The Ryan Budget: Smaller Government, Smaller Deficits

Posted: Apr 05, 2011 10:33 AM
Rep. Paul Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" budget has been released in full. The huge document is a lot to digest, but it's a bold step towards a balanced budget and a paid-off national debt. As the introduction states:

This budget, The Path to Prosperity, heeds America’s political, economic, and moral imperatives by confronting the nation’s most urgent fiscal challenges.

This Path to Prosperity draws upon solutions from across the political spectrum and builds upon the important work of the President’s bipartisan Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

This Path to Prosperity reflects input from leaders at the state and local level, economists and experts who have testified before the House Budget Committee, and American citizens calling for honest leadership and real solutions.

This Path to Prosperity applies America’s timeless principles to today’s greatest challenges by committing to three key goals: lifting the crushing burden of debt, fulfilling the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans, and strengthening the foundations of economic growth and job creation.

There's a lot to take in, and even things that may be difficult to swallow for small-government conservatives. Ryan takes Secretary Robert Gates' recommendations for defense budget cuts, which have been resisted by some GOP officials. Here are a few of the key details.

* Prioritizing National Security: Reflects $178 billion in savings identified by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, reinvesting $100 billion in higher military priorities and dedicating the rest to deficit reduction.

* Returns non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.

* Repeals the new health care law and moves toward patient-centered reform.

* Reduces the bureaucracy’s reach by applying private-sector realities to the federal government’s civilian workforce.

* Targets hundreds of government programs that have outlived their usefulness.

* Ending Corporate Welfare: Ends the taxpayer bailouts of failed financial institutions, reforms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and stops Washington from picking the winners and losers across sectors of the economy.

* Saving Medicare: Protects those in and near retirement from any disruptions and offers future beneficiaries the same kind of health-care options now enjoyed by members of Congress.

* Advancing Social Security Solutions: Forces action by the President and both chambers of Congress to ensure the solvency of this critical program.

* Individual Tax Reform: Simplifies the broken tax code, lowering rates and clearing out the burdensome tangle of loopholes that distort economic activity; brings the top rate from 35 to 25 percent to promote growth and job creation.

* Corporate Tax Reform: Improves incentives for job creators to work, invest, and innovate in the United States by lowering the corporate tax rate from 35 percent, which is the highest in the industrialized world, to a more competitive 25 percent.