By Erik Wasson - 03/27/12 09:00 AM EDT
House conservatives on Tuesday morning will tack to the right and unveil an alternative to the House GOP leadership’s 2013 budget plan that balances in five years.
The new Republican Study Committee (RSC) spending plan has deeper cuts than the group’s budget for last year, which would have balanced the budget in nine years. The leadership budget, authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), takes until nearly 2040 to balance.
Despite the grumbling, RSC leaders, including Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), and many other conservatives say they plan to vote for the Ryan budget in addition to putting forth their own alternative vision.
Last year, the RSC budget got 119 GOP votes, but all leadership members except Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas) voted against it.
Like the Ryan plan, the RSC plan would cut the top corporate and individual tax rate to 25 percent, eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax and the estate tax and repeal Obama’s healthcare reform plan. A source said the RSC plan collapses the current six individual rates into just two, but the lower RSC tax rate would be 15 percent compared to 10 percent in the Ryan plan.
The RSC follows Ryan in introducing a compromise Medicare proposal this year that would convert the entitlement into a “premium support” plan but let future seniors keep traditional Medicare as an option. Unlike Ryan’s, the RSC budget proposes to reform Social Security by raising its eligibility age.
Whereas the Ryan plan resembles proposals by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the RSC plan more closely resembles the Tea Party budget put forth this month by Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
That budget cuts $9 trillion in spending over 10 years, compared to $5.3 trillion in the Ryan plan.
Detailed budget tables from the RSC plan were not available on Monday, but the budget sources said the top-line spending level for appropriations next year is $931 billion, compared to $1.028 trillion in the Ryan plan and $1.047 trillion in last year’s August debt deal.
Meanwhile, liberal House Democrats on Monday unveiled a 2013 budget alternative that increases taxes by $4.7 trillion more than President Obama proposed in his own budget last month.
Liberals get $897 billion in tax revenue from imposing an energy tax on carbon fuels, and $849 billion from taxing Wall Street trades.
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) said the taxes are necessary to fund $2.9 trillion in new stimulus spending to “put Americans back to work” and “rebuild the middle classes” while reducing the deficit.
Because of increased revenue, the liberal budget contains a smaller deficit than either Obama’s budget or the Ryan plan. Whereas Obama adds $6.4 trillion in deficits over 10 years and the Ryan plan adds $3.1 trillion, the CPC budget adds $3 trillion.