Dueling Budgets In the House: Which One Is Extreme?

Today the House of Representatives voted on the budget that came out of its Budget Committee–the Paul Ryan Budget, as it is often known in the press. The budget, which would put the United States on a path toward fiscal sustainability, passed by a vote of 219-205. No Democrats voted to move toward a balanced budget and start dealing with our $17 trillion debt. On the other hand, a few Republican outliers–12, to be exact–voted against the budget. That handful, some of whom thought the budget cut too much, while others thought it didn’t cut enough, and one thought it spent too much on the military–were the focus of most media commentary.

Upon the passage of the “Paul Ryan Budget,” the Democratic Party went–to put it politely–batshit. This was one of several emails that I received from the Democratic Party:

From: DCCC Rapid Response [mailto:dccc@dccc.org]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 3:31 PM
To: Hinderaker, John H.
Subject: BREAKING:

BREAKING: House GOP Passes Paul Ryan’s Republican Budget

John — It’s official: Moments ago, Speaker Boehner’s Tea Party House passed the most radical budget we’ve ever seen.

The middle-class costs in the Ryan Budget are swift and brutal. This budget takes $40 billion out of the pockets of students paying for college and ends the Medicare guarantee for seniors — then hands new tax cuts to millionaires. It’s a slap in the face to the middle class and a direct attack on President Obama’s agenda.

At this critical moment, we are rushing to fight back. We need to have our strongest showing yet behind President Obama — but our Republican Accountability Fund isn’t where it needs to be. We are $100,000 short and need to make it up by midnight.

As always, the Democrats are all about money. But put aside the fundraising: they say the Republicans’ budget is “radical.” How is moving toward a balanced budget “radical?” How is trying to live within our means “radical?” How is trying to avoid our children’s bankruptcy due to overwhelming federal debt “radical?” The Democratic Party never explains.

They did, however, offer an alternative, in the form of President Obama’s proposed budget for FY 2015. The Democrats would prefer not to bring up this dingbat budget for a vote, because it is ridiculous–nothing but more spending, more taxes and more debt, as far as the eye can see. No effort to deal with being $17 trillion in the hole; on the contrary, Obama’s budget burns more and more money until the economy collapses and the USA is no more (which is what the CBO forecasts on our present trajectory).

But the Republicans forced a vote on Obama’s budget. The result? It went down to defeat, 413-2. You have to tip your cap to the two brave Democrats who were willing to go on record in favor of bankruptcy; they must be from really, really safe seats. Last time the House voted on an Obama budget, two years ago, it didn’t garner a single vote from anyone, Democrat or Republican. Last year the Republicans would have scheduled a vote on Obama’s budget but, in violation of the law, he didn’t offer one until it was too late.

Given these basic facts, I don’t think it is hard to figure out whose budget is extreme. The GOP plan, which would put the nation back on a path toward fiscal salvation? Or the Obama plan, which is so obviously a blueprint for bankruptcy and economic collapse that not even the most far-out Democrats will support it? The choice is easy, but the Democrats aren’t going away, even though they have no viable plan for the future. They are determined to win the next election, even if the country is swept away by the wreckage of their improvident policies a few months later.

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