryan sacrificing Medicare for tax cuts for the wealthy? You bet.
Politico digs into Paul Ryan's budget, and specifically a change he made in it last spring in Medicare to fund tax cuts for the wealthy.
In a little-noticed but vital change last spring, the House Budget Committee chairman cut half a point from the annual growth rate he had allowed for Medicare spending. It gave him the extra margin needed to pay for tax cuts and still placate the right by getting to balance in 2040. But it meant breaking with Ryan’s fellow Medicare reformer, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and raised this question that echoes now in the presidential campaign:

Did Ryan cut corners with seniors to pay for tax cuts just as he accuses President Barack Obama of doing to finance health care reform?

Why, yes, he did, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That half-point cut in the growth rate he would allow for Medicare spending means that his budget is balanced in 2040, with all of his big tax cuts for the wealthy. In order to keep those tax cuts, Medicare gets the budget ax. Ryan had to add additional cuts because of his cynical sop to current seniors of promising that they won't fee the pain, it'll only be future seniors. So that takes 10 years out of his budget window that had to be made up to reach balance in 2040.
But what it means is major cuts in benefits to seniors, growing deeper in comparison to Medicare as it now with every passing year. Assuming, that is, that after a Romney and Ryan administration Medicare would even continue to exist, and still be around in 2040 or 2050. It wouldn't, of course; under their plans it will wither on vine long before. That's in the plan, too.

All to keep taxes low for rich people.

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