With GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate, all eyes are turning to Ryan's nearly 14-year tenure in Congress—namely Ryan’s proposal to reduce the federal deficit.
Until two years ago, Ryan was a relative unknown on Capitol Hill. His so-called plan for prosperity, one which came with promotional videos, propelled the Congressman onto the national stage.
"The plan made him a national figure,” Greg David with City University of New York said. “The reason it did was, whatever you think of it, it showed political courage. It was not about obscuring what he wanted to do. It was about the federal deficit."
Ryan, the head of the House Budget Committee, proposed a budget plan to completely overhaul Medicare and Medicaid as we know it in hopes of reducing spending.
"The president came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation,” Ryan said. “Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree."
Ryan’s plan would increase the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 and convert it into a system of subsidies with seniors selecting their own insurance providers.
He would repeal Obamacare and instead of Medicaid, Ryan's plan would give each state a block grant to cover health care for low income families.
An analysis of this plan by the Congressional Budget Office found it would reduce the federal deficit in the long term, but seniors would end up paying more for their health care—something some economists take issue with.
"His plan is about cutting taxes significantly, and making government much smaller,” Jeff Madrick with the Roosevelt Institute said. “People should think very hard about if that's what we want."