Rep. Paul Ryan, who served on the Simpson-Bowles commission and voted against the chairmen’s plan for addressing the deficit, says he’d oppose it again today.
The reason, he says, is it didn’t include reforms in health-care entitlement spending.
“I want to fix this problem once and for all the right way,” Ryan said in an interview on Bloomberg Television today.
Medicare is “The biggest driver of our debt in the future,” Ryan said in the interview with BTV’s Peter Cook.
Asked about the import of tomorrow night’s debate between President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney, Romney’s running mate said: “No one single event is going to settle this thing. Mitt is going to offer a very clear choice. I think that’s what people will get out of this debate.”
Yet Ryan offered no more specifics about the tax plan that Romney proposes — cutting tax rates for all while restricting the tax exemptions that high-earners enjoy — than the presidential nominee has.
The Tax Policy Center has reported that Romney cannot obtain the tax cuts he proposes and keep his plan revenue neutral without reaching into exemptions that benefit many taxpayers.
Ryan today maintained that there is “fiscal space” for the tax deductions for mortgage interest payments and charitable deductions and that Romney does not want to tax capital investment more.
“What we’re saying is, you can lower tax rates by 20 percent across the board, limit some tax expenditures and loopholes and deductions without hitting middle class taxpayers,” Ryan said, pointing to An American Enterprise Institute study supporting this. The Tax Policy Center study, he said, “had faulty assumptions in it. It didn’t even measure the Romney plan. It still had all these revenue assumptions in there assuming we’re keeping Obama-care taxes in place and such things like that. And it doesn’t even assume economic growth, which we don’t when we estimate these things.”
“Our point is,” Ryan added, “with the kind of narrow tax base we have, with the steep tax rates we have, which make us really uncompetitive, you can lower tax rates across the board by 20 percent, primarily limit your deductions from those at the top end, and then get rid of all those different sort of nook-and-cranny special interest tax expenditures.”