Damian Paletta reports:
Rep. Ryan, Gene Sperling Trade Broadsides on Budget: “I want to point out how isolated the House Republicans are,” [Sperling] said. “Serious people doing serious discussions do not take an absolutists position that you cannot have a penny of revenue.”
He said Mr. Ryan has “put himself in a box” with his unwillingness to raise tax revenue. He said this forced Republicans to call for “very severe cuts” that if “explored” by Americans “they would not be proud of.”
Mr. Sperling attacked the House Republican proposals to overhaul Medicare and Medicaid, saying that the $770 billion in savings Republicans wanted from changing Medicaid would be unneccessary if Republicans would agree to roll back certain tax cuts.
“You can’t say to anybody who would be affected by that, that we have to do that, that we have no choice,” he said. “The fact is that all of those savings would be unnecessary if you were not funding the high income tax cuts.”
He also said that Mr. Ryan was wrong when he said that raising taxes as part of a broader package would hurt economic growth.
“Everything he said I heard nine million times in 1993,” said Mr. Sperling, who was NEC deputy director in the Clinton administration and later became Mr. Clinton’s national economic adviser.