By Adam Bitely — The Ryan Budget was released March 13 to the typical fanfare it has received over the past several years. Republicans hold it aloft as a bold contrast to the Obama agenda as a blueprint for limited government and attempt to make it into the blueprint of a future of Republican officeholders.
Just see what House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer wrote, playing the role of calling out the Ryan budget as if Ayn Rand had taken Congress’s power of the purse, in the following fear-inducing op-ed featured in Politico this past week, “Instead of insisting on a balanced approach to deficit reduction, Ryan’s budget will demand that our middle class, seniors, veterans, women, children, federal employees, low-income families, and those nearing retirement pick up the tab. Seeking budget savings without asking the wealthiest Americans to contribute their fair share, House Republicans’ answer has consistently been to transform Medicare into a voucher program and severely restrict vital programs crucial to those Americans in greatest need.”
This is the type of stuff that makes Republicans think Ryan is pushing a limited government agenda while the Democrats are offering a plan that rewards the middle class and protects everybody’s favorite government programs while making people like Mitt Romney pay more money. This is Washington theater at its finest. None of this is true.
For those that believe a limited government is best, the Ryan budget is flawed in many ways. While the Ryan budget is better than anything Obama, Senate Democrats or the Progressive Caucus has offered, the Ryan budget still grows the size of government and does not reduce government spending.
In fact, the federal government will have $20.85 trillion in debt by 2023 if the Ryan budget was adopted. While this is better than Obama’s and other Democrats’ proposals that project higher deficits, Ryan’s plan is hardly one that stops the federal government’s spending addiction.
Contrary to the theatrical cries from the left that Ryan’s budget would slash and burn the federal government, the Ryan budget would increase federal spending to annually by 3.4 percent. That’s not a cut to spending at all.
And for those that think the Ryan budget tackles entitlement spending, think again. The Ryan budget does nothing about Social Security. And it attempts to save the other entitlements that advocates of limited government would attempt to remove the government’s hands from. After all, if the government cannot be trusted to use drones domestically and spend government money correctly, why should it be involved in providing health care?
While the Ryan budget is better than the alternatives offered by the left, it is not anything that advocates of limited government should hold aloft as a path to prosperity or anything close to it. Rather, they should acknowledge it for what is, a better plan than Obama’s that still allows the government to get bigger.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow NetRightDaily on Twitter at @NetRightDaily.