Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Toomey Plan

Go here and take a peek at the budget plan from Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA).

NRO has some specifics.

Pro-growth tax policies are at the heart of Toomey’s plan. His budget reaches balance by 2020 by lowering federal spending to 18.5 percent of gross domestic product, reforming the tax code, lowering marginal tax rates, and closing tax loopholes. It also reduces the corporate-tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and indexes the alternative minimum tax for inflation.

On defense, Toomey “assumes a full withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan by 2018, contingent on security needs,” and slows the growth of defense spending by using the Pentagon savings identified by Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

On health care, Toomey’s budget repeals Obamacare taxes and spending. It also implements a block-grant program for Medicaid, much like Ryan does in his budget. Medicaid spending is gradually reduced to $14 billion above Fiscal Year 2008 levels by 2019.

And he doesn’t touch Medicare.

*sigh*

No.

That’s it. Just…no.

Ok, you want more? Fine.

It balances the budget in 10 years, but since it does nothing on the subject of entitlement reform, it won’t be balanced after that. And, since the entitlement situation will be worse then, it will be even harder to fix.

This is what I described in my earlier post as kicking the can down the road 10 years to gain back 7 or 8. So, it’s as flawed as the President’s plan and The People’s Budget, but at least it doesn’t incorporate impossible taxes and assume impossible tax revenue.

Toomey basically admits the flaws, too.

Toomey acknowledged this up front. “It is my view that a permanent solution to the fiscal challenges that we face will require broader reforms than what we have in this budget,” he said. “But this budget represents what we think of as a necessary first step; it reaches a balance.”

Toomey, a member of the Senate Budget Committee, said that he would vote for Ryan’s budget if it was brought to the floor. His budget, he emphasized, was not a competing document. “I see this as a different focus,” he said. “[Ryan’s] goal is long-term, it’s permanent solvency, and he walks through the structural reforms that would achieve that.”

Ok, I’ll admit that we’re not going to get President Barack Obama (D-USA) to sign off on the Ryan plan, or even anything like it. We’ll probably end up with something like the Toomey plan, if we’re lucky.

But again, we’re giving in before the fight has started. Toomey’s plan should be an end point, not a starting point. We can’t keep giving up ground and not getting anything at all in return.

This plan is extremely disappointing.

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