Americans for Prosperity » Search Results » Paul Ryan http://americansforprosperity.org Economic Freedom in Action Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:57:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Congress Passes on Cutting Spending http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/congress-passes-on-cutting-spending http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/congress-passes-on-cutting-spending#comments Thu, 19 Dec 2013 19:09:50 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=14478 By Thomas Fletcher

Yesterday the Senate followed the House of Representatives in passing the misguided budget deal that congressional Budget Chairs Patty Murray and Paul Ryan recently released. It follows the old playbook of spend now and cut later, the latter of which very rarely happens. Instead of keeping the promises they made to their constituents on spending control, Senators joined their House counterparts in allowing Washington to kick the can even further down the road.

As we highlighted before on the AFP blog, this budget deal has a number of downsides. It establishes a budget authority of over $1 trillion, breaking the caps on discretionary spending established in the Budget Control Act of 2011. It pays for this increase with higher TSA fees and changes to federal employee pensions. In addition, this deal excludes any meaningful changes to entitlements, which are the main drivers of our debt and pose the biggest threat to our nation’s fiscal future. With the majority of the so-called “savings” shuffled to the last two years of the budget window (check out the graph of the spending levels), the cuts in this legislation amount to little more than smoke and mirrors.

The House set the wheels in motion last week, with a vote of 332-94 to pass the bill. In typical Washington fashion, the vote happened the same night the House adjourned for the holidays and left town. Notably, 169 House Republicans, many of whom promised and were elected to cut spending, voted in support of this bloated budget deal.

The Senate followed suit, passing the legislators with a vote of 64-36. Looking closer at the roll call, the vote was largely along party lines. Only nine Republicans joined 53 Democrats and two independents in voting yes on this legislation that now heads to the President’s desk for his signature. Instead of showing the American people that they are serious about cutting spending by abiding the spending caps in the Budget Control Act, elected officials once again failed to show their mettle and rubber stamped higher federal spending levels.

This was a missed opportunity. Passing the Ryan-Murray deal is yet another example of politicians failing to live up to the promises they made to their constituents. The modest spending caps established in the BCA were a victory for fiscal conservatives, and they are integral to reining in the out-of-control spending that has been coming from Washington. The House and Senate vote signifies that neither chamber is serious about cutting the most basic of discretionary spending from the federal budget. Getting rid of these cuts undoes the hard work to that led to them and only undermines future commitments to cut spending.

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The Economic Follies of Extending Unemployment Insurance http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/the-economic-follies-of-extending-unemployment-insurance http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/the-economic-follies-of-extending-unemployment-insurance#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 20:31:00 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=14255 By Casey Given

In an interesting twist to Congress’ ongoing budget negotiations for the 2014 fiscal year, President Obama called on Capitol Hill last Saturday to extend federal unemployment insurance (UI) benefits set to expire January 1st. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi went so far as to call for no budget deal without unemployment benefits at one point this past week. She later walked her statement back, saying that although she would like to see a UI extension in the budget deal, she would also accept it in separate, standalone legislation. This means that the forthcoming budget deal from the conference committee led by Congressional Budget chairs Paul Ryan and Patty Murray may be used as a vehicle to extend the UI benefits. The fiscal policy implications are concerning.

Here’s some important background on the program. As a jointly run state-federal program, unemployed Americans have historically been eligible for UI compensation for 26 weeks depending on which state they live in. However, after the economic downturn of 2008, Congress enacted two federal extensions that nearly quadrupled the maximum amount of weeks for UI eligibility to 99.

One of the two, the Extended Benefits program, has already expired, decreasing the maximum to 73 weeks, where it sits today. The second extension, the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, is scheduled to expire in January 1, hence the President’s urgency to include its renewal in the continuing resolution currently under negotiation.

Unsurprisingly, the President and his allies in Congress are playing upon the holiday season to make his case, spewing syrupy rhetoric that would bring a tear to Tiny Tim’s eye: “The holiday season is a time for remembering the bonds we share, and our obligations to one another as human beings.” If his sentiments aren’t persuasive enough, the President and congressional progressives are also employing a number of economic arguments making the case the extending UI would be an economic stimulus: “When people have money to spend on basic necessities, that means more customers for our businesses and, ultimately, more jobs.” To bolster their case, the Congressional Budget Office and Council of Economic Advisors have both released studies this month claiming that failing to extend UI would result in the loss of thousands of jobs next year.

Unfortunately for the President and House Minority Leader Pelosi, basic economic contradicts their political push. A vast literature of analyses have shown that UI creates the same perverse incentives as any other welfare program, prolonging the time it takes employees to find work and discouraging employers to hire new help through increased taxation.

Ironically, the most damning studies come from President’s Obama’s own economic czar. Alan Krueger, the sitting Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, has published no less than three studies in the past ten years exposing UI’s unintended consequences. One 2002 article for the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that “[t]he empirical work on unemployment insurance (UI) and workers’ compensation (WC) insurance finds that the programs tend to increase the length of time employees spend out of work.” Another 2008 report for the Institute for the Study of Labor concluded, “job search is inversely related to the generosity of unemployment benefits.” Finally, his latest study in 2011 for the Brooking Institution concluded that unemployed individuals search for jobs less, sleep more, and become more depressed the longer they are on UI.

Unsurprisingly, Kruger’s studies show UI recipients experience the same welfare incentives as many other government programs. With unemployed individuals currently eligible for up to a year and half of free checks from the government of approximately $300 a week, it’s no surprise that so many are in no rush to find a job. In fact, another famous study by Lawrence Katz and Bruce Meyer, respectively of Harvard and Northwestern University, found sharp increases in reemployment right before UI benefits run out.

However, unnecessary extensions of UI don’t only impact unemployed people. It causes employers to face higher taxes, too, which discourages them from hiring new employees. As The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board explains:

At least 24 states have been forced to raise this tax since 2010 and the Labor Department says it will rise again in 13 states to repay $20 billion in loans and interest they owe the feds for helping to finance state-funded benefits. This federal tax is applied to 0.6% of a worker’s first $7,000 of annual wages. The rate rises automatically by 0.3% for every year states fail to repay their unemployment insurance loans from Uncle Sam.

In some states like Minnesota, UI taxes can exceed $3,000 per worker according to the Tax Foundation. In short, extending UI hurts the very same unemployed workers it is supposed to help. Instead of providing employees temporary relief after being laid off to get their careers back on track, it only encourages them to remain unemployed. Instead of encouraging employees to hire more help during tough economic times, it only encourages them to lay off more workers to make ends meet. As such, Congress should reject the President’s faulty economics for the sake of the American economy and her struggling workers.

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New CBO Report Highlight Federal Spending Cuts http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/new-cbo-report-highlight-federal-spending-cuts http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/new-cbo-report-highlight-federal-spending-cuts#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 22:12:16 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=13826 By Thomas Fletcher

As economist and policymakers know all too well, there are two ways to reduce the deficit: cut spending or raise taxes. Unfortunately, the President and his allies remain committed to raising taxes on folks despite passing one of the largest tax increases in American history last January. Cutting spending is a smarter way to close the federal deficit and today the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report that shows myriad areas in federal spending that are ripe for the cutting.

Here are a few:

  • Cut Farm Subsidies: Reducing crop insurance premium subsidies, which amount to little more than corporate welfare, would save $27 billion over the 2014-2023 period. Eliminating direct payments to farmers would save $25 billion.
  • Block grant safety net programs : Converting multiple assistance programs for lower Income People into block grants and then transferring administrative control from the federal government to the states would save $404 billion over the next decade.
  • Align Medicare Eligibility with Social Security: Raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, bringing it on the same timetable as Social Security, will provide a net savings of $58 billion over the next decade.

Many of these overlap with recommendations from a recent AFP report on spending.

As the CBO report shows, the main drivers of the federal deficit are entitlements programs, whose cost continue to increase as demographics continue to change. However, the report also highlighted a number of areas in which the government can achieve substantial savings. As time goes on, these entitlements will continue to take up an even larger share of federal spending unless they are reformed. This is something that the chairmen of the House and Senate Budget Committees Paul Ryan and Patty Murray should focus on as they continue talks over a 2014 Budget Resolution.

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Coalition Urges Chairman Ryan To Consider Privatization During Budget Talks http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/coalition-urges-chairman-ryan-to-consider-privatization-during-budget-talks http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/coalition-urges-chairman-ryan-to-consider-privatization-during-budget-talks#comments Wed, 13 Nov 2013 16:21:30 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=13809 Americans for Prosperity is proud to join a coalition of organizations encouraging Chairman Paul Ryan to consider privatization in order to spur and promote economic growth. With a national debt of $17 trillion and an annual deficit of $1.2 trillion, the Budget Conference Committee should consider proposals to transfer activities from the government to the private sector. Today the coalition sent the following letter to Chairman Ryan:

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The 2014 Budgets in Three Pictures http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/the-2014-budgets-in-three-pictures http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/the-2014-budgets-in-three-pictures#comments Fri, 12 Apr 2013 21:06:14 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=11961 By Jason Hughey

President Obama claims that his new budget is a compromise.  In reality, his budget is as bloated and wasteful as the budget proposed by Chairman Murray.  Americans for Prosperity opposed Sen. Murray’s budget on the grounds that it was a tax-and-spend boost for big government.  It did nothing to address our critical fiscal situation and neither does the President’s new budget.

To see why this budget is not a compromise, look at the three graphs below comparing the President’s budget to the four other budgets that were proposed over the course of the past month.

President Obama’s budget initially spends more than Chairman Murray’s budget.  Over ten years, it spends $147 billion more than her budget.  In comparison, the budgets proposed by Chairman Ryan, Senator Paul, and the Republican Study Committee slow the increase in government spending over the next ten years.  According to Veronique de Rugy at the Mercatus Center, “The Democratic plans grow spending by 54% while the Ryan plan grows it by 34% and the Paul plan by 22% over this period.”

Of all of the budget proposals, President Obama’s budget collects the most in taxes.  This means that his budget taxes and spends more money than any of the other budgets presented this year.  In no way can this be considered a compromise

In this graph, President Obama’s and Chairman Murray’s budget drastically grow the “debt held by the public” figure over the next ten years.  Again, the President’s budget slightly edges Chairman Murray’s budget, increasing the amount of public debt by almost $7 trillion.  In contrast, Chairman Ryan’s budget grows this figure by roughly $2 trillion over ten years, Sen. Paul’s budget grows it by roughly $500 billion, and the RSC budget would have cut it by roughly $40 billion.

In other words, the budget offered us by the President has the highest taxes, highest spending, and the largest increase to the national debt out of all the budget proposals.  In no way is it a compromise.

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Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/closer-look-entitlement-spending-in-the-murray-ryan-and-rsc-budget-plans http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/closer-look-entitlement-spending-in-the-murray-ryan-and-rsc-budget-plans#comments Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:11:47 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=11754 By Christine Harbin

This is the latest in series of blog posts focusing on the federal budget proposals. The first focused on Chairman Ryan’s plan, the second on the Senate Democrats’ plan, and the third and fourth highlighted their differences on tax and spending policy.

Federal spending on entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—poses the biggest threat to the federal government’s finances. This spending is projected to skyrocket even further in the future, due largely to changing demographics and implementing the President’s onerous and expensive health care law. Three of the budget proposals that are circulating Washington right now present very different visions for these programs’ future. Here is a closer look at the differences between them.

For a high-level view, take a look at the differences in mandatory spending over the next decade. Mandatory spending is spending on programs that are required by law each year without appropriations, which includes entitlement spending. Medicare and Social Security make up the majority of mandatory spending, but the category also includes other social safety net problems, such as Medicaid, unemployment compensation, food stamps, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

The two Republican plans—one from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and the other from the Republican Study Committee (RSC) that was released on Monday—both propose a number of changes that reduce entitlement spending, as reflected in the graph below. Under the direction of Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, the Senate Democrats make no substantive structural changes to entitlement programs. This is why total spending on mandatory spending under their plan closely matches the CBO baseline.

budgetblog1 300x180 Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans

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budgetblog2 300x180 Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans

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We can drill down further to the spending projections for the major entitlement programs—Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare.

SOCIAL SECURITY

Chairman Ryan and the RSC approach Social Security reform differently. Chairman Ryan’s budget punts the problem to President Obama to figure out, which is a concerning omission. The RSC’s budget makes two big changes to the program. First, it gradually raises the eligibility age for Social Security, until it eventually reaches 70. Second, it changes the way that the government calculates the cost of living adjustments (COLA) for Social Security payments. More specifically, it switches to chained CPI-U, which is a more accurate measure of inflation because it considers the choices that consumers make.  However, this shift also introduces the specter of raising taxes.

The graph below reflects the differences in spending across the plans, compared with the Senate Democrats’ budget, which matches the CBO baseline because it includes no policy changes.

budgetblog3 300x180 Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans

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MEDICAID

Notable differences across the plans also exist as they relate to Medicaid spending. As described previously, the Senate Democrats’ plan would leave Medicaid largely unchanged, so it matches the CBO baseline. Both Republican plans stop the Medicaid expansion under the President’s health care law and they also both propose turning Medicaid into a block grant. AFP has long supported block granting Medicaid, since it would give states the control and flexibility required to fix the broken program. Under Chairman Ryan’s plan, the block grant will see modest increases each year. Under the RSC plan, the block grant for Medicaid and CHIP funding is held constant at FY 2014 levels, which yields more savings against the baseline over the next 10 years.

budgetblog4 300x180 Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans

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MEDICARE

Stark differences also exist between the Senate Democrats’ budget and the Republican budgets with regard to Medicare spending. The Senate Democrats’ plan closely follows the CBO baseline because it includes no significant reforms—as highlighted before.  It raises Medicare payments to doctors permanently and reverses sequestration cuts to Medicare. Meanwhile, both Chairman Ryan and the RSC switch to a premium support model and push the eligibility age higher, to bring it in line with the new eligibility age for Social Security. The differences in spending between Chairman Ryan’s and the RSC’s plans will be minor over the next ten years, as shown in the graph below, but the RSC budget would likely spend less in the following years as more seniors select private-sector options for their health coverage.

budgetblog5 300x180 Closer look: Entitlement Spending in the Murray, Ryan, and RSC Budget Plans

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Closer look: Comparing Tax Plans in Chairman Ryan’s and Senate Democrats’ Budgets http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/closer-look-comparing-tax-plans-in-chairman-ryans-and-senate-democrats-budgets http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/closer-look-comparing-tax-plans-in-chairman-ryans-and-senate-democrats-budgets#comments Fri, 15 Mar 2013 13:10:39 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=11693 By Christine Harbin

This is the third in series of blog posts focusing on the federal budget proposals in Congress. The first post focused on Chairman Ryan’s plan, the second post focused on the Senate Democrats’ plan, and subsequent posts will focus important differences between the two plans.

Although they have a few similarities, Chairman Paul Ryan and Chairman Patty Murray present two very different visions for the nation’s finances in their budgets. Here is a closer look at the different approaches to tax policy in the two budget proposals that came out this week.

OVERALL TAX REVENUES

Ryan’s plan is revenue neutral, as discussed yesterday, meaning that it is not an overall tax hike. Senate Democrats say in the Chairman’s Mark that their budget includes “only” $923 billion in higher taxes over the next 10 years, but it turns out to be much higher. Buried elsewhere in their budget is $580 billion in additional tax hikes, bringing the total to $1.5 trillion.

Chairman Ryan’s plan would use the revenue coming from eliminating loopholes (described below) to bring down tax rates. The Senate Democrats’ plan would use the revenue to fuel higher levels of federal spending. By only removing deductions and refusing to lower rates, Murray’s budget represents a massive tax hike on American families and businesses.

The plans share a disappointing similarity: Each relies on the $620 billion in higher taxes that kicked in after January’s fiscal cliff deal, which AFP opposed.

TAX REFORM FRAMEWORK

Both budgets call for comprehensive tax reform, but they disagree on what that should look like. Chairman Ryan proposes simplifying and streamlining the tax code, highlighting the “maze” of deductions, credits, limitations, and phase-outs that clutter the tax code.  He also calls for rate reduction, on both the personal and corporate side.  Unfortunately, he does not attempt to abolish the death tax.

Representing a different vision, Senate Democrats want to “restore fairness to the tax code” by making it even more progressive. They recommend making certain tax credits for low- and middle- income families permanent, and eliminating or reducing tax credits and deductions that benefit top earners and businesses.  They refuse to even consider lowering rates in exchange for eliminating deductions for high-earners.  This results in a massive tax hike that will harm economic growth and slow job creation.

ELIMINATING LOOPHOLES

Although both plans call for eliminating loopholes, both are woefully short on specifics. Neither dives into the details of which deductions should be cut. Chairman Ryan leaves room for the House Ways and Means Committee’s upcoming work on tax reform, under the leadership of Chairman Dave Camp.

Similarly, the Senate Democrats punt the problem to the Senate Finance Committee to figure out. The only specific “wasteful business tax loopholes” they identify are changing the depreciation rules for corporate jets (which would save a measly $3 billion over 10 years) and increasing taxes on hedge fund managers (which is currently appropriately taxed as capital gains).

PERSONAL INCOME TAX

Chairman Ryan proposes to simplify our broken tax code by turning our seven individual income tax brackets into two, and then bringing down the marginal tax rates to 10% and 25%.  He would also repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax, which tries to block top earners from using the same deductions as everyone else. (For more background, check out this memo on AMT from Americans for Prosperity Foundation.)

Murray’s budget doesn’t lower personal income tax rates. Instead, her plan takes a cue from the fiscal cliff deal that marked the start of 2013. She proposes permanently extending the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which is focused on higher education; she also proposes “temporary enhancements” to the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

CORPORATE INCOME TAX

Chairman Ryan would cut the top corporate tax rate to 25 percent, but Murray’s budget would leave it untouched.  AFP supports cutting the corporate tax rate—which is currently the highest in the industrialized world, at 35 percent—since low rates is a principle of optimal taxation and it would produce myriad positive results for the economy. According to a brand-new study from Tax Foundation, cutting the federal corporate tax rate to 25 percent would incite economic growth, more wages and job creation, and higher tax revenue.

Another change that Ryan includes but Murray excludes is switching to a territorial tax system. This will make the tax code more competitive internationally. Currently the U.S. enforces a worldwide tax system, which discourages companies from bringing their capital back home from abroad. (Here’s a memo from AFPF that further explains the issue.)  Murray’s budget continues the draconian practice of punishing U.S. companies who dare to take the profits of their overseas capital and invest it in the American economy.  This harms economic growth and it’s unfortunate that Murray’s budget fails to even address this problem.

INVESTMENT TAXES, ESTATE TAXES

Ryan highlights the current high taxes on investment income—capital gains and dividends—as a challenge, but he doesn’t lay out a solution. He also fails to address the death tax. Again, he pushes this this problem to the House Ways and Means Committee to figure out.

Similarly, the Senate Democrats’ budget doesn’t make any changes to the capital gains tax rate or the dividends tax rate.

HEALTHCARE TAXES

Chairman Ryan’s budget does not repeal the damaging new taxes included in the President’s health care law.  The revenue baseline for Ryan’s budget is left unchanged, which means that whatever changes he instructs Ways and Means to make to the code, he wants the end result to be revenue neutral in both a positive and negative sense.  In other words, even if Ways and Means does remove the specific health care taxes they’re still going to keep the money and use it elsewhere in their tax reform package.

The Senate Democrat plan, predictably, also keeps these harmful taxes intact.

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Highlights from the Ryan Budget Plan http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/highlights-from-the-ryan-budget-plan http://americansforprosperity.org/legislativealerts/highlights-from-the-ryan-budget-plan#comments Thu, 14 Mar 2013 02:54:24 +0000 rmyslinski http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=legislativealerts&p=11662 By Christine Harbin

This is the first in series of blog posts focusing on the federal budget proposals in Congress. The first post will focus Chairman Ryan’s plan, the second post will focus on the Senate Democrats’ plan, and subsequent posts will focus important differences between the two plans.

On Tuesday, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released his budget for the next fiscal year.  Chairman Ryan’s budget takes on Washington’s budget problems, putting the country on a path of lower spending, lower taxes, and lower debt. It provides a starkly different vision than the one Senate Democrats proposed today, or what the President will likely propose in April.  Overall, AFP supports the Ryan plan because it includes a number of positive policy provisions. But his plan is not without some substantial flaws.  The following are highlights from the plan.

OVERALL SPENDING LEVELS

Chairman Ryan’s plan reduces future projected spending by $4.6 trillion over the next ten years. It also cuts annual spending growth to 3.4 percent, down from 5 percent. Ryan’s plan also keeps the sequester in place, the automatic spending cuts beginning with $85 billion that went into effect on March 1. In addition, he extends the discretionary spending caps from the Budget Control Act and outlines a number of plans to cut down on wasteful spending in government. His budget balances in 10 years, meaning that it eliminates the budget deficit in 2023, although such balance is obtained by relying on $620 billion in tax increases from the fiscal cliff deal.

TAX REFORM

Although tax reform is the responsibility of the House Ways and Means Committee, led by Chairman Dave Camp, Chairman Ryan lays out a framework for tax reform in his plan. His budget proposes much-needed tax reforms that get rid of deductions and credits, lowers rates, simplifies seven income tax brackets into two (10% and 25%), reduces the corporate tax rate to 25%, moves to a territorial system, and abolishes the Alternative Minimum Tax.  Overall, these proposals are positive reforms that will allow more Americans to keep more of their income.

HEALTH CARE

Chairman Ryan’s budget includes a number of changes to Medicare and Medicaid. His changes to health care programs account for more than half of his spending savings, $2.7 trillion. He proposes turning funding for Medicaid into block grants to the states. (He turns food stamp funding into block grants, too.) Putting states in control of entitlement programs like Medicaid will result in much-needed reform and restore sanity to these bloated programs.  This budget also proposes to reform Medicare by providing the option in 2024 for individuals born in 1959 or after to choose from various private plans in a newly-created Medicare exchange.  These reforms begin to address runaway health care and entitlement spending.

In addition, Chairman Ryan’s plan repeals the spending provisions of President Obama’s job-killing health care law. It repeals the Medicaid expansion and health insurance exchanges from the President’s health care law and broadly repeals other spending components of that law. (Curiously and disappointingly, it does not repeal the new taxes from the President’s health care law.)

ENERGY

Chairman Ryan’s plan approves the Keystone pipeline and expands oil and gas leasing.  These commonsense reforms create jobs and remove barriers in the energy market.

HOUSING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES

The plan proposes to reduce the influence of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac by gradually cutting their taxpayer subsidies and government guarantees. Chairman Ryan also proposes to reform the Federal Credit Reform Act by changing the scoring standards for federal housing credit programs to reflect fair-value.

Relating to financial services, Chairman Ryan proposes revisiting certain flawed financial regulations, including Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the Dodd-Frank Act.

SHORTCOMINGS  

Chairman Ryan’s plan sadly fails to include a number of policies. In particular, we would like to see the following:

  • This budget does not address the broken Social Security program, which is headed for insolvency. This is an oversight for any budget proposal.  AFP would like to see Chairman Ryan propose to reform Social Security with the same enthusiasm that he brings to reforming other entitlement reforms, instead of simply calling on the President to come up with a plan.
  • Chairman Ryan’s budget does not include repealing the death tax. AFP is consistently opposed to this damaging and immoral tax. Hopefully, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp will include repealing the death tax in his upcoming plan for comprehensive tax reform.    Yet, it is still highly disappointing that this budget leaves the death tax untouched.
  • Ryan’s plan doesn’t get rid of the $620 billion in higher taxes that kicked in after January’s fiscal cliff deal, which AFP opposed. Keeping these tax hikes is a major part of how Chairman Ryan is able to get his budget to balances in ten years.   While achieving a “balanced budget” is important, it should not be achieved at through costly tax hikes on Americans, which is unfortunately what the Ryan plan relies upon.

AFP certainly does not believe this budget is a perfect proposal, but it is certainly a step in the right direction. Chairman Ryan proposes solid reforms to several of the biggest threats to our national fiscal health, instead of kicking our problems down road for our children and grand-children to solve.

 

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Americans for Prosperity Statement on Ryan Budget http://americansforprosperity.org/newsroom/americans-for-prosperity-statement-on-ryan-budget http://americansforprosperity.org/newsroom/americans-for-prosperity-statement-on-ryan-budget#comments Tue, 12 Mar 2013 20:16:25 +0000 kaitlyn http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=newsroom&p=11654 Arlington, VA – Today Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s largest grassroots advocate for economic freedom, released the following statement from AFP president Tim Phillips:

“Budget Chair Paul Ryan should be commended for once again crafting a serious federal budget that begins reining in government overspending, which is the greatest threat to economic prosperity our nation faces. Others talk about needed entitlement reform, but Chairman Ryan actually presents a bold reform plan to preserve Medicare and Medicaid for our nation’s elderly and poor, while making necessary changes to save tax dollars and avoid seeing these programs go bankrupt. In addition, the Ryan budget repeals the President’s expensive Washington, D.C. takeover of our health care.

“We urge the chairman to reject the $620 billion in new taxes negotiated by the Obama Administration during the fiscal cliff deal. For years our government has been grievously overspending, and that behavior should never be reinforced by allowing more tax dollars to be taken from the American people.

“Our hope is that the Senate – which has not passed a budget in four years – look to the Ryan plan as a framework for their own proposal.”

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AFP Releases 112th Congress Scorecard, Launches New Scorecard Website http://americansforprosperity.org/newsroom/afp-releases-112th-congress-scorecard-launches-new-scorecard-website http://americansforprosperity.org/newsroom/afp-releases-112th-congress-scorecard-launches-new-scorecard-website#comments Wed, 20 Feb 2013 20:17:37 +0000 jfawson http://americansforprosperity.org/?post_type=newsroom&p=11321 AFP ranks members of Congress on their votes on free market issues

ARLINGTON, VA—Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the premier free market grassroots organization committed to smaller government and economic freedom, today released its scorecard for the 112th Congress.  AFP also launched an interactive online version of its congressional key vote scorecard, which includes AFP key votes from the past three congresses and will be the scorecard’s online home moving forward.  AFP ranks members of Congress on their votes for economic freedom.

“The AFP Scorecard is an easy way for our activists, the media, and the general public to keep an eye on Washington.  Now that the Scorecard is available on an interactive website it will be even easier to keep an eye on Congress,” said AFP Director of Policy James Valvo.

The 112th Congress Scorecard includes critical votes on such issues as the repeal of President Obama’s new health care law, preempting EPA’s purported authority to regulate greenhouse gases, Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, ending ethanol subsidies, several Congressional Review Act resolutions to overturn new regulations, and the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.

“This past session of Congress was important because it was the first one after the 2010 elections, when voters sent a wave of conservative legislators to Capitol Hill. Americans signaled that they were tired of big government and wanted more economic freedom,” continued Valvo. “Not surprisingly, congressional Democrats and Republicans performed starkly differently on the scorecard. While the House passed many important substantive and procedural reforms, the Senate showed a poor free market voting pattern and stopped these reforms from seeing the President’s desk.”

Eighteen Representatives and 1 Senator received a perfect 100 percent, earning an A+ score on the AFP Scorecard. Twenty-one Representatives and 1 Senator received a 0 percent, earning an F.

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