By Alexander Bolton - 03/20/12 09:31 PM EDT
A budget plan introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) would add more to the deficit over 10 years than if Congress kept the status quo, undermining claims of its fiscal impact.
Ryan’s blueprint, “The Path to Prosperity,” would add $3.127 trillion to the deficit during the decade spanning 2013 to 2022, according to a table on page 88 of the plan.
In other words, Congress would save more money over the next decade if it allowed current law to continue than if it adopted Ryan’s budget. The CBO baseline, however, assumes several developments that congressional insiders consider highly unlikely, such as expiration of the Bush-era tax rates and the implementation of scheduled cuts to doctors' Medicare reimbursements.
A spokesman for the House Budget Committee did not immediately return a request for comment.
This comparison will likely rankle conservatives who want deeper spending cuts to balance the federal budget within the next 10 years.
Members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus earlier this month announced a plan to balance the budget in five years; it cut spending by nearly $11 trillion compared to President Obama’s budget request.
Ryan’s plan would cut $5.3 trillion in spending over the next decade compared to Obama’s budget. It would overhaul the tax code by replacing the current six individual tax brackets with a top bracket of 25 percent and a lower bracket of 10 percent. It would reduce federal tax revenue by $4 trillion over the next 10 years.
Ryan's budget would save considerably more money than if Congress maintained its most likely policy course. If Congress were to extend the expiring tax rates set under former President George W. Bush, index the Alternative Minimum Tax to inflation and freeze scheduled cuts to doctors' Medicare payments, federal deficits would total $10.731 trillion, according to CBO's alternative fiscal scenario.
— Erik Wasson contributed reporting.