Three leading conservatives have come out in favor of Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” budget, praising it for its focus on “the true drivers of our spending crisis” and for its recognition that tax increases would damage the economy.
Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute; Edwin Feulner, president of the Heritage Foundation; and William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard and a director of the Foreign Policy Initiative, wrote in an Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal
that in an election year it is easy for politicians to wait until after the votes are counted to make the hard choices.
“House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R., Wis., has taken the more difficult road with his ‘Path to Prosperity’ budget,” they wrote.
“Mr. Ryan's plan has received much attention for tackling America's spiraling expenditures on entitlements and domestic discretionary spending. Less reported is the budget's partial restoration of national defense as the No. 1 priority of the federal government.”
The three say that even though the plan will cut spending by $6.2 trillion over the next 10 years, Ryan has found a way to replace $214 billion of the $487 billion in cuts for the military in President Barack Obama’s budget.
“Conservatives recognize that they have to deal with fiscal reality and get the federal government's balance sheet in order,” they write. “That is why Mr. Ryan's plan is so bold. It does not cut indiscriminately, focusing instead on the true drivers of our spending crisis and recognizing that tax increases would worsen our economic situation.”
Obama has been arguing that the nation must decide between “higher taxes and a weaker defense.”
“Instead, Mr. Ryan takes some important first steps toward facing up to the true drivers of the federal government's money woes: spending through ‘entitlement’ programs. These now consume roughly 60 percent of the federal budget, up from 20 percent in 1970. In contrast, national defense, which comprised nearly 40 percent of the budget in the 1970s, costs less than 20 percent today, even with current war spending. Absent reform, entitlements will spiral upward and crowd out all other federal spending — not just on the military.”
Failure to reform entitlements will lead to the United States becoming “a European-style—and unsustainable—welfare state.”
“If we want a strong America in a dangerous world, and a freer and growing economy for our citizens, it's time to choose the direction that Mr. Ryan is charting,” they conclude.
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