The Corner

Ryan’s Budget Passes House

The House has adopted Rep. Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget resolution, which would cut $6 trillion in spending over the next 10 years, on a 235-193 vote. No Democrats voted for the plan.

Here’s Ryan in advance of the vote on the House floor:

“We cannot avoid this choice. To govern is to choose. We are making a choice, even if we don’t act. And that is the wrong choice. In the words of Abraham Lincoln: ‘We cannot escape history. We of this Congress and this Administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves.’

“Will this be remembered as the Congress that did nothing as the nation sped toward a preventable debt crisis and irreversible decline? Or will it instead be remembered as the Congress that did the hard work of preventing that crisis – the one that chose this path to prosperity?

UPDATE: How significant a victory for conservatives is the Ryan budget? Way back in January, a GOP aide inside the budgeting process told me that the Ryan folks had a two-by-two matrix of what they thought was possible to get in the budget. On the x-axis was whether non-defense discretionary spending would be rolled back to 2008 or 2006 levels. On the y-axis, whether or not the budget would make a serious attempt to tackle entitlements. At the time I told the aide the smart money was on a budget with 2006 spending levels and no entitlement reform, as it was far more politically palatable. The source expressed hope that I was wrong, but worried that I was right.

Well, I was wrong: The Ryan budget rolls back non-security discretionary spending to 2006 levels, and fundamentally reforms Medicare and Medicaid.

How did it happen?  One, the overlapping coalition of freshman, tea-partiers, and conservative stalwarts put their foot down and made leadership understand that they mean business. And two, President Obama’s proposed budget was a joke, leaving an opening for a bold GOP plan.

Daniel Foster — Daniel Foster is a former news editor of National Review Online.

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