WASHINGTON, March 20 U.S. House Republicans on
Tuesday unveiled an ambitious plan to cut and simplify taxes,
slash spending and make a new run at overhauling the Medicare
health program in a bid to draw a stark election-year contrast
between their vision and that of President Barack Obama.
While it has little chance of becoming law, Republicans in
the House of Representatives are looking for the plan from
Congressman Paul Ryan to provide a lift to their re-election
fortunes in November.
The Republican budget plan would produce deficits totaling
$3.13 trillion over the next 10 years - significantly below the
$6.39 trillion in deficits that the Congressional Budget Office
says Obama's fiscal 2013 budget plan would produce.
The Republican plan claims to put the U.S. debt on a
downward path, to 62 percent of U.S. economic output by 2022,
versus Obama's 76.3 percent, which is slightly above current
The plan would cut taxes for individuals and have only two
brackets - 10 percent and 25 percent - down from six now. It
also would push through a corporate tax reform plan that would
lower nominal tax rates to 25 percent from about 35 percent and
largely eliminate taxes on U.S. companies' overseas profits.
The Republican budget achieves much of its deficit reduction
goals through savings gained by dismantling Obama's 2010
healthcare reform law and by turning social safety net programs
like food stamps and the Medicaid healthcare program for the
poor into block grants for states.
After proposing last year to convert Medicare into a into a
voucher-like program to allow seniors to purchase private
insurance, Ryan has modified his reforms in an effort blunt
criticism that it would shift too much cost on to the elderly.
The new plan offers so-called "premium support" to allow
beneficiaries to purchase either traditional Medicare or
competing plans through a government-run exchange.