House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Saturday said he wants the federal government to cut back on spending, just like an American family would.
"Our plan lets Washington spend only what it takes in," he said. "This is how every family tries to live, in good times and in bad. Your government should do the same."
The plan aims to balance the budget in 10 years through spending cuts, the elimination of loopholes in the tax system and lowering overall tax rates.
Ryan took aim at President Obama and Senate Democrats, saying the tax increases in a proposal from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) only "fuel more spending."
"We know where this path leads—straight into a debt crisis, and along the way, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, and less security," Ryan said, painting a desperate image of rising interest rates and inflating debt payments.
"Our finances will collapse," he warned. "You think this can't happen here? Just look at Europe."
Ryan's post on the Budget Committee and the wonky calculations in his budget have earned Ryan a reputation for being the GOP's economist, an image he seemed to want to defy.
"We're not balancing the budget as an accounting exercise, we're not trying to simply make numbers add up," he continued. "We're trying to improve people's lives."
The former GOP vice presidential nominee even evoked former President Bill Clinton, asking Obama to "work with Republicans in Congress to balance the budget," as Clinton did. "[Obama] can join in the effort, or he can choose the status quo."
Over the past week, Obama has been meeting with top congressional Republicans, but Ryan has called the president's "charm offensive" a weak one.
The Ryan budget has come under scrutiny for its cuts to Medicare and other entitlement reforms, it would go further and repeal the president's landmark healthcare reform law. In Saturday's address, he claimed that his plan would "cut red tape and give states flexibility on how to implement their federal welfare programs."
"If we take these steps," Ryan said, "our economy will grow... And we will reignite the American dream."