By Vicki Needham - 03/20/12 08:24 PM EDT
“The GOP rigs the rules of the game in favor of the very wealthy at expense of middle-income Americans and seniors.
“It’s a devastating indictment for freedom.”
Van Hollen said Democrats are planning an alternative budget — it is expected to run similar to President Obama’s plan — but he has yet to release details.
“We must deal with revenue side,” he said.
Ryan’s budget streamlines individual tax brackets to 25 percent and 10 percent, and reduces revenue by $4 trillion over the next 10 years. The budget includes spending cuts and tax changes that would balance the budget by 2040.
Van Hollen said that would mean a $150,000 tax cut for millionaires, which would be impossible to do under revenue-neutral rules.
His plan would let the tax cut expire for top earners and allow the rate to rise to Clinton-era levels.
“We’re asking the very wealthy to pay more to reduce deficit,” Van Hollen said.
The Democratic and Republican proposals represent “two very different paths, one a shortcut for the very wealthy and the other a path to strengthen the middle class.”
Sperling criticized the Republican plan for not including “one penny of additional revenues of deficit reduction in their proposal.”
“The loss of revenue under Ryan’s plan has to be made up with deep spending cuts on middle class and the most vulnerable,” he said.
Van Hollen and Sperling said the Ryan proposal also “whacks health programs that protect seniors and children” by slashing Medicaid, food stamp programs and Medicare.
Sperling estimated that the Ryan plan cuts Medicaid by 30 percent, even after a repeal of the healthcare law, and that by even “eliminating coverage for every single one of the 34 million children in the program it would only save 20 percent.”
The GOP proposal is “so troubling” because it undercuts the basic Medicare guarantee and will push out healthier seniors as costs increase to cover those who are sicker, Sperling said.
“It’s a death spiral,” he said. “Intentionally or unintentionally, the plan is creating a death spiral for Medicare.”
The House Budget Committee will mark up Ryan’s plan Wednesday.