• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • As the Budget Debate Unfolds, It's Time for Grown Ups

    House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R, WI) has proposed a budget for grown ups.

    Washington’s big spenders have responded with the tired clichés we expect from defenders of big government:

    “Pulling the rug out from under seniors,” says Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D, MI).

    “Waging war on American workers,” says Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif.

    “A path to poverty for America’s seniors and children,” claims House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D, CA).

    “The tea party has hijacked the Republican caucus,” says House Budget Committee Ranking Member Chris Van Hollen (D, MD)

    Pee Wee Herman could have delivered more creative comebacks.  But adult conversation about serious issues is lacking in Washington, DC.  Ryan’s plan should be rated at least R for Realism while the dismissive comments are PG for Politically-Guided.

    Ryan’s plan is a big deal.  A very big deal.  Its proposed $6.2-trillion of savings (compared to Obama’s budget) over ten years is literally 100 times larger than the $61-billion that the GOP is trying to cut this year—and that Democrats are fighting against ferociously.

    Changing Medicare to a defined contribution plan is a good course to pursue, and of course a tough sell.  But it makes a huge difference in controlling spending and reducing deficits.  The same with revising Medicaid to give states flexibility to deliver care more efficiently–yet with limited federal outlays.

    As The Heritage Foundation’s annual Index of Dependency notes, dependence on government is skyrocketing.  Ryan would address that.

    Spending limitations, rollbacks and freezes.  Repeal of Obamacare.  Cutting corporate welfare (including farm subsidies) as well as overly-generous giveaways to individuals.  Structural reform for federal health care programs, which are the biggest runaway spending items.  Ryan’s plan gets serious in a way nobody else has.

    But his “Path to Prosperity” is about economic growth, not just spending.  Tax simplification is one aspect, and so is lowering corporate taxes so businesses are not pushed overseas by what is now the world’s highest rate.  A Heritage Foundation analysis finds this would create a million jobs a year for starters, and double that rate in short order.

    It’s not perfect.  Our national defense needs are greater than Ryan projects.  Social Security’s problems are not addressed.  And welfare reform should go beyond what he lays out.

    But Ryan’s proposal is good, tough stuff—strong medicine that we need, not politically-correct placebos that the plan’s opponents are already peddling.

    We live in a time when cute soundbites substitute for debate and false claims are used to justify inaction despite our fiscal crisis.  While most of his critics carp without offering any alternative, Ryan has delivered a needed challenge before we fall totally over the fiscal cliff.

    Paul Ryan respects Americans—especially taxpayers.  He speaks to us like adults.  For the rest of Washington, it’s time to put away childish things.

    Ernest Istook calls himself a “recovering” Congressman, and is now a distinguished fellow at The Heritage Foundation.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to As the Budget Debate Unfolds, It's Time for Grown Ups

    1. Mary Love, Monroe LA says:

      I can hardly remember a time since JFK when a Democrat acted like an adult. They are, for the most part, petulant, sulky,intolerant and demeaning to any other who disagrees with their point of view. It is past time for these bottom feeders need to sent home to stay. Just as being a "Welfare Mom" was never forseen to be a career choice, neither was lying to constiuents, forgetting who brought you there and it is THEIR MONEY that you are squandering! If the Democrats could negotiate among themselves when contolling ALL THREE BRANCHES, how do they expect people to ever make their lives better? I am beginning to believe that this evil is NOT GOD'sWAY…we are to HATE THE SIN, and LOVE THE SINNER. That is not a "get out of responsibility" free card for the elected Congress.

    2. George Colgrove VA says:

      It comes down to this.

      What we know:

      1) We have exausted our ability to collect any more taxes

      2) We are over spending by $1.6 trillion

      3) We will be hitting the debt ceiling within a month

      4) Current situation is unsustainable

      5) Our actions (or rather inactions) in Libya is showing that our responce to crisis's is going to be limited in the future – (proving Adm. Mike Mullens declaration that our National Debt is the nations #1 National Security Issue facing this nation)

      6) We WILL be cutting the size and scope of the federal government.

      7) Every day we do not cut the size/scope/cost of the federal government is costing future generations $4.6 billion per day (w/o considering interest)

      8) "Kicking the can down the road" is the most expensive line item on the daily federal expendatures.

      9) Logic says that since we need to make these cuts – make them now. Like the title said, it is time for the Adults to take over. We need the RINOs and the Blue Dogs to Join the Tea Party to beat the liberal socialists who look to be destroying this country.

      We need this $580 billion annual cut implemented not next year, but today! Then we need to start cutting more. We have no choice!

      Households in less desperate situations look to the lottery with hope that a winfall will get them out. There is no lottery big enough to cure the nations woes. It is going to take serious effort.

      For all you congress members – take out your pictures of your kids and grandkids. It will be these kids's children who will be the ones who pay this back.

      Everything is obvious – there is only one choice we have to follow – lets get started with the cutting.

    3. Dialla Ingalis says:

      My comeback, where is their plan?

      If they want to take part in this conversation, then where is their plan?

      Ryan was first, and therefore he gets loads of respect vs the pity comments people make because of their own lack of a plan,.

      Last I checked, the government can't even keep track of what they are spending, let alone come up with a budget.

    4. Jennifer Moody Penob says:

      Finally someone is willing to do the hard stuff in Washington possibly this guy will make the difference this country is so in need of,His word needs to hit the streets so the regular people will hear what he is talking about not just sound bites by the channel of your choice I am posting this stuff all over my facebook time to wake up my fellow Americans hear us

    5. Laurie P, Michigan says:

      I agree with Budget Chairman Ryan's proposal. We must get our financial house in order. I am 54, a baby boomer, a healthcare professional, work long hours and I pay my share of taxes (plus). You do not have to be a math genius to know that we are going bankrupt with entitlements. I am in favor of Medicare and Medicaid reform, raising the age to collect benefits, and letting people be in charge of their own financial futures and retirements. I want my children and grandchildren to have the great America we had until now – it is time to stop bleeding red ink, get responsible, stop the political back biting, and as has often been stated "do the right thing" and the results will follow. Ryan is clearly willing to do the right thing, no matter the political cost, and I hope Speaker Boehner has the courage to follow suit. This is the moment in time that our politicians can listen to the people and make decisions that will truly result in saving our country from financial ruin. Stay late, work hard, burn the candle and "git r done"!!

    6. Bobbie says:

      Mr. Ryan, don't let anyone (rino) talk you out of the strength and courage you show. You are better than that and so is America! We''re not fooled by rinos!

      The democrats have shown their best ability is to put down Americans and then spend money on them! Americans don't deserve the condescension, it's not what America is about. Accountability and discipline is a matter of urgency when it comes to childish, bratty, dangerous democrats and their adamant abuse of their authority. For every cut necessary, expose the overreach of government.

      Please be careful with the defense budget and make sure it's appropriately funded. The protection of this country IS the role of government that is to the benefit of all without favoritism or discrimination. opposition to democrat indignities.

    7. Pingback: Big Propaganda

    8. jane hughes, San Ant says:

      Predictably, leading liberals are unable to counter real proposals with credible alternative solutions. Instead, they resort to the hackneyed political jibes aimed at class and race wars. As for Pelosi's comments, "seniors and children" presumably have some sort of family. The idea that the government is to take care of everyone, not just the truly indigent, is in and of itself an American travesty too long foisted on kind hearted and generous people.

    9. Daniel B Killion Mon says:

      Agree he demonstrates Respect for the Taxpayers – Finally out of the Starting Gate and onto the Track – Lets Hope His 6.2 trillion is not only achieved but possibly even more. Thanks for getting things moving.

    10. Franklin Hicks Lakew says:

      Finally someone comes up with a plan to reduce our deficit. What do the Democrats do? They say it's too draconian. What do they propose? More spending.

      First: We have no more money to spend.

      Second: The Constitution calls for providing for the GENERAL WELFARE of our citizenry… not a cradle to grave entitlement system. The Democrats have taken that phrase to mean something that our founders never envisioned.

      In my humble opinion, Congressman Ryan has come up with a GOOD START. However (and there's always a however), he hasn't addressed a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration.

      We are borrowing money from foreign nations so that we may give aid to other foreign nations. Why? Most of these other nations take our money and then use it against us. "Oh, thank you America for giving us aid. But you still stink."

      The entitlement system is just too generous. And it punishes people for trying to escape it.

      I know people who, if they find a job that is less than adequate to sustain them without help from the government, they have their benefits cut. When their benefits are cut, they quit the job to get their benefits back. I know a family who if the father is around to try to support them is cut off from benefits. They actually get more government money if he's unemployed than he can make. What kind of system is that?

      Our debt is growing faster than our ability to pay the bills. What bank would loan money to a man who begs for a higher limit on his credit cards when he is unable to repay the loan to start with? None. Yet our government is doing just that by raising the debt ceiling.

      GOD BLESS YOU Congressman Ryan, for trying to be a voice of reason! Don't let them stop you. This is going to be a tough fight.

      Iligitimus non tatum carborundum. (translation: Don't let the bastards wear you down)

    11. Pingback: Ryan doesn't like seniors... - Page 3 - US Message Board - Political Discussion Forum

    12. Joseph Rosenberger says:

      The real "adults" are in the conservative state's legislatures, where out-of-control government spending problems are actually being addressed. The US Senate needs the same quality of "adult" voices.

      Conservative "adult" states could seize the majority in the US Senate now (not waiting for 2012) by simply requiring their state's US senators to vote according to the desires of their state senates majority on federal bill.

      Here are the numbers: Democrats hold a 53-47 US senate majority, counting the two independents who caucus with the Democrats. Republicans need 4 seats to gain a simple majority and 13 seat gain for bills and procedural votes requiring 60 votes. If Republican governors with Republican legislatures require their US senators to vote the will of their conservative state senate majorities, the US Senate vote shifts to 54-46. If the all-Democrat controlled states forced their Republican US Senators to vote with the Democrats, the majority remains with the Republicans, 52-48. It’s not a veto-proof majority, but it’s a start.

      The procedure requiring US senators to receive voting guidance from their state’s senate is not prohibited by the US Constitution. The Federal Constitution only provides for legislator compensation and election by popular majority.

      The all-Republican states with one or more Democratic party senators are Alaska (1), Florida (1), Michigan (2), North Dakota (1) , Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (1), South Dakota (1), and Wisconsin (1), for a total of nine. There are two all-Democratic states with Republican senators, Illinois (1) and Massachusetts (1).

      This brings the US Legislative branch in to conservative hands NOW!

    13. Kevin H, college par says:

      Interesting that a former Congressman who is a big part of why deficits and debts are so bad, criticizes the Democrats' response for not being creative enough.

      Obviously, based on Ryan's proposal, the Republicans care more abotu being creative then using facts and real numbers. The proposal is an absolute joke and the Dems are jumping with joy over this gift.

      The Democrats are only ones in last 3 decades to pass a balanced budget – they actually balanced the budget. Republicans, including former congressman, did not vote for the omnibus in the early 90s which created 4 straight years of a balanced budget – and the most proporous time in American history.

    14. lbw6303 says:

      The "Facts of Life":

      1) You get what you pay for,

      2) There's no free lunch

      3) And NOTHING is going to come in the mail!!

      Go for it Ryan and Republicans. To the dems — You didn't lead, you won't follow, so just get out of the way while the adults fix the mess you've made.

    15. Jill-Maine says:

      It's about time. I can't believe the idiot dems and their same old same old. We better address this debt crisis. If we don't it will address itself. You want to talk about suffering? Then again, that is the progressive plan. Destroy America from the inside and then they can make it what they want it to be. And have a lot more power to boot.

    16. Kevin H, college par says:

      Sadly, so many think this is a defict reduction bill, while it does nothing to reduce the deficit. There are lot of spending cuts – 4.3 trillion, but that covers teh cost of the 4.2 trillion in tax cuts.

      The only deficit reduction in this bill is by draw down in troops which the President has already proposed.

      Pathetic people are buying this trash!

    17. Linda, Somerset, TX says:

      Cracked up yesterday when I got an e-mail from Congress.org asking me to vote my opinion as to whether or not to have a government shut-down. I logged in and try to vote for a shut down and got a 'too busy, try again later' message. I read that as "unless you vote the way we want you to, shut up." Methinks government monitoring and interference in the internet is already going on.

    18. Sunvolt, Hell says:

      Are you at the "heritage foundation" the not yet freed prisoners in the Allegory of the Cave? The only reason there is a budget deficit is because of the so-called "bush" tax cuts for the wealthy. You must glean an insidious joy from not having your freedom.

    19. Rose 57 Huntington B says:

      I am a tax preparer. I see firsthand who is paying the bulk of taxes in this country and Ryan's plan to broaden the tax base is essential going forward.

      Social Security has it's own funding system and if it had been put in a lock box, might actually be functioning pretty well. It is not in the emergency situation with no remedies that other areas are in. We can and should tweek this giant now.

      Obamacare MUST go……to focus dollars on the for-profit insurance industry as a way to reduce healthcare costs makes no sense and the government cannot mandate coverage. We need to give Ryan's ideas a chance, but we need to implement them sooner than 10 years from now. Seniors are probably the highest end users of the medical system and the system is grossly underfunded. Is there a reason that this plan could not start right away? And whatever is decided on for a medical plan for the general population needs to also cover those in Washington and anyone who did not serve ACTiVE duty in the military. The $460 annual premium for a retired military family is GROSS for the rest of us who spend more than that monthly. Is it really rocket science to even things out? No goverment employees or retirees should have any type of plan that is subsidized by tax dollars unless it is avaiable to all. Period.

      The rest of us do not want bankruptcy to be the only way for the government to get out from under overly generous health benefits OR retirement benefits.

      Let's give this Ryan plan a chance…but let's implement it sooner than later. We will save a ton of money just by getting on with it and biting the bullet. There is no one to blame but ourselves if we delay and WE ALL had a hand in getting where we are no matter the party affiliation. Our seniors have it pretty good. Asking them to switch to subsidized premiums now is the right thing to do.

    20. Theo Huck; Bradenton says:

      Our desire and expectation for "adult conversation" is much the same as calling for the sea to stop getting our sand wet. We can see the effects of erosion of our foundations, but the sea just beckons us to come on in the water is fine. Many thousands of screaming seniors protesting "don't touch our Social Security and Medicare" How do we answer, except with "yeah, but…." We have a very steep hill to climb ahead!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.