The commission’s plan also assumes troop levels in Iraq of 50,000 for the next 10 years, even though the administration itself plans to greatly reduce that number in the next two years. Ryan assumes a much smaller number of troops, less spending toward that, and thus less need for tax revenue.
And the commission plan assumes that what is known as the “Doc Fix” – a perpetually reoccurring problem where Congress has to approve temporary spending bills to avoid a drop in payments for doctors treating Medicare recipients – will not be paid for. But there is wide political agreement that the problem needs to be addressed, and the current environment in Congress would demand that it be paid for.
To pay for the “doc fix” would cost roughly $300 billion over 10 years. Ryan assumes Congress will pay for it.
When those three assumptions are changed – on Bush tax extensions, war spending, and the “Doc fix,” – the ratio of government revenue to spending savings flips, Ryan says, from majority cuts to majority taxes.
Heritage’s plan has even more assumptions about policies that they say bumps the number on tax increases even higher.
Aides to conservative lawmakers who support the deficit plan, however, said that such talk of trillion dollar tax hikes was nerd number crunching for politics’ sake, and that the imminent threat of a debt crisis requires action of some sort, even if it does not fulfill every wish of conservatives.