US Republicans vow steep long-term spending cuts

Editor’s Note: “Ryan’s plan would privatize the Medicare health program for older Americans, giving beneficiaries vouchers to pay for care.” Of course it will.  Using a “crisis” to transfer more taxpayer funds to private cartels.

Republican Representative Paul Ryan
© AFP/File Jim Watson


WASHINGTON (AFP) – President Barack Obama’s Republican foes, warning the debt-heavy US economy is headed for collapse, unveiled a plan on Tuesday to slash government spending by $6 trillion over the next decade.

Republican Representative Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House of Representatives’ Budget Committee, showcased the party’s “Path to Prosperity” as a direct rebuke to what he denounced as Obama’s free-spending ways.

“The United States is heading toward a debt crisis,” Ryan said in a slickly produced video on his committee web site. “We face a crushing burden of debt, which will take down our economy, and will lower our living standards.”

“That doesn’t have to be our future,” said Ryan, whose blueprint calls for cutting tax rates faced by corporations and the richest Americans while curbing spending on health and retirement programs for the poor and elderly.

Ryan said his plan would cut some $4 trillion from US deficits over the next ten years and roll back all manner of regulations that Republicans — who have ruled out tax increases as a way to balance the books — charge stifle growth.

The pitched political battle over government spending and regulations — on everything from the environment to consumer protections to health care to new rules on the financial industry — is sure to shape Obama’s 2012 reelection bid.

Facing Democratic charges that the blueprint guts help for the neediest to swell the wallets of the wealthiest, the Wisconsin lawmaker warned Washington has “zero hope” of getting spending under control without making hard choices.

But even with support from Republican leaders, the plan faced an uphill political battle — it faced almost certain doom in the Democratic-led Senate and could rile elderly voters, a hugely powerful voting bloc.

Ryan’s plan would privatize the Medicare health program for older Americans, giving beneficiaries vouchers to pay for care, and turn the Medicaid health program for the poor from a partnership between Washington and the states into block grants from the federal government.

Critics have charged that the Medicare approach is a recipe for cost controls by rationing care, and that the Medicaid plan would starve states of cash if an economic downturn forces more people to seek shelter in that program.

© AFPPublished at Activist Post with license

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