Skip to comments.The Budget Battle Favors the GOP (Voters favor GOP budget, as long as it's not labeled 'Republican')
Posted on 03/20/2013 6:29:35 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
For a Republican party still reeling from Novembers defeat and hoping to regain some confidence, the upcoming midterm cycle looks especially promising, and many are optimistic that the ongoing budget debate has the potential to drive electoral gains in 2014.
This week, the Republican House and Democratic Senate are expected to pass competing budget proposals. Both sides will claim to have endorsed balanced plans Republicans because their budget reaches balance in ten years, Democrats because theirs raises taxes by $1 trillion.
Republicans already know what to expect. Democrats have spent nearly two years on the offensive against Paul Ryans extreme budgets, yet House Republicans have maintained their majority while honing their defenses. The National Republican Congressional Committee has been quietly polling competitive districts, where balancing the federal budget is very appealing, even among Democrats.
On the Senate side, Democrats have finally authored a budget proposal for the first time in nearly four years, providing Republicans with a concrete alternative to run against. Senate Democrats havent voted for any budget during that period, even unanimously rejecting each and every budget offered by President Obama. The sketchy plan they have at long last put forward is a case study on why they have been so reluctant to put pen to paper and write a budget themselves.
The Democratic plan raises taxes by $1 trillion without explaining exactly how; increases spending by more than $600 billion, including a $100 billion stimulus package paid for by raising taxes; and adds more than $7.3 trillion to the national debt. It increases mandatory spending on entitlement programs the biggest drivers of the national debt by $28 billion. On spending, taxes, and entitlements, the Democratic budget is to the left of what Obama has proposed.
The usual media mouthpieces have not given it a free pass, either. In a withering critique, the Washington Post editorial board wrote that the Senate plan gives voters no reason to believe that Democrats have a viable plan for or even a responsible public assessment of the countrys long-term fiscal predicament.
Following the presidents reelection, many Democrats are feeling confident that the public generally supports their positions on budget issues. Republican aides and strategists believe that confidence is misplaced, especially heading into a midterm cycle, where turnout typically favors the GOP.
Furthermore, Senate Democrats face a challenging map in 2014. They must defend seven seats in states Mitt Romney carried last year. Several others are in contestable swing states, such as New Hampshire and Colorado. Another seat, in Minnesota, is currently occupied by a comedian. If we play our cards right, 2014 could be a great year, says one GOP Senate aide.
The politics of 2014 are likely to be on full display later this week, when the Senate is expected to initiate the 50-hour vote-a-rama process, during which lawmakers may offer unlimited amendments that cannot be filibustered. Republicans are planning to offer dozens of amendments on spending, taxes, welfare, energy, and a host of other controversial issues designed to make life as difficult as possible for vulnerable Democrats. As one GOP aide told National Review Online: Its going to become abundantly clear why Democrats have avoided this process for so long.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) is already seeking to limit debate on the budget. Republicans expect him to cut loose four of his most vulnerable incumbents perhaps Mark Pryor (Ark.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Mark Begich (Alaska), and Max Baucus (Mont.) by letting them vote against the budget an indication of how Democrats think voters in those states may respond. Reid cannot afford any more defections if he wants the budget to pass; so some red-state Democrats will have to support the plan and be prepared to defend it.
Republicans will be ready to pounce. This is a budget for people who think Washington is spending taxpayer dollars wisely, says Brad Dayspring, communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Its going to be pretty hard for these Democrats, especially in red states, to make that case.
By proposing a budget, Senate Democrats have opened themselves up to many of the same types of attacks they have levied against Republicans for years. After repeatedly criticizing the vagueness of GOP tax-reform proposals, Democrats have authored their own fuzzy-on-the-details plan. The same Washington Post editorial that painted the Democrats as complacent also slammed their budget as woefully imprecise for offering a blanket assertion that it would affect only the wealthiest Americans and the biggest corporations. History shows that Democrats have been unable to agree on an appropriate definition of wealthy.
Its revealing that there is not more policy detail, says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and president of the American Action Forum. Can they do it and only hit the rich? Thats going to be tough, certainly harder than people admit.
According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, there are few, if any, major tax expenditures that disproportionately benefit the rich, as Democrats claim. Many, such as the mortgage-interest deduction, the property-tax deduction, the child tax credit, and the earned-income tax credit, are heavily, and in some cases entirely, weighted toward the non-wealthy.
To be fair, the Democratic budget does cite the so-called corporate-jet loophole as a specific target for elimination, but that would raise less than $300 million a year in new revenue, or about 0.3 percent of the total that Democrats are looking to achieve. Democrats and the White House have often employed this loophole as a talking point on spending issues, yet it was not included in the Senate Democrats recent plan to avert the sequestration spending cuts.
Broadly speaking, the two key principles cited in the Democratic plan are telling: first and foremost, to restore fairness to our tax code, and second, to boost economic growth and job creation. This emphasis on fairness over economic growth, experts suggest, will almost certainly lead to highly inefficient results. The Heritage Foundation, for example, estimates that when accounting for the negative impact on economic growth, the Democratic budget would raise only 57 percent of the tax revenue it assumes.High corporate taxes harm job creation, which hurts the economy, and then who really pays? Holtz-Eakin asks. The middle class.
The Hill released a poll on Monday showing that likely voters may be inclined to agree with Republicans on the budget. By a large margin, 55 to 28 percent, respondents favored an approach more in line with the GOP plan. The same poll showed, however, that Republicans still have work to do rebuilding their brand: As soon as respondents heard the words Republican and Democrat, the picture changed drastically. A plurality of voters, 35 percent, said they trust Democrats more on budgetary issues, while 30 percent said they trust Republicans more. A full 34 percent said they trust neither party.
Republicans have already begun the process of trying to reestablish that trust, which will take time. But at least as far as the budget debate is concerned, as one GOP aide explains: Were just happy were not debating ourselves anymore.
Andrew Stiles is a political reporter for National Review.
No one trust the Republican party any more!
People like their ideas but as soon as the word “Republican” is put in...out goes trust.
Same with war and taxes.
As soon as they label them D+R they support the D plan.
Last year was a disaster for the GOP just adding to what happened the second term of GWB.
The Republican Party is behaving like a cheating spouse who has lost the trust of both the wife and the mistress. He (the Party) no longer likes the spouse (conservatives) whose loyalty he continually betrays but because he keeps returning to the spouse when he needs her (election time), the mistress he courts (moderates and Democrats) does not trust him enough to fully embrace him. He is not respected, loved or valued.
With trust goes respect. The Republican Party does not deserve to be trusted by either its base nor its mistress.
I just listened to Rand Paul on Beck’s radio show and I like his budget he is introducing today. Rand also answered those who are reporting he is for a pathway to citizenship. This interview was so good that I would think Beck will have it up on his site very soon.
With that said, lets see just how well the Rand Budget polls.
Republicans won't play the same way and they don't even have to lie!
The Media has branded the Republican party plain and simple. When you can not control the message you lose. Regardless of the good ideas or some bad the word on the street and throughout the social media outlets Republicans are out of touch wit a changing demographic, a different America a multi cultural youth orientated populous.
Well said. It is remarkable when you look at our massive public relations gains in 09 and 10. We won the day on issue after issue - from deficit spending to the economy to health care to opinion of the Arizona law. We won virtually every viable race in the country, including Governors, Senators, House reps, and state and local races, both special elections, off-year elections and the mid-terms. Then we lost complete control and ended up basically worse off than we were before. It is a dramatic failure.
(Voters favor GOP budget, as long as it’s not labeled ‘Republican’)
Some people just can’t face the truth.
I connect the two.
Some of the problems created in 2011 to 2012 were a result of 2010 victory.
The 2010 victory was completely misunderstood by many Republicans, many here, and fueled by Rush and CO.
The fantasy was that 2010 victory was a (lasting) sea change in thought on parties and issues. The country had turned uber-conservative, the country loved and trusted the GOP and loved their ideas.
Yep, the 2012 election was over and all that was left was for the GOP primaries to pick the heads of this country.
No more convincing or changing hearts and minds was needed.
As Rush was saying ~ January 2011, Obama probably wont even run, he wont try, he doesn't care, 2012 is cake.
Reality check : 2010 was simply a temporary backlash to one (Dem) party unrestrained rule, and also included libs being upset that Obama didnt deliver, so they didnt come out.
But the GOP taking the House back 2011 changed all that...Republicans walked right into letting Obama make them be the goat instead of him.
” Reality check : 2010 was simply a temporary backlash to one (Dem) party unrestrained rule, and also included libs being upset that Obama didnt deliver, so they didnt come out.
But the GOP taking the House back 2011 changed all that...Republicans walked right into letting Obama make them be the goat instead of him. “
Rove and his “smart” globalist fascist/socialist pals did in the Republican brand.
That’s the truth. The 2010 win created far too much complacency. It didn’t win the war; it was just one battle and the big guys (RNC and conservative media both) thought that ended the war.
But it ain’t over until the fat lady sings...and she hasn’t piped up yet.