The first major Republican counter to President Barack Obama's February proposal for the 2012 budget was previewed on Sunday, as deficit cutting will exceed the President's proposal by a factor of 4 over the next decade, including a way to slow the growth of federal health spending.
Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee Chairman, said on Fox News Sunday that his proposal would cut the deficit by more than $4 trillion in 10 years.
We're going to go after the source of the problem and that is spending, Ryan said.
Ryan's proposal is in sharp contrast with Obama's, which called for deficit reduction of $1.1 trillion over the next decade.
We can't keep kicking this can down the road, Ryan said. The president has punted. We're not going to follow suit.
Ryan's proposal for the fiscal 2012 federal budget came even as the House and Senate negotiate to take care of unfinished business from last year to fund the final six months of the 2011 budget amid an April 8 deadline.
Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare - the program for seniors and the disabled - would not affect those under 55 years of age. Those under that would be allowed to choose from various private insurance plans when they reach 65, while the government would pay the first $15,000 in premiums. More affluent Medicare recipients would be required to pay more of their costs.
Obama has proposed to close loopholes in the tax code and broaden the tax base, which Ryan also plans to propose.
Ryan said his proposal exceeds the cost cutting recommended by a bipartisan Presidential panel commissioned last year - of which Ryan was a part of - to advise on how to deal with the nation's debt.