House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Sunday that the GOP 2012 budget will exceed even the $4 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade recommended by President Barack Obama's debt commission.
But Ryan wouldn't commit that his new budget would follow the debt commission's lead and cut corporate welfare for oil and gas companies.
"Widely reported that your budget will cut spending by $2 trillion over the next decade. True?" Fox News Chris Wallace asked Ryan during their Sunday interview.
"Well, it's more than that," Ryan said. "Quite a bit more than that."
"$4 trillion?" Wallace wondered.
"Looking at more than that right now. We're fine-tuning the numbers. Congressional Budget Office literally today, over the weekend. We'll cut more than that," Ryan explained.
"We will be exceeding the goals that were put out in the president's debt commission," he added.
"You talk about the president's debt commission. They got $1 trillion from closing a lot of tax loopholes, ending a lot of tax deductions. Do you do that?" Wallace asked.
"Not only do we want to cut spending, not only do we want to reform government spending, we want economic growth. We want job creation. Pro-growth tax reform is a key ingredient to getting this economy working again, getting the economy growing again. The way to do that -- and we agree with the direction of the fiscal commission -- lower tax rate and broaden the tax base. And those are the things we'll be proposing."
"Democrats are already saying, even before they've seen your budget, you do all this balancing of the budget on the spending side and unlike the president's debt commission, you don't do it on the revenue side," Wallace noted. "Do you eliminate tax breaks and bring in new revenue by eliminating tax breaks for oil companies, for instance?"
"We don't have a tax problem," Ryan declared. "The problem with our deficit is not because Americans are taxed too little... and so we're not going to go down the path of raising taxes on people and raising taxes on the economy."
"Does it mean you won't eliminate tax breaks for big oil and gas?" Wallace pressed.
"Those are the kinds of details that you'll come out later with, that the Ways and Means Committee will work on. We don't go into the detail of which tax expenditure goes or stays. We're going to lower tax rates and broaden base. You'll see more details Tuesday."
"We are giving [Democrats] a political weapon to go against us," Ryan later admitted. "But they will have to lie and demagogue to make that a political weapon."
ADDENDUM: (Nicole) Of course, it's so typically Republican to put the burden of their years of reckless spending on the backs of seniors and protect oil companies. The DCCC put out a fact sheet on Ryan's draconian plans:
“Paul Ryan made clear that the Republican budget will protect Big Oil companies subsidies over seniors health care,” said Jesse Ferguson of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “It’s already becoming clear who will be the priority in the House Republican budget – special interests, not middle class families.
- No Ending Subsidies. When challenged by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace about whether his budget will include reductions in Oil and Gas subsidies like the Presidents Fiscal Commission did, Ryan responded that “we don't have a tax problem". [Fox News Sunday, 4/3/11]
- House Republicans Cutting Medicare and Medicaid. Chuck Loveless of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said anything approaching a $1 trillion cut over 10 years would have “devastating consequences for the disabled, the working poor and children” as well as seniors who rely on long-term care. “It shines a bright light, we think, on what the House Republican leaders are attempting to do in these various budget discussions as we go forward. They’re seeking to savage the safety net for the most vulnerable in our society and a time when corporations are enjoying record profits.” [POLITICO, 3/31/11]
- The largest oil companies have made $485 billion in profits. The Democratic Steering & Policy Committee held a hearing on the issue of Oil and Gas subsidies and noted that from 2005 to 2009, the largest oil companies have made $485 billion in profits. [climateprogress.org, 3/01/11]
- Obama's budget plan targets oil, gas tax breaks. “President Obama's proposed 2010 budget takes pointed aim at oil and gas companies, eliminating myriad tax breaks and proposing new fees on the providers. The plan put out Thursday would repeal tax breaks intended to spur oil and gas exploration and penalize companies that don't develop wells on land leased from the government. It could raise tens of billions of dollars the next decade.” [USA Today, 2/27/11]
- Last month, House Republicans opposed a measure that would ensure no “tax benefit” could go to a “major integrated oil company.” [HJ Res 44, Vote #153, 3/01/11]