Ryan Roundup: Everything You Need to Know About Chairman Ryan’s Budget

Updated: Saturday, August 11, 2012

Below is a compilation of the CBPP analyses, blog posts, and graphics on the budget that House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan proposed, and the House of Representatives passed, in March.  At the bottom of the compilation, we also list the Center’s analysis of the Ryan “Roadmap” budget plan.


  • Blog post:  Greenstein Statement
    March 21, 2012
    “The new Ryan budget is a remarkable document — one that, for most of the past half-century, would have been outside the bounds of mainstream discussion due to its extreme nature. In essence, this budget is Robin Hood in reverse — on steroids.  It would likely produce the largest redistribution of income from the bottom to the top in modern U.S. history and likely increase poverty and inequality more than any other budget in recent times (and possibly in the nation’s history).”

62% of Proposed Cuts in Ryan Plan Come from Low-Income Programs

  • Blog post: When Is a Deal Not a Deal?
    March 22, 2012
    With defense funding well above the Budget Control Act’s funding caps in coming years, and non-defense discretionary funding very far below those caps, the Ryan budget bears little resemblance to the bipartisan agreement reached last summer.


  • Blog post:  Chairman Ryan’s Misleading Chart
    March 27, 2012
    The lead tax chart in Chairman Ryan’s budget…gives the impression that we can easily eliminate tax expenditures for the very wealthy and thereby pay for lower rates for all taxpayers — including the Ryan plan’s big reduction, to 25 percent, in the top income tax rate. The chart in question is based on data from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC). But it does not show what Chairman Ryan suggests it does, for two key reasons.

Health Care

  • Blog post:  Ryan Budget Would Make Big Changes in Medicare
    March 29, 2012
    House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s new budget provides much less detail than last year’s about his proposals in Medicare and other areas — too little for the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to estimate their impact, as Brookings economist William Gale points out.  (CBO estimated that Chairman Ryan’s Medicare proposals last year would have driven up total health care spending and doubled the out-of-pocket costs of a typical 65-year-old.)

  • Analysis:  Ryan Medicaid Block Grant Would Cut Medicaid by One-Third by 2022 and More After That
    March 27, 2012
    The Medicaid block-grant proposal in the Ryan budget that the House of Representatives will vote on this week would cut federal Medicaid funding by 34 percent by 2022 (on top of repealing the health reform law’s Medicaid expansion) because the funding would no longer keep pace with health care costs or with expected Medicaid enrollment growth as the population ages and employer-based health insurance continues to erode.

Safety Net

  • Blog post: The Massive Hidden Safety-Net Cuts in Chairman Ryan’s Budget
    March 21, 2012
    A key misunderstood element of the Ryan budget is its proposed cut in spending for non-discretionary programs other than Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs.  There is no way to generate the budget’s required savings without extremely severe cuts in these programs, on which the most vulnerable Americans depend.

Analysis of Ryan “Roadmap” Budget Plan of January 2010

The Ryan Budget’s Radical Priorities — Provides Largest Tax Cuts in History for Wealthy, Raises Middle Class Taxes, Ends Guaranteed Medicare, Privatizes Social Security, Erodes Health Care
The Roadmap would give the most affluent households a new round of very large, costly tax cuts by reducing income tax rates on high-income households; eliminating income taxes on capital gains, dividends, and interest; and abolishing the corporate income tax, the estate tax, and the alternative minimum tax. At the same time, the Ryan plan would raise taxes for most middle-income families, privatize a substantial portion of Social Security, eliminate the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored health insurance, end traditional Medicare and most of Medicaid, and terminate the Children’s Health Insurance Program. The plan would replace these health programs with a system of vouchers whose value would erode over time and thus would purchase health insurance that would cover fewer health care services as the years went by.

Related analyses:

This post was originally posted March 2012.
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7 Comments Add Yours ↓

Comments are listed in reverse chronological order.

  1. Dan #

    Since plans evolve, especially during negotiation, wouldn’t an update to the actual already revised Romney/Ryan plan be a better point of departure for discussion? Instead of total dismissal out of hand, might the certainly arguable parts of the different proposals be indeed argued? Graphs impress but often distort. For example, the bar graph that purportedly shows tax savings for the very wealthy has a significant footnote that says, “Does not include reductions in unspecified tax expenditures”. If I am not mistaken, these expenditures would refer to loopholes for the wealthy. If true it is unfair to present such a graph which gives a biased impression.

  2. 2

    This is amazing. Even long time defendants of supply side economics David Stockman, Reagan’s budget director and Larry Kudlow, one of Reagan’s economic advisors say that the Romney Ryan numbers don’t add up. Has anyone come out in support of the Romney Ryan math? If so who are they? I haven’t seen or heard anyone support it that has any credentials.

  3. Suzanne Alsaif #

    I became disabled after being hit by a car in June, 2010. I have 3 children still at home: 12, 17, and 19. At the time of the accident, I had no health insurance. I was pushed out of the hospital too early and returned through the emergency room with 3 blood clots in my crushed leg and infection. By the grace of God, I did not die and spent 3 more weeks in the hospital. I finally got on Medicare in March, 2012, and had the metal plates in my ankle removed as the infection had eaten through the bones. My Social Security Disability was approved in June, 2012. I receive food stamps, ‘snap benefits”, which calculate to be $4.45 per day per person in our house. We never make it through the month with enough to eat as my benefits currently are. I AM SCARED. If this plan were put into law I don’t know what I would do, I really don’t. I feel like I don’t belong here and I am failing my children. My traumatic brain injury and skeletal injuries prevent me from working so that is absolutely not an option. I have started thinking about what other country we could survive in – to leave this country we were all born in – myself in 1963 at Dover Air Force Base while my father served our country. This plan would increase reverse immigration! To a country that, at the very least, sees it’s citizens as human beings, rather than numbers and a drain. God help us all.

  4. Jon #

    This is helpful. Have you analyzed the impact on the VA, National Parks and/or transportation funding?

  5. 5

    The problems our country have been expereincing the last 18 year give or take the the RICH Have Been robing the poor we are over tax, living in unstable communities, no jobs,and lack of education People lets move our country forward one vote will make a different

  6. Joanne #

    Fabulously proficient. Thank you

  7. Suzie #

    Thank you for this. Today I was trying to find a good source of accurate information on Ryan’s Plan and now I have it.

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