With Mitt Romney’s selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, attention has focused on Ryan’s proposed 2012 budget. The plan was based on a “flawed theory that new budget-busting tax cuts for the wealthy, while placing greater burdens on the middle class and seniors, will somehow deliver a stronger economy,” wrote Obama campaign manager Jim Messina.
Ryan, like Romney, proposed an additional $250,000 tax cut for millionaires, and deep cuts in education from Head Start to college aid. His plan also would end Medicare as we know it by turning it into a voucher system, shifting thousands of dollars in health care costs to seniors.
New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta voted in favor of the Ryan budget — but only after the House rejected an alternative plan he supported that was even more extreme than the Ryan budget.
Guinta is a member of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of the House’s most conservative members. The RSC proposed an alternative budget that Talking Points Memo labeled “a radical plan that annihilates the social contract in America by putting the GOP budget on steroids.”
The RSC budget proposed huge cuts in domestic spending, $9.5 trillion over the next decade compared to $6.2 trillion cut by the Ryan plan. It delayed coverage for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries by raising the eligibility age to 70. It made the privatized Medicare program optional and transformed Medicaid into a block-grant program that would receive even less funding than the Ryan plan.
Guinta voted in favor of the Republican Study Committee alternative budget. No wonder he was ranked the 31st most conservative member in the House by the National Journal. Compared to Guinta, Ryan (#150) is a milquetoast moderate.