My issue is I think that the president's budget on the Pentagon is a budget-driven strategy, not a strategy-driven budget. He announced the number of the cuts he wanted for the Pentagon, and then he began the strategy review to conform to that number. We take $300 billion out of defense spending versus the $500 billion that the president does in his budget. We think there are savings to be gotten there, but I think the president's hollowing it out. Because in other words, he's spending more money on every other aspect of government. $1.5 trillion in more domestic spending, and $2 trillion in higher taxes. So balance in Washington these days – spend more, borrow more, tax more, have a debt crisis. That to me isn't balanced.
And with respect to the wealthy, we're saying, stop subsidizing the wealthy. Don't subsidize their health care benefits as much. Stop subsidizing corporations with crony capitalism, and close the tax shelters and loopholes that are disproportionately used by the wealthy so that we can get more tax revenue by having a broader tax base with lower rates, which we believe there is an emerging Democrat-Republican bipartisan consensus on doing that, and so we reflect that emerging consensus. Unfortunately, our friends in the White House and the Democratic leadership don't want to be a part of that consensus.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about closing those loopholes, Congressman?
VAN HOLLEN: George, the Ryan plan, the Republican plan, does not ask for one penny, not one penny from the wealthiest for the purpose of deficit reduction. In fact, they are doubling down on tax cuts for the very wealthy. They are proposing to drop the top marginal rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. That generates $4.6 trillion in lost revenue. They say they're going to make that up. They're going to get rid of all the provisions in the tax code that help middle-income Americans, so they'll end up financing tax cuts - another round of tax cuts – for the folks at the very top by increasing the tax burden on middle-income Americans.
And in fact, we had a vote on an amendment in the Budget Committee that says, OK, let's make sure that doesn't happen. Let's hold Americans below $250,000 in income harmless, make sure they don't get hit. Every Republican voted against that amendment. So the reality is, their proposal not only locks in the Bush tax cuts for the folks at the top, but it would finance additional tax cuts for them by whacking middle-income taxpayers. That's just not acceptable.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I'll move on to health care, but quickly, Congressman, your response to that.
RYAN: Well, that amendment was trying to kill our budget. We're saying, just don't raise taxes. The number Chris is using presumes a huge tax increase in the fall. We don't want a huge tax increase because it's going to slow down the economy. So we're saying, bringing the same amount of revenue we're bringing in today, but do it more fairly, with a better, simpler, more competitive tax system. Take the loopholes and tax shelters away so you can lower everybody's tax rates across the board. That produces jobs and economic growth. And it's not just Republicans saying it. There are a lot of Democrats who agree with us.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let me move on to the Supreme Court arguments—
VAN HOLLEN: Yes, but the Democrats—
RYAN: We say don't subsidize the wealthy with their spending.