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U.S. House of Representatives Republicans will unveil a 10-year budget blueprint in the next few weeks that will champion fiscal austerity, a theme party leaders hope will energize conservative voters ahead of the November congressional elections.
But crafting a budget that can bring together fractious Republicans could be a challenge for the document's lead author, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. He will need to bridge divisions within the party over defense spending and wrestle with a separate dilemma over the funding of popular social welfare programs.
And making his budget balance in 10 years - a non-negotiable goal for many in the party - is made far more difficult by weaker economic growth forecasts from the Congressional Budget Office that have reduced projected revenue by $1.4 trillion over the next decade.
As it is an election year, the GOP has to at least feign interest in being the party of smaller government in an effort to woo fiscal conservatives. Many in the upper echelons are blissfully unaware that fiscal cons tuned out a long time ago. They won't tune back in for a dog and pony show, they want some adults in the room to actually curb spending.
The differing opinions this article defines as problems for "fractious Republicans" are really problems for the nation as a whole. We simply cannot continue on a "tax more as we need it" path. The media simply needs to pretend that every discussion among Republicans is one that will rip the party asunder for all time. It's what they do.
One big stumbling block the GOP continually faces when trying to craft meaningful budgets is deliberate misrepresentation of what they are doing by the Democrats and the media.
Since the early '90s, Democrats have referred to any reduction in a rate of increase for a social program as a "cut". Their media monkeys then dutifully begin doing the same and, in no time at all, a minuscule reduction in increase becomes, "OMG-THE GOP IS GOING TO STARVE GRANDMA!" (It's always about starving grandma, even if there isn't a grandma within a hundred miles.) For over twenty years the Republicans seem to have had difficulty finding elected officials or candidates who can say, "You're lying."
The Democrat media complex will undoubtedly cast any serious Republican attempts to rein in spending as "draconian". (I would be willing to purchase a thesaurus with my own money just so they could learn a different word to use when hyperventilating over the prospect of fewer taxpayer funded "freebies".) Perhaps the GOP could counter with the fact that current spending habits will be "inevitably apocalyptic" for the American economy.
The Democrats actually believe that "The Rich" will provide an endless revenue stream for every social program fancy that crosses their progressive minds. Contrary to the narrative, they are the party that has been hijacked by its fringe. And its fringe on the other end of the planet relative to average Americans. The supposed fringe in the GOP is made up of Tea Party conservatives who are fighting for meaningful fiscal reform. It matters not whether the media deems the reforms necessary. Reality does and that should be all motivation needed.