Budget-watchers in Washington are interested to see how Republican Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, will write a budget to achieve the sometimes conflicting aims of his conference.
Republicans say voter anger over deficits last fall helped them take control of the House. But as many deficit hawks have noted, it will be virtually impossible to show progress on short-term deficits if the only policy lever Republicans use is slicing domestic discretionary spending.
A recent Concord Coalition issue brief on the subject has been updated with new numbers from a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the President’s proposed 2012 budget. In a video accompanying the issue brief, Concord's Executive Director Robert L. Bixby and Policy Director Joshua Gordon discuss the Republicans' dilemma.
A comprehensive budget reform plan, like the one called for in the recent letter from 64 Senators to the President, would be the best way to reach manageable levels of federal debt. So far, however, the House has not shown an interest in that approach.