By Robert Schlesinger |
The House Budget Committee blueprint for spending and taxation over the next decade would reshape Medicare. In addition, the six existing tax rates topping off at 35 percent would be reduced to 2, 10, and 25 percent.
For this plan to be politically successful, the plan must be defined by Republicans or risk having it defined for them by the Democratic Party spin machine. The House Republican budget does not touch Medicare for seniors who are currently under the program or about to enroll in it. Republican candidates must repeat this until they are blue in the face or Democratic attack ads will work like quick cement around their feet.
Unfortunately, the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate will not produce a budget this year. Instead, it is relying on the spending limits set by the debt ceiling agreement of last summer. That means that once the House passes the Ryan budget, which is $19 billion below last summer's Budget Control Act, it will not be addressed in the Senate. A fall 2012 showdown is now likely to happen over spending priorities because Republicans and Senate Democrats will be working on different spending levels. A spending fight is something that Republicans would relish right before a high stakes Presidential election.
Republicans are using the budget to show leadership and to demonstrate to Americans that they have a real opportunity to send a president to the White House who believes in turning around our fiscal mess and saving our country's finances so that it will be prosperous once again. They will make it a referendum on the President Obama's tax and spend policies in what will be a high profile fight right before the November election.
About Ron Bonjean Former Chief of Staff for the Senate Republican Conference
Eric Griego Democratic Candidate for Congress in New Mexico's First District
Travis Waldron Reporter/Blogger for ThinkProgress.org
Stephanie Slade Project Director at The Winston Group