Right after the Republican electoral blowout last November, I asked one of my colleagues, a former Republican member of Congress, what he thought the new House majority would do with its power. His answer: "Overreach. The Democrats did it. So will we." The budget plan introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has confirmed the prescience of that answer.... In the name of cutting the deficit, by $1.6 trillion over the next decade, Ryan's program would:
Cut spending on just about everything the government does, not including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. By 2050, government spending would be a smaller share of the economy than in any year since the presidency of Herbert Hoover....
Double the share of health care spending for which Medicare enrollees would be responsible... not... in the name of cost reduction, since the plan would move people into private plans that the Congressional Budget Office estimates would cost from 44% to 67% more than traditional Medicare, from which people turning 65 starting in 2022 would be barred.
Halve Medicaid grants to states by 2022 and cut them by 75% by 2040... effectively repeal a program that now provides acute and long-term care benefits to more than 50 million Americans.
Deny coverage to the 32 million Americans now without health insurance who are slated to become insured under the Affordable Care Act....
Ryan justifies such cuts in the name of deficit reduction. In fact, deficit reduction would be minimal. Most of the savings from spending reductions would go to finance tax cuts - including cuts in the top tax rates.... And most of the rest of the claimed savings are illusory...