So many people are citing the many political and math problems with the newly revised (but hardly so) Ryan budget plan, 2013 edition, released today 3/12 [http://budget.house.gov/uploadedfiles/fy14budget.pdf ].

I have many of the same problems other have (about which I will likely write later) -- such as the at about 60-70% of the cuts come from health care, he starts with a non-starter that the Obamacare plan will be repealed which just will not happen, the plan has zero dollars of new revenues (or does it?), and that there are serious attacks on programs for the poor, but huge tax cuts for high income individuals, and that the math does not add up.

But I want to focus now on something not being focused in on right now (near as I can tell) in the press.  As is being widely reported that the plan repeals Obamacare and thus lists savings of $1.837 trillion over the 2014-23 period (see link). And as has been widely reported, Ryan hypocritically keeps the Medicare "savings" and cuts in growth of the Medicare program that were used to finance Obamacare (widely cited as $716 billion in the first few years, but more as time increased: $741 billion over the period 2013-22 according to CBO, but that is not the period covered by Ryan's plan; it may be as high as $900 billion over the 2014-23 period since the 2022 savings were $133 billion).

BUT WHAT IS NOT BEING DISCUSSED  is that the Obamacare plan included $1 trillion in new revenues from various sources to finance the plan [ http://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/cbofiles/attachments/43471-hr6079.pdf ].  These included new FICA taxes, taxes on insurers and others in the medical care industry, and of course the penalties on individuals and employers who did not take up health insurance.  This amounts to $1 trillion over the 2013-22 period.  And of course as has been widely reported, the Obamacare plan is more than budget neutral, and in fact reduces the budget deficit, by $109 billion over the 2013-22, according to the CBO.  Whether this is to be believed or not, the CBO is the official scorekeeper, and the $109 billion is within the margin of error anyway, so we can safely say they are saying it is essentially balanced.


What I am confused about is how can Ryan list $1.8 trillion in savings from eliminating Obamacare's spending, and leave everything else at baseline, which assumes that the Medicare cuts will remain in place.. does that mean he leaves the taxes from Obamacare in place too?  If so, how can he leave all these taxes in place, and if he does has he raised taxes by $1 trillion?  If he intends to repeal those taxes, then shouldn't he list a lot less in savings from repealing Obamacare?

Paul?  House Budget Committee?  Can you make the numbers add up please?  


**** UPDATE, 3/12, 330 pm Central.  Steven Dennis from ROLL CALL confirms what I write here, in that Ryan keeps in the Obamacare tax increases (roughly $1 trillion or more) as well as the Medicare cuts, but only repeals the spending ($1.8 trillion).  So two things.  His plan has a tax increase in it, a big one.  And, second, it has a tax increase meant for a plan (Obamacare) he plans to repeal.  [ http://www.rollcall.com/news/10_things_to_know_about_the_ryan_budget-223043-1.html 


**** UPDATE #2, 3/12, 345 pm Central: Howard Gleckman also points out the math problem Ryan's plan has and notes that his revenue target is 19.1% of GDP, which is a higher one that he used before, but includes the taxes from Obamacare and the fiscal cliff.  Gleckman assumes that when Ryan says he'd repeal Obamacare he'd repeal the taxes too.  Perhaps so, but he is silent on the issue.  But on one thing we all agree: assuming the revenue targets he assumes includes the Obamacare taxes either explicitly (keeping them in place) or implicitly (meaning Ryan has to make up the missing $1 trillion somehow).