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White House slams GOP budget plan

  |   March 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM
WASHINGTON, March 12 (UPI) -- The White House Tuesday slammed a Republican budget proposal that aims to balance the budget in 10 years.

The budget proposal, besides an attempt to balance the budget, overhauls entitlement programs, including Social Security; repeals the Affordable Care Act and rolls back discretionary spending and taxes.

"While the House Republican budget aims to reduce the deficit, the math just doesn't add up," a White House statement said. "Deficit reduction that asks nothing from the wealthiest Americans has serious consequences for the middle class. By choosing to give the wealthiest Americans a new tax cut, this budget as written will either fail to achieve any meaningful deficit reduction, raise taxes on middle class families by more than $2,000 -- or both."

The statement said, "By choosing not to ask for a single dime of deficit reduction from closing tax loopholes for the wealthy and well-connected, this budget identifies deep cuts to investments like education and research -- investments critical to creating jobs and growing the middle class. And to save money, this budget would turn Medicare into a voucher program -- -undercutting the guaranteed benefits that seniors have earned and forcing them to pay thousands more out of their own pockets. We've tried this top-down approach before. The president still believes it is the wrong course for America."

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled the budget plan Tuesday

Ryan, R-Wis., last year's Republican Party vice presidential candidate and chairman of the House Budget Committee, offered a preview of a budget plan in a column published by The Wall Street Journal.

He said Republicans plan to introduce legislation that will balance the federal budget within 10 years without raising taxes.

Ryan's proposal includes entitlement reforms and plans for about $41 trillion in government spending through 2023. That's $5 trillion less than the status quo, he writes.

On energy, his budget plan mirrors legislation supported by party members that calls for more oil and natural gas development on federal land.

"America has the world's largest natural gas, oil and coal reserves -- enough natural gas to meet the country's needs for 90 years," he writes. "Yet the administration is buying up land to prevent further development."

U.S. President Barack Obama said oil and gas production are at historic highs under his "all-of-the-above" energy policy. His critics, however, said that's in part because of policies enacted under former President George W. Bush.

Ryan added that if Obama signs off on the Keystone XL pipeline, as many as 20,000 people would find new jobs. Critics of the pipeline say the environmental risks associated with the type of Canadian crude oil designated for the project are severe.

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