Key Elements to a Successful Federal Budget
by Laurence M. Vance: Our
Marxist Tax Code
federal budget charade is now in progress. This time for fiscal
year 2013, which begins on October 1, 2012.
submitted his bloated budget to Congress in February. House Republicans
issued their bloated budget in March. House Democrats then countered
with their bloated budget.
Republicans have a majority in the House, it was no surprise that
the Republican budget passed by a vote of 228-191 and the Democratic
budget failed by a vote of 163-262. It was also no surprise that
not a single Democrat voted for the Republican budget and not a
single Republican voted for the Democratic budget.
it is the Democrats that have a majority in the Senate, the Republican
budget passed by the House has virtually no chance of passing in
the Senate. Likewise, if the Senate were to pass a budget and send
it to the House, it would be just as dead on arrival as the presidentís
Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington D.C. always
eager to do the bidding of the Republican Party, has pronounced
Reactions to Ryanís Path to Prosperity Budget") House Budget
Committee chairman Paul Ryanís budget "a serious plan worthy
of serious consideration" that "lays out substantive policy
choices, cutting spending, reforming entitlements, and avoiding
tax hikes." The House Republican budget "represents real
progress toward tackling the nationís fiscal and economic challenges."
It not only "cuts spending, in the budget year of 2013 and
into the future, from both discretionary accounts and entitlements,"
but "features strong, substantive, market-based reforms to
the health entitlements and a solid, growth-oriented tax plan."
Oh, the Ryan budget is not "perfect," but it "substantially
advances the serious and necessary conversation about securing Americaís
future and its great legacy of freedom, opportunity, and self government."
the glowing analysis of the Heritage Foundation, the Republican
budget of Paul Ryan and the House Committee on the Budget, as I
shown, even though it is called "The Path to Prosperity:
A Blueprint for American Renewal," is a bloated, unbalanced,
fiscally irresponsible, mostly unconstitutional path toward, and
blueprint for, the welfare/warfare state.
In their article
on the Ryan budget plan, the Heritage coauthors list "six key
elements to a successful federal government budget":
1. Does it
cut spending sharply and quickly?
2. Does it
begin decisive entitlement reform?
3. Does it
avoid any tax hikes?
4. Does it
ensure a strong national defense?
5. Does it
contain pro-growth tax reforms?
6. Does it
move swiftly and surely to a balanced budget?
budget fails miserably when it comes to cutting spending sharply
and quickly. It actually proposes to increase spending by a trillion
dollars over the next ten years. The Ryan plan also fails miserably
when it comes to moving swiftly and surely to a balanced budget.
Not only does it not foresee balancing the budget anytime in the
next ten years, it plans on adding $4.5 trillion to the national
debt during this period of time.
"Path to Prosperity" does include some entitlement reforms.
I will let conservatives battle it out over whether they are decisive
enough (they arenít). There are two problems with these entitlement
reforms. First, the Republicans propose to spend $517.1 billion
on welfare (TANF, refundable EIC, SSI, unemployment, food stamps,
housing and energy assistance, school lunch subsidies, etc.) in
fiscal year 2013 (not including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid,
SCHIP), "only" $450 billion in fiscal year 2017, and then
$511 billion in fiscal year 2022. A few billion less in proposed
spending is hardly a decisive entitlement reform. And second, every
president and every Congress talks about reforming entitlements
and tinkers with them in their budgets. Didnít Clinton the Democrats
"end welfare as we know it"?
budget does avoid tax hikes, although not completely since it recommends
clearing out the burdensome tangle of loopholes and broadening the
tax base. And yes, there are some pro-growth tax reforms in the
Ryan plan. Thank God the Republicans only want to take 25
percent of the income of successful Americans and American businesses
instead of a higher percentage.
strong national defense is about the only thing that the House Republican
budget plan does well if all you look at is the level of defense
spending. But is this a good thing? The United States spends about
as much on defense as the rest of the world combined. This is because
most U.S. defense spending is spent on offense not defense. It is
spent on empire, imperialism, occupations, senseless foreign wars,
and interventions in other countries. When the Heritage Foundation
talks about a budget ensuring a strong national defense, it refers
to the defense budget being a gravy train for defense contractors.
But not only
is the Republican budget a failure, the Heritage Foundationís budget
elements are faulty as well. From a libertarian, constitutional,
limited government perspective, here are six key elements to a successful
1. Does it
propose only spending authorized by the Constitution?
2. Does it
begin to permanently end entitlements instead of just reforming
3. Does it
cut taxes instead of just avoiding tax hikes?
4. Does it
provide millions for defense but not one cent for empire?
5. Does it
eliminate taxes instead of just instituting tax reform?
6. Does it
balance the budget now, not in five or ten years?
presidential candidate Ron Paulís plan to cut the budget by a trillion
dollars the first year and balance it in the second is the only
thing that comes close to being a successful federal budget. All
the Republican talk about cutting the budget is, as usual, just
a bunch of hot air.
M. Vance [send him mail]
writes from central Florida. He is the author of Christianity
and War and Other Essays Against the Warfare State, The
Revolution that Wasn't, and Rethinking
the Good War. His latest book is The
Quatercentenary of the King James Bible. Visit his
© 2012 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in
part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.
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