“The trillion-dollar deficits could not have been avoided by the GOP-controlled Congress,” said Speaker Paul Ryan as a response to the critics within his party who state that the Republican leaders have behaved irresponsibly.
“That was going to happen. The baby boomers retiring was going to do that,” Ryan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” as result of the projections that say the U.S. will start having trillion-dollar deficits as soon as 2020.
Ryan and the Republican leadership have been faced with harsh criticism for passing the $1.5 trillion tax cut last year, which looks that it will be costing more than projected. Also, the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending package was under a lot of scrutiny after it was voted in March.
Republican Senator Bob Corker stated that “voting for the tax package could well be one of the worst votes I’ve made and the Trump administration is on track to be one of the most fiscally irresponsible administrations in history.”
Ryan also stated that the projected spike in spending for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will have the biggest impact on future deficits.
“These deficit trillion-dollar projections have been out there for a long, long time. Why? Because of mandatory spending which we call entitlements,” he said when pressed by NBC host Chuck Todd on Corker’s criticism.
Ryan, who previously was the chairman of the House Budget Committee, told the host that the Congressional Budget Office projects discretionary spending to increase by only $300 billion over the next decade and for total tax revenues to continue to increase.
“Mandatory spending which is entitlements, that goes to $2 trillion over the next decade. Why does it go to $2 trillion? Because the boomer generation is retiring,” Ryan said.
Meanwhile, Ryan emphasized that the House passed legislation to repeal and replace ObamaCare, which included steep cuts to Medicaid, calling the proposal “the biggest entitlement reform bill Congress had ever considered.”
When asked about discretionary spending, Ryan answered that Congress will need to reform its appropriations process to avoid having to pass trillion-dollar-plus omnibus deals in the future.
“This is why we have a commission, a committee now between the House and the Senate which is going to bring the Congress a new budget system. That is what we have to do if we want to get this under control,” he said.