House Republicans passed Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's budget on Thursday — without a single Democratic vote. The spending plan has no chance of getting approved by the Democratic-controlled Senate and signed into law by President Obama, but it puts Republicans on record as a party in favor of slashing spending by $5 trillion over a decade (relative to President Obama's budget), while cutting taxes and slowly replacing the popular entitlement program Medicare with a voucher system. Will such contentious positions drag down GOP candidates in November?
This is a disaster for the GOP: Ryan's budget "punishes the poor severely in order to finance lavish tax breaks for the wealthy," says Steve Benen at MSNBC. And since it's going nowhere in the Senate, all GOP leaders did by pushing this "right-wing fantasy" through the House is hang an "albatross" around the necks of 228 Republican congressmen, getting them to "vote to kill Medicare in an election year." If Republicans are expecting voters to reward them "for this madness, they'll probably be waiting for a very long time."
"House approves radical GOP budget plan"
Obama's budget is the real albatross: Pay no attention to liberal "chortling," says The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. Ryan's budget is far more serious than President Obama's alternative, which would "raise taxes by $1.9 trillion" while an election looms and the economy falters. "House Republicans played the dastardly trick of putting" Obama's embarrassing budget to a vote, "and the verdict was a unanimous defeat — 414-0." "Who says bipartisanship is dead in Washington?"
"Calling the budget roll"
Neither side is getting anything done: "Passing a fiscally aggressive bill [like Ryan's] during an election year" is a campaign stunt, says Daniel Stone at The Daily Beast. Actually tackling the "nation's piling fiscal problems" would require true bipartisan "compromise on major issues such as entitlement programs, domestic spending, and the tax code." Of course, that's impossible with Washington so polarized. So remember, everyone who's only talking about putting the government on "sound fiscal footing" is actually letting it sink deeper and deeper into the mud.
"Paul Ryan's budget sets Republican platform for 2012 election year"
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