In announcing the budget agreement hashed out during secret negotiations over the past two weeks, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), shown, said: "I’m proud of this agreement. It reduces the deficit without raising taxes. And it cuts spending in a smarter way. It’s a firm step in the right direction."
This was for public consumption. In fact, if the agreement passes the House in its present form, it will increase government discretionary spending, add back about two-thirds of the automatic “sequester” cuts negotiated in 2011, and raise taxes (called “fees” by Ryan) on travelers, Medicare suppliers, and some government employees. What Ryan has done is negotiate away the only real bargaining chip the Republicans had that has worked: the sequester. His bill is being sold, once again, as providing spending now in exchange for promises of cuts in the future. It breaks the promises made when the sequester was initiated that it would remain in place until serious cuts in entitlement spending were enacted.
We know that this budget agreement doesn’t come close to achieving what we want to achieve on our ultimate fiscal goals. But again, if we can get a step in the right direction, we’re going to take that step, and that’s why we’re doing this.
As a conservative, I deal with the situation as it exists. I deal with the way things are, not necessarily the way I want them to be.
I've passed three budgets in a row that reflect my priorities and my principles and everything I wanted to accomplish. We’re in divided government. I realize I’m not going to get that.
Almost from the moment Ryan spoke, those whom he sold out were quick to respond.
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