Today, Republican Congressman Paul Ryan laid out his budget proposal to balance our budget within 10 years. He achieves this by doing the following:
- Limiting the growth of spending to 3.4% per year, versus the current 5%
- Opening up federal lands for energy development
- Repealing ObamaCare and replacing it with patient-centered reforms
- Reforming Medicare to offer future seniors a range of options in addition to traditional Medicare
- Reforming Medicaid by giving flexibility to the states to run it and measure success by how many people leave the program to join employment payrolls
- Reform the tax code by closing loopholes and establishing two tax brackets: 10% and 25%.
Under this plan, our federal government will spend $41 trillion and no more than it collects in revenue – 19.1% of GDP. This will be $4.6 trillion less over the next decade without raising taxes and not even cutting spending but simply slowing the rate of growth. But perhaps the biggest sources of controversy are the assumed repeal of ObamaCare and his proposed reforms for Medicare and Medicaid. Let the DEMagoguing begin …
By the end of this week, I expect the Democrats to be back to full-on apocalyptic mode in response to Ryan's budget proposal. Before Ryan even revealed the details of his budget proposal, Democrat Rep. Steny Hoyer had already labeled Ryan's budget “the latest installment in a tragic budgetary trilogy,” which is “expected to rely on spurious budget trickery to reach its goal.” Then Hoyer resorts to this tired, over-used critique of anyone who dares to limit the growth of government and make necessary reforms to our entitlements:
“Instead of insisting on a balanced approach to deficit reduction, Ryan’s budget will demand that our middle class, seniors, veterans, women, children, federal employees, low-income families, and those nearing retirement pick up the tab. Seeking budget savings without asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share, House Republicans’ answer has consistently been to transform Medicare into a voucher program and severely restrict vital programs crucial to those Americans in greatest need.”
Steny Hoyer is just the first of what I expect to be a Democratic deluge of demagoguery headed the Republicans' way.
Harry Reid came out this morning calling Paul Ryan's budget “extreme.”
Democrat Rep. Chris Van Hollen on Fox News labeled Paul Ryan's budget a “lop-sided, unbalanced approach” which “guts our investments in our kids' education and violates our commitments to seniors.”
Democratic pollsters are already excited about Ryan's budget proposal, calling it “a gift that gives throughout the 2014 cycle for Democrats.” That's according to Geoff Garin, a pollster for The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is already gearing up to demagogue and do what it can to tie any vulnerable Republicans in the Senate to Paul Ryan's budget in order to win big in 2014. Think about that – Political strategists are excited about a serious proposal to get this country back on track because they believe their ability to demagogue the plan will lead to a victory for their party. So much for the good of the country ...
Also this week we will get a budget plan from Senate Democrats. No, that is not a typo. I know it's been 1413 days since the Senate considered a budget, but it will happen some time this week. It is common knowledge that the Democrats will propose a self-proclaimed “balanced approach,” which means that they want to increase taxes. Again. Never-mind the fact that the amount taxes we collect this year will be the most in our history, and yet we will still have close to a $1 trillion budget deficit.
The key point that you have to remember is that it is not the goal of Democrats or the Obama administration to balance the budget; Jay Carney admitted this yesterday during his press briefing. This is a key difference, because when the Democrats and Republicans work together in the coming weeks on their budget differences, they aren't even aiming for the same goal!
That leads us to President Panic. Will he continue his charm offensive to legitimately discuss budget ideas or, in the face of Paul Ryan's latest budget, will he resort to the demagoguery we have come to know? Even Politico noted Obama's tour of Capitol Hill this week as “unusual,” and they found themselves questioning, “How serious is he?” Meanwhile, we have senior White House officials calling Obama's charm charade a “joke. We’re wasting the president’s time and ours … I hope you all (in the media) are happy because we’re doing it for you.” Perhaps we will be left with a President who tries to present a “reasonable” approach to budget talks, while allowing the rest in his party to do the dirty work for him. Don't worry, either way we will have Democrats claiming that Paul Ryan wants to push granny off a cliff. It is only a matter of time.