A beautiful budget? It’s in the eye of the beholder
Budget beauty is clearly in the eye of the beholder.
Republican Senator Jeff Sessions took a look at President Barack Obama’s bloated, spend-your-way-out-of-a-recession blueprint for 2012, with its $1.65 trillion deficit, and declared himself appalled.
“The president has presented the most irresponsible budget in the history of this republic,” he said.
Sessions made the remark while strongly endorsing the leaner 2012 spending plan proposed Tuesday by Representative Paul Ryan, the Republican chairman of the House Budget Committee.
Ryan’s budget would put the U.S. government on what he says would be a more sustainable fiscal path by cutting around $6 trillion in expected spending over the next decade.
The budget would even be balanced by 2015, sort of … as long as you don’t count the $200-plus billion in interest payments on the debt.
Ryan’s spending plan achieves all these savings by repealing Obama’s healthcare law, messing around with the Medicare and Medicaid health programs for the elderly and disadvantaged and chopping away at discretionary spending.
Oh, and of course, cutting tax rates for the richest Americans.
Chris Van Hollen, top Democrat on the House Budget panel, said dressing up the typical Republican agenda in “a lot of nice-sounding rhetoric about reform” didn’t fool anybody.
The Ryan plan, he said, “is simply a recycled, rigid ideology that says we need to provide big tax breaks to the very wealthy and the very powerful at the expense of the rest of the country.”
John Yarmuth, another Democrat on the House panel, sounded positively Sessions-esque in the panoramic sweep of his criticism.
“This is,” he said, “the most imbalanced, reckless budget that has been offered in modern history.”
Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque (Sessions, right, discusses Republican budget proposed by Ryan, left)