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Paul Ryan Blames Democrats for Debt Woes

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 | 10:47 PM ET
Rep. Ryan Paul from Wisconsin
Source:gpoaccess.gov
Rep. Ryan Paul from Wisconsin

Asked what he would be willing to give up to address the U.S. debt crisis, Rep. Paul Ryan stood his ground Tuesday and insisted it was Democrats who needed to cede ground.

“I’m not interested in negotiating with myself on television. It’s futile, in my opinion,” he said on CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report.”

Ryan laid blame on the Democrats and gave Republicans the credit for their proposals.

“The Senate has chosen not to pass a budget in three years,” he said. “The president has chosen to disavow the fiscal commission, to not put a budget that attempts to deal with any of these issues. We have passed solutions.”

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Ryan, R-Wis., who chairs the House Budget Committee, backed the idea of tax reform that would lower rates and eliminate or reduce deductions to “broaden the base,” which would lead to increased revenues.

“We think that is a good offer,” he said.

Ryan did not mention the House Armed Service Committee’s proposed defense budget for next year, which adds $57 billion to the Obama administration request, boosting the cost to taxpayers to $642 billion.

Instead, he criticized Democrats.

“We have yet to see any movement on the other side on fundamental entitlement reform,” he said.

“If you simply chase higher spending with higher revenues, you’ll end up shutting down the economy and not solving the debt crisis. The debt crisis is a spending-driven crisis, and there’s never been a moment where the other side has been willing to do fundamental entitlement reform that is necessary to preventing a debt crisis in the first place.”

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  • Lawrence Kudlow is a CNBC senior contributor. Previously, Kudlow was anchor of CNBC's prime-time program "The Kudlow Report"