House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said on Fox News Sunday that he did not know whether his budget proposal would put a higher burden on the middle class.
When asked by host Chris Wallace if his plan was distributionally neutral, meaning that “the wealthy aren't going to benefit and the middle class isn't going to suffer,” Ryan was noncommittal.
“I don’t know,” he said. “There is no way to know the answer to that question. But we do believe in a progressive tax system. That’s why we have two tax rates. Ten percent tax rate for low and middle income and 25 percent tax rate for higher income earners. Whether it is distributionally the same as the current code, it’s impossible to answer that question.”
He also pushed back against White House claims that his plan to cut welfare, food stamps and other entitlements balances the budget on the backs of the middle class.
“Is your job or goal to treat the symptoms of poverty to make it easier to live with, or is the goal to eradicate poverty by treating the root causes,” Ryan asked rhetorically. “What we want to do is have welfare reform that gets people off of lives of dependency and onto lives of self-sufficiency.”