Why We Oppose the Ryan-Murray Budget Deal

The Senate is set to vote on the fiscally irresponsible budget negotiated by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) soon. FreedomWorks has issued a key vote notice declaring that we will deduct the scores of any member of Congress who votes for it on our congressional scorecard. As you may imagine, this news hasn’t thrilled the Washington establishment.

Needless to say, we’re used to taking heat because of our principled stances. FreedomWorks isn’t here to make friends with corrupt politicians. We don’t care about rubbing shoulders with the elites at the fancy cocktail parties. We’re here to put our country on the right track. Our special interest is liberty.

Speaker Boehner has publicly lashed out against fiscally conservative groups that do not support the budget deal. He claims that we are “misleading our followers” and our complaints are “ridiculous.” This is because we dare to expose the horrible details of the phony budget deal. And no, there is nothing “ridiculous” about opposing a budget deal that will increase spending and the outrageous national debt. 

Other congressmen are being critical about our consistent position. Supporter of the budget deal Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) said that, “you can’t spend your time making perfect the enemy of the good.” That quote makes sense out of context. We realistically understand that steps in the right direction are necessary to achieve a free society. The huge growth in government didn’t happen overnight. And it’s not going to go away as quickly as we would like. 

But here’s the thing: make sure that the policies you are advocating for are actually good. We support good policies. They are certainly not the enemy of perfect. We’re not just saying “no” to the budget deal just because. It goes much deeper than that.

We have good reasons to oppose the budget. This terrible budget is even worse than the status quo.

The budget disregards of the sequester savings, the only spending control achieved in recent history. It would increase spending $63 billion above the budget caps set by Budget Control Act of 2011. Supporters of the budget claim that it contains no tax hikes. That sounds great at first, but the bill contains various fees. If the government is forcibly taking your money, does it matter what it is called? 

Not really. These fees are not being used to balance the budget. The purpose of the fees is to cover up the breaking of the spending caps. 

It’s interesting what the budget deal does not include: reform to entitlement programs. Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid make up nearly two-thirds of the budget. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that every penny of the federal budget will go to entitlement spending and interest on the debt by 2025. But the budget deal doesn’t even attempt to fix this nightmare. 

Supporters of the budget claim that it will supposedly reduce the deficit. But all those savings are back-loaded. They won’t happen anytime soon. Under the budget deal, we are supposed to trust Congress to make cuts in 2016. Excuse us for being a little pessimistic, but we’re not holding our breath. As we’ve seen time and time again, these kinds of promised spending cuts down the road never seem to materialize. 

After all, the main purpose of this budget deal is to get rid of the spending cuts promised to us in 2011. So let us get this straight: we need to pass this bill that promises spending cuts in three years to get rid of the spending cuts promised two years ago? We aren’t fooled by Washington’s deceitful tricks. 

Some Republicans will reluctantly vote for this awful bill to get rid of the Pentagon spending cuts in the sequester. Why do some Republicans fully support cuts in domestic spending but become big government cronies when it comes to Department of Defense spending? The national debt is over $17 trillion. There is wasteful and harmful spending in every single government department that needs to go.

More Republicans need to get serious about reducing Pentagon spending. And they especially shouldn’t be willing to reverse spending constraints in exchange for a fiscally reckless budget. 

We want real spending constraints.  We want a budget that cuts spending and reduces the national debt. The Ryan-Murray budget does neither and that’s why we must oppose it. 

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