Republicans controlling the House have fashioned plans to slash the budget deficit by about $5 trillion over the upcoming decade, blending unprecedented spending cuts with a fundamental restructuring of taxpayer-financed health care for the elderly and the poor.
The plan by Rep. Paul Ryan far exceeds the $1 trillion-plus in budget cuts outlined in President Barack Obama's February budget and cuts more than from Obama's own bipartisan deficit commission in December.
Ryan's plan still can't claim a balanced budget by the end of the decade because of promises to not increase taxes or change federal retirement benefits for people 55 and over.
The unveiling of the 2012 budget blueprint comes amid a separate battle between Republicans and Democrats over smaller but more immediate spending cuts for the current budget year.
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