111 K Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
- Toll Free 1.888.564.6273
- Local 202.783.3870
Congressional Democrats have finally gotten around to proposing a federal budget - the first one in four years - and you can probably imagine what it includes. According to The Hill,
The first budget from Senate Democrats in four years includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes but would not balance the budget.
The blueprint unveiled by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday to her Democratic colleagues would also turn off the next nine years of the sequester and replace those spending cuts with a 50-50 mix of tax increases and spending cuts.
The Hill also notes that Senator Murray's claims of $1.85 Trillion in cuts over ten years rely on some pretty funny math: when the sequester cuts are turned off, only about $800 Billion is cut (per the CBO). The funny math doesn't end there either, as these "cuts" also include $240 billion in savings from the end of the Afghanistan war and $242 billion in reduced interest payments:
Republicans have criticized Democrats in the past for counting these as spending cuts, and [Paul] Ryan made a point in his budget [earlier this week] of producing a different baseline that did not count CBO’s projected savings from war and disaster spending.
This budget is being met with predictable skepticism by Senate Republicans. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, delivered the Weekly Republican Address this past weekend, and said,
Government spends trillions on poverty programs, but poverty continues to grow. Isn’t a better goal to help more Americans find good-paying jobs, to have the pride and self-respect that comes from that? Isn’t this a superior form of compassion that has a more solid moral foundation? Yet every time lawmakers try to reform the bureaucracy to accomplish these goals, they meet with the same response: President Obama attacks the reformers, saying such ideas aren’t compassionate or fair. But what is truly unfair and lacking in compassion is to protect a federal bureaucracy that is failing those who need our help the most.
He also had pointed comments about our national debt, which appears not to be sufficiently addressed in Senator Murray's budget outline:
Debt is slowing the economy and depressing wages, and that balancing the budget and ending the deficit – the great challenge of our time – can be achieved by holding annual spending growth to 3.4 percent annually. But I fear the Democrat proposal will fail this defining test and will never achieve balance. I fear it will crush American workers and our economy with trillions in new taxes, spending and debt. I fear Chairman Murray will follow the President’s lead: raising taxes to enrich the bureaucracy at the expense of the people.
This pie in the sky budget proposal, which fails to reform DC bureaucracy, does nothing to address poverty except to advance the status quo, uses funny accounting tricks to simulate spending cuts, raises taxes to maintain our current reckless levels of spending, and which does virtually nothing to reduce our public debt, has fiscal conservatives chanting: Four More Years! Four More Years!