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Ryan gives Local High School Students a Sneak Preview into the GOP budget

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March 19, 2012 | comments

Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan provided students from Janesville’s Craig and Parker High Schools a sneak preview of the Path to Prosperity, the Fiscal Year 2013 budget proposal for the federal government. Excerpts of the conversation follow, the Janesville Gazette’s report on the students’ visit is accessible here.


Ryan discusses the federal government’s budget process:

“The way the law works here is: the House passes a budget and the Senate passes a budget, then reconcile the differences and you move forward to implement it. If one of those things stops—like the Senate not passing a budget—then the whole system disintegrates and comes to a halt. That means we just stay in the status quo—and the status quo brings us to a debt crisis and that is what we are trying to avoid.”

On the job-killing tax increases in the President’s budget proposal:

“The President has a $2 trillion tax increase in his budget. What worries me about that most of all is how it hits small businesses. It takes the effective top individual tax rate and brings it to 44.8 percent. In Wisconsin, 9 out of 10 of our businesses, 90% of Wisconsin businesses, they are not what we call ‘corporations.’  They file their taxes as individuals, as partnerships or as Subchapter S Corporations. Go out to the industrial parks in our towns and 90 percent of those businesses that have 50 to 500 employees aren’t paying taxes as corporations but as individuals so bringing their tax rate up to 45% will really hurt job creation.”

On the Right Way to Save and Strengthen Medicare:

The President’s law takes half a trillion dollars from Medicare to spend on his new healthcare law. It raids Medicare, it rations it, and it still goes bankrupt. Yet the problem is—Medicare has a $37 trillion unfunded liability—meaning it is moving toward bankruptcy very quickly. What we are saying is—we need to reform this program to save it.”


“The way we propose to reform it for future generations is to have Medicare work like the system we have in Congress and for federal employees. You have a list of guaranteed options for Medicare, including a traditional Medicare option.  You select from among those competing plans that Medicare pre-selects for your benefit, just like people do in the federal workforce and just like people do for their Medicare drug benefits. Then Medicare subsidizes your premium and if you are a low-income person or are sick—you get more of a subsidy. If you are wealthy you get a much lower subsidy. Doing it this way saves and strengthens Medicare. It makes it so we can keep the commitment who are in and near retirement to the system the already have and already organized their lives around. It gives us a system that is sustainable—so we have something for when we retire.”

On providing for our nation’s defense and supporting our nation’s military: 

“Starting in January, defense gets cut $55 billion across the board and then every year thereafter by that amount because of the sequester. Defense constitutes 20 percent of our budget but they take 50 percent of the cuts. What the military tells us is you will go beyond hollowing out the military. You will go to the point where what we are giving our men and women—who we are asking to do incredible things— will be short changing them and making them less safe. What we are saying is: this is a government agency that definitely has some waste and inefficiencies so we need to get some savings out of them. The President’s budget goes far below that and then the sequester takes it even farther below that to hollow out our military which is the first priority of our federal government. It’s right there in the Constitution.”

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