Monday night the Republican Study Committee chaired by Steve Scalise(R-LA) introduced its “Back to Basics” alternative to the Paul Ryan budget plan. Where the Ryan plan attempts to balance the federal budget in 10 years, the RSC budget released tonight does so in 4 years.
Among this things included in this budget plan is a return of federal spending to 2008 levels and freezes it there. Unlike the Ryan budget plan the RSC budget repeals all of Obamacare including taxes and undoes the $600 billion in tax hikes that came out of the fiscal cliff crap sandwich. The RSC budget would give people the option of paying current tax rates or one of two lower flatter tax rates(15 and 25 percent). The corporate tax rate would be lowered to 25 percent and investment taxes would be set at 15 percent. The estate tax(death tax) and alternative minimum tax(ATM) would both be eliminated. On welfare the RSC budget plan would restore welfare to work requirements that President Obama waived.
On the all important issue of reforming our nations broken and insolvent entitlement programs the RSC budget mirrors Paul Ryan’s Medicare reforms only it would give those 60 and under the chance at premium payment support. The RSC budget would also phase in an increase in the Medicare eligabilty age for those under 55. Like the Ryan budget the RSC plan would block grant Medicaid and CHIP and repeal Obamacares Medicaid expansions. Sadly, Paul Ryan didn’t address Social Security in his budget this year, but fear not the RSC budget plan does first by raising the retirement age for those under 51 years old slowly up to a new retirement age of 70 and instituting chain CPI for cost of living adjustments.
The RSC “Back to Basics” budget outright eliminates the Corporation for Public Broadcasting(no Big Bird won’t go away as Sesame Street is worth and makes more than PBS’s government subsidy), the national endowment for the arts, the National Labor Relations Board(I can hear Boeing workers cheering), the Denali, Appalachian, and Delta regional commissions, the essential air service, and would prohibit federal funding to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
Among the RSC’s budget plans reforms are several changes to Farm subsides, Pell grant expansions from the Stimulus(aka Porkulus) are eliminated, federal workers would have to contribute more towards their own retirements, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be privatized, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by Dodd-Frank would be eliminated(along with its unconstitutionally appointed head), and would cut the presidential election campaign fund.
Like the Ryan plan the RSC budget calls for the building of the Keystone XL pipeline and more domestic energy production. The RSC budget also includes this passage which I love.
The budget also prohibits the
Environmental Protection Agency from
promulgating any regulation concerning,
taking action relating to, or taking into
consideration the emission of a greenhouse
gas to address climate change
All in all this plan isn’t all that bad, I have some issues with the raising of retirement and Medicare ages(I go into detail on that in my ebook We Can Do Better), and if you are going to get rid of one part of Dodd-Frank you may as well go all the way and rid the nation of all of that terrible legislation. While the RSC does its fair share of cutting of government programs and agencies it should do more including getting rid of the Departments of Education, Energy, and HUD.
In the next few weeks Senator Rand Paul should release his five year balanced budget plan and I can’t wait to compare it to what the RSC put out.