House conservatives to unveil alternate budget

posted at 11:35 am on March 27, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

When House Budget chair Rep. Paul Ryan rolled out his budget plan for FY2013 and beyond, a few conservatives expressed disappointment in the result.  Ryan didn’t cut spending as much as they wanted, and his plan took too long to get to a balanced budget.  The Republican Study Committee will release their own version of the budget today — although members will commit to voting for both their own and Ryan’s plans:

House conservatives on Tuesday morning will tack to the right and unveil an alternative to the House GOP leadership’s 2013 budget plan that balances in five years.

The new Republican Study Committee (RSC) spending plan has deeper cuts than the group’s budget for last year, which would have balanced the budget in nine years. The leadership budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), takes until nearly 2040 to balance. …

Whereas the Ryan plan resembles proposals by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the RSC plan more closely resembles the Tea Party budget put forth this month by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).

That budget cuts $9 trillion in spending over 10 years, compared to $5.3 trillion in the Ryan plan.

Not to be outdone, liberal Democrats in the House will propose an alternate budget of their own.  Needless to say, it won’t go in the same direction from Ryan’s budget proposal:

Meanwhile, liberal House Democrats on Monday unveiled a 2013 budget alternative that increases taxes by $4.7 trillion more than President Obama proposed in his own budget last month.

Liberals get $897 billion in tax revenue from imposing an energy tax on carbon fuels, and $849 billion from taxing Wall Street trades.

Why all the new revenue?  Democrats want to spend it on new stimulus spending — in fact, almost four times as much stimulus spending as Obama got in 2009.  Their proposal calls for almost $3 trillion in government spending, which will supposedly lower unemployment and “rebuild the middle classes.”  Where have we heard those Keynesian promises before?  Oh, yes, in 2009 — and look how well that worked.

Here’s a question that these Democrats should answer first.  Why not have the Senate propose that budget?  After all, their party controls the upper chamber, and it’s not as if they’re too busy budgeting at the moment to consider it.  Right now, their party leadership in the Senate is focusing on NFL bounties rather than the proper management of federal funds, and it’s been almost three years since Harry Reid passed a proper budget.  Oh, yes — it’s because their lunatic spending spree doesn’t have a prayer of passing, and would probably put more Republicans in the Senate in 2013, that’s why.

The winner from this session of Dueling Budgets will most likely be Paul Ryan.  Americans want cuts, but still don’t want to see a drastic shift.  Democrats tried to paint Ryan’s budget as radical and extreme, but with the RSC version on the table and the insane demand for three trillion dollars in government-intervention spending from Democrats, Ryan’s starting to look like the grown-up in the Beltway.

Addendum: Jim Pethokoukis analyzes the House Democrat proposal and discovers that it raises taxes by 40%:

Just what would President Barack Obama do in a second term if had maximum “flexibility”? Consider his first term: Even though Obama was elected along with huge Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, he didn’t really get everything he wanted in 2009 and 2010. If he had, the stimulus would’ve been twice as big, healthcare reform would’ve included a public option, and a cap-and-trade scheme would right now be killing America’s natural gas revolution in the cradle.

So what about a second term? Well, a new budget proposal from liberal House Democrats suggests what Obama’s “dream agenda” might be. And if Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan is the “Path to Prosperity,” the Congressional Progressive Caucus has offered the “Road to Ruin.”

Officially, the CPC calls the plan “The Budget for All” — and it’s all wrong. Sure, the proposal would theoretically cut the deficit from $1.1 trillion (7.0% of GDP) in 2012 to $180 billion (or 0.7% of GDP) in 2022. But the CPC would accomplish this feat entirely through massive and economy-crippling tax increases.

In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office projects Uncle Sam will spend 23.2% of GDP and take in 16.3% of GDP in tax revenue. In 2022, under the liberal CPC plan, spending would be 23.3% of GDP — a bit higher than the CBO forecast for 2012 — and revenue would be a sky-high 22.6% of GDP. In other words, spending would be 0.1 percentage point more and tax revenue would 6.3 points higher, or nearly 40%.

Maybe Medvedev can provide Obama with some “space” here, too.


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Democrats want to more than double down on failed policy. What could go wrong?

Yakko77 on March 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

The Dems budget will ADD 6 trillion to the deficit! (Remember when the Owebama admin claimed we were going to spend our way to prosperity!) This is reason number one Obama has to go.

Minnfidel on March 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

And the Senate will continue to pretend budgets don’t exist.

changer1701 on March 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

The Dems budget will ADD 6 trillion to the deficit! (Remember when the Owebama admin claimed we were going to spend our way to prosperity!) This is reason number one Obama has to go.

Obama was right. We are spending our way to HIS prosperity.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Meanwhile, liberal House Democrats on Monday unveiled a 2013 budget alternative that increases taxes by $4.7 trillion more than President Obama proposed in his own budget last month.

Liberals get $897 billion in tax revenue from imposing an energy tax on carbon fuels, and $849 billion from taxing Wall Street trades.

Geez, these people are nutz. I get that they know this budget will never be passed(in fact, it may never even be voted on), but nearly a trillion in taxes on both energy and stock market trades? What kind of economy do they think will be left over after that?

Doughboy on March 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Maybe Medvedev can provide Obama with some “space” here, too.

How about spaceship instead? Obama will be able to visit space, and the United States will actually be able to improve the economy instead of crippling it.

dernst2 on March 27, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Washington Dems: Sorry we overspent by 1 Trillion a year, but we promise if we can overspend by 4 Trillion things will get much better…

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 27, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I can’t believe that the liberals will actually admit what they really want to do and put it on paper for all the world to see. Usually their true agenda is obfuscated by lies and core details that are “accidentally” left out.

search4truth on March 27, 2012 at 11:43 AM

The Dems budget will ADD 6 trillion to the deficit! (Remember when the Owebama admin claimed we were going to spend our way to prosperity!) This is reason number one Obama has to go.

Minnfidel on March 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This is one of too many reasons to list. I wouldn’t put it at the top simply because in this election year with a Senate that has refused to pass any budget for three years the CPC proposal has just as much chance of passage as Ryan’s budget or that of the RSC.

This is just political gamesmanship going into the elections. The RSC members can talk about slashing government spending. The CPC can talk about taxing the “fat cats” and wealth redistribution. And neither budget will ever be enacted.

Happy Nomad on March 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I’m all for the Democrats proposing budgets… the more the merrier…

Khun Joe on March 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Ugh….makes you just continue to shake your head!

CoffeeLover on March 27, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Mitt Romney increased spending by 26% as governor. He would fit right in with Pelosi Democrats.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

This is just political gamesmanship going into the elections. The RSC members can talk about slashing government spending. The CPC can talk about taxing the “fat cats” and wealth redistribution. And neither budget will ever be enacted.

Happy Nomad on March 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Of course it is, but it’s like buying a car. You don’t walk into the dealership and pay sticker. You start low and have room to wiggle. The dems decided to start high becaus it’s what they do. We need someone in there with a veto pen. Mitt or Rick I don’t care. The Greek style spending has to end.

Minnfidel on March 27, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Negoziato, price it high, drop till they buy.

Speakup on March 27, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Mitt Romney increased spending by 26% as governor. He would fit right in with Pelosi Democrats.

angryed on March 27, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Repeat after me: Massachusetts. Liberal Congress. Power of the purse. Veto proof majority.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Repeat after me: Massachusetts. Liberal Congress. Power of the purse. Veto proof majority.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Because surviving as governor trumps all other considerations, including governing philosophy and principles.

That is your argument. And it fits Romney to a “T”.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Because surviving as governor trumps all other considerations, including governing philosophy and principles.

That is your argument. And it fits Romney to a “T”.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on March 27, 2012 at 11:57 AM

Romney used his veto pen a few times – much good it did him! What do you want him to have done, choke a few congress-critters with his own hands? (not that I’d mind…) If you never lived in Massachusetts you don’t know what kind of crowd he dealt with.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Romney used his veto pen a few times – much good it did him!

When the going gets tough, give in. – Romney 2012

lorien1973 on March 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

And the Senate will continue to pretend budgets don’t exist.

changer1701 on March 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

…and the media and the other side says nothing! Where is the outrage?

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

…and the media and the other side says nothing! Where is the outrage?

KOOLAID2 on March 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Being expended on the Trayvon Martin shooting

Bitter Clinger on March 27, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Democrats alternate universe budget . . .

BigAlSouth on March 27, 2012 at 12:12 PM

The house progressive caucus released their proposed budget today and it included a 3.9 trillion dollar stimulus spending program as a deficit reduction measure. I kid you not.

tommyboy on March 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

This is reason number one Obama has to go.

Minnfidel on March 27, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Well…its one of the reasons…

MooCowBang on March 27, 2012 at 12:14 PM

When the going gets tough, give in. – Romney 2012

lorien1973 on March 27, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Heck, why do you guys force me to defend Romney? I probably like him no more than you do. My problem is, I like all other candidates even less.

Please don’t forget that the executive branch’s role should be, ideally, secondary to the will of the people. Governors are supposed to be administrators, not policy-setters. People of Massachusetts crave socialism. If by leading you mean “ram conservatism down their throat”, you’re no better than Obama who wants to do exactly the same for his side. Romney is the ultimate “Tenther”, not a liberal many paint him into.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I love my country, I fought for my country(Vietnam)and if we re-elect Obama,I will hate my country.

celtic warrior on March 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Ah yes, the party of the poor and middle class wants to tax energy to the tune of a TRILLION dollars. That’ll rebuild the economy and the middle class alright!

Charlemagne on March 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Detailed budget tables from the RSC plan were not available on Monday, but the budget sources said the top-line spending level for appropriations next year is $931 billion, compared to $1.028 trillion in the Ryan plan and $1.047 trillion in last year’s August debt deal.

$116B in less spending when we are running $1,000B plus deficits year after year. As in all of these budget proposals, all the easy cuts are done now, and it is up to a future congress to make the real meaningful cuts. Now then, we are going to be spending $116B less on things congress was intelligent enough to keep control of, but Medicare/Medicaid/Medicare are all increasing at a faster rate. It is likely that the 5 year (why not 3?) plan to get to budget balance has absolutely 0 chance of ever materializing because they are using rosy scenarios of GDP growth and fewer people retiring early to get their government end of life vacation funds.

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Medicare/Medicaid/Medicare should read Medicare/Medicaid/Social Security

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Play the Left’s game here. Propose two budgets, the one we can live with and the one we wish we could have. That will make the one we can live with seem reasonable to the Leftists and they might help pass it.

Charlemagne on March 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Attention Dem voters:

You realize that your party has been taken over by Socialists, right?

Time to man up, accept it, and just make your arguments defending the “benefits” of statism. Stop pretending to be moderates.

The Dem party became officially unhinged when they appointed Nancy Pelosi as their House leader. It wasn’t all that long ago when the Dem party (rightfully) regarded her as a fringe element. Now her extreme views are the norm for the party.

visions on March 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Being the cynic that I am, I would not be surprised if the RSC budget being released a few days after the Ryan budget is very specifically designed to make the Ryan budget look like a reasonable compromise.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Ryan, but I would take his budget over the the CPC budget (or any Dem budget). Ryan’s plans still increase actual spending year over year, they just do it more slowly. And they still deficit spend and increase the debt until around 2040 (was 2063 under last year’s Ryan plan, so it’s going in the right direction at least). I’m more for a budget that actually cuts real spending, rather than just reduce the rate of increase and call it a “cut”. I will take what I can get though in the short term. Clearly the bulk of the American public is just not ready for the actual cuts that are needed. Better the Ryan budget than the Dem budgets that don’t recognize there is a deficit/debt problem, and keep spending as if money is just created by some accountant’s pen at the Fed by tacking on a few zeros to the government’s account… oh wait…

gravityman on March 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Ah yes, the party of the poor and middle class wants to tax energy to the tune of a TRILLION dollars. That’ll rebuild the economy and the middle class alright!

Charlemagne on March 27, 2012 at 12:19 PM

Judging by their actions, the Left doesn’t want to help anybody. They just want to “control the people.”

So sad that so many Americans are OK with this. Liberty lost is seldom regained. Incremental steps…

visions on March 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM

gravityman on March 27, 2012 at 12:22 PM

That sounds very cynical. The real facts though are that even the “radical” budget is so tame that if it scares people, then we are well beyond saving this country by simply voting for the right people.

astonerii on March 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM

Liberals get $897 billion in tax revenue from imposing an energy tax on carbon fuels

What a great idea! Because EVERYONE knows that NO ONE passes on taxes to the consumer!

GarandFan on March 27, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Please don’t forget that the executive branch’s role should be, ideally, secondary to the will of the people. Governors are supposed to be administrators, not policy-setters. People of Massachusetts crave socialism. If by leading you mean “ram conservatism down their throat”, you’re no better than Obama who wants to do exactly the same for his side. Romney is the ultimate “Tenther”, not a liberal many paint him into.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 12:16 PM

We have a representative republic, rather than a direct democracy, for a reason. The will of the people is expressed at the ballot box, not on individual issues. (Except, of course, in the case of something such as a ballot referendum.) Leaders are elected to lead. If the role of the governor was simply to rubber stamp what either the people or the legislature wanted, we wouldn’t need a governor.

If a budget is bad, it should be vetoed. The fact that there is a liberal legislature which will override the veto should not be a consideration. As a leader, you should not go along with something just because “they’re going to do it anyway.” You should set an example, fight as hard as you can for what you believe to be in the best interests of the state, make your case to the people and to the legislature, and veto the legislation if you have to. If ultimately you are overruled, well, that’s part of the process and you move on.

Governor Romney’s decisions on these matters smacks of everything else he does — political expediency. He didn’t want to see as the guy who said no to everything or who couldn’t get anything done, because that would hurt his chances of getting elected again or to another office. So he modified his positions to ones that gave him the best political cover and then blamed it on the legislature. Not a good resume for a potential president.

Shump on March 27, 2012 at 12:37 PM

The real facts though are that even the “radical” budget is so tame that if it scares people, then we are well beyond saving this country by simply voting for the right people.

This is quite horrifying.

And quite true.

Bat Chain Puller on March 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM

Repeat after me: Massachusetts. Liberal Congress. Power of the purse. Veto proof majority.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

This argument is so tiring.

Especially when it comes to his health care proposals. Romney supporters keep saying that the legislature twisted his health care proposal and added things that Romney did not want.

So either he was dumb to think that no changes would be made or he knew changes were going to be made and he didn’t mind.

joey24007 on March 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM

Repeat after me: Massachusetts. Liberal Congress. Power of the purse. Veto proof majority.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Christie deals with these things as well so he doesn’t go around proposing socialized medicine.

joey24007 on March 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Of course! Why didn’t I think of that? Increase the cost of energy, a sure fire way to jumpstart the economy! Why, business’s big and small will just be chomping at the bit to expand and hire! It’s not like it would increase the cost of EVERYTHING WE BUY, ‘specially domestically produced products, or anything.
And hey, let’s tax those wall street transactions! No better way of getting that money off the sidelines than taxing every move of the $$! And simply everyone with money offshore will just line up to start investing! It’s Brilliant! I can’t wait, lets do it!

Is this an alternate universe?

JusDreamin on March 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM

Is this an alternate universe?

JusDreamin on March 27, 2012 at 1:14 PM

No, just the U.S.S.A

joey24007 on March 27, 2012 at 1:23 PM

Repeat after me: Massachusetts. Liberal Congress. Power of the purse. Veto proof majority.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Try the Scott Walker method – Veto, rinse, repeat.

Every year Walker was Milwaukee County Executive (affecting the 2004-2011 budgets), he would submit a budget that had a zero property tax levy increase. Every year, the County Board, which had a veto-proof majority of tax-and-spenders, jacked up property taxes between 3 and 4 percent. Every year except the year Walker vetoed the entire budget, he used his line-item veto to bring the budget back to a zero property tax increase. Every year but one (no, not the year the entire budget was vetoed, but the first year because they were on the regular re-election cycle after the pension scandal ousted the previous County Executive and 7 of the then-25 board members), the board restored most of the vetoes.

That consistent refusal to accept tax increases didn’t exactly end Walker’s political career.

Steve Eggleston on March 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

Christie deals with these things as well so he doesn’t go around proposing socialized medicine.

joey24007 on March 27, 2012 at 1:10 PM

Don’t even start comparing my New Jersey to the Liberal Hell that is Massachusetts. If not for gerrymandering and voting-fraud black holes (pun intended) in Camden, Newark, and Trenton, massively suburban New Jersey would be fairly purple. There was never a chance of Christie’s veto being overruled, even on bipartisan issues such as gay marriage.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 1:28 PM

That consistent refusal to accept tax increases didn’t exactly end Walker’s political career.

Steve Eggleston on March 27, 2012 at 1:25 PM

It actually may, despite all the money I’m sending him, but it’s beyond the point I’m trying to make. Wisconsin public is split fairly even on fiscal conservatism, whereas in Massachusetts the voters have never seen a tax or a spending program they didn’t love.

Archivarix on March 27, 2012 at 1:30 PM

Carbon fuels? So gas too? Gas is about $4/gal now and they want to throw a new tax on it? They won’t be able to say that only the rich will be taxed, will they?

magicbeans on March 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Here’s a question that these Democrats should answer first. Why not have the Senate propose amendments to that budget?

FIFY! (to make it Article I Section 7 friendly) :)

TMOverbeck on March 27, 2012 at 1:37 PM

Carbon fuels? So gas too? Gas is about $4/gal now and they want to throw a new tax on it? They won’t be able to say that only the rich will be taxed, will they?

magicbeans on March 27, 2012 at 1:36 PM

Not so fast MB. The regular folks can just buy one of those cheap cars, you know, the ones that run on electricity. And that electricity is made from, er, wait, never mind.
Okay, got it, just take the bus. they run on…, okay maybe not the bus.
Here we go! Just ride a bike!

JusDreamin on March 27, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Good.

Mr. Ryan’s budget is more likely to pass now. And, no, it isn’t as good as his offering last year was, nor as good as a responsible budget plan should be. But it is a move in the right direction. A few more small steps like that, and the country might not end up completely bankrupt…

DrUrchin on March 27, 2012 at 2:26 PM

Right, taxing carbon fuels will go down so well in New England.

As it is, I’ve spent over $300 a month on heating oil this winter, and I’m hoping that this cold snap is short. It was really nice not thinking of all the money going up in steam everytime I heard the boiler kick in.

So I guess I need to look into a wood stove for the old kitchen which still has a chimney and flue access. That will cut my carbon emmissions!

LibraryGryffon on March 27, 2012 at 2:36 PM

House conservatives to unveil alternate budget

Really? It’s an “alternate” budget? It’s not an “alternative” budget?

You’re sure you don’t want to look that up? In, like, a dictionary?

JackieB on March 27, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Word up, Ed.

CorporatePiggy on March 27, 2012 at 3:08 PM

All of this plans need to have a “No Federal Funds for RomneyCare” clause on them… Let RomneyCare stand on it’s own… If MA Mandates… Let them pay for it…. Defund RomneyCare Federally Now!!!

Y314K on March 27, 2012 at 4:32 PM