House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his latest budget plan yesterday. As expected, it proposes to reduce appropriations below what was agreed to in the debt ceiling deal -- the Budget Control Act -- last August, cut taxes, and make major changes in Medicare.
The Ryan plan is no more of a serious budget than was the budget the White House released in February. And just like the Obama budget, what Ryan released is nothing more than a re-election document that some Republicans will use repeatedly on the campaign trail through November to shore up the base.
The Ryan-proposed budget supposedly will be approved by the full House Budget Committee today. It will then go to the House floor where it will be angrily denounced by House Democrats and, although the vote is likely to be closer than you would guess given the GOP majority, passed.
It's March, the month when Spring, the NCAA tournament, and "Dancing with the Stars" all begin.
It's also when Republican shameful misuse (to the point of malpractice) of the budget baseline typically reaches its annual high/low point.
That's when, in response to the Congressional Budget Office's release of its updated deficit projections and estimates of the president's budget, Republicans carefully pick the comparison that supposedly proves what they want to say even when there is ample and readily available evidence that show what they're saying isn't true.
Two examples from last week.
My column from today's Roll Call explains why "ridiculous' and "infuriating" are two of the milder words you might want to use when you think about the latest House GOP plans to abandon the deal it agreed to in August and try to use the fiscal 2013 budget resolution to cut appropriations even more.
In case you're wondering, This and they are not going to come even close to being successful.
Tea Party Budget Plans Don’t Make Political Sense
The big federal budget news from last week was that, pushed by their tea party wing, House Republicans were seriously considering a fiscal 2013 budget resolution that proposed to cut appropriations below the levels agreed to last August in the Budget Control Act.
CG&G alum Bruce Bartlett, whose new book on tax reform -- The Benefit and The Burden -- debuted on the New York Times best seller list last week, forwarded this latest Harris Interactive poll about the budget to me over the weekend.
The money quote tells the same story as virtually every other poll on the budget: cutting "federal spending" is popular until you get to the specific programs. Then, with only a few very small exceptions, it becomes impossible.