Accounting for Ryan's surplus

House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says his budget proposal would eliminate the deficit within a decade. How does he close the gap?

Just as it did last year, Ryan's plan defunds the health-care law and cuts spending on Medicaid, as well as from programs like farm subsidies and food stamps. All told, the Ryan plan cuts $4.6 trillion in spending over the next decade.

Unlike last year, however, Ryan's latest blueprint benefits from new tax revenue resulting from the year-end fiscal cliff deal to raise tax rates on higher incomes.

Revenues in this year's budget proposal

Revenues in last year's budget proposal

+$3.2 trillion over 10 years

By adopting CBO's 10-year projections, the government would collect $40.2 trillion over 10 years.

Tax cuts included in Ryan's budget would have left the government taking in $37 trillion over the decade.

So it's the combination of Ryan's spending cuts plus the additional tax revenue from the fiscal cliff deal that would, in theory, produce a small budget surplus by 2023. In reality, it is unlikely that the Ryan budget will become law.

* NOTE: Current policy incorporates adjustments made by Ryan to CBO's February baseline. SOURCE: House Budget Committee. GRAPHIC: Katie Park and Karen Yourish - The Washington Post. Published March 12, 2013.

Competing visions for the budget

Senate Democrats and House Republicans have offered vastly different federal budget blueprints in their opening bids for fiscal 2014.

Ryan sets stage for a budget duel, targets health-care law

Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill are drafting radically different budget blueprints.

Related headlines