Paul Ryan defends budget plan in Chicago

Amanda Carey Contributor
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Republican Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin will speak at the Economic Club of Chicago, Monday afternoon, largely with the goal of defending his budget plan and highlighting the Obama Administration’s mismanagement of the country’s finances.

The president and other lawmakers, Ryan will say, are really arguing about how to best manage the nation’s fiscal decline, not how to restore prosperity.

Ryan is also expected to coin a new term to sell his vision – “shared scarcity mentality”. The president’s approach to the budget and deficit, Ryan will argue, is a “framework that accepts ever-higher taxes and bureaucratically national health care as givens.” In other words, it’s the shared scarcity mentality.

“The missing ingredient is economic growth,” Ryan will say. “[Our plan] aims to do two things: to put our budget on a path to balance, and to put our economy on a path to prosperity.”

Ryan will also clarify his plan’s approach to Medicare – a position that was revived in the news cycle over the weekend when 2012 presidential candidate Newt Gingrich likened it to social planning on Meet the Press.

“Our budget makes no changes for those in or near retirement, and offers future generations a strengthened Medicare program they can count on, with guaranteed coverage options, less help for the wealthy, and more help for the poor and the sick,” Ryan will say, according to the prepared remarks.

Ryan will also second the calls Speaker of the House John Boehner made last week, when he said that any vote to raise the debt ceiling would be predicated on spending cuts greater than the president’s request for the limit to be raise.

“The House-passed budget doesn’t just put the budget on a path to balance – it actually pays off the debt over time,” Ryan will say. “We can’t achieve this goal by simply rubber-stamping increases in the national debt limit without reducing spending in Washington.”

“For every dollar the President wants to raise the debt ceiling, we can show him plenty of ways to cut far more than a dollar of spending,” Ryan will add. “Given the magnitude of our debt burden, the size of the spending cuts should exceed the size of the President’s debt limit increase.”