The Ryan Budget: A Primer on What’s Now the Hottest Topic in 2012

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Luke Sharrett / The New York Times / Redux

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan waits for members to arrive before a mark-up session of the Sequester Replacement Act in Washington, May 7, 2012.

To anyone who ever complained that politics wasn’t substantive, buckle up: the 2012 Presidential campaign just became a debate about that most substantive of all issues, the federal budget. The signature issue of Mitt Romney’s vice presidential pick, Paul Ryan, is fiscal policy: his 2008 “Road Map for America’s Future” (pdf) improbably propelled him from an unusually earnest and likeable young Congressman to national prominence and now Romney’s VP pick. The current GOP budget blueprint (pdf) that bears Ryan’s name will now be picked apart for what it would mean for the country.

Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security

The Ryan plan’s most dramatic reforms would come to federal health insurance programs. While those over 65 in 2022 would retain traditional Medicare, everyone younger would be switched to private insurance, subsidized in part by the government. This would result in higher costs or less coverage for most people under 65, who would choose between a variety of private plans, with the option of shopping for cheap, low-coverage ones, or choosing expensive high-coverage ones. The eligibility age for Medicare would gradually rise to 67, and the size of insurance subsidies would increase more slowly than the expected growth of health care costs.

Ryan’s plan would also repeal Obamacare, which is scheduled to extend mandatory, partially subsidized health coverage to 30 million Americans in 2014, and the law’s accompanying host of health insurance regulations.

(PHOTOS: Paul Ryan’s Life and Career in Photos)

Medicaid, the joint state and federal health program for the country’s 50 million poor people, would also receive dramatic changes. The Ryan plan would decentralize it by making it a block-grant program where the federal government turns over all funds to the states’ discretion. Ryan’s plan would also cut Medicaid by $750 billion over ten years, likely causing further cuts in service or spikes in cost to beneficiaries.

Ryan’s original 2008 Road Map embraced George W. Bush’s effort to partially privatize Social Security by introducing private savings accounts. Subsequent versions adopted by the broader Republican party are silent on Social Security, except to say that the government should tackle reform.

Taxes, spending and the deficit

Ryan’s plan envisions a broadening of the tax base and a lowering of individual income tax rates from a maximum of 35% at the moment, to 25%. There would be one lower tax rate of 10% for those filing jointly with income under $100,000. It would end some tax breaks and deductions to help bring in revenue, although his plan doesn’t specify which ones. The big ticket items, like mortgage interest and charitable deductions, are unlikely targets. Similarly, Ryan’s plan would reduce the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25% and remove exemptions. His most recent budget would bring in $37 trillion in tax revenue over ten years compared to the White House’s most recent plan, which would bring a little over $40 trillion over the same period.

Ryan’s plan would spend $6.8 trillion less over ten years than the current White House budget. Those cuts come primarily from the health care programs; defense spending is untouched.

The Ryan plan’s budget deficit would be around 1% of GDP over the next ten years. It is not projected to balance the budget until 2040.

The “Other” Plans

Ryan’s most recent budget will be the most scrutinized outline for the country’s future, but it won’t be the only one. While Ryan’s original 2008 plan transmuted into a budget the whole Republican party could embrace, Democrats will highlight the oldest and most radical parts.

Thanks in part to the successful use Democrats have already made of both Ryan’s budget and his original Road Map, particularly with seniors afraid their health care is in danger, Ryan collaborated last December with Ron Wyden, the senior Democratic Senator from Oregon, on a much more moderate plan for Medicare. The Ryan-Wyden plan for Medicare would make privatized health care plans optional.Ryan was also a member of the Obama-appointed Simpson-Bowles commission, which came up with aggressive deficit and debt reduction recommendations. Ryan voted against the plan because it would have raised taxes by $2 trillion over the next ten years, boosting capital gains taxes among other measures.

(PHOTOS: Political Pictures of the Week, Aug. 4-10)

How the Romney campaign manages the issue of Ryan’s Road Map will be a key element of the campaign in coming weeks. So far, in material released by the campaign today after the Ryan pick, they’re saying, “Gov. Romney applauds Paul Ryan for going in the right direction with his budget, and as President he will be putting together his own plan for cutting the deficit and putting the budget on a path to balance.”

Ryan continues staunchly to defend his vision. Once he ascended to budget chairman, he said, “I wasn’t trying to write the Republican platform, I was simply trying to do my job as head of the Budget Committee to show a workable solution for our nation’s fiscal problems and I was really trying to get a debate started,” Ryan told TIME in 2010. “If you talk to people like adults, people will listen. I really do believe that people want to be talked to like adults on this stuff because they know the thing’s broken.”

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jukeboxgrad
jukeboxgrad

"It is not projected to balance the budget until 2040."

Wrong. Politifact: "The percentage of GDP shifts from negative (representing a deficit) to positive (a surplus) in 2063."

Sage__Owl
Sage__Owl

I seem to remember that we had a budget surplus for a while. Maybe we should go back to the policies that got us there and not the ones that turned it into a massive deficit. 

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

I am not so vain to think people care about what I think but I do wonder how many came along a similar route.  After serving three years in the Marine Corps I voted for JFK in my first presidential election; I never again voted Democratic until I voted against Bush-Cheney.  During most of those years I was a registered Republican until in 2003 I realized I could no longer be identified with those who were not only neglecting their responsibilities but who also were doing it with arrogant belligerence and an obnoxious cockiness.  I still believed, and do to this day, that "the smallest government is the best government" and that "government should only do for the people that which they can't do for themselves" but I recognize that those philosophies have responsibilities - to be at least as much government as is needed and to do for the people that which they can't do for themselves (including protecting the majority against exploitation by the advantaged few).  The Republicans had not only come to ignore those responsibilities but also to represent only a small segment of the population, "the money", who strongly supported them and dictated to them, and together they then stubbornly sought to con and just use the majority as "pawns".  I changed to be an Independent and, while never considering myself a Democrat, in self-defense I began voting Democratic.

Today the Republicans clearly demonstrate a confidence in the power, influence and money of their supporters that allows them to insultingly take the people for granted, as if just "pawns" to be conned and manipulated, allowing their concentration on political ambitions, on catering to "the money" and on peddling their propaganda to the public.  There is no doubt about their deception as it doesn't matter what they say about the issues, aimed to excite and sway voters, their focus is on their self-serving goals with arrogant confidence in their propaganda and their ability to deceive.  Take the 2000 manipulation of the conservative Christian who was emotionally excited over concerns for "family values" (anti-abortion, the sanctity of marriage and stem cell research) with that being exploited as support for Bush-Cheney and then for eight years they just watched as the Republicans brought the middle-class's and the country's economy to crisis point.  I don't know which of those values is more important to anyone but ... there is no doubt that one shouldn't be used to disguise the other.  

We have seen similar efforts with the Swift-boat propaganda, with the Tea Party movement, with the mega-millions spent in Wisconsin's recall election and in the mega-bucks being spent today on spreading their propaganda.  We see it with Norquist, Cheney, Rove, the Koch brothers, SuperPacs and others in their efforts to coerce and intimidate their own, even forcing moderates out, in their recruiting, supporting and selling "puppet" candidates who will do as the "strings are pulled" and in their aggressive pushing of the deception by bombarding the public with their propaganda.  We see it in Ryan's budget designed to take more from the middle-class and further penalize the poor, just to continue feeding the insatiable "more" (never enough) appetite of "the money".... rationalized as being "conservative".  No matter what is said, to later simply be rationalized and excused, no where in any of it is there any real concern or even conscience for the people, the majority; no where can it be rationally reasoned that they are sincerely concerned for the people, hence my alienation.

The Democrats are far from perfect but they are dependent on the people, again the majority, for their support and power, therefore they have to concentrate on the people's interests.  Had Obama actually accomplished more the Republicans would now be without any hope, yet any rational evaluation has to recognize that he has accomplished quite a lot after what he inherited from Bush-Cheney and that the likes of Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Bachmann, McConnell and others did all they could to stubbornly block and arrogantly fault all efforts, as they concentrated on their political ambitions without regard for the costs to the people.  

It has been said that today's Republicans are totally incapable of governing for the people and the last twelve years have clearly supported that conclusion.  If we want the Grande Ole Party back, with a honest and sincere concern and conscience for the people, then we have to firmly reject what they have become.  Only by the people refusing to be conned, used and taken for granted, only by firmly rejecting their propaganda and completely rejecting their "puppet" candidates will they then get the message and will the stranglehold "the money" has on them be broken.  It is up to the voters: will we be returned to “"ore of the same", Bush-Cheney style, with all of those costs for the majority or will the voters tell them "no more" of the self-serving cockiness, of the constantly pushing us to be a two class society with the 1% competing in having it all while the 99% keep loosing more?

Richard Giles
Richard Giles

“Paul Ryan is Romney’s choice” as Romney seeks to appease the ultra-conservatives and tries to gain creditable focus on the economy.  Ryan is the House Budget Committee Chairman and the architect of the Republican budget that restructures Medicare and concentrates on taking more from the middle-class and to further penalize the poor, while giving the very wealthy less taxes and more considerations - all rationalized as being “conservative”.  Saying “big government” is at fault and it is the cause of our problems is actually deceptive and an intentional distraction.  Reducing government spending and the deficit are important goals but they aren’t what caused our problems and focusing only there won’t solve our problems.  What really caused the problems is permissive, co-responsible politicians catering to “the money”, their strong supporters, who exploited their advantages and who with run-away greed, gross dishonesty and self-indulgence caused repeated crises in savings and loans, banks, dot.coms, manufacturing, the mortgage, investment and financial industries, as well as corporate corruption (like Enron) and with industrywide failures, always with “the few” taking enormous gains and leaving the costs and lost jobs to the majority.  Ryan, Romney and the Republican / Tea Party are owned and controlled by “the money” and their focus on serving the 1% will not ever help the 99%.

MACV
MACV

I'm reading some of the comments supporting "Mittens" VP pick and, sadly, I have come to the conclusion that Americans still Read, Write and Comprehend at an 8th Grade Level ... the same as a 14 year old with an IQ of 98. 

A commentator wrote ~ ~ ~ "The Paul Ryan plan, which already contains everything Republicans can think of in terms of these spending cuts, would add more debt than we’ve ever seen over a 10-year period in American history. Yet Ryan and other House GOP leaders continue to make outrageous statements to the contrary Without blushing, and without anyone but Professor Paul Krugman calling them on it."  

The Ryan Plan guts Medicare and turns Social Security over to Wall Street while giving the Richest Americans ANOTHER $6.7 TRILLION DOLLAR TAX BREAK.  It does not lower the deficit, it ADDS TO IT.  And the Republicans have the nerve to try and pass this off on the gullible (Oops) American public.

I have only one question ..... ROMNEY WHERE ARE THOSE TAX RETURNS this object is not bright and shiny enough for me!

KatMan
KatMan

An idiot replies to a truth in the only way he knows. How about some simple minded reasons for your position? Really. thinking isn't painful or difficult.

ahandout
ahandout

Remember: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."

And, modern liberals say: give me my entitlements, I earned them.

No, you didn't.

Otto Man
Otto Man

 ahandout, you realize that quote came from a modern liberal, right?

Paul Dirks
Paul Dirks

I've been paying into the Social Security fund steadily for 39 years. If you don't think I earned my benefits then you can ki$$ my a$$!

Hollywooddeed
Hollywooddeed

One of the better examples of Stockholm Syndrome I've seen lately.

Unearned tax cuts for the wealthy have also become an entitlement, as has corporate welfare.

ahandout
ahandout

Money makes the world go round.

And when you take the liberals off their merry go round they cry, cry, cry.

Go get a job.

Get off of welfare.

Get off of foodstamps.

 

Oh, no. 

independentincc
independentincc

All you anti-gun types out there might want to re-think your positions because once the "genius" Ryan re-slices the economic pie to your detriment you'll need some leverage to get your share of the pie back . . .

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

I hope the Obama and Ron Paul folks do not buy into the media hysteria

and speculation. The bottom line is that Ryan is part of the old guard

dressed up in new clothing. He is a creation of the Bush years AND WAS

VERY instrumental into this economic morass that almost crippled America

in 2008!!   

As everyone spouts all their theoretical speculation, and as Rove and

Cheney dream of electing another puppet into the WH, do remember that it

is people who drive issues.

Beneath all the numbers, budgets and posturing is a simple choice, who

do you think can lead America into a NEW era of equity and growth? 

Compassion demands that we care for the weakest among us, the elderly,

the children and the poor.  Whose vision accommodates  the America of

our founding Fathers? 

That is the question that should be framed. I do not long for a return

to the Bush years which is what Ryan is promising. I think the issues

are simpler than this Medusa like creation of the Media. 

What are  the consequences we will all suffer at the hands of this

cherubic looking Extreme Right wing ideologue, as he pushes forward old

Mitt Romney, the rich establishment Republican and others of their ilk, 

as they slowly foist a plutocracy on the unthinking masses.

http://blackrepublicanandmywor...

Benevolent Lawyer
Benevolent Lawyer

I am a little puzzled by the convoluted analysis of Ryan's plan in this piece. Since Ryan did not specifically repudiate his initial and very staunch view about privatizing Social Security, why would you impute the "new" stance of the party to Ryan???

As I indicated earlier, the Obama and Ron Paul folks should not allow Ryan and Romney, or the media determine the core agenda for the elections. Initially, the press screamed and cried that it was the economy and a referendum on Obama.  Romney obviously listened, and fell in the polls like a stripper in a room full of money.

Now, again, we hear the clarion cries of the so called "issues" on which the elections will be fought. And again you have declared, it is Ryan, the deficit and whatever else you  have thrust on us in this article.

I hope the Obama and Ron Paul folks do not buy into the media hysteria and speculation. The bottom line is that Ryan is part of the old guard dressed up in new clothing. He is a creation of the Bush years AND WAS VERY instrumental into this economic morass that almost crippled America in 2008!!   

As everyone spouts all their theoretical speculation, and as Rove and Cheney dream of electing another puppet into the WH, do remember that it is people who drive issues.

Beneath all the numbers, budgets and posturing is a simple choice, who do you think can lead America into a NEW era of equity and growth?  Compassion demands that we care for the weakest among us, the elderly, the children and the poor.  Whose vision accommodates  the America of our founding Fathers? 

That is the question that should be framed. I do not long for a return to the Bush years which is what Ryan is promising. I think the issues are simpler than this Medusa like creation of the Media. 

What are  the consequences we will all suffer at the hands of this cherubic looking Extreme Right wing ideologue, as he pushes forward old Mitt Romney, the rich establishment Republican and others of their ilk,  as they slowly foist a plutocracy on the unthinking masses.

http://blackrepublicanandmywor...

 

 

Leland Williams Jr.
Leland Williams Jr.

Maybe Time would rather have Jonathan Edwards or Bill Clinton to write about.  How about the guy who invented the internet, uh uh, Al G. Ore, or maybe the guy who doesn't show his college transcript or the fact that his unitarian grandpaperents were ultra ultra left wingers.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

I don't think anyone wants to write much about Jonathan Edwards, although beauty and harmony are nice ideals.

Jonathan Edwards (October 5, 1703 – March 22, 1758) was a Christian preacher and theologian. Edwards "is widely acknowledged to be America's most important and original philosophical theologian,"[3] and one of America's greatest intellectuals.[4] Edwards's theological work is broad in scope, but he is often associated with Reformed theology, the metaphysics of theological determinism, and the Puritan heritage. Recent studies have emphasized how thoroughly Edwards grounded his life's work on conceptions of beauty, harmony, and ethical fittingness, and how central The Enlightenment was to his mindset.[5]. Edwards played a critical role in shaping the First Great Awakening, and oversaw some of the first revivals in 1733–35 at his church in Northampton, Massachusetts.[6][7]

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

 How about the guy who invented the internet, uh uh, Al G. Ore...

Don't let dropouts on A.M. radio do your thinking for you, Jr.

~

rokinsteve
rokinsteve

Cheney said deficits don't matter.  Ryan voted for all of Bush's deficit.  End of story.  

KatMan
KatMan

Brilliantly succinct and the unvarnished truth. Well said!

ahandout
ahandout

 Rock head, if you think that Cheney could imagine what the anti-colonialist, neo-marxist Obama had  in mind, well, you are in liberal la la land with the rest of your idiotic bloggers.

Otto Man
Otto Man

 I'm sorry, ahandout, are you saying that you're *for* colonialism?

You might want to trade out the tinfoil in your hat.  The stuff you have in there now seems to have shorted out, which means at any moment the gay Mexican Islamohordes are going to come steal your precious bodily fluids.  WATCH THE SKIES!!!!

JayAckroyd
JayAckroyd

It's sometimes hard to tell parody from sincerity.

sqweasel
sqweasel

Great name calling and no substance.  GOP SOP.

Don Ramsey
Don Ramsey

Ryan has been supplying the gopers' economic plans for years now. It was only when he became committee chair that he took credit; so you see it's same-o, same-o, only in a few weeks with a few minor changes it will come out as Mittens' budget plan. Nobody told them about Einstein's definition of insanity. (doing the same thing over and over,  expecting different results)

Otto Man
Otto Man

 Let's not forget, Paul Ryan is the genius who pushed Social Security privatization in 2005.  Even the Bush administration thought his plan was too draconian, and pushed a lighter version.

Educated_American
Educated_American

Amazing how the current GOP budget blueprint has suddenly become unavailable.  As usual the GOP is hiding their real intentions and flooding the media with propaganda and falsehoods designed to keep the American woefully misinformed and freightened.  I only wish the American public would wake up and reject these tactics of fear and intimidation that have been the mainstay of the GOP for decades.

Arya Shakya
Arya Shakya

Medic care is the effect, or consequence, of a cause. 

carotexas
carotexas

Jay, have you read the talking points on this?

Sorry, just read where you said Romney is going to have his own plan, which so far is still secret.

If his plan is secret until after the election how can we have this discussion?

Otto Man
Otto Man

 It's like Nixon's secret plan to end the war in Vietnam.

Just trust him!  He's crunched the numbers and tells us they all add up!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©
ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

Gee, this is all very exciting, isn't it?

To anyone who ever complained that politics wasn’t substantive, buckle

up: the 2012 Presidential campaign just became a debate about that most

substantive of all issues, the federal budget.

In other words, since Obama has adopted the GOP's old positions, the GOP has had to invent new, even more extreme ones.

So now we have the zombie-eyed granny starver on the ticket.

~

bobell
bobell

Actually, Romney and Ryan have moved so far right that Obama can actually let a bit of liberalism show without doing much damage to himself.

But he won't.

redshoes4
redshoes4

romney ryan are only interested in gutting America!

pathetic excuse for Americans..

hide behind your religion God knows where you are..,.

naksuthin
naksuthin

The Ryan choice is an EXCELLENT one.

Ryan has the courage to challenge Big socialist government programs like

Social Security and Medicare.

Ending government programs like

Medicare  by privatizing it and letting Seniors use  vouchers to pay for

their own health insurance from private for profit insurance companies

is the way to go.

Turning Social Security from socialist pension system to a private system like your 401K plan. will also bring back fiscal responsibility.

Senior Citizens have been feeding at the government trough for too long.

Politicians have been deathly afraid to challenge senior citizens on Social Security and Medicare

It's time Seniors learned that nothing is "Free" and that WELFARE FOR THE ELDERLY is no different from welfare for the poor.

American seniors are just going to have to learn to save their money and rely on themselves in their old age. 

NO MORE GOVERNMENT HANDOUTS

It's time to end the two biggest socialist programs in the federal government....MEDICARE and SOCIAL SECURITY. 

And the Romney/Ryan team is the ones to do it.

Robert Neely
Robert Neely

??????  I think you are a paid troll.  You are probably a "christian" as well.

Jim Dandy
Jim Dandy

 You have Medicare precisely because the private sector failed to provide health insurance to senior citizens. The private sector opperates on the profit principle (nothing wrong with that), but the elderly present a massive risk given their health demands, which means you can't make a profit insuring them, hence Medicare.

Face it, the government is always going to be morally co-erced into provide health insurance for the elderly. You might as well make the system as efficient (ie. cheap) as possible.

Ken Horowitz
Ken Horowitz

 Yeah! It's not like those seniors were paying into SS during their working years! They probably sat around all day eating bon bons and watching soap operas.

bobell
bobell

Is this intended as a parody? It reads like one.

ERenger
ERenger

"Senior Citizens have been feeding at the government trough for too long."

-------------

Lines like that make you think it can't be serious, don't they?

Alright, Granny, get your snout out of the trough! 

The Wall
The Wall

Ryan is an ignorant hypocrite coward. His breach onto the political scene was as a throwaway - his job was to support such unpopular and  irrational ideals so that the "middle ground" would shift for to the right. Unfortunately for the public perception manipulators this Kermit the frog impressionist's zany ideals created a magnet for the extremists misshaping the American political landscape. Not one to bite the hand that feeds him (except Ryan does bite the hand that FED him as he lurches to dismantle Social Security) Ryan has chosen to endorse the man whose checks Ryan himself endorses before depositing to his off shore account.Goodbye to the Republican Party - forever. Gone the way of the Federalists and the Whigs, punishment for unveiling a monstrous agenda decades in the implementation to undermine democracy, government and true economic competition.

paulejb
paulejb

Budget? Budget? We Democrats don't need no stinking budget!

Today marks 1200 days since Senate Democrats produced a budget. All Senate Democrats have a no-show job.

outsider2011
outsider2011

 In a speech that looked beyond the primary to the general election, Mitt

Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, hit President

Barack Obama over his handling of the recession.

"President Obama's answer to our economic crisis was more spending,

more debt and larger government. And by the end of his term in office he

will have added nearly as much public debt as all the prior presidents

combined," Romney said in an April 4, 2012, speech to newspaper editors.

"No president has ever run a trillion-dollar deficit. The new normal

the president would have us embrace is trillion-dollar deficits and 8

percent unemployment. Through all of this, President Obama has failed to

even pass a budget."

There are a lot of accusations packed in there, but that last one --

that Obama failed to pass a budget -- piqued our interest most.

How the budget happens

The federal budget doesn’t get enacted the way other laws do. The

process starts with the president submitting his budget request to

Congress early in the year. That voluminous document is partly a

presidential wish list, but it also gives Congress a framework.

"The ‘PresBud,’ as it is called, forms the basis of the fiscal year

budget that starts the following October," according to this post from the nonpartisan Taxpayers for Common Sense.

In Congress, the House and Senate have budget committees tasked with

creating concurrent budget resolutions, using the president’s budget as a

guide. As Taxpayers for Common Sense wrote, "The legislation they draft

is for Congressional use only: it doesn't go to the President, it isn't

law, it just helps Congress keep its budgetary ducks in a row."

So there is the first problem with Romney’s statement. The president doesn’t "pass" a budget. That’s Congress’ job.

In Obama’s case, he has submitted his budget request each year he has been in office.

Voting on his requests

Romney said in his speech that "In February, (Obama) put forward a

proposal that included the largest tax increase in history and still

left our national debt spiraling out of control, and the House rejected

it unanimously."

He’s right about the rejection. After Obama submitted his fiscal year

2013 budget proposal on Feb. 13, 2012, House Republicans put it up for a

floor vote.

The result: 414-0 against.

The same thing happened a year earlier in the Senate. That vote: 97-0

against. Democrats didn’t support the plan because it has been

supplanted by another deficit-reduction plan Obama had later outlined.

Republican leaders demanded a vote on Obama’s budget to show that

Democrats don’t support any detailed budget blueprint, according to The Hill.

Such votes are taken "just as a means of embarrassing the president and

his party," said Patrick Louis Knudsen, a senior fellow with the

conservative Heritage Foundation.

"Usually it’s brought up by the opposition party because they generally

anticipate that a president’s budget won’t get very much support

especially if it has controversial elements to it," he said.

Other experts agree. Said Steve Ellis, of Taxpayers for Common Sense:

"That was pure political theater and was done to score rhetorical

points."

And Norman Ornstein, a scholar with the conservative American

Enterprise Institute, said, "it doesn’t mean a damn thing. It’s only a

symbolic gesture."

These votes are also what Romney’s campaign cited when we asked for documentation of his statement.

"Everyone understands that the president has a unique and important

role in facilitating that process," said spokesman Ryan Williams in an

email. "President Obama has been an unprecedented failure in that

respect. His FY 2012 budget went down 97-0 in the Senate and his FY 2013

budget went down 414-0 in the House."

Speaking of precedent

We wondered what other budgetary scenarios have played out recently.

Knudsen pointed to 2009, when Democrats still held a majority in the

House. They introduced a resolution that included the mechanism for the

health care legislation championed by Obama in his budget. The

resolution had many elements of the president’s budget, Knudsen said,

though it wasn’t strictly speaking that document.

Ornstein referred us to the gridlock of 2011 that resulted from the

debate over raising the debt ceiling. The budget control act, which was

passed to avoid a default on our debt and signed by Obama wasn’t a

traditional budget resolution, Ornstein said. But he noted: "That was

actually a budget adopted by a president."

Ornstein also noted that during George W. Bush’s presidency, there were

years that Democrats in Congress failed to pass joint resolutions.

"To suggest that was Bush not passing a budget would be a

misstatement," Ornstein said. He called Romney’s rap on Obama "at best a

gross exaggeration."

But in Knudsen’s view, Romney’s statement was "technically accurate."

"The president’s budgets have been brought to the floor twice and they

have failed," Knudsen said. "It’s not atypical that that should happen,

but nevertheless the governor is correct."

PolitiFact has examined similar accusations about a lack of budgeting

when they’ve been leveled at Congress. In January 2012, Republican House

member Paul Ryan charged that Senate Democrats "have gone without any

budget at all" for more than 1,000 days. PolitiFact Wisconsin rated that Mostly True,

finding he was slightly off about the number of days but correct that

the Democrat-controlled Senate had gone a long time with passing a

budget resolution.

Former Louisiana Congressman and Gov. Buddy Roemer earned a Half True

from us when he said in July 2011 that "Obama has never submitted a

budget, and Congress has worked for two years without passing one." He

was right about Congress but wrong about Obama.

Our ruling

In his speech, Romney faulted Obama for failing to pass a budget. He

was correct that the two times Congress voted on the president’s budget

requests, both times they were voted down. But the job of passing a

budget resolution is not the president’s. That responsibility falls to

Congress, and even then the president doesn’t sign it. As Ellis, our

expert, put it: "The president has no role in passing a budget. The

president can cajole Congress about passing a budget and advocate for

positions and funding levels, but in the end, Congress approves the

budget resolution for their own purposes." That’s the difference between

this and other claims we’ve rated which blamed Congress for inaction on

the budget.

Romney’s statement contains a grain of truth, in that two of Obama’s

budget requests failed to pass. But citing those votes leaves a wrong

impression -- namely that the votes were anything more than political

theater. Romney omitted the more critical information that passing a

federal budget is the job of Congress. Given all that, we rate his

statement Mostly False.

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

outsider, so glad you found the correct response to that silly talking point.

AlistairCookie
AlistairCookie

Just because I think it needs to be pointed out repeatedly and often, the deficit is so big now in large part because Obama put both of the wars on the books. All those billions Bush kept out of the budget entirely. But of course, big government, Obama liberal spending, or something like that will continue to be the meme.

Otto Man
Otto Man

 Remember when John Kerry said he voted for the $87 billion for the Iraq war before he voted against it?  Poorly worded, to be sure, but what he meant -- and what Republicans knew he meant -- was that there were two bills before the Senate for funding the war. 

One of them, the one Kerry voted for, would've funded it by raising taxes on the wealth, like him.  The other one, the Republican one, just put the war on the national credit card.

Republicans mocked Kerry for saying he wanted to pay for the war and not blow up the deficit like them.  And now they're trying to blame Obama for all the debt they created.

What b@lls.

redshoes4
redshoes4

BS congress has blocked every jobs bill that was offered...pathetic liars

Otto Man
Otto Man

"It is not projected to balance the budget until 2040."

According to Ryan.  According to actual economists, it won't balance the budget EVER but will in fact explode it.

Did you all just let him write this for you?  Where's the fact checking?

jmac
jmac

Ryan's not budgeting anything.   He has Norquist and the right-wing fanatics tired around his neck as he voted against Simpson-Bowles.  He has zero credibility even with conservative economists and should have zero credibility with conservatives as he helped Bush prove deficits don't matter - as long as a Republican's in office.  

bobcn
bobcn

 We are now going to be subjected to hearing that Ryan is a 'deficit hawk' over and over again right up until the election -- despite the fact that it objectively, provably not true.

jmac
jmac

You can't be a deficit hawk and not have income to pay the bills.   You can't be a deficit hawk and want to bust the budget by privatizing Social Security.  You can't be a deficit hawk and play Ronald Reagan on building up the military (and tripling the National Debt).  Gloria Bolger on CNN is already a spinning top on not letting her audience know exactly what Ryan is about - a Tea party/Norquist toddy.  

shaysite
shaysite

Well it would balance the budget by 2040, if you assume that dramatic tax cuts on for the weathy would produce dramatic increases in tax revenue-a la Arthur Laffer.

Otherwise, no and it f'n insane and will deprive millions of health care AND explode the debt.