By Erik Wasson
“We applaud him for his work in putting forward a proposal which will reduce the country's deficit by approximately the same amount as the plan of the President's Fiscal Commission. We are particularly encouraged that Chairman Ryan's budget looks beyond the recent debates about near-term cuts and recognizes the need to address the long-term drivers of the debt,” they said.
They also praised him for putting triggers in the budget that would force the president and Congress to propose reforms to Social Security once the board of trustees declares the program no longer solvent.
“While we are encouraged that Chairman Ryan has come forward with a serious plan, we are concerned that it falls short of the balanced, comprehensive approach needed to achieve the broad bipartisan agreement necessary to enact a responsible plan,” they say, however.
They also criticize the depth of cuts to welfare and Medicaid.
“The plan largely exempts defense spending from reductions and would not apply any of the savings from eliminating or reducing tax expenditures as part of tax reform to deficit reduction. As a result, the Chairman's plan relies on much larger reductions in domestic discretionary spending than does the Commission proposal, while also calling for savings in some safety net programs — cuts which would place a disproportionately adverse effect on certain disadvantaged populations.”
The chairmen say they are encouraged by the Gang of Six effort in the Senate to put the fiscal commission plan into law.