Dem voting gambit on RSC budget fails

It's actually a very clever manuever; vote "present" on the Republican Study Commitee budget, which would force the GOP to either adopt it, or scramble to defeat it.

Why? Because it raises the retirement age for Social Security to 70 and cuts Medicare, among other target rich items contained in the document.

It would also cut discretionary spending back to 2008 levels and keep it there until the budget is balanced in 2017.

"Draconian" doesn't begin to describe the budget cuts.

The Hill:

Supporters of the bill said Congress needs to balance the budget as soon as possible in order to start paying down the government's $16.5-trillion debt.

"If a budget is nothing else, it is a statement of our values and our priorities," Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) said. "And the Republican Study Committee's value and priority is to end the passing of responsibilities from this generation to the next, to be responsible for the bills that we create today and paying for those priorities today."

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) said the pending debt crisis demands swifter action than what is found in Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-Wis.) budget plan, which balances in 10 years, but allows spending to increase.

"Simply reducing the growth of spending will do nothing to address the economic emergency that we face."

Other GOP supporters blasted President Obama for failing to provide any budget alternatives in time for the House votes, let alone one that balances.

"What is the president's budget? It doesn't exist," said Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.). "Today, the president released his final four picks. He's not a day late on that. Yet under the law, the president is now 45 days late on releasing his budget."

Democrats criticized the budget for using the savings from taxes in the 2010 healthcare law, even though Republicans say they want to repeal that law entirely.

"It gets to that balance by keeping the savings from Obamacare, which our Republican colleagues say they want to eliminate," Budget Committee ranking member Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said.

Most Republicans were expected to oppose the budget, and did, although no Republican spoke against the bill during debate.

Heritage Action said after the vote that it will continue to "key vote" the RSC budget despite the Democratic maneuver, meaning that those Republicans who voted against the RSC budget will see their annual scores suffer.

Everyone is for cutting the budget (anyone who is sentient anyway), but the RSC budget isn't the way to go. You should think of weaning people from dependency not cutting them off cold turkey. Vacuuming that much money out of the economy with massive cuts in government spending is likely to trigger the kind of economic crisis the budget hawks profess to want to avoid.

Rep. Ryan's plan also has its flaws but has the virtue of being far more realistic in reforming Medicare and cutting discretionary spending. We didn't get into this mess in 4 years and it is going to take a lot longer than that to pull ourselves out of it.