RSC Budget to Balance in Four Years

by Andrew Stiles

The House Republican Study Committee unveiled a budget proposal on Monday that would reach balance in four years, less than half the time it would take the official House budget authored by budget chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.).

The proposal, which RSC chairman Steve Scalise (R., La.) has indicated is meant as a supplement, rather than an alternative to the Ryan plan, would return discretionary spending to 2008 levels, and cut non-defense spending by $6 billion over a decade. It would reach balance in 2017, six years earlier than Ryan’s, by incorporating many of the same policies — repealing Obamacare, block-granting Medicaid, reforming federal welfare programs, and transitioning Medicare into a premium-support system. However, the RSC plan also would go even further with respect to entitlement reform.

For example, it would implement Medicare premium-support for people aged 59 and younger, whereas Ryan’s would install the new system later, for future beneficiaries aged 54 and below. The RSC plan would also gradually increase the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare to 70 beginning in 2024, and implement the so-called “chained CPI” cost-of-living adjustment for Social Security benefits. Ryan’s plan does not propose specific changes to Social Security.

“We cannot let another year pass without taking the same commonsense steps toward a balanced budget that families have already taken with their budgets,” Scalise said in a statement. “Both this plan and the Ryan budget are light-years ahead of the Senate Democrats’ proposal which fails to ever balance, and President Obama’s budget which hasn’t even met the legal deadline to be filed for the fourth time in five years.”

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