Just days after Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) unveiled his "Path to Prosperity" budget for 2012, a group of Republican lawmakers has announced a "starkly different" rival plan. Unlike Ryan's budget, the Republican Study Committee's "aggressive" proposal would balance the budget by 2020, by cutting discretionary spending even more dramatically, and pushing back the age at which Americans qualify for Social Security and Medicare benefits. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), head of the "hyper-conservative" group, said the budget was a "complementary effort" to Ryan's proposal. Few on the Left are giving the RSC plan much attention — but could this new plan supercede Ryan's among politicians on the Right?
Hopefully, because Ryan's plan doesn't go far enough: If Ryan's plan passed, the budget wouldn't be balanced until 2040, and we wouldn't pay our debt off until 2080, says John Stossel at Fox Business. That's not good enough. So three cheers for the RSC plan. "Or maybe just two," since it still doesn't cut defense spending. Who will tackle that?
"Three cheers for budget cuts"
No, but Ryan's budget is starting to look less radical: By comparison, Ryan's approach seems relatively restrained, says Jennifer Rubin at The Washington Post, which may help his supporters counter Democratic obstinacy. The RSC's "more extreme plan may draw the fire" of liberal outrage, "hammering home the point that Ryan's budget isn't radical at all."
"Rep. Paul Ryan takes center stage"
Either GOP plan would be better than what the Left wants: The RSC's budget signals that we are "embarking on a mature dialogue on the future of our nation," says David Horowitz at RedState. Not that you'd know it from the "blank chalk board" that is the Democratic budget. The GOP now has "multiple budget plans to build upon." Just what is the Democratic solution to this fiscal crisis?
"RSC budget, Honest Solutions, builds upon Ryan's blueprint"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Extreme haunted houses: Inside Halloween's most terrifying new trend
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- What is Molly? Everything you need to know about the party drug
- Everything you need to know about the voter ID controversy
Subscribe to the Week