As federal budget talks on Tuesday showed little sign of averting a government shutdown this weekend, the Republican chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee presented a budget that would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over 10 years.
Democratic leaders responded negatively to the long-term budget proposal, and both sides blamed each other for a failure to negotiate on a spending budget for the fiscal year that would avoid a shutdown.
The Republican budget proposal, presented Tuesday by U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would reduce deficits by $4.4 trillion over the next decade. The plan would end the country’s “spending-driven debt crisis” by lowering tax rates to a top rate of 25% from 35% for individuals and companies, privatizing Medicare options for younger workers who haven’t yet reached eligibility and reforming Social Security by requiring a planned balancing of the program when it is no longer sustainable
“The deeper the hole we dig, the longer the delay” in saving America’s ecnomy, said Ryan during comments at a press conference held by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. “We are on a debt-crisis path.”
In response to the Republican plan, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), ranking member on the House Budget Committee, accused the proposed budget of failing to address both spending and revenue.
“It is now clear that the Republican budget is not bold, but the same old ideological agenda that extends tax breaks to millionaires and big oil companies while cutting our kids’ education and health security for seniors,” Van Hollen said in a statement. “It is increasingly clear that the House Republicans are more committed to continuing tax breaks to millionaires and big corporate special interests than they are to a serious, balanced approach to reducing deficits.”
Ryan countered during the press conference that the budget proposed by President Obama and congressional Democrats does nothing more than “kick the can down the road.” The Republican plan would save social programs by engaging in budget reform now rather than later, when the crisis reaches European proportions, he said.