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Paul Ryan on Meet the Press: We Need a Clean Break from the Politics of the Past

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Published on Apr 10, 2011

House Budget Committee Paul Ryan of Wisconsin joins NBC's Meet the Press to highlight The Path to Prosperity: http://budget.house.gov/fy2012budget/

Ryan highlights the House Republicans' success in cleaning up the Democrats' budget mess for the current fiscal year, but underscored the need to "move from talking about saving billions of dollars to going on to saving trillions of dollars."

Regarding the President's request to raise the debt ceiling, Ryan argued that you first need "real spending cuts and real spending controls, real caps on spending going forward so we can take pressure off the debt and get this country on the right fiscal path."

Regarding too many politicians focused on the next election at the expense of the next generation, Ryan called for "a clean break from the politics of the past.  Both parties do this to each other.  Both parties use hyper rhetoric, both parties use all of this demagoguery.  And what happens?  We have political paralysis and we don't fix the country's problems, but we have a debt crisis staring us in the face and that's what's got to get fixed."

On the futile effort to chase ever-higher spending with ever-higher taxes:
"The problem with a bunch of tax increases -- the President just raised taxes $800 billion [in his health care law], he's calling for new $1.5 trillion in tax increases [in his budget] --you slow down economic growth.  We want job creation and economic growth. We don't think the answer to prosperity is borrowing and spending more money. We got to get our spending under control because that's the root cause of our problem. We have to recognize the fact that we're in global competition.  We're competing against China and India.  And when we tax our job creators more than they tax theirs, we lose, they win, and we don't want that to happen."

The Path to Prosperity Saves Medicaid
"Our goal is to repair the safety net, make it more sustainable.  Safety net spending grows every year under this budget.  Medicare, Medicaid spending grows every year under this budget.  What we're trying to do here is save Medicare and Medicaid so that they're sustainable.  But also, the safety net is tearing apart at the seams.  We want to fix the safety net. Medicaid is broken, and throwing more money in a broken system doesn't work.  We've gotten dozens of letters from governors saying, 'Give us the freedom to fix Medicaid our own way in our own states.' And we're giving them that freedom, and Medicaid grows at a more sustainable rate."

The Path to Prosperity Saves Medicare
"The biggest threat to Medicare is the status quo.  Medicare is going bankrupt." The Path to Prosperity protects and preserves Medicare -- "no change occurs to Medicare for anybody who's on Medicare or 10 years away from retiring.  And, for future generations, what we are proposing is Personalized Medicare, a Medicare system that works exactly like the health care I have as a member of Congress and federal employees have.  It would look like the prescription drug benefit or Medicare Advantage. We want to have comprehensive Medicare plans available to future seniors that they can pick from and have these plans compete against each other for their benefit.  It works with federal employees, it works with the prescription drug benefit, and more to the point, it saves Medicare."

The Path to Prosperity
There are four things we're trying to do with this budget:
- Get the economy growing and get people back to work;
- Save Social Security, Medicare -- our retirement programs for this generation and future generations;
- Repair the social safety net so that it works, not to encourage people to go on welfare but to get back on their feet;
- Pay off this debt.  This plan using CBO numbers gets the debt paid off. We want to give our children a debt-free nation.  That's what this plan does.

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