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  • Rep. Ryan Presents Roadmap for a Sustainable Fiscal Future

    Our nation is on an unsustainable fiscal course. The three major entitlements – Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid – alone are set to eclipse historical tax levels by 2052 and a realistic assessment of the Congressional Budget Office baseline shows the government piling on an additional $13 trillion over the next ten years.

    The time for pointing out the existence of a problem is over. Both Democrats and Republicans now agree entitlement reform must be a top priority. The question now is what exactly the inevitable reform will include. Specifically, does Congress drastically raise taxes and allow spending to skyrocket or do they maintain spending and revenue at historical levels?

    This afternoon Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), along with several other House Republicans, held a press conference presenting the updated “Roadmap for America’s Future.” The bill, introduced today, would return the nation to a sustainable fiscal path without raising taxes. The proposal, which has been scored by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office accomplishes this by focusing on four specific areas for reform:

    First, the Roadmap would give universal access to health care by providing a substantial tax credit to enable individuals to purchase their own insurance, allowing for the purchase of insurance across state lines and creating state-based high risk pools to provide those with pre-existing conditions affordable health care options.

    Second, the bill would reform Medicare specifically focusing on preserving existing benefits for those over 55 and ensuring future generations of elderly citizens have access to affordable care. Fully funding Medical Savings Accounts for low income beneficiaries, and creating a Medicare payment of $11,000 to purchase Medicare approved plans would contain costs and ensure coverage for generations to come.

    Third, the legislation would put Social Security spending on a sustainable course by offering citizens the choice to invest in personal retirement accounts comparable to the Thrift Savings Account used by federal employees. This in combination with slightly increasing the retirement age will finally set Social Security on a sustainable path.

    Finally, the bill would reform the tax code by implementing a simple two tier tax system. Individuals with income up to $50,000 and households with income up $100,000 would pay 10 percent. Those with higher income would pay 25 percent. The Roadmap also eliminates the alternative minimum tax, the death tax and the corporate income tax. The corporate income tax, which is currently the second highest in the world, is replaced with an 8.5 percent business consumption tax.

    These bold reforms mark an important departure from the Washington norm of ignoring the looming fiscal crisis. In the past politicians avoided entitlement reform in an effort to steer clear of a potential political backlash. Congressman Ryan’s Roadmap confronts entitlement reform head on and proves Congress does have the option to return the nation to a fiscally sustainable course without increasing taxes.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    14 Responses to Rep. Ryan Presents Roadmap for a Sustainable Fiscal Future

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    2. Roger, Westminster, says:

      Now this is a program that I can support.

    3. Mike Uecker says:

      Excellent ideas – somehow we must do the hard work of getting them in front of the American people. I think that something like this, once put in context and properly explained, would be supported by the majority. It might even form the basis for a 2010 version of The Contract With America.

    4. Meredith Marshall. S says:

      I strongly agree. I think they need to go farther and cut outdated programs, scale back spending, and base budgets on prior year revenue with any surplus going to the debt.

    5. james-scroggins,texa says:

      Why do we not just face the real facts of our Federal spending Deficts,social security,medicare and etc.

      Pork Barrel Spending in Washington–More tax payers money down the tube!!

      Social Security-Thousands of individuals,illegals and dead beats (many under age 65) receiving social security benefits and most or many of these same individuals never contributed a dime to the social security program !!-No program can survive financially as long as this kind of thing is allowed to continue.

      Medicare and Medicade-Same Basic Problem-Two many Freddie Freeloaders Receiving Benefits.

      Washington Does Just Not Get It !!!

    6. James Woods, Dallas, says:

      Rep. Ryan's "Roadmap" has well thought out areas of reform and merit further explanation and discussion. I would also like to see an across the board cut in Federal spending of 15% – 25% to include payroll. Congress needs to be better stewards of our taxes and cut the wasteful spending. If Congress doesn't cut spending, no plan will be successful!

    7. Art Soter, New Verno says:

      Congressman Ryan's "Roadmap" would go a long way toward reining in government spending and, most importantly, would revive our moribund economy and promote sustainable growth. It also would return America to the Founding Fathers' core principles of limited government and self reliance and would strengthen individual property rights. We must encourage the Republican Party to adopt these proposals as the framework for a 2010 Contract with America because they demonstrate fairness across all income strata as well as restore incentives for savings, investment and work. A majority of all political persuasions will find a lot to like in these ideas.

    8. Bruce Ogden MD, Prov says:

      What about reforming lawsuit abuse (tort reform) which could provide significant savings by preventing millions of U.S. healthcare dollars from going to attorneys for frivolous lawsuits. Caps on non-economic damages means that there's no cap on actual damages, but a cap would exist (eg. $250,000 – $500,000), limiting how much could be awarded for the subjective "pain & suffering". This has been shown to reduce the cost of medical liability insurance in several states across the country, as insurance companies are able to more accurately assess and predict risk. Reforming lawsuit abuse will also save millions currently spent in physicians practicing "defensive" medicine where more than is necessary, in terms of tests and imaging studies, is ordered to be certain nothing remotely possible would be missed. There are significant healthcare dollar savings to be obtained from tort reform, and this should be a part of any healthcare bill, to llimit unnecessary costs.

    9. Pat, New Jersey says:

      1. It's more of the same. It does nothing to reform the insurance industry, it just provides "tax credits" to buy insurance. It does not fix the broken system. It still allows insurers to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions. The "risk pools" do not prohibit them from denying coverage, it just increases the premiums for those with currently existing conditions.

      2. The medicare "fix" is dubious. Only "low income" beneficiaries are fully covered. What about "moderate income" seniors?

      3. The IRA plan for Social Security is dependent on the Stock Market. How did that work out for those who's IRA's tanked in the recession? It's a bad idea.

      4. I liked most of the tax plan, until I got to the Corporate part. Now that corporations have been declared to have "personhood" by the SCOTUS, why should they pay less taxes than the rest of us?

    10. David,New York says:

      The current administration has seemed to try and answer all current problems by throwing large sums of money in their general direction. This Roadmap is a well thought out, meaningful plan that I sincerely hope gains the traction it deserves.

    11. Anne, Florida says:

      I think Rep. Paul Ryan should be RNC nominee for president///

    12. albert gerry-cherry says:

      I am hopeful that when the Republicans go to the W.H. on 2/25 that they let Cong.Ryan present his plan.After it is rejected in toto they can then leave,go to lunch & America will see this as the scam it is.

    13. Darsey, Florida says:

      It is encouraging to see realistic proposals that will cure 50 year old socialist policies gone to seed. High time. My only hope is that the Roadmap will be comprehensive enough to dismantle these doomed to fail programs, in such a way that they cannot be resurrected by future progressives. I want this done for my children and grandchildren regardless of the cost to me. Republicans (and Democratic Statesmen) in the 2012 congress should fall on their swords for this one.

    14. Lady555, colorado says:

      I've been trying to articluate this kind of solution since Reagan's stymied reform of SS and Medicare in 1982 by AARP.

      Thank you, Paul Ryan.

      Yes, it is time to fall on the swords of sacrifice for the solutions to our debt problems.

      It would be good for US if the lithmus test for politicians in 2010 were their commitment to the ideals of this plan.

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