What is the 'Ryan plan'? Budget proposal back in spotlight with VP announcement

With Rep. Paul Ryan selected as Mitt Romney's running mate, voters will be hearing a lot about the so-called "Ryan" plan.

So what is it?

Though each party has strong feelings about what Ryan's controversial budget proposal entails, here are a few highlights. Just the facts:

  • The latest full-scale version of the plan, unveiled in March, vows to cut spending by $5 trillion over the next decade, compared against President Obama's plan. 
  • The plan would, a decade from now, give seniors the option of taking a government payment to purchase health insurance. That payment could be used to buy a private insurance plan, or go toward the traditional Medicare plan. The plan calls for extra assistance to help low-income beneficiaries and those with "greater health risks." 
  • The plan would overhaul Medicaid by turning it into a block grant system for states. 
  • The plan would cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent. It would implement two individual income tax brackets -- 10 percent and 25 percent. 
  • The plan would head off the scheduled automatic defense cuts, first by diverting the planned $55 million defense cut in 2013 by implementing those cuts elsewhere. 
  • The plan vows to bring the size of government to 20 percent of GDP by 2015.