Afternoon Roundup: It’s Time To Get Serious About the Budget

Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appears to have based his Republican budget proposal on fantasy instead of reality. While Rep. Ryan admits Republicans don’t want to refight the fiscal cliff battle, apparently refighting the Affordable Care Act isn’t off the table (yes, the same Affordable Care Act upheld by the Supreme Court). Here’s a look at some of the articles pointing out that this proposal is unrealistic:

National Journal: “Paul Ryan's Obamacare Repeal Fantasy

“Democratic reactions to Paul Ryan’s past budget proposals have run the gamut from skeptical to hostile to dismissive. Now add one more reason for all of the above: Even though President Obama won the 2012 election, Ryan's new plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years relies on repealing the Affordable Care Act.”

There are many aspects of Ryan’s past budgets that appear unrealistic or debatable, including their premises that Congress will agree to decimate safety-net programs and that huge tax cuts will generate more revenue instead of less. The continuing assumption that Obamacare will be repealed, even with Obama reinstalled in the White House, is just one more factor that makes Ryan’s budget more wishful than credible.”

Wall Street Journal: “Opening Budget Bids Set Parties' Battle Lines

“This year, he won't seek to reverse the big tax increases passed by Congress in January, a concession to political reality….”

“‘We don't want to re-fight the fiscal cliff,’ Mr. Ryan said Sunday. Some of his proposals are less politically viable: He will again suggest repealing and removing funding for the president's health-care overhaul, replacing it with a ‘patient-centered’ system.”                                                                                                                                                                                 

NBC News: “The budget beat goes on

“But is this a serious budget? Or is it simply a political document? After all, it calls for repealing Obamacare but assumes the $716 billion in cuts that Obamacare created. It contains the voucher/premium support changes to Medicare that both Ryan and Romney largely campaigned on in 2012 -- and they lost the election. We know why Ryan’s budget includes repealing Obamacare (the GOP base wants it, and Ryan would have received plenty of attention from the media had it NOT been in there). But its inclusion makes it look unserious; Obamacare is the law of the land, and the Supreme Court and the 2012 election decided that. What’s interesting is that Ryan is being fairly open about the political aspects of his budget, admitting some things (like Obamacare) are non-starters.”

Roll Call: “It’s Ba-a-ck! The Quixotic Crusade Against Obamacare Returns

But by assuming the law comes to an early end — knowing full well that’s not going to happen — Ryan is putting all of his GOP colleagues in a position of voting for a plan that’s supported by some serious smoke and mirrors, and applies its accounting legerdemain inconsistently, to boot.”

The very real risk is that his budget can be credibly derided as something other than the serious document for serious times, which he and the rest of the House GOP have claimed in the past. His plan still assumes the $716 billion in Medicare savings that Obamacare would put into effect, which the Romney/Ryan ticket railed against so often last fall, and it also assumes the revenue promised by the January tax hikes, even though all Republicans would just as soon those were also repealed.”

Beyond all that, the Budget chairman’s budget claims to reach a balance within 10 years, even without any new taxes and without the several hundred billions in savings that, by consensus view of the nonpartisan budget scorekeepers, Obamacare promises in the coming decade.”

The Daily Beast: “Ryan's Budget and Obamacare: His Own Facts

“…yes, this is a total howler. Repeal of Obamacare? Not going to happen. Could theoretically happen in 2017, one supposes, but by that time, even if there is a Republican president and Republican majorities in both houses of Congress, including the super-majority of 60 in the Senate that would presumably be needed to enact full repeal, states will be getting billions in federal funding to put working poor people on the rolls of their new exchanges. It seems pretty unlikely that broad support for undoing that would exist.”

So Ryan's assumption doesn't pass any known laugh test. So why does he do it? Well, because of the old saying ‘that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.’”

And those are just the preview articles. Can’t wait to see what everyone has to say about the gimmicks in the Republican budget once it’s unveiled tomorrow.