The House and Senate Budget Plans: What are the Facts?

With both the House of Representatives and the Senate intending to vote on government budgets in the upcoming weeks, Americans are naturally curious to see if their fearless leaders are going to take strides to rein in mind-boggling government spending or if the era of big government and trillion dollar deficits is here to stay.

Freedomworks has crunched the numbers on both budget proposals and gives the following easy-to-read fact sheet for your comparing-and-contrasting pleasure:

House: Paul Ryan Budget – H.Con.Res. 25
• Balances in 10 years, and supposedly stays in balance in the out-years
• Allows for increased spending over the next 10 years, but at a slower rate, which allows for $5.7 trillion in deficit reduction over that decade
• Does not rely on budget gimmicks such as the projected reductions in war spending
• Calls for fundamental tax reform (two-tier flat tax at 10% and 25%; gets rid of alternative minimum tax)
• Repeals ObamaCare entirely
• Block-grants Medicaid and Food Stamps to the states
• Reforms Medicare for those under 55 by offering optional premium support
• Relies on current levels of taxation in order to balance (which means it keeps revenue raised by Obamacare taxes and keeps revenue from both the payroll tax hike and the tax increases on the rich from January’s Fiscal Cliff deal)
• Does not offer seniors the choice to opt out of Medicare
• Does not touch Social Security reform
• Cuts some spending, but does not eliminate any major departments or agencies

Senate: Patty Murray Budget – S.Con.Res. 8
• Raises taxes by $975 billion, supposedly by closing personal and corporate loopholes
• Sets aside $100 billion for infrastructure spending – essentially stimulus funds
• Claims to cut $1.8 trillion spending, but actually eliminates sequester “savings” (which reduces cuts by a trillion)
• Also counts “savings” from reduced war spending (which aren’t really savings)
• Counts $275 billion in savings from cutting “waste” in health care spending, without defining the savings
• Actually increases overall spending in its first year
• Never balances the budget (still accounts for hundreds of billions in deficits ten years from now)

The Conclusions: Ryan’s budget successfully balances in 10 years, and otherwise maintains the best features of his previous budgets. However, he balances the budget on the backs of the massive tax increases enacted by President Obama in 2013, which places a bit of an asterisk on his 10-year number.

The Senate Democrats’ budget completely misses the mark, massively increasing taxes and continuing to run 12-figure deficits in perpetuity. By that reckoning, it may be that the Senate budget is actually worse than no budget at all.

These two budgets are the main players, but stay tuned for updates on other proposals, including from the Republican Study Committee in the House and from Senator Rand Paul in the Senate.

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