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A closer look at Paul Ryan's budget plan...

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) (Getty Images)

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan has unveiled his own budget proposal which centers around a few basic ideas (via Business Insider):

Tax reform. Eliminating loopholes. Reducing the top rate significantly. He wants to get to just two tax brackets.

Cutting discretionary spending. He proposes a hard cap on spending relative to GDP. He wants more spending block granted to states.

He favors killing Obamacare, although as Phillip Klein notes, he assumes Obamacare's Medicare savings stay.

Establishing his voucher-based alternative to Medicare.

While some of Ryan's fellow Republicans are praising his plan, conservatives are are a bit more cautious.

The Heritage Foundation says Ryan's plan is good, but not as good as his proposals in years past:

The Ryan budget delivers on its new promise this year—to balance the budget within the decade. Unfortunately, it does use higher taxes to help achieve this. It maintains Ryan’s signature reform to Medicare, which will go far toward reining in unaffordable entitlement spending.

Though more could be done along the lines of Saving the American Dream to advance bolder entitlement reforms and to throw off the yoke of Obama’s tax hikes, this budget takes first steps toward reining in spending and reforming entitlements. And if preliminary news reportsare to believed, this plan is sure to be far superior to the Senate’s version now awaiting its finishing touches replete with still more tax increases, spending and looming deficits.

Despite the cautious criticism, it's hard not to fall in love with a chart like this.  A girl can dream, right?

A former budget director for President George W. Bush has criticized the Ryan budget proposal as unrealistic.

“Chairman [Paul] Ryan coming out saying one of the marquee issues in the budget is going to be the repeal of Obamacare. I think we fought that battle,”  Jim Nussle said in a CNBC interview on Monday. “I think it’s over and it’s been over for some time. Good luck with that one. That doesn’t make it any more realistic.”

Will House Republicans be able to strike some sort of a deal with the current president? “If there is an opportunity to mend some fences, it’s going to take a little bit longer than one or two dinners out with the boys,” Nussle added, referring to President Obama's recent dinner with GOP leaders. “They’re going to have to do a little more outreach when it comes to specific issues. I don’t think the budget is prime real estate for common ground these days.”

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