Santorum: The Ryan budget is “a great blueprint,” but it doesn’t cut enough

posted at 6:00 pm on March 21, 2012 by Tina Korbe

Rick Santorum today gently criticized House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s latest budget effort — but at least it was from the right rather than the left as was Newt Gingrich’s “right-wing social engineering” criticism last year:

“He’s put forward a great blueprint for people to campaign upon and shows clearly progress dramatic progress in the direction of shrinking the size of government, and liberating the economy through lower taxes and less regulations,” he told Beck.

But of entitlement reform, Santorum said, “we need to move forward quicker” and he called for faster spending cuts.

Santorum was the only one of the presidential candidates not to release a statement about Ryan’s budget on Tuesday. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney quickly embraced the plan in a statement and comments to reporters, as did former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

Santorum’s more muted response may be connected to tricky politics in the House. Ryan’s budget faces a key vote on the Budget Committee he chairs on Wednesday. With Democrats unified in opposition, he can afford only two Republican defections or see an embarrassing defeat for what is designed to be the GOP’s leading election year campaign statement.

Santorum has the luxury to call for larger cuts because he’s not in office right now — and he’s to be commended for doing so. We who have no political cost to count should keep up the drumbeat for the deepest deficit reduction we can muster. Unless we continue to demand a balanced budget and the elimination of the debt, it’s never going to happen.

It’s one thing to call for deeper spending cuts on the campaign trail, though. It’s another to profess Ryan’s budget “not good enough” from within the walls of Congress. It is disappointing that House Budget Republicans aren’t planning to offer a balanced budget — and I sympathize with conservative Republicans who are disappointed that Ryan’s budget doesn’t do even more to tame the debt and deficit. The Daily Caller’s Neil Patel argued before the Ryan plan was unveiled that Republicans should either offer a balanced budget or retire and give folks who would be willing to offer a BB a chance to serve in office — and I tended to agree with him.

At this point, though, Ryan has revealed his plan — and opposing it does nothing to move the ball forward on entitlement reform. Avik Roy writes:

At a Tuesday panel hosted by the Heritage Foundation, Representative Tim Huelskamp (R., Kan.) said, of the new Ryan plan for entitlement reform, “I will be voting no. It’s not good enough.” Huelskamp is a member of the House Budget Committee; Ryan can only afford two other defectors if the budget is to make it out of the committee. “Its just another promise that I’m afraid will be broken,” said Huelskamp. “It’s not the big leap America so desperately needs.”

His out-front statement is giving cover, ironically, to more querulous Republicans, who don’t want to put themselves out there as favoring bold entitlement reform, but can now claim that the Ryan budget isn’t “good enough” as a way of symbolically maintaining their conservative bona fides.

Huelskamp cannot plausibly believe that Republicans will unite around a more aggressive deficit-reduction proposal — and, more importantly, that such a proposal could pass even a Republican-controlled Senate. Hence, what Huelskamp is likely to achieve is the opposite of what he claims he intends: the destruction of any meaningful effort to reform our health-care entitlements. And it is health-care entitlements, Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare, which are almost entirely responsible for the growth in the government’s share of our economy.

That even Paul Ryan’s Budget Committee doesn’t yet feel emboldened by the support of the electorate to offer a balanced budget suggests we still have work to do on altering the composition of Congress — not just in terms of replacing Democrats with Republicans, but in terms of replacing timid Republicans with bold Republicans. Ryan is one of the boldest — but he can’t do it alone. As Congress becomes increasingly conservative, Ryan will offer increasingly conservative solutions. I’m convinced of it. For now, he’s doing the best he can with what he has.


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I thought he was a team player?

rndmusrnm on March 21, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Realism is dead…

Critic2029 on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Safe. You’re not going to be criticized for saying we need bigger cuts in spending.

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Safe. You’re not going to be criticized for saying we need bigger cuts in spending.

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Except by liberals and Romney supporters. But I repeat myself.

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:06 PM

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Except by everyone who want to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Santorum should have just endorsed it and shut up. We all know more cuts are needed.

lorien1973 on March 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

While Pelosi’s video was good it only scratched the surface…

People are now getting a free government cell phone…

Within the ghetto it’s known as the “Obama phone”…

It’s equipped with 250 minutes that come onto your phone for free every month…

MGardner on March 21, 2012 at 6:09 PM

“Santorum has the luxury to call for larger cuts because he’s not in office right now”

And he isn’t likely to be so he can say whatever he wants in the desperate hope that something “catches” with people. Basically he’s just throwing anything he has against the wall and seeing if any of it sticks.

crosspatch on March 21, 2012 at 6:10 PM

That Richard Sanctimonious will say anything to get to the seat of power so he can control where the money is spent.

He loves him some big government.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-WezrKqUBQ&feature=g-all-lik&context=G27968aaFAAAAAAAACAA

In his own words.

Gunlock Bill on March 21, 2012 at 6:11 PM

O/T,the house is still surrounded,on the execution of the Jewish
Children and Rabbi in France!
—————————–

Update:

French Defense Minister on shooting suspect standoff:
*****************************************************

‘What we want is to capture him alive, so that we can bring him to justice, know his motivations and hopefully find out who were his accomplices, if there were any’

Submitted 2 mins ago from http://www.bbc.co.uk
http://www.breakingnews.com/
=============================

canopfor on March 21, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Ryan is smarter!

KOOLAID2 on March 21, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Ryan’s plan is awful because it is a big “nothing.” It’s not a budget, it does nothing specific, and the vote on it is non-binding. It’s nothing more than a show vote that has zero real effect even if it passes. Just like the Ryan 2011 “budget” that also wasn’t real.

AngusMc on March 21, 2012 at 6:21 PM

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Except by everyone who want to make the perfect the enemy of the good. Santorum should have just endorsed it and shut up. We all know more cuts are needed.

lorien1973 on March 21, 2012 at 6:07 PM

Please. Saying “It’s a great blueprint, but doesn’t cut enough” is hardly going to make people less likely to vote for it. If anything, knowing that some want more will probably help the other side to compromise.

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

will probably help the other side to compromise.

tom on March 21, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Compromise on what? It’s a non-binding, non-specific resolution that has no force of law or practical application. They can’t even send it to the Senate since it isn’t designed to be.

AngusMc on March 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Alright, Mr. Santorum, you say it doesn’t cut enough, but where specifically do we need to cut from more than what the Ryan budget proposes? All you have given me thus far are abstractions and generalities. I want specifics. Where are the specifics?

Weebork on March 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Ryan’s doing what nobody else dares. He’s getting killed for it and Mr team player throws him a left hook. Nice.

bluealice on March 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Santorum can’t capitalize on the stupid etch a schetch comment because he is too dumb. Like spending 2 days lounging in Puerto Rico. He screws up even when the Romney campaign hands him a cookie. Dumb little twerp.

Rusty Allen on March 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

Alright, Mr. Santorum, you say it doesn’t cut enough, but where specifically do we need to cut from more than what the Ryan budget proposes? All you have given me thus far are abstractions and generalities. I want specifics. Where are the specifics?

Weebork on March 21, 2012 at 6:27 PM

umm, politician on the campaign trail, you wouldn’t think that he meant a single word of that? it’s just empty posturing…it’s easy to do it from where he is…

jimver on March 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

jimver on March 21, 2012 at 6:30 PM

Absolutely true. But I would definitely like to see more specific solutions to what these guys want to do once in office. I know I am probably asking for an impossible goal. It still would be nice.

Weebork on March 21, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Ryan’s doing what nobody else dares. He’s getting killed for it and Mr team player throws him a left hook. Nice.

bluealice on March 21, 2012 at 6:28 PM

I beg to differ. What Ryan is doing is utterly stupid. His budget resolution is nonbinding. That means even if the House and Senate both by some miracle passed it, it has absolutely no effect. It cuts nothing. It changes nothing. But he and the GOP get all the criticism for proposing it.

AngusMc on March 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

You mean posturing to once again be a fox news commentator a month from now?

Rusty Allen on March 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

Needs Theme Music!!
(sarc)
——————–

Sly Fox: Lets Go All The Way
***************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQiGqGMT8i4&ob=av2e

canopfor on March 21, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Silly republicans :)

It has to be a crime to be this naive.

Uppereastside on March 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

Santorum was the only one of the presidential candidates not to release a statement about Ryan’s budget on Tuesday. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney quickly embraced the plan in a statement and comments to reporters, as did former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

He waits to see what the other guys do, then formulates and announces his position. That’s bold.

Santorum’s more muted response may be connected to tricky politics in the House. Ryan’s budget faces a key vote on the Budget Committee he chairs on Wednesday. With Democrats unified in opposition, he can afford only two Republican defections or see an embarrassing defeat for what is designed to be the GOP’s leading election year campaign statement.

Yes, and the political genius who thought that talking about English-only in Puerto Rico would be endearing just screwed it up again. Santorum’s criticism from the right just gave a bunch of Republican cowards cover to vote “no” on the plan and look principled. Huelskamp is not the problem. It is Santorum that just put us one step closer to the “destruction of any meaningful effort to reform our health-care entitlements.”

Oh well, I hope it helps him in Louisiana.

Mr. Arkadin on March 21, 2012 at 6:46 PM

I beg to differ. What Ryan is doing is utterly stupid. His budget resolution is nonbinding. That means even if the House and Senate both by some miracle passed it, it has absolutely no effect. It cuts nothing. It changes nothing. But he and the GOP get all the criticism for proposing it.
AngusMc on March 21, 2012 at 6:34 PM

The point is to get a vote on record where all the Democrats vote no. The Democrats haven’t passed a budget in three years. It’s hurting them, and they know it, which is why Axelrod was out making a national ass out himself this week trying to justify their political cowardice.

As soon as Ryan’s plan gets passed, and the inevitable “Republicans hate the middle class/seniors/children” meme starts up, the Republicans can say “O.K. fine, give us something from your side, a baseline, from which we can draft a compromise.” The Dems won’t, because they can’t, and they will look pathetic.

Ryan knows what he is doing.

Too bad Senator Sweater Chest couldn’t figure it out.

Mr. Arkadin on March 21, 2012 at 6:55 PM

Yes , Santorum noted there would be additional saving if the fraudulent practice of getting aids from one state while the person is living in another state is unmasked, and the leech is made to pay back the money.

galtani on March 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM

So, Santorum doesn’t think Ryan goes far enough. A fair criticism. Where is your plan, Mr. Santorum? You’re reminding me a little of Tim we-don’t-have-a-plan-all-we-know-is-that-we-don’t-like-your-plan Geitner.

Ryan’s not infallible and many criticisms will be made of his plan. But at least he has one. And he has the cojones to put it out there, which is what separates him from hand-wringers like Rick Santorum.

rogaineguy on March 21, 2012 at 7:47 PM

It has to be a crime to be this naive.

Uppereastside on March 21, 2012 at 6:40 PM

When do you go to lock up?

Bmore on March 21, 2012 at 8:42 PM

In his own words.

Gunlock Bill on March 21, 2012 at 6:11 PM

Agreed. Sanctimonious is his best quality…it goes downhill from there. For a guy who rarely met a spending bill he didn’t vote “yes” on to criticize Ryan for a bill which cuts taxes, the deficit, and spending by $500 billion a year — a budget which Ryan developed with a House Democrat?

What a joke Santorum is. He is the only thing Romney has going for him.

Jaibones on March 21, 2012 at 8:59 PM

28 comments? Wtf. Santorum is out there arguing for conservatism and the commentariat goes silent. Amazing.

tom daschle concerned on March 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Santorum is out there arguing for conservatism and the commentariat goes silent. Amazing.

tom daschle concerned on March 21, 2012 at 10:04 PM

Everyone’s arguing for conservatism. Your problem with Romney is that you believe he previously argued for something else. My problem with Santorum is…he did, too.

Both are frauds and politicians…but I repeat myself.

Jaibones on March 21, 2012 at 10:10 PM

Doesn’t matter what kinds of stupid statements the unelectable Rick Santorum makes about the Ryan budget.

The vast majority of Republicans know that Rick Santorum is nothing but an unelectable bigot who would ensure a Barack Obama landslide reelection victory.

It’s no wonder that Republicans are rejecting the retrograde extremist Rick Santorum. We actually want to beat Obama! The loudest cheerleaders for Rick Santorum are liberal Democrats who want an easy opponent for Obama in the general election.

bluegill on March 22, 2012 at 3:47 AM

Realism is dead…

Critic2029 on March 21, 2012 at 6:05 PM

Why vote for a guy who promises sound policy when the other dude promises you 4 chickens in every pot and Filet Mignon on Sunday?

MJBrutus on March 22, 2012 at 4:57 AM

Here is Rick Santorum at the RNC convention in 2008 saying it is a good thing gop is no longer the party of small govt.

This is the real Rick Santorum

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-WezrKqUBQ&sns=fb

ryandan on March 22, 2012 at 6:22 AM