I have a lot of respect for Chairman Paul Ryan and his outstanding staff. They worked tirelessly to put together a budget that was, in most respects, better than last year's budget. The FY 2013 Budget Resolution, which just passed the House Budget Committee, addresses the fundamental drivers of our massive federal debt.
Today's committee vote was one of the most difficult of my life. Ultimately, I voted "no" for a few basic reasons:
(1) The time to balance is too long. According to CBO, the budget won't reach balance until nearly 2040. Under an alternative growth scenario, it still might be unbalanced until the mid-2020s.
(2) The budget exempts military spending from reductions, which makes it more difficult to achieve bipartisan support to reform the primary components of our annual deficit: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
(3) The FY 2013 cuts do not appear to match the magnitude of the cuts required under the post-sequester Budget Control Act, which most Republicans and Democrats agreed to in exchange for raising the debt ceiling. I did not support the BCA (raising the debt ceiling) because I believed the parties were making a political compromise—promising future cuts that would not happen—rather than a genuine compromise to deal with the debt immediately.
Here's what I wrote after voting against the BCA in August 2011: http://www.mlive.com/opinion/grand-r...t_ceiling.html.
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