Budget blogger conference with Ryan, McMorris Rodgers

posted at 3:43 pm on February 14, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

After Rep. Paul Ryan and Senator Jeff Sessions finished their press conference regarding the budget proposal from President Obama, he headed back to the Cannon Building for a conference call with Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and bloggers.  Fortunately, I was already on Capitol Hill and got the opportunity to sit in on the call.  McMorris Rodgers told us that we are now facing a fiscal crisis, and that the new majority was committed to getting “our fiscal house in order.”  Ryan said that this budget is “anything but” triangulation, and said we’d have been better off doing nothing.

The budget contains $8.7 T in new spending, according to Ryan, and $1.6T in tax hikes.  It’s “worse than doing nothing,” and stated that low tax rates, reasonable regulations, and stable money are best policies for economic growth.  Borrowing at reckless rates means higher taxes now, and we are already seeing new highway taxes.   Obama claims $2 in cuts for $1 in new taxes but Ryan says it’s more like 8:1 other way.  As for claims of a freeze on non-security discretionary spending, that comes after a 24% increases in domestic spending over last three years.

Ryan rebuked Obama for his “abdication of leadership.”  “I thought he was advancing the conversation to an adult level,” Ryan said, and added that Obama’s proposal doesn’t even meet Obama’s definition of credible budgeting.  We are left with a choice between two economic paths: economic freedom or perpetual stagnation.

Questions:

  • Were you surprised that Obama didn’t try to top the House GOP on cuts?  Yes; the President proposed to spend $46T over next ten years, so the $400B is a drop in the bucket.
  • Noel Sheppard: Are Republicans doing a good enough job of explaining the deficits?  Deficits higher in constant dollars than during WWII — We need to do a better job of educating the people, and Obama’s actions makes it more difficult.  Having the White House stating that we can conduct business as usual masks the crisis.  Ryan is excited about the House freshmen, finally getting the “right culture” on Capitol Hill.  McMorris Rodgers says those freshmen are here because they “get it,” and “they’re already making a difference.”  “We’ve seen in Greece what happens when you continue down this path.”
  • CNN Money: How did you get the 8:1 ratio of spending to cuts, and haven’t the GOP also punted on entitlement reform? – Ryan reminded the reporter that his road map did contain entitlement reform, and that the GOP has been discussing it conceptually.  Ryan says he’s waiting for the budget to be written to talk about the baselines of the GOP proposals.  On the 8:1 ratio, Ryan says the assumptions in Obama’s budget are that we will be at the current troop levels in Af-Pak for ten years, even though Obama has already committed to reducing it in the short term.  The real numbers are $870 billion in new spending and $170 billion in cuts.  Those are “phony savings from the war,” and they are “bogus.”
  • Rob Neppell: Steve King says ObamaCare remains funded in the CR – can you clarify?  Ryan and McMorris Rodgers say they are “all in favor” of the King amendments and that ObamaCare will be defunded as part of this process.
  • Green Wire: What do you make of the nuclear power part of the proposal?  Neither of them know quite what to make of the proposals in that area, but they are both committed to advancing nuclear power, especially in regulatory reform.  McMorris Rodgers mentioned the RAIN act, which requires agencies to get Congressional approval for anything that creates an impact o
  • Nansen Malin, AFP: What do we need to provide you to get leadership?  Get involved in communicating to Facebook, blogs, and newspapers that we support budget cuts and appreciate leadership on “difficult decisions.”  Ryan says “the other side will be coming out of the woodwork to paint us as inhumane.” They will demagogue entitlement reform and spending cuts, and if they win that, we will lose the war on spending.  “If we duck from this issue,” Ryan warned, “you are guaranteeing European levels of austerity … and slower economic growth.”

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McMorris Rodgers sure has been more visible this legislative season…do I sense a Senate run for her in 2012?

steebo77 on February 14, 2011 at 3:44 PM

“•CNN Money: How did you get the 8:1 ratio of spending to cuts, and haven’t the GOP also punted on entitlement reform?”

I don’t remember it that way

Seven Percent Solution on February 14, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Ryan says “the other side will be coming out of the woodwork to paint us as inhumane.” They will demagogue entitlement reform and spending cuts, and if they win that, we will lose the war on spending. “If we duck from this issue,” Ryan warned, “you are guaranteeing European levels of austerity … and slower economic growth.”

This was the most important take-away for me. You better be strong in your principles and continue to educate the sheep that we can’t keep spending this way. Entitlements must be addressed and soon!

search4truth on February 14, 2011 at 4:05 PM

The Truth Behind the White House’s Budget Spin
by Sarah Palin

Today the White House finally produced its proposal for the 2012 budget. Beware of the left’s attempt to sell this as “getting tough on the deficit,” because as an analysis from Americans for Tax Reform shows, the White House’s plans are more about raising taxes and growing more government than reducing budget shortfalls.

The fine print reveals a White House proposal to increase taxes by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade. If you want to know how minuscule their proposed $775 million-a-year budget “cuts” really are, please look at this chart. The proposed cuts are so insignificant – less than 1/10 of 1% of this year’s $1.65 trillion budget deficit – that they are essentially invisible on the pie chart. That speaks volumes about today’s budget.

- Sarah Palin

unseen on February 14, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Rayn shoud take pointers from Palin on how to frame a debate. Ryan is looking at the small picture worried about the optics of indivisual cuts. He needs like Palin to keep the discussion on the SIZE of cuts not this program or that program.

unseen on February 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM

the lefty media like CNN are hoping to trap the Rs into a SS position that will destroy them for 2012

first, SS is in surplus for the next 10 years which makes Barry’s deficits look better…ie he’s using excess SS payments to fund his spending

that needs to be on every Rs lips when talking to a repeater

r keller on February 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM

r keller on February 14, 2011 at 4:18 PM

agreed Reps should frame the SS debate as the fact that politicans should not be trusted with their money. that the pols have squandered their livesavings and the only way to safegaurd it is to take the power away form the pols to touch their money…

unseen on February 14, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Man, people keep talking about how we need another Reagan to save this country, but Ryan’s already doing the heavy lifting. Amazing to see someone talk this passionately about budgeting and its effect on the American economy and jobs. MOAR PAUL RYAN PLEASE.

Caiwyn on February 14, 2011 at 4:25 PM

Caiwyn on February 14, 2011 at 4:25 PM

I agree. We’re getting a pretty steady dose of Palin and Ryan, with a little Rand Paul and Pawlenty mixed in. And I want more specifics…not Obama-rrific platitudes. I want to hear real actual plans for getting our entitlement problems fixed.

search4truth on February 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM

Repubs really need to keep Ryan front and center on this. No one explains it better and is thoroughly convincing.

Obama’s budget is probably to most dire dereliction of duty this country has seen in a long time. It’s clear he has no idea how to get out of this and just wants Republicans to propose cuts so he can demagogue the issue. The media isn’t going to point that out.

grahsco on February 14, 2011 at 4:31 PM

15 tax increases. Naturally, it’s all for the children because we need to invest (blah, blah, blah).

They obviously did not get the message in November.

http://www.examiner.com/conservative-in-spokane/president-s-2012-budget-filled-with-trillions-tax-increases

jdawg on February 14, 2011 at 4:45 PM

steebo77 on February 14, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I hope so.

jdawg on February 14, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I agree. We’re getting a pretty steady dose of Palin and Ryan…I want to hear real actual plans for getting our entitlement problems fixed.

search4truth on February 14, 2011 at 4:29 PM

How about some action, eh?

Once again, it’s all talk, talk, talk. They talk to the networks, talk to the bloggers, talk to each other, for all I know they talk in their sleep. (They’re politicians, so the latter is a safe bet.)

I know they have week-long holidays (where we have one day off), “procedures,” speaking engagements and far more interesting things to do than submit a fiscally responsible budget and get it voted upon.

But it wasn’t necessary to wait for Osama Obama to submit a budget to figure out what needed to be done. The “conservatives” are promising one. Any day now.

In the meantime, the government spends like crazy and pushes the day of fiscal responsibility farther and farther away.

Enough. Until our great Republican “leaders” get off their butts and do some of the hard work we pay them (luxuriously) to do, they are no better than the liberals, and are equally responsible for the impending financial nightmare.

MrScribbler on February 14, 2011 at 4:57 PM

WIN ONCE WITH THE GYPPER.

Mutnodjmet on February 14, 2011 at 5:02 PM

Why not Paul Ryan for Pres?

hawksruleva on February 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM

Enough. Until our great Republican “leaders” get off their butts and do some of the hard work we pay them (luxuriously) to do, they are no better than the liberals, and are equally responsible for the impending financial nightmare.

MrScribbler on February 14, 2011 at 4:57 PM

Our government officials need to start acting on principle; that is, the taxpayers principles of smaller government, lower taxes and less spending.

It is not rocket science folks! I am still for a beginning step that will cut 10% from all federal budgets immediately.
Then, each department has 3-6 months to put together their
budgets based on actual numbers and submit to the appropriate committee which posts same online so the taxpayers, bloggers, etc. can “go at it”. And, I want to see
details – not $500,000 for office furniture. Why do you need it? Where are you spending the money? How about $50,000 for USED office furniture? Or a moratorium on office furniture? We need to get tough. No coffee, no lunches (okay – maybe McDonalds/Panera)…you get the point!

Amjean on February 14, 2011 at 5:23 PM

War on spending? Another war? Really?

exdeadhead on February 14, 2011 at 10:17 PM

Why not Paul Ryan for Pres?

hawksruleva on February 14, 2011 at 5:11 PM

I’ve tried, but his kids are still too small. Our best bet of actually getting him to run is 2020.

steveegg on February 15, 2011 at 2:23 AM