Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and predicted future Speaker, is not happy with the budget deal announced earlier this week. He says the process, negotiated between the White House and John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi, “stinks.”
The deal was cobbled together quickly in order to be finished before 1) the debt ceiling is reached next Tuesday and 2) John Boehner leaves office on Thursday. The two-year deal will blast through budget caps set forth by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 as well as suspend the debt ceiling until 2017. The new deal will raise the cap by $50 billion in 2016 and $30 billion in 2017.
“I’m reserving judgment on it in agreement because I quite frankly haven’t seen it yet. I want to see what it looks like on paper. About the process, I can say this. I think this process stinks,” said Ryan to the press. “As a conference, we should have been meeting months ago [to] discuss these things for a unified strategy going forward.” In the future, “we are not going to do the people’s business this way,” said Ryan, already sounding like a Speaker.
The truth is that the Pentagon doesn’t need more money; what it needs is financial advice! Many agree, however, that the debt ceiling does need to be raised in order to prevent imminent troubles in America and abroad. The question at that point becomes how to go about raising that ceiling while remaining fiscally responsible.
While the budget deal does account for an increased $80 billion in government spending, it does not include limitations or a plan to improve our country’s current deficit and debt. Here are a few things it does include:
• $32 billion will be swiped from emergency defense appropriation
• Medicare expenses and Social Security disability will be cut
“The fact is…this will make it easier for the entire Congress for the balance of this year and it’ll make next year a whole lot smoother for the Congress as well,” said Boehner.
Mr. Boehner may be right, but the deal is not a long-term solution (as it should be). It is a short-term fix that will make things worse in the long run. And not to mention the deal removes Congress’ best weapon to hold Obama a bay for his remaining 15 months.
An answer may be found in Ryan’s Full Faith and Credit Act, which would force the Treasury to pay bondholders first. Contrary to popular belief, the government will not fall into default if Congress refuses to pass this deal. Congress is exptected to vote on the matter today.
Republicans must not be bullied into letting this deal pass!