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Monday, March 11, 2013

 9:25 AM 

Ryan says budget would slow spending growth to 3.4 percent

House Budget Chair Paul Ryan says his newest budget proposal would slow the growth of federal spending by $5 trillion over the next decade and repeal of Obamacare.

The Janesville Republican said on “Fox News Sunday” the growth in spending would be 3.4 percent a year, instead of the current 4.9 percent.

“The president has us on a path toward a debt crisis that hurts everybody, that brings us to a recession, that gives us a European kind of experience which we want to avoid,” Ryan said. “We want people going back to work. We want higher wages, more jobs, a growing economy. We get that by balancing the budget.

Ryan acknowledged the president’s policies made it easier to balance the budget this time, including things like the tax increases that came out of the fiscal cliff debate. But he also said the budget would “end the raid of Medicare from Obamacare.”

Other provisions in his proposal include extending spending caps under the Budget Control Act another two years and asking federal employees to “have their pension contributions like those in the private sector.” He didn’t discuss specifics on the latter provision.

Ryan said the “the temperament and the posture that the president and all of us take over the next few weeks” will determine if a grand bargain can be struck on the nation’s finances.

He also said his lunch with the president last week was the first time he’s had a conversation with him that lasted more than two minutes. Ryan called it a “frank exchange” and said he’ll be watching the prez in the coming weeks and months.

“Will he resume the campaign mode?” Ryan asked. “Will he resume attacking Republicans and impugning our motives? Will he resume what is long believed to be a plan to win the 2014 elections? Or will he sincerely change and try and find common ground, try and work with Republicans to get something done? That's what we hope happens.”

Read a transcript of Ryan’s appearance here.


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