Source:ABC News– “Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., speaks about the 2014 Budget Resolution during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, March 12, 2013. Carolyn Kaster/AP Photo” From ABC News.
“Budgets are like dreams.
When conservative House Republicans and liberal Democrats in the House Progressive Caucus each released their broad budget plans this week, what we really saw was a window into two drastically different visions of the future.
Republicans, led by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, issued a 91-page doctrine of fiscal conservatism that claims to balance the budget in 10 years. The House Progressive Caucus, led by Reps. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., released their own 19-page blueprint that lowers the deficit (but doesn’t eliminate it) by raising taxes while pumping investments into all the infrastructure, education, and public welfare programs liberals love.
It’s a tale of two budgets, and America’s alternate futures couldn’t be more different.
In the future according to Paul Ryan, most people take some kind of a hit, and the government survives to serve future generations because it’s restrained in the near term. Tax reform lowers rates on people and corporations (including high incomes) while stripping out deductions and credits. National defense remains fully funded, but Medicare is essentially voucherized for people turning 55 now; Medicare survives and health-care costs are restrained, as patients turn down unnecessary procedures, saving the system from fiscal ruin.
Medicare is block-granted, giving states more flexibility to do with the funds as they please. “Obamacare” is repealed, meaning no one has to buy health insurance, but also that the government spends a lot less helping people buy it. Tort reform means doctors don’t get sued as often, the government only gives welfare to people meeting the full set of work requirements; job-training programs and “career scholarships” help people get to work, and the federal government accounts more accurately for the money it loans out.
If Ryan has his way, the federal government works in a streamlined and sustainable fashion, balancing its books in 10 years and saving basic services from bankruptcy so that future generations can enjoy them.”
From ABC News
The main reason why I don’t take the Republican Party, especially Congressional Republicans seriously when it comes to deficit reduction and the national debt, because they spend taxpayers money like drunken Irish-American sailors, who are just home on leave or have just gotten out of the Navy and are celebrating that fact. (To sound politically incorrect) That wasn’t a joke about Representative Paul Ryan, specifically.
Let’s be real: when George W. Bush became President in January, 2001, he inherited a budget surplus pf 200 billion dollars. Eight years later and having a Republican House for six years and a Republican Senate for four years, two huge tax cuts that weren’t paid for, a two wars that weren’t paid for, the expansion of Medicare, (which is an entitlement program, by the way) No Child Left Behind, which is another Federal expansion dealing with public education, and of course the Great Recession which started under President Bush’s watch, TARP, which wasn’t again paid for. President Bush leaves office in January, 2009 with a trillion-dollar deficit.
I’m not saying the Democratic Party is full of fiscal conservatives: they give more government promises than Santa Clause and all of his helpers combined. I think you would have a harder time finding more people who make promises with other people’s money at a conman convention. The Democratic Party sort of owns the government patent on making promises with other people’s money.
But Democrats don’t talk like fiscal conservatives. They promise free stuff from government and then don’t even deliver the stuff that they promised, let alone deliver it for free. But Republicans only talk like fiscal conservatives when there’s a Democratic President, especially a Progressive Democratic President.
So when you are looking at Congressional budget plans from either Republicans and Democrats, remember that’s exactly what they are: they are visions for what both parties would do if they had all the power and could do exactly what they want. But they shouldn’t be taken very seriously, because they tend to be written by career politicians and their staffs, as well as the people they rely on to stay in power.