A Republican budget

The Republicans have put out their budget and it’s impressive in a very scary way:

Without relying on tax increases, budget writers were forced into contortions to bring the budget into balance while placating defense hawks clamoring for increased military spending. They added nearly $40 billion in “emergency” war funding to the defense budget for next year, raising military spending without technically breaking strict caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The plan contains more than $1 trillion in savings from unspecified cuts to programs like food stamps and welfare. To make matters more complicated, the budget demands the full repeal of the Affordable Care Act, including the tax increases that finance the health care law. But the plan assumes the same level of federal revenue over the next 10 years that the Congressional Budget Office foresees with those tax increases in place — essentially counting $1 trillion of taxes that the same budget swears to forgo.

And still, it achieves balance only by counting $147 billion in “dynamic” economic growth spurred by the policies of the budget itself. In 2024, the budget would produce a $13 billion surplus, thanks in part to $53 billion in a projected “macroeconomic impact” generated by Republican policies. That surplus would grow to $33 billion in 2025, and so would the macroeconomic impact, to $83 billion.

Spending on Medicaid may fall $913 billion over a decade once the health program is turned to block grants to the states, but House Republicans preferred to say in the plan, “Our budget realigns the relationship the federal government has with states and local communities by respecting and restoring the principle of federalism.”

The plan would cut billions of dollars from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as food stamps, but that was not exactly how the budget phrased the reductions.

“This budget converts SNAP to a State Flexibility Fund so state governments have the power to administer the program in ways that best fit the needs of their communities with greater incentives to achieve better results,” the document says.

Later they’re going to get together to reform taxes, don’t be surprised if taxes on the rich go way down. This budget is basically a reprise of the Ryan budgets and their basic structure was to cut programs for the poor and middle-class (without actually specifying them exactly) and cutting taxes for the rich (and perhaps raising them for the poor and middle-class). These are the Republican priorities (as with the Ryan budgets, they only pretend to balance the budget).

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