President To Criticize Ryan's GOP Budget Plan as 'Social Darwinism'

On Tuesday, President Obama is expected to criticize House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) fiscal year 2013 budget proposal, which would repeal the federal health reform law and alter Medicaid and Medicare, the Washington Post's "44" reports.

At a speech to the American Society of News Editors, Obama will say, "Disguised as a deficit reduction plan, it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country," according to remarks released by the White House. He will add, "It's nothing but thinly-veiled social Darwinism. It's a prescription for decline."

About Ryan's Plan

Ryan's budget plan, which passed the House last week, would reduce the federal deficit by $5.3 trillion over the next decade through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases (Nakamura, "44," Washington Post, 4/3). It would transform Medicare from a fee-for-service program to one in which beneficiaries would purchase coverage on the private market and maintain traditional Medicare as an option.

The proposal also would reduce Medicaid spending and convert the program to a block-grant system, in which states would receive a fixed amount to run it (California Healthline, 3/30).

Administration's Comments

White House officials last week criticized the proposal, saying that the GOP "banded together to shower millionaires and billionaires with a massive tax cut paid for by ending Medicare as we know it."

However, Tuesday's comments will be the first time Obama has commented publicly on the GOP budget plan (Easley/Parnes, "Blog Briefing Room," The Hill, 4/2).

Ryan Camp Responds

Ryan spokesperson Conor Sweeney countered that Obama is refusing to "honestly confront" what Ryan says is a "predictable" economic crisis that will "erupt" with the increasing federal debt, CQ Today reports.

Sweeney added, "Instead, he has accelerated the nation toward this looming debt-fueled crisis with reckless budgets, always accompanied by partisan speeches that seek to divide the nation in order to distract from his legacy of broken promises" (Krawzak, CQ Today, 4/3).

Democrats, Unions Plan Attacks on Republicans Who Supported Ryan Plan

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Americans United for Change and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are targeting Republicans who endorsed Ryan's budget plan in a series of TV advertisements that will air throughout the election season, The Hill's "Ballot Box" reports.

The ads will target Ryan, as well as Republican freshman in senior-heavy districts in the Upper Midwest. In a series of radio ads, the DCCC will target more Republicans in potentially vulnerable seats. Democrats believe the ads will appeal to older swing voters who might not align with Republicans on Medicare (Joseph, "Ballot Box," The Hill, 4/2).

Clark Norwood
Gee an I thought that budgets were about the numbers not the emotional arguments and political games to fool people into thinking a an overspending budget is ok to pass. I thought that budgets were supposed to provide funding for the government to carry out it's constitutional duties not to provide handouts to companies who's financial situation indicates that they are circling the drain and will be out of business is short order, ie Solindra and A123 to mention only two. A serious budget should be about the numbers and only about the numbers.
Martin Spear
GOP lawmakers forced the vote on Obama's plan as a tactical move aiming at embarrassing Democrats. Republicans had forced a vote on a version of Obama's budget that contained only its numbers, not the policies he would use to achieve them. House Republicans last tried this same tactic in 2000 on President Clinton's budget.
Clark Norwood
Let's look at the score board. House vote on Obama budget 0 for 414 against, Ryan budget 228 for 191 against. In the words of the president "Shut up because Ryan's budget won" or is this a case of do as I say not as I do. Typical! Change the rules when they are not winning.

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