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article imageOp-Ed: US Senate and House Budgets - A clash of ideology

By Karl Gotthardt     Mar 23, 2013 in Politics
Washington - The Democrat controlled Senate passed its first federal budget in four years with a narrow vote of 50-49. Earlier the House of Representatives passed the Ryan budget 221-207. While these budgets will not pass Congress, they show a clash of ideologies.
While neither budget has a chance of passing the other chamber, they reflect totally different ideologies in their approach to cut the overwhelming US debt and deficit. The Ryan budget passed by the house seeks to balance the budget by 2023 through spending cuts and entitlement reform, including the repeal of the Affordable Health Act, known as Obama Care. The Senate budget seeks to raise $1 Trillion in new tax revenue by closing tax loopholes for the wealthy with priorities of near term job growth and preserving social spending.
According to the Washington Post the Senate budget would do little to alter the financial outlook. The budget would permit national debt held by outside investors to grow from nearly $12 trillion today to more than $18 trillion by 2023, but would reduce the deficit by $1.8 Trillion over ten years.
Since neither budget has a chance of passing, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chair of the House Budget Committee would be the chief negotiators in a budget conference to reconcile the two budgets.
Senator Murray expressed optimism about the road ahead, even though she realized there were serious differences between the opposing sides.
We have presented very different visions for how our country should work and who it should work for — but I am hopeful that we can bridge this divide.”
All Republicans and five Democrats from red states opposed the Senate bill, while ten Republicans voted against the House bill.
Kentucky Representative Thomas Massie told the Daily Caller that the Ryan plan did not balance the budget fast enough and did nothing to stop government growth.
Not only does it not balance the budget, it grows government at 3.4 percent every year for the next five or so years, and then it starts growing it faster.
House Speaker John Boehner said that passing the measure permitted lawmakers to place the focus on where it belongs, to replace the presidents sequester with smarter cuts that balance the budget.
The challenge for both parties will now be to reach common ground and find a balance in their ideologies, one that believes that growth can only come through stimulus and the other through lower taxes and reducing government.
Repealing Obama Care is definitely off the table for Democrats and even if it weren't it would be vetoed by the president. Taking the two budgets into conference is the way the system is supposed to work. If common sense is applied and partisanship left outside the two parties should reach a solution that is acceptable to both lawmakers. With a divided Congress, one side can never get everything it wants.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about US Senate, US House of Representatives, Paul Ryan, Obama care, Social programs
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