Is the Ryan Budget a Game Changer?


Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) praised House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Budget Resolution that was released on April 1, 2014. The budget blueprint eliminates waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement by reforming welfare programs, devolves power to the states, removes special interest loopholes from the tax code, lowers individual tax rates to promote economic growth and create jobs, and repeals Obamacare. Chairman Ryan’s plan would cut spending by $5.1 trillion over the next ten years, pay down the national debt, gin up investment and productivity, and enhance government transparency and accountability.

In May 2013, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected that the federal government would add $6.3 trillion to the national debt between 2014 and 2023, but in February 2014, the CBO revised its forecast to $7.3 trillion, attributing the $1 trillion increase to a lackluster economy. In 2013, the CBO also predicted the economy would grow, on average, by 2.9 percent each year over the next decade, but the February 2014 report revised that prediction to 2.5 percent, a small change, but one with long-term consequences for future generations if left unchanged.

Chairman Ryan’s budget addresses this increased financial threat to the economy now and in the future. It features numerous program cuts, consolidations, terminations and reforms that CCAGW has recommended for years, such as a reduction in the federal auto fleet and structural reform of the dysfunctional federal real property inventory process. The budget plan would streamline the asset sale process, loosen regulations on property disposal and sales, and hold federal agencies accountable for the buildings and structures they oversee. The budget highlights the elimination of duplicative programs that mimic recommendations made in Citizens Against Government Waste’s (CAGW) 2013 Prime Cuts such as the consolidation of fragmented and overlapping agency programs and the elimination of ineffective and duplicative federal K-12 education programs. The budget also cuts discretionary spending below the “post-sequester” caps, cuts $2.8 trillion from both Obamacare and Medicaid spending, and ends the unsuccessful and costly Obamacare exchange subsidies.

Unfortunately, on the Defense side, although the Ryan budget adheres to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 for FY 2015, thereafter itexceeds the sequestration caps established in the Budget Control Act of 2011 for the Department of Defense (DOD). On a positive note, it does call for the DOD to complete its first audit, which is likely due sometime in FY 2017.

CCAGW President Tom Schatz said, “The Chairman’s budget would begin to finally tackle Washington’s spending addiction. Under current law, the deficit will start growing again in two years, and by 2024, will have increased by $10 trillion. The national debt has skyrocketed to $17.6 trillion and will continue to climb if Washington refuses to get serious about ending its wasteful habits. This is not a climate for political gamesmanship and gimmicks; taxpayers want a fiscal sea change. The time to end profligate spending in Washington is now.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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