Will The GOP Response Answer These 3 Questions?

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will deliver the response to President Obama’s State of the Union address.

Will he answer the following three questions?

1. Will Mr. Ryan explain the consequences of the plan by 174 House Republicans representing Republican Study Committee – endorsed by Republican Leader Cantor – to cut spending to 2006 levels?

FIRED – 4,000 FBI agents

FIRED – 1,500 DEA agents

FIRED – 5,700 federal prison correctional officers

FIRED – 3,000 food safety inspectors

[Washington Post, 1/21/11]

2. Will Mr. Ryan justify the 42% cut for:

Health Care for Veterans

K-12 Education

The FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Border Security

Cancer and Diseases Research (the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Food Safety and Inspection

[CBPP, 1/21/11]

3. Will Mr. Ryan mention the fact that his budget plan – also endorsed by the GOP leadership, including Republican Leader Cantor – relies on privatizing and cutting Social Security and Medicare for American workers and their families?

Washington Post:

Some GOP lawmakers also have endorsed Ryan’s alternative budget plan, which would wipe out deficits in part by privatizing Social Security and replacing traditional Medicare benefits with an insurance voucher for people age 55 and older.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

Traditional retirement benefits would be reduced below those scheduled under current law for many workers who are age 55 or younger in 2011…A system of individual accounts would be established in 2012. In that year, workers who are age 55 or younger would be able to participate in voluntary individual accounts, funded with a portion of their payroll taxes…

The age of eligibility for Medicare would increase incrementally from 65 (for people born before 1956), as it is under current law, to 69 years and 6 months for people born in 2022 and later. Starting in 2021, new enrollees would no longer receive coverage through the current program but, instead, would be given a voucher with which to purchase private health insurance.

Former OMB Director Peter Orszag:

[Rep. Paul Ryan’s] plan…has significant changes to the tax code that would provide large tax benefits to upper-income households, while shifting the burden onto middle and lower-income households.

Democrats will continue to work with the President to foster job creation, strengthen the Middle Class and reduce the deficit.