On the Budget, Republicans Need to Get Serious

It’s a new era of Republican leadership in the House. Speaker Boehner is out, Speaker Ryan (R-WI-1) is in, and just in time for the budget process. Under the influence of the House Freedom Caucus, Republicans finally have a chance to do something about the outrageous spending that is rapidly bankrupting our country. It would all be terribly exciting… except that none of that is actually happening.

To the dismay of conservatives, Speaker Paul Ryan, along with House Budget Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-GA-6), has indicated that the forthcoming budget resolution will likely preserve the discretionary spending levels of $1.07 trillion agreed to in a September compromise between then-Speaker John Boehner and President Obama. Anything more ambitious than that, we are told, is simply not realistic.

Continuing to advance budgets that plunge us deeper into debt is to abdicate responsibility for our country’s security, at home and abroad. The pressure of unfunded liabilities and the national debt weakens both our domestic economy and our national defense. Speaking in 2010, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Michael Mullen said, “The most significant threat to our national security is our debt.” It’s a line he has repeated many times since then, as the debt situation has only worsened without an end in sight. Republicans should not be considering a budget that increases our debt, and thereby weakens our national security.

A budget deal at the numbers agreed to in September isn’t a serious proposal. The only justifications House leadership can have for such a plan is that real reform it is too hard to do now, Republican’s don’t control the White House, the weather isn’t perfect and the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908. Instead of a smart budget that addresses our fiscal emergency, the American people get compromise guarded by timid excuses.