Five trillion dollars in cuts?! Not anytime soon.
Those cuts (over ten years) are proposed in the 2015 House GOP budget that Rep. Paul Ryan (House Budget Committee Chairman) released Tuesday. But it shouldn't be looked at as more than a "campaign document, something that the Republicans are going to take into the Fall elections and the Democrats are going to try to use against them," says CQ Roll Call reporter Steven Dennis in the video above. It has virtually no chance of becoming law as long as President Obama is in office.
That said, there are three proposals in the budget worth keeping your eye on, according to Dennis, as you are likely to continue hearing about them.
1. Medicare changes
Ryan wants an overhaul. Over the long run, he would "change Medicare into a program that basically costs beneficiaries more money but gives them more options for private insurance," explains Dennis. The changes would affect those who are under 55 now, when they retire. Ryan preserves Medicare for people over 55, except for wealthier seniors who would pay more for benefits. Ryan advocates "means testing," which is one of the few things Ryan is in agreement on with the president, who proposed something similar in his own budget.
2. The Affordable Care Act
The Ryan budget includes a full repeal. Republicans have voted to dismantle Obamacare 50 times already. This repeal is key to the way Ryan balances the budget, Dennis says. In the tenth year of Ryan's plan deficits would be eliminated. He does that by getting rid of all the ACA's benefits, subsidies and the spending that expands Medicaid, but keeps the taxes and Medicare cuts involved. According to Dennis, that's where Ryan gets $2 trillion of $5 trillion in cuts he proposes.
3. Cuts, cuts, cuts
Of the $5 trillion in cuts, Dennis says some of them have a chance of becoming reality. "But he's talking about cutting Medicaid by three-quarters of a trillion and other domestic spending by another three-quarters of a trillion, and shifting a lot of that to defense spending which he has upped an additional $500 billion over the next decade," Dennis adds. "A lot of that is just posturing frankly. It's not going to be signed into law."
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