WASHINGTON -- The Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee is accusing President Barack Obama of being unwilling to embrace the level of spending cuts necessary to avoid constant repetitions of the debt stalemate currently gripping Washington.
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tells MSNBC that spending cuts must be "much more than what's being talked about right now" if the government is to achieve anything more than a temporary solution.
White House talks on a deal have gone nowhere, and Obama and Democratic and Republican leaders are still searching for a legislative package designed to produce enough votes for a debt-limit extension that would avert a government default next month.
Ryan says Obama "is just unwilling" to go beyond the amount of budget cuts considered necessary to get past the current crisis.
In an interview with Time magazine this week, Ryan said that he and his staff "crunch a lot of numbers and review ideas" and have been playing "an advisory role" in the debt ceiling negotiations.
Ryan was also quizzed about his Medicare reform plan:
The CBO says your Medicare reform plan would cause seniors to eventually pay an average of about 60% of their health care costs. Do you think seniors will be able to afford this?
Well no, but I don't think that's going to be the case. What CBO tells us is that they don't have the ability to estimate the effect that choice and competition will have. And they're measuring against a baseline that's a fiscal fantasy.
You can't fix his problem by just reforming Medicare or Medicaid. You've got to deal with the entire health care system. That's where I will agree with the President and Democrats. You can't get at the root cause of medical inflation unless you address policies across the board.