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

Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's running mate, is best known for drawing up a series of spending-and-tax plans meant to challenge the Obama administration's policies from the right. But it's been some time since his latest budget, which Mr. Ryan terms a "path to prosperity," was released. Here's a primer on what's in it.

2. Taxes

J. Scott Applewhite/AP/File
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.

The Ryan budget proposes consolidating the current federal income tax into two tax brackets of 10 and 25 percent. It would reduce the corporate income tax from 35 to 25 percent and would eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax. Meanwhile, it would broaden the tax base through elimination of existing deductions and preferences so as to maintain US government revenue at what Ryan calls the “historical norm” of 18 to 19 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The net result of these changes might be about a $4 trillion reduction in taxes over the next decade as measured against current law.

Democrats charge that Ryan’s tax changes would disproportionately benefit the wealthy. They also say that he has not specified what moves he would make to “broaden” the tax base, and that, to make his numbers work, he’s likely going to have to get rid of the home mortgage deduction and other popular exclusions.

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