Congressional Republicans and Democrats have waged a long fight in trying to agree on a budget plan to slash federal spending and avert a government shutdown.

Hundred_Dollar_BillHouse Republicans announced a far-reaching vision for a leaner federal government, presenting a 2012 budget blueprint that would privatize Medicare for future retirees, cut spending on Medicaid and other domestic programs, and offer sharply lower tax rates to corporations and the wealthy.

The proposal represents the most comprehensive philosophical statement by resurgent Republicans since they claimed control of the House in last fall’s midterm elections. It promises to define the party heading into the 2012 presidential election and to shape the policy debate in Washington as both parties grapple with a soaring national debt.

Drafted by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the proposal aims to eventually shrink federal spending, measured against the economy, to its lowest level since 1949. Ryan said the plan would create jobs, promote growth, and rebuild an economy ravaged by recession and “relentless government spending, taxing and borrowing.”

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Source: Lori Montgomery and Philip Rucker | The Washington Post