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GOP Budget Plan for FY 2013
March 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm #156581
A Look at the Ryan Budget
By: David Dayen Tuesday March 20, 2012 9:35 am
The Ryan budget has appeared as a chairman’s mark. It’s a long document written in Congress-ese, but I’ve already gone over some of the main points. Here are a couple other tidbits:
• The coverage of the trigger cuts for 2013, incorporated into this document, are unformed and will be the work of six committees. The budget gives instructions to each committee – Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, Financial Services, Judiciary, Oversight and Government Reform and Ways and Means – to come up with a set level of cuts to counteract the trigger. However, we do know the structure for that particular policy – it’s part of reconciliation instructions.
• The budget caps long-term revenues for the government at 19%, out to 2050. But by reducing taxes to two brackets, with rates of only 10% and 25%, it’s nearly impossible to see how you could get to even 19%. And Ryan won’t tell you in this budget. There’s no specificity to even where the dividing line gets drawn between the 10% and the 25% tax bracket. And while Ryan says he will cover the cost of those reductions by “closing loopholes,” he fails to mention one loophole that he would actually close. So the 19% revenue number is little more than a fantasy.
• Meanwhile, the targets for spending are at the impossibly small 20.25% for 2030, 18.75% for 2040 and 16% for 2050. That last number rivals the Gilded Age. But this also means that, for all the shrieking about balanced budget, even Ryan’s budget does not balance the budget 18 years from now, in 2030.
• There’s an odd “reserve fund” created for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This seems to be an admission that repealing the law would actually increase the deficit.
• Section 509 is also interesting. The Ryan budget includes a “separate allocation for overseas contingency operations/global war on terrorism.” There’s always been an OCO fund, that’s how Iraq and Afghanistan were funded. But adding a “global war on terrorism” allocation makes that fund even more like a slush fund to be used for the benefit of homeland security and weapons industry lobbyists. By the way, defense spending rises from $560 billion in 2013 to $709 billion in 2022 in this document. And that doesn’t include this terrorism slush fund.
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