It wouldn't kill Republicans to fight like men for once on these issues
Forget 2040: Ryan working on budget that balances in 10 years
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If the GOP shows some fight, this could actually happen.
As earnest as Paul Ryan is about the need for the nation to face up to its fiscal challenges (unlike some people, ahem), it’s always seemed to me a major weakness of his credibility was that his own plan didn’t actually balance the budget until 2040.
There are no details yet, but I’d say it’s significant merely that Ryan has decided it’s time to accelerate the process. A balanced budget in 2023 still seems a bit far off to me - how much more debt do we rack up in the meantime? - but at least it doesn’t pretend that a decade’s worth of deficits that come in just below $1 trillion every year would be some sort of accomplishment.
Now, there’s the usual caveat to all this. As you may know, I have little use for 10-year budget plans because the makers of the plan can’t obligate future Congresses to stick to the plan, and Congress always rescinds scheduled spending cuts under the guise of “emergency” or whatever. So while it’s useful to the debate for Ryan to show that a) this can be done; and b) the leading Republican on the Budget Committee is serious about doing it, the drafting of a plan is still a long way from making it reality.
Unless . . . Ryan and others in the GOP House leadership are willing to back up their words with actions that are entirely available to them.
Assuming Ryan remains as chairman of the House Budget Committee for the foreseeable future - which I know goes against their stated term-limit rules for committee chairmen, although they’ve broken them before - House Republicans have the power right now to:
- Force Obama and Reid to pass a real budget by refusing to pass any more continuing resolutions.
- Limit federal spending by setting limits for what can pass Ryan’s committee, and sticking to those limits no matter what kind of histrionics Obama, Reid, Pelosi and the media engage in.
If Ryan is really serious about this, and he plans to stay for awhile in the House, he theoretically has the power to make sure that nothing but his 10-year plan is implemented between now and 2023. Will there be a political brouhaha? Oh yeah. One for the ages. But aside from the fact that it wouldn’t kill Republicans to fight like men for once on these issues, the fact remains that as long as they can hold the House and Ryan can keep his seat, the Democrats cannot force a dollar of spending through the House that the GOP doesn’t sign off on.
Can’t wait to see the details.
To the apparent horror of some of our liberal commentators, Dan is also an author of a series of Christian spiritual thrillers. Find out more by liking his page on Facebook.