RSC presents alternative budget
Here are the highlights:
The RSC has introduced a balanced budget plan (H.Con.Res. 281) that achieves surpluses in 2019 and 2020, and improves the budget outlook in every single year. The RSC Budget would propose $6.4 trillion less debt than President Obama’s budget.
- 1.7 Trillion of Tax Relief Over the Next Five Years: The RSC budget accommodates making permanent the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, and making permanent the AMT “patch,” and includes none of the tax increases proposed by President Obama or congressional Democrats.
DISCRETIONARY SPENDING POLICY
- Returns to FY 2008 Spending Levels: The RSC budget proposes that overall discretionary spending resources return to the FY 2008 levels that were in effect less than two years ago. Overall discretionary spending resources would be frozen at that level until the budget is balanced in 2019. Within this amount, the RSC budget assumes defense will be fully-funded.
MANDATORY SPENDING POLICY
- Social Security: Makes NO changes to current law. Social Security spending increases from $612 billion in FY 2008 to $1.2 trillion in FY 2020.
- Medicare: Provides spending increases equivalent to economic growth (the 1995 Contract with America budget included a similar policy). Medicare spending increases from $385 billion in 2008 to $622 billion in 2020.
- Medicaid: Provides spending increases equivalent to inflation (the 1995 Contract with America budget included this proposal). Medicaid spending increases from $201 billion in FY 2008 to $255 billion in FY 2020.
- Wasteful, Unnecessary, or Lower-Priority Mandatory Spending: Requires each committee to find savings equal to one percent of total mandatory spending under its jurisdiction from activities that are determined to be wasteful, unnecessary, or lower-priority.
- Repeal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP): Prohibits further obligations under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), saving taxpayers $36 billion.
- Other Reforms Provided For: Provides for medical liability reform, freedom to purchase healthcare across state lines, opens ANWR to leasing, repeals Davis-Bacon Act, ends taxpayer funding of presidential campaigns, reforms federal retiree benefits, reforms food stamp spending, and sells a small percentage of federal assets.
- Repeal of Government Health Care Takeover: The RSC budget assumes repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act.
The Congressional Budget Office has yet to score the RSC’s budget.
I had some questions about funding for our continued occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, since the policy of the Bush Administration was to keep emergency appropriations off-book. According to supporting documents, this proposal “would also provide funding for the President’s requested war funding: $130 billion in FY 2010, $159 billion in FY 2011, and $50 billion in every year thereafter.”