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House GOP unveils alternative budget

April 1, 2009 at 3:49 PM

WASHINGTON, April 1 (UPI) -- U.S. House Republican leaders Wednesday revealed their alternative to the proposed Democratic budget, calling for a repeal of the $787 billion stimulus plan.

"(We) propose to rescind the Democrats' stimulus package, starting in the year 2010, except for unemployment insurance for those who have already lost their jobs," said Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. "Most of the money in the stimulus package doesn't even spend out until 2011."

The GOP alternative also would repeal extra spending in the omnibus budget bill, going back to the levels in the continuing resolution except in defense and veterans' spending.

"Our budget then proposes to freeze non-defense, non-veterans' spending for five years, followed by a modest annual increase for the second five years," said Ryan, the House Budget Committee's ranking Republican.

The measure also would make permanent the Bush tax cuts from 2001 and 2003, and would suspend capital gains taxes through 2010.

It also would establish a new tax system based on two rates. A 10 percent income tax rate would apply to couples making less than $100,000 (singles, less than $50,000). The income tax rate would rise to 25 percent for those earning more.

The 10-year budget resolution also tackles entitlement programs by proposing to convert Medicaid funds into allotments to give states and governors flexibility. House Republicans said they agreed with President Obama's proposal to means-test Medicare Part D benefits, and propose no immediate changes in Social Security.

The plan also proposes statutory spending caps and an earmark moratorium for the remainder of the current Congress, Ryan said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Republican budget has a familiar ring "because it merely repeats the same mistakes of the past eight years."

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Topics: Paul Ryan
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