Rep. Paul Ryan (R, Wisc.), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, joined Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R, Calif.) for a bloggers’ conference call just now to discuss Obama’s budget and the Republican alternative. Said Ryan:
“We are in the middle of a fiscal and economic crisis. Is the president solving this crisis? I’d say no, he’s exploiting this crisis to bring about…sweeping transformation to the federal government, the likes of which we haven’t seen since the New Deal.”
Ryan also warned that the Democrats would counter the GOP budget with class-warfare rhetoric. “What you’re going to see over the next number of days is a rhetorical onslaught, cloaked in class warfare, which I believe is very dangerous. It demonizes successful small businesses and demoralizes the small businesses who are trying to be successful…But it’s not inevitable that we’re going to have to go on this spending spree, this borrowing spree.”
Obama’s budget doubles the national debt in six years, and triples it in ten years.
Ryan pointed out that more than 100 Democrats voted against the Progressive Caucus budget last year on the grounds that it was too liberal, and that the president’s budget is significantly to the left of that budget. The so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats, who claim a mantle of fiscal conservatism, could block the president’s plan. “Of the people who call themselves Blue Dogs, there are enough of them to prevent this from happening,” he said. Unfortunately, the Blue Dogs will not even be presenting their own alternative budget this year as they have in year’s past. It is a sign that few of them will dare cross Speaker Nancy Pelosi by voting against.
Ryan, who was not thrilled by last week’s release of a GOP budget document lacking any details, said that part of the reason Republicans have been slow in answering President Obama’s budget with their own alternative is that they had to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to score the President’s budget as the baseline. The actual numbers of the Republican plan will become available tomorrow at 10 a.m.