Ryan: Romney’s new entitlement and spending reform plan ‘a great development’

Will Rahn | Senior Editor

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan has nothing but praise for former Massachusetts Governor and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s recent released entitlement and spending reform plan, The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin reports.

“This is a great development,” Ryan told Rubin when asked about the plan on Friday. “It shows that the elusive adult conversation is taking place, but all on one side.”

Romney’s proposal calls for federal spending to be capped at 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term in the White House, the repeal of Obamacare and cutting “approximately $500 billion per year in 2016 assuming robust economic recovery with 4% annual growth, and reversal of irresponsible Obama-era defense cuts.” It also includes a host of other specific cuts, the privatization of Amtrak, reductions in foreign aid spending and sweeping reforms of Social Security and Medicare.

According to Ryan, Romney’s plan “tracks perfectly with the House budget” but was careful to say other GOP candidates have put serious reforms on the table as well. Ryan also praised Romney’s 20 percent cap on federal spending, saying it would get government “back to its historic size.”

“This is getting us toward a prosperity agenda that will allow the private sector to grow,” he added.

When asked about Romney’s plans for entitlement reform, including gradually raising the enrollment age for Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries, Ryan said he “was very pleased” to see what Romney had put forward.

Arizona Rep. Jeff Flake, one of the GOP’s most outspoken deficit hawks in Congress, was similarly effusive in his praise of Romney’s economic platform on Friday. (RELATED: Ryan on Elizabeth Warren: Wrong [VIDEO])

“Mitt Romney spent his life in the private sector and knows that to be a viable enterprise you can’t spend more money than you take in,” Flake, who is currently running for the Senate seat being vacated next year by retiring Sen. Jon Kyl, said in a statement emailed by the Romney campaign. “Washington is addicted to spending and this administration’s policies have only made things worse. We can’t continue on a path that will lead us in the direction of Greece. Mitt Romney has the conservative solutions that can be implemented on his first day as president to cut federal spending and end Washington’s spending addiction.”

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