Welcome to Budget Week in DC! Like Shark Week, Only with More Blood, Tears, and Chum
Later today, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will release the official Republican budget plan for fiscal year 2014. Ryan and the GOP are to be commended for actually developing a plan and releasing it in a timely and open fashion. That stands in counterpoint to the Senate Democrats, who have failed for years (yes, years!) to do that basic task. Budget chief Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) has promised to deliver a document by middle of this week. And the GOP is clearly more serious than the president, who said he will release his budget on April 8, or two months after his actual deadline.
Past iterations of the GOP budget plan didn't balance the budget for 30 or more years. This time, souces say they will get there in a decade. I would love to see that (for many reasons), but here's why Ryan's plan is already full of baloney:
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan is planning to unveil a 2014 budget plan this week that would balance the government's books in 10 years by limiting the annual growth of spending to 3.4 percent.
The budget proposal assumes that Congress would repeal President Barack Obama's health-care law set to be implemented next year, Ryan said yesterday on "Fox News Sunday." That assumption depends on the unlikely possibility that the Democrat in the White House and those who control the Senate agree to repeal the president's signature domestic policy achievement.
Ryan has said he's cautiously optimistic that President Obama and missing-for-years Senate Democrats will actually sit down and work seriously on hammering a budget for the fiscal year that starts on October 1:
Whether Obama can forge consensus with a Congress that is operating under split political control depends on "how he conducts himself in the coming weeks and months," Ryan said. "Will he resume the campaign mode, will he resume attacking Republicans?"
Again, all credit to the GOP for releasing a budget. But I can't imagine that this conversation is going to go well if the centerpiece is the defunding of a major piece of legislation that—however totally odious, stupid, and misconceived it might be—has passed constitutional muster.
Ryan's plans over the past few years have been better than Obama's but are still problematic from a small-government perspective. Read more on that here.