Politico: Without Paul Ryan Medicare Ax, GOP Budget Still In Red
Call it Paul Ryan's 0.5 percent solution. 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? Indeed, calculations by POLITICO — drawn from a Congressional Budget Office analysis commissioned by Ryan in March — show that without the half-point cut, the House Republican budget would still be in the red in 2040 (Rogers, 9/26).
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