The budget battle is taking shape. On one hand you have a budget proposal from House Republicans that takes steps to deal with entitlement reform and balance nation’s finances in 10 years and on the other you have Senate Democrats pushing for nearly $1 trillion tax hike and a perpetually unbalanced budget:
The first budget from Senate Democrats in four years includes nearly $1 trillion in new taxes but would not balance the budget.
The blueprint unveiled by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Tuesday to her Democratic colleagues would also turn off the next nine years of the sequester and replace those spending cuts with a 50-50 mix of tax increases and spending cuts.
The budget would dedicate $100 billion to economic stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending and job training.
While Rep. Ryan’s imperfect, but respectable budget would trim $4.6 trillion from budget deficits over the next decade, Sen. Murray’s proposal would only trim $1.85 trillion over that same timeframe. Sen. Murray’s budget would raise tax revenue by closing tax loopholes. That would be good, broad-based tax policy, provided that the increased revenues are used to lower overall tax rates.
President Barack Obama also weighed in on the budget battle. Politico notes that his budget, which will be released some time next month, will make a push for unspecified entitlement reforms, but only if Republicans agree to more revenue increases. Even with Obama pushing possibility of entitlement reform, Senate Democrats were hesitant.
The programs are the largest drivers of spending in the budget and will eventually have to be reformed. Senate Democrats want tax hikes in the equation, which, one could surmise, would be above what they already got in the “fiscal cliff” deal and what Sen. Murray is pushing in her budget deal. That’s a recipe for disaster because it sacrifices economic growth.
There is definitely a lot of talk about getting a budget through the Senate this year — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since April 2009, but way in which Democrats are handling the issue suggests that they still aren’t serious about actually making it happen.