Congressional delegation views Ryan budget plan

A plan by House Republicans to rip $6.2 trillion from President Obama’s proposed spending over the next decade won support from a Colorado congressman and a tepid reaction from the state’s senators, both of whom have endorsed a $4 trillion reduction in spending recommended by a presidential commission.

The “Path to Prosperity” proposal by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, “jump-starts economic recovery and would create as many as 1 million new jobs according to some projections,” U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., said.

Colorado’s senators, Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, both Democrats, called for bipartisan cooperation and pointed to President Obama’s Fiscal Commission as marking a starting place for budget discussions.

The United States needs a “plan that makes smart, comprehensive and responsible cuts while generating enough support from both sides of the aisle to balance our budget for the long term,” Udall said in a statement.

Noting his leadership of a group of 64 senators asking Obama to include deficit reduction into budget talks, Bennet noted Ryan’s proposal “is one of several approaches to resolve the growing debt and deficit crisis.”

Congress should pursue a comprehensive approach to substantially reduce the deficit, demonstrate that everyone is in it together and it must be bipartisan, Bennet said.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, pitched his proposal as the “Path to Prosperity.”

Along with cutting spending proposed by the president, Ryan’s proposal would reduce the debt as a percentage of the economy and put “the nation on a path to actually pay off our national debt,” he wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

Among the provisions included in Ryan’s proposal are:

Lowering the top individual income-tax rate to 25 percent.

Lowering the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent.

Cuts in domestic spending to below 2008 levels and freezing them for five years.

Changing Medicare so that recipients of 2022 and beyond would receive money from the federal government to help them purchase health insurance from an insurer of their choosing.

Ryan’s proposal is at odds with legislation proposed by Tipton that would reduce the corporate income tax as well as capital gains and dividend taxes to 10 percent.

Ryan’s plan assumes federal revenues of $34.9 trillion over the next decade, slightly less than the $36.7 trillion underlying the president’s budget proposal.

While the president’s budget calls for $46.2 trillion in spending, Ryan’s proposal calls for $40 trillion in expenditures.

Ryan’s proposal anticipates a $5.1 trillion deficit, Obama a $9.5 trillion deficit, according to budget committee and Congressional Budget Office estimates.

For the coming year, Ryan’s plan calls for $3.5 trillion in federal spending, just below the $3.7 trillion that Obama sought.

Ryan’s measure anticipates $2.5 trillion in federal revenue, leaving a deficit of about $1 trillion.

Bennet and Udall on Friday are hosting a deficit forum in Denver with former U.S. Sen. Al Simpson, R-Wyo., who co-chaired the Fiscal Commission.


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