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March 12, 2013

House GOP's 10 Year Balanced Budget Plan

It's all theater but I guess it's necessary theater.

The 10-year spending plan released Tuesday by Rep. Paul Ryan is virtually identical to last year’s GOP budget: It would defund President Obama’s health-care initiative, end guaranteed Medicare coverage for future retirees and sharply restrain spending on the poor, college students and federal workers.

The one big new development: Ryan’s latest blueprint would balance the budget, producing a small surplus in 2023 — a goal achieved not primarily through deeper spending cuts, but by the addition of more than $3.2 trillion in new tax revenue.

As Dean Clancy, FreedomWorks' healthcare guy points out, it's a bit of shell game.

So the GOP continues to oppose ObamaCare but has embraced the ObamaCare tax hikes they've spent years saying will kill the economy.

Clancy also points out that Ryan budget will grow the government at 3.4% per year as opposed to the current projection of 5% per year. A-It still grows government and B-Cutting the rate of growth 1.6% per year is beyond what's politically possible at the moment.

DOOM.

Democrats meanwhile have released their own budget blueprint. It doesn't even pretend to balance, nor does it hide the tax hikes.

But the tax figure could present a problem for a handful of red-state Democrats up for reelection who Republicans will undoubtedly say are supporting a $1 trillion tax hike if they back the plan.

Nevertheless, Democratic leaders believe the Murray plan will allow their party to show a major contrast with Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget and its calls for a significant overhaul of Medicare. And they expect to have the support of at least 50 Democrats on the floor to ensure they would be able to pass the first budget out of the Senate in four years.

The Murray plan would not balance the budget in a 10-year timeframe like the Ryan proposal would. But Murray’s 50-50 split between taxes and spending is supposed to be consistent with Obama’s call for a “balanced” approach for deficit reduction, something they argue voters largely support rather than the cuts-only approach backed by Republicans. Obama plans to unveil his budget plan after Congress begins to debate the competing proposals, something that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said would “drop a bomb” on the budget process.

I don't blame Ryan for coming up with gimmicks to balance the budget in 10 years. The whole notion is a gimmick Boehner promised this as a sop to the right after caving on the fiscal cliff temporary debt ceiling hike.

Politically, it's kind of a meh for the GOP. I mean they did run on this last year and if memory serves, it didn't go well. Now you can chose to believe the ideas are popular (and lots of folks will point to polls showing they are) but when actually put the voters it didn't work that way. Maybe Romney was just that unlikable. Personally I think it's both.

Don't get me wrong, the Democrat's plan won't be popular (unless they convince people the taxes will only fall on the "rich", aka...someone else) but it doesn't even pretend to solve the deficit/debt problems.

Nothing is going to happen while Obama is in office to deal with entitlements. That's just a fact. I wish the GOP had come up with a new and different approach to dealing with the problem but there isn't one. It's just math.

People will keep telling pollsters they want these problems solved but when it comes to voting they will send people to DC who will support more spending (which is what the voters really want) that will only make it worse.

In the meantime, the burning will continue apace.


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posted by DrewM. at 11:36 AM

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