Opposition to government spending propelled Paul Ryan onto national stage
With the selection of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate, all eyes are turning to the Republican congressman’s nearly 14-year tenure in Congress. What has attracted the most attention is Ryan’s plan to reduce the federal deficit. YNN's Courtney Gross filed the following report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
NATIONWIDE -- Until two years ago, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was a relative unknown. Then, his so-called Plan For Prosperity came with promotional videos and propelled the Republican representative onto the national stage.
"The plan made him a national figure. And the reason it did is because, whatever you think of it, it showed political courage," said Greg David of the City University of New York. "It was not about obscuring what he wanted to do, it was about fundamentally looking at the deficit."
Ryan, the head of the House Budget Committee, proposed a budget plan to completely overhaul Medicare and Medicaid as we know it and reduce runaway spending.
"The president came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation. Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree," Ryan said in January 2011.
Ryan's plan would increase the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 and convert it into a system of subsidies with seniors selecting their own insurance providers. It would repeal "Obamacare," the health care reforms enacted by President Barack Obama. Instead of Medicaid, Ryan's plan would give each state a block grant to cover health care for low-income families.
An analysis of this plan by the Congressional Budget Office found it would reduce the federal deficit in the long-term, but seniors would end up paying more for their health care. Some economists take issue with this proposal.
"His plan is about cutting taxes significantly and making government much smaller. People should think very hard about whether that's what we want," said Jeff Madrick of the Roosevelt Institute.
Ryan thinks they do, saying in a House Budget Committee video, "This is why we are proposing and passing out of the House a budget to fix this problem, so we can save our country for ourselves and for our children's future."
This plan will undoubtedly be shaping Ryan's future as a running mate as well.