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Politico questions Ryan budget tweak -- though Obama took same approach

It was an in-the-weeds analysis that, ironically, only Paul Ryan could love.

Politico ran a story Wednesday that raised the question of whether the Republican VP nominee had "cut corners" with his budget plan by making some tweaks to his projections on Medicare growth.

One issue, though: President Obama makes the same assumptions in his own budget projections.

The article posted late Wednesday noted that Ryan, whose day job is chairman of the House Budget Committee, adjusted his projection for the growth of Medicare in a way that would make it possible to balance the budget by 2040.

The trick? For new enrollees, he assumes Medicare will grow at a rate equal to that of the per capita GDP, plus .5 percent. That's down a half a percentage point from the original projection of GDP plus 1 percent.

Without that change, Politico noted, "the House Republican budget would still be in the red in 2040."

Obama, though, uses the same GDP-plus-.5 percent assumption in his own budget plan.

Politico acknowledged this, but not until the latter half of the story -- in which Ryan aide Michael Steel defended Ryan's change, saying they're trying to show a "consistent connection" between the GOP approach and Obama's approach.

The difference between the plans is the president would ensure the spending restraint by empowering a board to make cuts as needed to Medicare providers. Ryan proposes to get his savings through competition of private plans that must offer the same benefits as Medicare.