You have to remember, George, that most of our small businesses, they pay their taxes as individuals. Most of our jobs come from these successful small businesses. So we've shown -- look, the Princeton study, the Harvard analysis, they have shown that you can lower tax rates, broaden the tax base, and, yes, there is still room left for broad-based policies that the middle class enjoy so that nobody has a tax increase. We just stop picking winners and losers in the tax code.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But, Congressman, as you know --
RYAN: When Reagan did this, it worked --
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- many say it's difficult --
RYAN: Go ahead, George.
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- to accept your word if you're not going to specify which tax loopholes you're willing to close. Don't voters have a right to know which loopholes you're going to go after?
RYAN: So Mitt Romney and I, based on our experience, think the best way to do this is to show the framework, show the outlines of these plans, and then to work with Congress to do this. That's how you get things done. The other thing, George, is--
STEPHANOPOULOS: Isn't that a secret plan?
RYAN: -- we don't want to -- no, no. No, no. What we don't want is a secret plan. What we don't want to do is cut some backroom deal like ObamaCare, and then hatch (ph) it (ph) to the country.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not specify the --
RYAN: We want to do this --
STEPHANOPOULOS: -- loopholes now?
RYAN: -- out in the open --
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why not say right now --
RYAN: -- because we want to do this --
RYAN: -- we want to have this -- George, because we want to have this debate in the public. We want to have this debate with Congress. And we want to do this with the consent of the elected representatives of the people, and figure out what loopholes should stay or go and who should or should not get them.
And our priorities are high-income earners should not get these kinds of loopholes. And we should have broad-based policies that go to middle-class taxpayers, to make sure we can advance things that we care about, like charities. But that is a debate we shouldn't cut in a back room, shouldn't hatch a secret plan like ObamaCare. We should do it out in the public view where the public can participate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That's exactly what I'm suggesting, having it in public before the election so voters can have that information before they make up their minds.
RYAN: We think the best way to get -- look, I've been in Congress a number of years. I've been on the Ways and Means Committee for 12 years. And we think the best way to do this is to get this framework in place, and then negotiate, work with Democrats, work with people across the aisle, have these kinds of hearings, have this conversation to get this objective.
STEPHANOPOULOS: President Clinton also took aim at the savings you do propose in Medicaid -- $800 billion, the largest specific savings in your plan. That's about a 35 percent reduction over the next decade.
And the president argued that it's going to be devastating for seniors who rely on Medicaid for nursing home care, middle-class families challenged by disabilities, children with autism. How can you squeeze that much money of a program, $800 billion, without cutting benefits or restricting eligibility?