After four years of operating without a federal budget, Senate Democrats unveiled a budget last week that ultimately calls for a $1 trillion increase in new taxes over the next 10 years, while simultaneously increasing spending. The Democrats’ budget has been heavily criticized because it is projected to raise the national debt by approximately $4 trillion. While the Democrats contend that their plan will include approximately $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction, further analysis of the budget reveals that the Democrats have double counted the savings in their proposed budget.
The Democrats’ budget came in response to a Republican plan introduced in the House by Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin. Ryan’s budget claims to cut spending by nearly $5 trillion over the coming decade and includes cuts to Medicaid and domestic agencies that outlines a path to balance the government’s books within the next 10 years.
The Democrats’ plan, proposed by Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murry (shown), includes approximately $1 trillion in cuts to healthcare providers, the Pentagon, domestic agencies, and interest payments on the debt, with an equal amount of new revenue proposed by closing tax breaks.
As noted by TheBlaze, Murray’s budget increases spending. “Because Democrats want to restore $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the same period — cuts imposed by Washington’s failure to strike a broader budget pact — Murray’s blueprint increases spending slightly when compared with current policies,” reported TheBlaze.
When compared to Paul Ryan’s budget, which is projected to eliminate the deficit by 2023 through a $5 trillion reduction in planned spending, the Democratic plan features what they have dubbed a more “balanced” approach, which ultimately increases revenue by the same amount that it cuts spending.
The Democratic proposal for additional revenue is not based on increasing tax rates as is usually the case, but by eliminating tax loopholes. The budget text explains:
It is the clear intent of the Senate Budget that the savings found by eliminating loopholes and cutting unfair and inefficient spending in the tax code not increase the tax burden on middle class families or the most vulnerable Americans who already have sacrificed greatly in recent deficit reduction efforts. These savings should come only from the wealthiest Americans and biggest corporations.
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Photo of Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.): AP Images