One of the first things you’ll notice when you compare House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget plan with Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray’s proposal is that Ryan’s includes more than twice as much deficit reduction. The Washington Post’s Wonkblog has a great bar graph of the savings from each plan. Where did Ryan find all of this money, and how did he do it without raising any additional revenue? Did he pluck it out of thin air? Actually, yes.
The largest chunk of cuts in the Ryan budget are predicated on a repeal of Obamacare. The Affordable Care Act is now law of the land, officially upheld by the Supreme Court. Even Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace told Ryan, “that’s not going to happen.” Despite the fact that the ACA is here to stay, its putative disappearance accounts for 40% of the Ryan budget.
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein made the point Wednesday on NOW with Alex Wagner that when it comes to budgets, more deficit reduction is not necessarily better. Klein said, “one thing we get trapped in is this idea that the whole point of a budget is reducing the deficit. No, the point of a budget is showing what our priorities are, and what is worth it and what isn’t.”
Watch more of Alex Wagner’s discussion with Ezra Klein and the NOW panel above.