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Chad’s Morning Brief: Paul Ryan & the Republican Budget Proposal, Universal Background Checks on Guns, & More

Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 13, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

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1. Paul Ryan’s Plan (link)

On Tuesday Rep. Paul Ryan unveiled the Republican budget proposal that would cut nearly $5 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. If that were to happen and if the plan were correct, the budget would be balanced by 2023.

House budget chairman Rep. Paul Ryan on Tuesday unveiled the GOP’s budget proposal that would slash $4.6 trillion in projected government spending over the next decade in order to balance the country’s budget by 2023.

“We owe the country a balanced budget,” the Republican congressman and 2012 vice presidential nominee said during a press conference at the Capitol on Tuesday.

Ryan’s plan includes a combination of tax reform, reform of entitlements and repeal of President Obama’s health-care law.

“Are we going to continue to be complicit with never, ever balancing our budget and therefore guaranteeing an inferior standard of living for the next generation?” Ryan asked. “We know that this debt and this deficit is hurting our economy today and destroying the future of tomorrow.”

Here are some of the major bullet points from Ryan’s 91-page fiscal year 2014 budget proposal, “The Path to Prosperity”:• Simplify the tax code to make it fairer to American families and businesses.
• Substantially lower tax rates for individuals, with a goal of achieving a top individual rate of 25 percent.
• Consolidate the current seven individual-income-tax brackets into two brackets with a first bracket of 10 percent.
• Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax.
• Reduce the corporate tax rate to 25 percent.
• Transition the tax code to a more competitive system of international taxation.
• Provide states flexibility on Medicaid.
• Repeal the health-care law’s expansion of Medicaid.
• Repeal the health-care law’s exchange subsidies.
• Allow states to customize SNAP to address the needs unique to their citizens.
• Reinstitute welfare’s work requirements.
• Preserve Medicare for those in or near retirement.
• Reform Medicare for younger generations.
• Repeal the health-care rationing board.
• Reform the medical-liability system.
• End the raid on the Medicare Trust Fund.
• Means-test premiums for high-income seniors.
• Require the President to submit a plan to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund.
• Reform civil-service pensions.
• Reform the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
• Reform civil-service pensions.
• Require the President to submit a plan to shore up the Social Security Trust Fund.
• Restore competition to the energy sector with the goal of energy independence.
• Stop the government from buying up unnecessary land.
• Wind down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
• Reform the Federal Credit Reform Act.
• Revisit flawed financial regulations.
• Repeal the President’s health-care law.
• Move toward patient-centered reform.
• Provide $560.2 billion for defense spending in fiscal year 2014, an amount consistent with America’s military goals and strategies.

Throughout the Tuesday press conference, Ryan challenged Democrats to offer a plan to solve the country’s debt problem.

So far, this plan isn’t half bad. What do you think? Of course since it lowers taxes and cuts spending, the Democrats will never go for it.

2. Universal Background Checks (link)

A Democratic bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday by a 10-8 party line vote. The bill calls for back ground checks on all gun sales. This would include private transactions as well.

But the most controversial proposal facing the panel — a ban on assault weapons — was postponed because its main proponent, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), was not able to attend Tuesday’s hearing. That vote has now been moved to Thursday.

“The issue of background checks remains the sweet spot. It can pass Congress and make a difference in preventing gun violence. We will work nonstop in the next couple weeks to continue negotiating a bipartisan compromise, and we are optimistic we can achieve one,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, who introduced the proposal.

The Judiciary Committee also approved a measure by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to boost funding for school security.

The background checks proposal is only a “place holder” while the New York Democrat — along with Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) — seeks out Republicans to sign on to a bipartisan version. Schumer and Manchin hope to offer that compromise agreement once a gun-control package comes to the Senate floor in coming weeks.

“I remain optimistic we’ll be able to roll one out,” Schumer said of the bipartisan negotiations. Schumer and Manchin negotiated with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) on the proposal for weeks, only to see Coburn end the talks last week. The two Democrats are still searching for a GOP partner.

Without such Republican support, Democrats from conservative states are unlikely to sign on to the measure. Coburn objected to the idea that permanent records being kept of gun purchases.

Republicans on the Judiciary Committee attacked the background checks bill, arguing that such a system ultimately will fail and is only a step on the road toward federal agents seizing guns from law-abiding Americans.

Republicans are right on this one. There is no reason to expand background checks. I shouldn’t have to spend the money and take the time to do a background check when selling a gun to my best friend. This is just more legislation that hurts law-abiding citizens. If you think the thugs and criminals who sell guns out on the streets are going to submit to background checks, you are crazy. No legislation that the Democrats have proposed would have stopped the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

3. Testing Changes (link)

State Senator Dan Patrick laid out his plans to reduce the number of tests needed in order to graduate. His plans come as the Senate takes a look at changing school testing in Texas.

The Senate Public Education Committee has begun what appears will be a long debate over standardized testing and high graduation requirements in Texas.

Committee Chairman Dan Patrick on Tuesday laid out his plan to reduce the number of tests needed to graduate from 15 to at least four. He wants to allow students to choose between focusing on vocational training or college preparation.

But senators from both parties said Patrick was trying to push his plan too fast and with too many unanswered questions.

Teachers, parents and business groups all agree a new system started last year needs to change. But there is little consensus on how.

End of course exams will no longer count toward grades, but debate remains on how many and what tests students should take.

What changes would you like to see when it comes to testing in schools?

Other Top Stories:

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Applying for Obamacare Not Easy

Texas Republicans Love Ryan’s Plan

Dewhurst Tries to Lure Beretta USA to Texas

Rep. Crownover Says Expanded Newborn Testing Will Save Lives

Obama Talks Entitlements

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Feds Spend Over a Million Dollars To Study Fat Lesbians

God, Guns, and the Constitution. A Townsquare Media/KFYO Townhall Forum

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of The Chad Hasty Show. Tune in mornings 8:30-11am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at kfyo.com, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at kfyo.com.

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