Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan, the Republicans' baby-faced budget wonk, has for years proposed dramatic changes to federal spending and entitlement programs. But after GOP midterm victories in 2010 gave the party the House majority, Ryan's Roadmap for America's Future went from mere Tea Party wish list to the central policy platform of the Republicans. The House passed Ryan's ambitious budget, thrusting the issue of deficit reduction into President Obama's lap and setting the stage for months of debate and discord. Democrats have seized on Ryan's entitlement proposals as an electoral issue, rallying around a defense of Medicare to win a key special congressional election in May. But the ongoing conversation about red ink in Washington continues to be dictated in no small part by Ryan's vision.
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