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CNBC-Washington Needs to Spend Less, Not Tax More

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House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan co-hosted CNBC's Squawk Box this morning to discuss the urgent need to lift the crushing burden of debt and help spur economic growth and job creation. In the following video highlights, Chairman Ryan warns of the painful consequences of the spend-and-borrow policies that drove Greece into a debt-crisis, what Washington needs to do to avoid a similar fate and how patient-centered reforms will control costs and save Medicare.

"My biggest fear is because of all this debt, because of all this spending, and because of all this kind of redistribution mentality we have pervading Washington, is that we're basically doubling down in that direction. Cradle to grave social welfare states simply don't work. Not only is it morally wrong because it saps and drains people of their incentive and will to make the most of their lives -- drains them of their potential -- but they're just economically bankrupt. So why on earth would we want to replicate these policies?"

"What we want to do is remove barriers to growth. We believe in equal opportunity, upward mobility and economic prosperity based on an entrepreneurial free enterprise climate that helps businesses get created, that helps people get more prosperity...More to the point, let's not have a system where we sit in Washington and pile on more spending at the expense of the next generation - at the expense of the credit markets which are getting unstable. Let's show the world that we can get our fiscal house in order. Spending is the problem. By the time my kids are my age, spending will be twice the share of GDP that it is today. Okay? So let's deal with the problem. The problem is spending, not taxes."

"We're talking about premium support, which used to be an idea that Democrats championed like John Breaux, Alice Rivlin, and others. This is not a voucher proposal where you get a check in the mail and then you take your money and try to go buy something and "good luck you're on your own.' It is a Medicare exchange where, when you turn Medicare-eligible, you get a list of covered options just like Medicare Advantage or like Part D works today. You pick your plan -- you can't be denied --that Medicare pre-screens just like federal employees do, and Medicare subsidies it. Don't subsidize the wealthy person as much. Target your spending - your taxpayer reallocated government spending to those who need it the most: More money for the poor, more money for the sick, less money for the wealthy. That to me is a far better way. We should target our spending to those who need it the most."


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