In about a month, the Republican majority on the House Budget Committee will present its concurrent budget resolution for fiscal year 2012, which by law will include their proposed 2012 annual budget and their projection of the budgets (spending, revenues and the resulting deficit, surplus or balance) for the following nine years.
It may not be overstatement to assert that this presentation may determine whether Republicans win or lose the 2012 elections and whether the United States government acts in time to save our economic future from ruin.
A month ago, President Obama announced his budget proposal. It projected $7.2 trillion (adjusted to $9.4 trillion with later developments) to be added to the national debt over 10 years -- and made no proposal to reduce the burgeoning growth of the annual deficit due to out-of-control cost rises in Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid and other entitlements. Even with unrealistically rosy economic projections -- such as no recessions in next decade -- the Office of Management and Budget still projected annual deficits of $774 billion in 2021.
Even the liberal media -- from the Washington Post on down -- harshly criticized the president's budget proposal as an abdication of leadership on the central domestic issue of our age. But many savvy Washington pros -- both Democrats and Republicans -- think that with this budget proposal, the president may have positioned himself to savage the GOP (and thus gain re-election) should the House GOP make any real effort at bringing the budget under control.
Can the House GOP propose a budget that brings the deficit under control? Even if we consider "control" to be less than 3 percent of GDP (rather than actual balance), it will be painfully difficult -- and for some GOP freshman, supporting such a budget proposal will violate some of their campaign promises. Here is why.
Most Republican members of Congress promised not to raise taxes. Most promised to deal with the out-of-control deficits and debt. Many promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare.
That first promise, not to raise taxes, means that the Republican-proposed 10-year budget must keep the Bush tax cuts in place for all 10 years. If the Budget Committee does so, then the Congressional Budget Office (the official score keeper) will find that $2 trillion in revenues will be "lost" (notwithstanding that many of us believe that a supply-side marginal income tax cut dynamically increases economic activity (and thus federal revenues).
So, before the budget committee even starts reducing spending, it will be $2 trillion in the deficit hole (compared to Obama's position).
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.