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  • Got Principles? The Ryan Budget Does

    Buried deep in the President’s hyperbolic assault on the House-passed budget last week—with all that “radical vision” and “social Darwinism” rhetoric—was one kernel of truth: “This isn’t a budget supported by some small rump group in the Republican Party,” the President said. “This is now the party’s governing platform. This is what they’re running on.”

    Exactly right. The fiscal plan authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan (R–WI) is not just a blueprint for spending. It’s a vision for governing that deliberately and self-consciously seeks to advance “the timeless principles of the American Idea”—among them limited government, free enterprise, and economic liberty.

    Ryan’s plan identifies the nation’s looming fiscal crisis as a product of big government. For the fourth consecutive year, a trillion-dollar-plus federal deficit burdens the nation, and the government’s publicly held debt is on course to exceed the size of the entire U.S. economy within a decade and to nearly double it by 2035. Clearly, this trend must be reversed.

    The President’s “balanced approach” of demanding higher taxes to close the gap between spending and revenue misses the point. Deficits and debt are symptoms of a more fundamental problem: the inexorable growth of government that unfolded through the past century. It is the size and scope of government that must be limited, and that means reducing spending. That is the Ryan budget’s driving fiscal policy.

    Big government is more than a budgetary problem. As government expands, it absorbs and suffocates what Ryan’s budget calls “the core institutions of a vibrant civil society—families, neighbors, churches and charities.” These institutions, not the government, are the source of America’s strength. Reducing the size of government, by reducing its spending, allows them to flourish.

    Reversing the Keynesian-inspired meddling of the past several years, Ryan’s budget promotes the “prosperity of commerce,” as Hamilton termed it. The budget ends crony capitalism and other market distortions and therefore gives the economy room to grow. “This budget stops Washington from picking winners and losers across the economy,” the budget report says. “It rolls back corporate subsidies in the energy sector. It ends the taxpayer bailouts of failed financial institutions, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It repeals the government takeover of health care enacted last year and begins to move toward patient-centered reform.”

    Federalism and free markets are also central to the budget’s domestic policy reforms. The budget’s restructuring of Medicaid and food stamps applies the principle of federalism: It shifts more control to the states over how the programs are administered and how dollars are spent. The Medicare premium support proposal—in which future enrollees choose their coverage from a variety of plans, rather than relying solely on the government—aims to bring to retirees’ health care the same benefits of market competition that exist throughout the economy. The Ryan budget transforms a huge, government-run entitlement into a model of patient-centered reform.

    Finally, in this period of widespread dysfunction in Congress, the House’s adoption of its budget resolution stands as a refreshing exception—a necessary assertion of Congress’s governing responsibility and constitutional role. Until 1974, all congressional actions on the budget were piecemeal—separate spending and tax bills—and only the President had a comprehensive budget. The Congressional Budget Act of 1974, though, established for the first time a coordinated congressional budget process. It enhanced Congress’s authority on budgeting after 50 years of executive dominance. “With the Budget Act of 1974,” explains John A. Marini, “Congress became a dominant force in the formulation of fiscal policy, and a major player in setting national priorities.”

    The Ryan budget may not fulfill all its ambitions perfectly; few congressional measures do. But it does express a conviction about governing rooted in America’s First Principles—a conviction reflected in its fiscal direction, its specific policies, and the very fact of its passage in the House.

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    4 Responses to Got Principles? The Ryan Budget Does

    1. guest says:

      The only conviction I see with Ryan's plan is his religious ones, and not only is that bad politics it is also a horrible way to create a budget for a nation of different religions.

      Granted there are some parts of Ryan's plan worth looking into, but the same can be said for other plans as well. Problem is the government in it's entirety (after you cut out the blaming, finger pointing and etc) doesn't give the appearance of being able too use common sense budgeting.

      It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if you have a mountain of debt that you want to try and clear in the near future you need to reduce your spending and find a way to increase your income… It's a concept that is used by normal people at some point in time or another.

      Also if you can't work more hours then you just cut back as far as you can on the extra's (i.e. stop spending money on wars, stop giving out so much aid to other countries if we can't afford to help ourselves, stop bailing companies out, etc.) but don't cut the essentials (i.e. social security, national defense, etc.).

      • Bobbie says:

        What religious ones? Principles are man's no matter where they came from. His religion isn't mentioned or promoted or even known to me. The only conviction I see with you is reading something that isn't there just to stir the pot! Unconstitutional spending is the first to be rid of! What's essential in the lives of individuals is not the role of government and when they're interfering unconstitutionally, discriminatingly, racially at the expense of some citizens while others are favored tax exempt, calls for necessary dismissal to correct. What's essential in government is outside the constitution and the American tax payers shouldn't be forced by abuse from those in government who refuse to comprehend their rightful duties, to foot a dime more!

    2. @inkismoney says:

      his only conviction according to this budget http://redd.it/r7yke as I read it is social spending is unsustainable. but what no one addresses is defense spending and it's drain on the budget. for there to balance everything has to be on the table

      • Bobbie says:

        hasn't it clicked, yet? Defense is the job of the federal government, SOCIAL SPENDING IS NOT!

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