The Heritage Foundation is pushing back against Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposed budget blueprint—a blueprint that, expectedly, builds off the sequester-busting Ryan-Murray baseline levels from the misguided Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 “compromise”.
Good for Jim DeMint, and good for Heritage. “The art of the deal,” as a certain uber-narcissistic non-conservative New York businessman might say, depends in part upon defining the negotiation endpoints. The area between the endpoints, of course, is where the final deal will likely end up.
The top-line number for discretionary spending in Heritage’s proposed fiscal year 2017 budget is $990 billion, whereas Ryan’s budget has a $1.070 trillion number. The plan balances in seven years despite substantially cutting taxes and attempting to restore our already-decimated military. It includes cuts to FEMA and discretionary scientific/energy research, an attempted privatization of Amtrak, and a phasing out of the federal Head Start program.
In addition to the now-GOP default stances of Obamacare repeal and Medicare premium support, moreover, POLITICO explains how the Heritage budget goes much further than Ryan on reining in our bankrupting entitlement programs:
But Heritage also goes much further, dramatically limiting Medicaid assistance and even touching the always politically sensitive Social Security. Heritage recommends increasing the eligibility age for benefits, reworking the cost-of-living adjustment formula and transitioning Social Security into a program that delivers benefits solely to those who need it to stay out of poverty. Heritage estimates these policies would generate approximately $500 billion in Social Security savings over a decade. It’s the kind of aggressive proposal that the Freedom Caucus might salivate over but that GOP leaders are likely to avoid, especially during an election year.
Let us hope that Freedom Caucus members sitting on Chairman Rep. Tom Price’s Budget Committee do indeed “salivate over” this budget. The more “salivat[ing]” from them we get, the closer to ideal will be the final budget plan that emerges out of Committee—and, eventually, out of the House.
But for today, conservatives should be especially thankful for The Heritage Foundation.