The first round this year’s Budget Wars between Congressional Republicans and the White House was fired into the Rose Garden today by House Republican budget chairman Tom Price. We can’t wait to see how long it will take John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to run from the field with white flags.
It’s going to be an interesting spring and summer.
The highlights are quite interesting.
- The budget is “balanced” in less than ten years;
- Republicans have cut $5.5 trillion;
- ObamaCare is repealed;
- The $700B cut from Medicare to fund ObamaCare is restored;
- Medicaid is turned into block grants to the states;
- Medicare is turned into a voucher-type system after 2024;
- The Pentagon budget is restored and increased.
- No tax increases, Republicans are expecting improvements in the economy to pay for the budget;
- The Republican Leadership purportedly supports the plan.
We’ve not searched through the details for the devil though we know he’s in there.
We do have some general comments though. First of all, the $5.5T in “cuts” is over ten years, so it’s really on a reduction of about $550B per year and we don’t know how they plan to ramp that up. Given that the CBO reported last week that fraud and abuse amount to about $125B per year – mostly in Medicare, Medicaid, and the Earned Income Tax Credit – we think this is a feeble effort.
Needless to say Republicans will be patting themselves on the back and Democrats will be screaming that this budget is the Grinch that stole Christmas.
ObamaCare is repealed. Good start.
Medicaid turned into block grants is nothing more than mental masturbation. Medicaid is the little engine that, along with public employee union pensions, will destroy the financial footing of the states.
Eliminate Medicaid and let the states deal with the so-called problem if they want to.
Medicare is turned into a voucher system after 2024. What’s wrong with 2016? Medicare is the number one fraud engine every year, and it’s getting worse every year. In the life of the program, it is underfunded by about $107 Trillion. It needs to be eliminated, do it over time, but eliminate it.
The Pentagon budget and no tax increases, eh. How about some tax cuts?
The biggest problem is the last bullet point. Mitch and Johnny-boy. Remember how they were absolutely going to stop the immigration amnesty program by not funding it? Yeah, so do we.
As we noted at the beginning, this is just the start. It’s going to be a long spring and summer.
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