What to expect when you’re expecting Paul Ryan’s plan

What to expect when you're expecting Paul Ryan's plan
What to expect when you're expecting Paul Ryan's plan
Associated Press

House Republicans won’t formally unveil their budget plan for another hour or so, but we have a fairly strong sense of what the proposal is going to look like. Here’s a hint of what’s to come: if you’re very wealthy and believe struggling families have it too easy, you’re going to love what the House GOP has put together.

House Republicans on Tuesday will propose a dramatic reshuffling of the tax code, suggesting collapsing individual tax brackets into two brackets with lower tax rates and slashing the top corporate tax rate.

The plan also would slash trillions of dollars in federal spending, a move likely to appease conservative, tea-party-backed GOP lawmakers but infuriate the White House, congressional Democrats and some Republicans concerned that spending disagreements could spark threats of a government shutdown just weeks before the November elections.

Under the plan crafted by House Republican Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the six tax brackets would be collapsed into two: a 25% bracket for top earners, and a 10% bracket for everyone else.

Why would far-right policymakers pretend to care deeply about a looming debt crisis, then slash tax rates for the rich from 35% to 25%, while eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax altogether? They wouldn’t, unless concerns about the debt were a ridiculous and insincere ruse. I’ve seen some headlines refer to the budget proposal as the Republicans’ “debt package,” so let’s be clear about this: the document we’ll see this morning has nothing to do with bringing the budget closer to balance.

The Ryan plan will apparently seek to balance these massive and expensive tax breaks with sweeping cuts to food stamps, farm subsidies, federal workers, and health care programs, including an end to Medicare’s guaranteed benefit.

We can scrutinize the plan in more detail once it’s unveiled in earnest, but by all appearances, the Paul Ryan budget will largely mirror last year’s proposal – instead of focusing on economic growth or debt reduction, House Republicans simply intend to redistribute wealth and shrink government.

Also note, reports make clear the GOP plan will renege on the bipartisan budget agreement reached last summer, demanding cuts beyond what Republicans already accepted, which in turn will threaten a government shutdown.

House Republican Budget Day sure is fun, isn’t it?

Paul Ryan and Budget

What to expect when you're expecting Paul Ryan's plan