Congressional Budget Update From Laurence Vance
By Laurence M. Vance
According to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, the president must annually submit a proposed budget to Congress for the next fiscal year by the first Monday in February. Although he was late, as usual, President Obama did submit his budget proposal on March 4. But because Republicans control the House of Representatives, and politics controls everything, the president’s budget was, of course, dead on arrival. Although there is no reason why Republicans should object to Obama’s budget, they have now introduced their own.
Like last year, the rotten Ryan Republican budget is called “The Path to Prosperity.” And like last year, it is path toward, and a blueprint for, the welfare/warfare state.
In fact, everything I said last year about the previous rotten Ryan Republican budget can be applied to this year’s version of the rotten Ryan Republican budget. The six problems I pointed out were:
- One, it is too big.
- Two, it is not balanced.
- Three, it increases spending every year.
- Four, it increases the national debt every year.
- Five, it is filled with unconstitutional spending.
- And six, almost everything House Republicans say about their budget is a lie.
The only things that have changed are the spending and debt figures—they are all higher.
The rotten Ryan Republican budget proposes that the federal government spend $3.664 trillion during the next fiscal year (2015), which begins on October 1, 2014, increasing to $4.995 trillion in fiscal year 2024. The rotten Ryan Republican budget allows for a federal debt of $18.304 trillion in fiscal year 2015, increasing to $21.089 trillion in fiscal year 2024. Interest payments on this debt are projected to be $267 billion in fiscal year 2015, increasing to $659 billion in 2024. Defense spending, most of which is offense, interventionist, or empire spending, is to be $521 billion in fiscal year 2015, increasing to $696 billion in fiscal year 2024. The rotten Ryan Republican budget doesn’t achieve balance until 2024.
But in addition to being a blueprint for the warfare state, the rotten Ryan Republican budget is a blueprint for the welfare state. But don’t take my word for it. In “Setting the Record Straight” about the budget, we read:
On the current path, the federal government will spend roughly $48 trillion over the next ten years. By contrast, this budget will spend nearly $43 trillion.
On the current path, from fiscal year 2015 to 2024, spending will grow, on average, by 5.2 percent a year. Under our budget, spending grow, on average, by 3.5 percent a year.
The House Republican budget strengthens the safety net. Under this plan, spending continues to grow, but states have more flexibility to tailor government programs to their people’s needs.
House Republicans have a long-term solution to protect and strengthen Medicare.Under our budget, we still spend $600 billion on food stamps over the next decade. We will spend more than $3 trillion on Medicaid.
House Republicans plan to repair the safety net. Spending on these programs would continue to grow, but states would have greater flexibility to tailor them to their people’s needs.
It proposes better ways to provided housing, nutrition, and job-training assistance to families in need.
The budget increases spending on Medicaid over the next ten years, from $357 billion in fiscal year 2015 to $403 billion in fiscal year 2024.
This budget allocates an additional $410 million to veterans programs.
The proposed reforms ensure that we maintain the current maximum Pell award ($5,730) throughout each of the next ten years.
There is nothing in this budget that cuts Social Security.
Every argument Republicans make for the rotten Ryan Republican budget can be reduced to simply this: It is not as bad as Obama’s budget.