Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON -- When President Obama delivered his record-breaking $3.6 trillion budget to Congress, it was front-page news and led all the television broadcasts -- with little or no critical analysis.

But when the Republicans brought forth their alternative budget, it was relegated to the back pages and received only a cursory mention on the nightly news shows, usually accompanied by a Democratic talking head who dismissed the GOP plan as coldhearted and penny-pinching that turned its back on people in need during these hard economic times.

Actually, the House Republican plan does a number of things to grow the economy that the Democratic plan does not: like tax incentives for business investment, economic growth and job creation; borrowing a lot less than the Democrats would and creating less debt; and not raising taxes, which would be job killer during a recession.

In short, House Republicans took up the President Obama's challenge to offer their own budget, and it turns out to be pretty good. It deserves a lot more attention than it got from the news media, said Brian Riedl, chief budget analyst at the Heritage Foundation. Among its provisions:

-- It borrows $3.6 trillion less than Obama's budget. That works out to $23,000 less debt per household.

-- It keeps total federal spending slightly above 20 percent of the gross domestic produce (GDP), roughly the same rate of spending we had before the recession.

-- It contains no tax increases and would shorten and simplify the federal tax code.

-- It places a moratorium on wasteful earmarks and tackles needed Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid reforms.

Obama's budget and the barely trimmed-down version the House and Senate Democrats taped together would slap more than $9 trillion in new debt on our children and grandchildren. "This is more debt than has been accumulated by all previous presidents in American history from George Washington to George W. Bush -- combined," Riedl said.

The Republicans would freeze non-defense, non-veterans discretionary spending for five years at present levels, and stop the stimulus spending that is planned in 2010 and beyond when the economy is expected to be in recovery.

Unlike Obama's budget and the Democrats' proposals, the GOP plan would raise no one's taxes.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.