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This week the House and Senate will likely vote on their budget plans, along with a few conservative alternative budgets.
To help you see where each plan stands in terms of spending restraint and economic growth, we have put together our second annual "Budget Report Card", which rates each of the major plans according to various economic criteria.
This year even Paul Ryan's House plan balances in 10 years, while Rand Paul and the Republican Study Committee plans balance in 5 and 4 years, respectively. The Senate Democrats' plan, unfortunately, never reaches balance.
But for the third straight year, Senator Paul's budget wins "best in show" for not only balancing quickly, but for shifting taxes to a single-rate flat tax and truly reforming all three of the "big three" entitlements (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security).
Most impressively, the Paul budget is the only one to fully tackle Social Security reform by allowing individuals to opt into private accounts. Another reform that the Paul budget contains that all the others lack - it makes participation in Medicare and Social Security truly voluntary.
(To see the following charts full-sized, click the link at the bottom of this post):
The House passed a version of Paul Ryan's budget in both 2011 and 2012, but their budget failed in the Senate each time. Meanwhile, if the Senate were to pass any budget resolution, it would be the first time they have done so in nearly four years. The government has been running on temporary continuing resolutions during that time.