July 18, 2017

The House GOP Budget’s Contentious Cuts

It’s not enough for conservatives and too extreme for moderates. Never mind Democrats’ robotic opposition.

Just as the Senate was failing to pass its ObamaCare overhaul, the House, which has already passed its repeal/replace plan, introduced the 2018 budget. The big idea behind the House Republican budget is reduction — as in lower taxes, regulation and spending.

While increasing defense spending, House Republicans cut outlays in most other areas. Whether its discretionary spending or even Medicare and Social Security, Republicans don’t shy away from taking an axe to the federal fisc. In tandem with that spending discipline, Republicans plan to cut taxes, thus helping all Americans, not just “the rich” as Democrats monotonously complain.

House Budget Committee Chairman Diane Black (R-TN) said, “In past years, our proposals had little chance of becoming a reality because we faced a Democratic White House. But now with a Republican Congress and a Republican administration, now is the time to put forward a governing document with real solutions to address our biggest challenges.” That plan hasn’t worked out so well for ObamaCare repeal; we’ll see if it’s different for the budget. President Donald Trump has pledged not to touch Social Security or Medicare, so that alone may torpedo the GOP plan.

The House Freedom Caucus is pushing for double the budget’s $200 billion in proposed cuts, as well as better detail on tax reform. For one thing, they don’t want House Speaker Paul Ryan’s favored border-adjustment tax on imported goods to be tacked on. The moderate Tuesday Group, meanwhile, thinks cutting $200 billion from a $4 trillion budget is too extreme, and thus warns of the plan losing the group’s support. And Democrats are so wedded to their obstructionist agenda that no Republican plan will get a single vote from the other side. That means moderates and conservatives are going to have to compromise, like it or not.

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