A Tale of Budget Cowardice…and Courage

“The U.S. House has never— NEVER —failed to pass a budget resolution since the current budget rules were put into place in 1974. Until today. ”

So the Democrats have finally admitted they will not produce a budget plan this year. This is the ultimate in political cowardice. To understand how cowardly, one must understand what a budget plan really is. In short, a budget is an outline, a roadmap, a guide for future spending and revenues. It does not actually spend anything or take any money in itself. It’s just a blueprint.Think of how you do your family budget. You may budget to spend $100 a week on food, $40 a week on gas, and $20 a week on entertainment. Big categories. You don’t have to budget for Cheerios versus eggs, or regular versus super unleaded, or movie night versus mini-golf. Those detailed decisions come later, as you go along in life. But the family budget sets the parameters for big categories of future spending.The same is true for a budget resolution in Washington. It sets the parameters for big categories of spending—say, “transportation” or “international affairs.” The details of which dollars go where come later in the appropriations bills, tax bills, or direct spending bills.In other words, a budget resolution is the most basic fiscal legislation that Washington can produce.And get this: it’s not even binding! A budget resolution does not go to the President for signature and thus does not have the force of law.So let’s recap: the Democrats have just admitted that they are not able to pass the most basic, almost simplistic fiscal outline that’s not even binding anyway.Why? Because the Democrats are cowards. They can’t put on paper what they know to be true—that their intended policies are to continue to spend at record paces, take in far less revenue than they spend, and thus blow the deficit and debt up to levels that even the most imaginary schoolchild cannot envision (the same schoolchild who eventually will have to pay for all this debt). It’s worth noting that the U.S. House has never—EVER—failed to pass a budget resolution since the current budget rules were put into place in 1974.1974.But I’m happy to say that there is some political courage left in Washington. And some fiscal responsibility.My congressman, Tom Price of Georgia, and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio have introduced a budget resolution on behalf of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), the conservative caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives.And get this: the RSC budget proposal is a balanced budget proposal. It makes some tough choices to get to balance, but it gets there.For example, the RSC budget takes us back to pre-stimulus, pre-TARP spending levels and keeps us there for ten years.The RSC budget repeals ObamaCare.The RSC budget makes the 2001 and 2003 tax relief permanent, fixes the AMT permanently, and includes none of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid tax increases. None.And the RSC budget gets a handle on runaway entitlement spending—not by slashing it all back to zero (as the Democrats will falsely claim)—but by curbing its growth and eliminating gross amounts of waste and fraud.Although they did not have to, Reps. Price and Jordan provided a 34-page supporting document that cites Founders like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as the intellectual basis for the RSC budget and that lists dozens and dozens of ways that Congress could reduce spending and the size and scope of the federal government.The RSC has shown that it’s not enough to just mock the Democrats for not producing a budget. We conservatives must also produce a budget of our own to put our numbers, our ideas, our principles down on paper for the nation to see.That’s courage.And they should be commended.



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