Reihan Salam

The budget deal’s central achievement: protecting America’s military strength

By Reihan Salam
December 13, 2013

Remember 1986? Ronald Reagan was in the White House, Dionne Warwick was topping the charts, and movie audiences swooned as Tom Cruise romanced Kelly McGillis in Top Gun. Children born in 1986 are now adults having children of their own. So it is sobering to realize that 1986 was also the last year in which a divided Congress — a Democratic House and a Republican Senate, to be precise — was able to reach a budget agreement. To the surprise of many, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, a leading light among conservative Republicans, and Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, a savvy Democrat with a populist streak, reached a modest budget deal at the start of this week that eased the rigid caps on discretionary spending imposed by sequestration in the short term, in exchange for more mandatory spending restraint over the long term.

Paul Ryan, Patty Murray and a budget walk into a bar

By Reihan Salam
March 15, 2013

This week, House Republicans and Senate Democrats released budget resolutions that illustrate the chasm that separates the two parties.