Here’s a tour of the Democratic plan and how it contrasts with the House Republican plan put forward Tuesday by Representative Ryan.
The plan envisions equal amounts tax revenue and spending cuts to reduce deficits by $1.85 trillion over the 10-year budget window. The cuts included in this tally would replace those of the sequester.
This, combined with spending cuts and tax hikes already enacted over the past two years, would amount to total deficit reduction of more than $4 trillion, a goal that President Obama has set. That would be enough to keep the national debt from rising as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) over the next decade.
But many budget experts say that, at about 73 percent of GDP, the public debt is already so high that it leaves little fiscal leeway to deal with unforeseen circumstances, such as another deep recession.
Moreover, stabilizing the debt through 2023 doesn’t mean it will remain stable thereafter. Rather, health care spending will likely push the debt persistently upward after that time, forecasters say.
The nonpartisan Committee for Responsible Federal Budget has called for $2.4 trillion in deficit reduction beyond the spending cuts and tax hikes enacted over the past two years.
The Ryan budget seeks some $5.7 trillion in additional deficit reduction.
Senate Democrats say deficit reduction should include $975 billion in new tax revenue, beyond the $600 billion or so that will be raised by the “fiscal cliff” deal in January. That agreement boosted tax rates on the highest earning Americans while keeping Bush-era rates in place for 98 percent of households.