Subscribe

The Paul Ryan budget: your guide to what's in it

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, Mitt Romney’s new running mate, is famous in Washington as a firebrand budgeteer. The chairman of the House Budget Committee, he’s drawn up a series of spending-and-tax plans meant to challenge the Obama administration’s priorities from the right while outlining what he terms a “path to prosperity."

It’s been some time since his latest budget was released, however. At this point most Americans may not be able to recall its main points. So let’s have a primer. What’s in Congressman Ryan’s budget, anyway?

1. Spending

  • close
    In this April 2011 file photo, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin is pictured during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington.
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption
of

The Ryan budget, which passed the US House earlier this year, would reduce federal spending by about $6 trillion over a decade. In particular, it would reduce discretionary spending (stuff that’s not Medicare, Social Security, debt interest, and other mandatory expenses) by about half during this period, from 12.5 percent of gross domestic product to 6.75 percent.

These cuts would be enforced by a binding cap on total spending as a percentage of the economy, as well as sub-caps on particular spending categories, according to House Budget Committee documents. 

Defense spending – the largest discretionary category – would be kept flat under Ryan, who says the US risks forfeiting world leadership if it reduces the military. Critics say all other programs labeled “discretionary," from the FBI to the FDA, would face massive reductions as a result, while Pentagon contractors are shielded.

1 of 5

Read Comments

View reader comments | Comment on this story
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK