The budget process in the House of Representatives is a casualty of the increasingly extreme partisanship of the Republican leadership and their obsession with reducing taxes for those who need it the least. All the deep concern about deficit spending that formerly influenced Republican policy making is of a previous generation.
We now have the specter of the Republican budget causing another $1.3 trillion in national debt, while at the same time spending the entire $1 trillion Social Security surplus, and cutting critical education, environment, and veterans’ programs.
The good news is that not even the Republican leadership will take their budget resolution seriously. They will not follow this blueprint.
The bad news is that Republicans in Congress will combine the worst of both worlds, grudgingly increasing the spending for some critical programs, while at the same time continuing to pursue a reckless plan of tax cuts that ignores the greatest needs of middle-class families. The Alternative Minimum Tax, under the Republican plan, will tax tens of millions of American families, penalizing them hundreds of billions of dollars. For the Republicans, it is more important to give the richest few Americans more tax cuts than rescue millions of middleclass families from the Alternative Minimum Tax.
This plan means we will have to fight harder to meet the needs of our veterans and they will not be treated as generously as they would have been treated under the Democratic Budget alternative.
It is my hope that with a presidential election looming and activism from groups like the coalition of veterans who have denounced the Republican budget proposal, we can return fiscal sanity to Washington.