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BUDGET



A budget is essentially an itemized estimate of revenue and expenditure.

A budget deficit occurs when spending exceeds revenue.

The United States federal government has signed off, with approval from the Senate and House of Representatives, 40 federal budget deficits in the last 42 years. This has created two incredible statistics:

♦ The federal debt now stands at approximately $15.3 trillion (as of March 2012), which is more than the national Gross Domestic Product.
♦ The federal government has paid $5.96 trillion in taxes during the same period for the debt.



More On The Economy





 

 

2012 Republican Presidential Nominee
Former Governor of Massachusetts

Mitt Romney

Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney

Romney Position on the Budget

• Mitt Romney believes in the principle of reaganomics wherein you cut taxes which is believed to bring in economic growth. According to him the budget should cut taxes on people earning incomes less than $200,000 a year and also cut payroll taxes on people aged sixty five years or older.

• He supports setting up a national catastrophic fund to ensure that people are entitled to home owners insurance in the event of some natural disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes etc.

• He brought forward an economic stimulus package with a price tag of $233 billion which is aimed at generating long term growth incentives. This can be achieved by expensing capital expenditures in the next two years and lowering corporate tax rate so that businesses will thrive and generate revenue.

• He perpetrates the need for becoming energy independent by making investments in alternative energy sources, reduce gas prices and reduce taxes on middle income Americans.

• Mitt Romney suggests bringing a cut in the 342 odd different economic programs. Of course protecting the nation's defense and military personnel is important therefore allocation of funds for their welfare is important.

• He believes that he can bring in savings worth $300 billion dollars in 10 years by capping non defense discretionary spending at inflation minus 1% and will veto any budget that exceeds that cap.

• He wants to be known as the job senator by convincing the government to cut deficits and raise American's savings rate by making more capital available for companies for investment and thereby increase employment opportunities.

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2012 Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee
U.S. Representative from Wisconsin

Paul Ryan

Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan

Ryan Position on the Budget

I. Chronology
II. The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise
III. Criticisms

I. Chronology


Ryan first burst into national prominence in May 2008 following the introduction of his Roadmap for America's Future Act of 2008 (H.R.6110). The proposal was a landmark budget proposal that was anchored to the concept of fiscal conservatism and small governance. Credited by some as the primary instrument in the reshaping of mainstream and Congressional Republican conservative fiscal ideology, it was also embraced wholeheartedly by the nascent tea party movement.

The Act proposed to reform federal health care, Social Security, the tax code and the budget process. The proposed bill, however, failed to gain enough traction among Congressional GOP leaders and subsequently failed to move past the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Budget Committee. The latter proved to be especially surprising, as by then, Ryan was the ranking Republican member in the committee. Nevertheless, the proposal unexpectedly propelled Ryan into a leadership position among Congressional Republicans.

In January 2010, Ryan released a revised version of his Roadmap (H.R.4529), which focused on tax reduction and privatization of Medicare and Social Security. Two days after the release of H.R.4529, President Barack Obama called the plan “as an entirely legitimate proposal,” while speaking to Ryan during a Q&A session at a Republican Congressional retreat in Baltimore. The bill once again fell during the committee stage, failing to move out of six House committees (Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Rules, Budget, Judiciary and Ways and Means).

Nonetheless, the proposal solidified Ryan’s leadership of the party’s fiscal conservatives, and in 2011, he leapt ahead of his more established Republican colleagues to become the chair of the House Budget Committee.

Ryan re-introduced a modified version of the Roadmap once again the following year. This time, the Wisconsin Representative’s bill, H.CON.RES.34, not only cleared the committees, it also passed the House (235-193). However, the legislation failed to pass the Senate (40-57).

Remarkably, the plan received some stinging criticisms from some Republicans, most notably from former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who termed it as “radical” and likens it to “right wing social engineering.” But the plan had already captured the hearts and minds of the majority of Republicans in the country, and it received the backing of almost all prominent members of the party, as well as conservative opinion makers. After almost four years, Ryan has almost single-handedly reinvented the fiscal ideology of the Republican Party.

In March 2012, Ryan introduced a new version of his plan, and the H.CON.RES. 112 was passed by the Republican-controlled House six days later (228-191). As anticipated, the bill was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate (58-41).

II. The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise


Following the bill’s defeat, Ryan prepared a new plan for 2013, one that was aimed at charting and focusing the party’s collective effort towards next year’s budget proposal, in tandem with the 2012 presidential election. The plan, named The Path to Prosperity: Restoring America's Promise (though more frequently referred to as the Ryan Plan), consists of these major elements:

♦ Providing for the Common Defense
• Provides $554 billion for national defense spending for the next five years, bringing it back to pre-2008 levels.
• The defense budget is slated to be cut by $55 billion, or 10 percent, in January of 2013 through the sequester mechanism enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. This reduction would be on top of the $487 billion in cuts over ten years proposed in President Obama’s budget.

♦ Restoring Economic Freedom
• Federal Budget: Cut $5 trillion from the federal government budget over the next 10 years
• Reduce federal spending from the current 24% to 20% of GDP by 2015.
• Repeal Dodd-Frank.
• Winding down government guarantees and subsidies for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, with an eye towards its eventual elimination
• Pell Grants: Cut back to pre-2008 levels

♦ Repairing the Social Safety Net
• Healthcare: Repeal President Obama’s controversial Affordable Care Act
• Medicaid: Shift the federal share of Medicaid to the states, by providing states with block grants that are indexed for inflation and population growth
• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (Food stamps): Shift the federal share of SNAP to the states, by providing states with block grants that are indexed for inflation and population growth
• Medicare: Privatized, voucher based; pegged at GDP+1%

♦ Pro-Growth Tax Reform
• Tax: Slashing income taxes to 10% and 25% by cutting all tax deductions.
• Prevents the Bush tax cuts from expiring in 2013, making the cuts permanent.
• Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax - reduces the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent

♦Lifting the Crushing Burden of Debt
• Relative to President Obama’s budget, the Ryan budget estimates more than $3 trillion in lower deficits over the next ten years.
• The non-partisan CBO estimates that this budget will balance and begin to produce annual surpluses by 2040, and it will start paying down the national debt thereafter.

III. Criticisms


♦ Medicare
Ryan’s proposal to convert the current structured Medicare benefits into a fixed, albeit unformulated, voucher program raises concerns over its flexibility and coverage. There are questions about how these vouchers will fulfill the varying levels of health care required by individuals.

The plan also does not directly address the cost issue of Medicare. It merely sends the management of Medicare to state level via block grants, and idealistically forecast that market forces will ultimately bring the cost of health care down – despite historical data that conflict with the assertion.

♦ Spending cuts
There are concerns over the plan’s proposed nondefense budget cuts over the next decade and thereafter. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities argues that “a deficit-reduction plan that lacks significant revenues would almost certainly deeply cut federal funds that support states and localities,” and the “Ryan budget would heavily shift costs to states,” and in the process, facilitate “deep cuts in funding for a wide range of other state and local services.

The Center projects that the plan would
cut federal funding for the federal-state Medicaid program by 34 percent by 2022
cut  non-defense “discretionary” (i.e. non-entitlement) funding by 22 percent in 2014 and later years… About one-third of this category of funding goes for grants to state and local governments to support services that states and localities provide, such as education, law enforcement, water treatment facilities, and disaster response.
would reduce discretionary state and local grants to an estimated 0.6 percent of GDP, less than half the average of the last 35 years.

Cuts of such magnitude would force states and localities to reduce the quality and reach of their basic public systems - their schools, clean water facilities, and law enforcement activities, for example — or raise new revenue or cut other programs to continue meeting these needs.  Either way, the result would be a huge cost shift from the federal government to states and localities.”

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

♦ Federal Budget Deficit
Despite the plan’s extreme nature, the CBO projects that the federal budget would only be balanced in 28 years (by 2040). In addition, there are also questions on the specific details of the plan’s proposed cuts, which was not incorporated into Ryan’s Path to Prosperity.



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Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
U.S. Representative from the State of Texas

Ron Paul

Presidential Candidate Ron Paul

Paul Position on the Budget

• Ron Paul believes that nations and empires inevitably end due to financial reasons.

• He believes that the U.S. should live within its means and pay down the deficit.

• Paul think that the longer the government delays the true depth of the recession, the worse it will be.

• He would give up the American empire to reduce debt without sacrifice.

• He thinks spending should be based on the Constitution. If all spending had to be justified by the Constitution our spending would be drastically reduced.

• He says we cannot afford the wars in the Middle East.

• He says that we’ve come to accept debt and we shouldn’t; we should strive to get the country out of debt and never spend more than we take in.

• He does not believe that government should bail out private enterprise nor seek to control it. Such acts have ruined our budget.

• Ron Paul supports a Balanced Budget Amendment and on-budget accounting.

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Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate


Matt Snyder

Presidential Candidate Matt Snyder

Snyder Position on the Budget

"When times were good, we spent freely. When times are bad, we should not. Really, it’s just that simple."


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Declared 2012 Republican Presidential Candidate
Businessman

Vern Wuensche

Presidential Candidate Vern Wuensche

Wuensche Position on the Budget

• Vern Wuensche believes that government spending should be reduced at all levels with the Department of Education and the Department of Energy being abolished.

• He believes that steps should be taken to pass a balanced budget amendment to the U. S. Constitution with a cap on tax increases limited to the inflation rate.

• He believes that Congress should pass legislation allowing a line item veto to the President to allow him flexibility on detail cuts and make him more accountable on spending.

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