A new budget plan proposed by Paul Ryan that would, if all goes according to plan, balance the United States’ budget in ten years has passed the House of Representatives. The new plan is filled with talking points that have the Democrats and Republicans divided. There are proposed taxcuts, the repeal of the president’s health care law and an overall increase in spending towards national defense after a large cut in social programs.
Ryan is currently the House Budget Committee’s chairman and this measure would most likely be his last action as this position is term-limited. USA Today reports that Ryan’s budgets have always been clear indicators of the Republican plan, however, they have “never stood a fighting chance at becoming a law. The Senate, which is controlled by Democrats, appears to have no plans of passing a budget plan, let alone this one.”
The budget that Ryan passed was approved on a “party line vote,” meaning, in this case, that every single House Democrat voted against the proposed bill. Twelve Republicans also voted against the bill. Interestingly, every single plan Ryan has authored while budget chairman has also been decided by a “party line vote.”
“What this budget comes down to is a matter of trust,” Ryan said after the bill was passed. He also added that the Democrats put their trust for a balanced budget in the government, while Republicans trust the American people. He asked who should be trusted, the people or those in Washington? “We have made our choice with this budget.”
The most hotly contested measure in the bill surrounds Ryan’s changes in the Medicare system. He has long advocated the dismantling of Obamacare and for that system to be replaced with a “premium support” plan. One of the key issues in his proposal is to provide seniors with money to buy their own plan on the private market. Democrats have been fighting against this measure, saying that it will take back a promise that was made to seniors in America.
The bill will also make more than $5 trillion worth of cuts to social programs. Food stamps, college loans and health care for those below the poverty line would all be severely cut under this proposal. There would also be a change in the current tax brackets. There would now only be two brackets, one set at 25% and the other at 10%.
Democrats are very upset with the current proposal. Chris Van Hollen, a Democrat on the Budget Committee, even called it “the worst that I’ve seen in the past three years.” He also added that Republicans continue to want to protect the very wealthy in our nation while making the poor suffer at their expense.
The Republican from Wisconsin has already announced his desire to be elected the head of the House Ways and Means Committee, an appointment which would put him at the front lines of the war over health care and tax coding. Ryan may also be one of the leading candidates for the Republican nomination should he chose to run for president.
By Nick Manai