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How Ryan Gets His Budget Savings

September 6, 2012

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In his Path to Prosperity, Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan called for $40 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, $7 trillion less than President Obama called for in his 2013 budget.  What accounts for the gap? $1 trillion is from Medicaid and other health programs. Another $1.4 trillion comes from anticipated (wished for?) interest-cost savings ($4.3 trillion compared with $5.7 trillion).  So where does Ryan make his really big cuts? “Other” mandatory spending.  $631 billion was spent on these programs in 2011, though Ryan proposes paring this to only $349 billion by 2018.  Over ten years, Ryan slashes a whopping $3.5 trillion vis-à-vis Obama, targets unspecified, from this large and broad category, which includes political minefields like unemployment compensation, retirement benefits, earned income and child tax credits, food assistance, and veteran benefits.  This sounds a lot like a New Year’s pledge to cut 1,000 calories a day from the category of “meals.”

Ryan: The Path to Prosperity

Obama: The President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2013

CBO: A Closer Look at Mandatory Spending

Elmendorf: Achieving a Sustainable Federal Budget (Video)

More on:

Budget, Debt, and Deficits

United States

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China

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