Conservative Movement United Against Simpson-Bowles Budget Plan


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Friday, March 30th, 2012, 11:12 AM PERMALINK


The House this week rejected the "Simpson-Bowles" budget by a 382-38 margin.  Every major conservative group weighed in against the measure (full text, summary), which raises taxes over the next decade by $2 trillion, and is riddled with phony spending cut gimmicks and double-counting.

Below is a summary of the united conservative movement opposition to this budget:

Americans for Tax Reform

Linked above

Americans for Prosperity

Dear Representatives,
 
On behalf of the more than 1.9 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I strongly urge you to support both Chairman Ryan’s budget resolution and the Republican Study Committee (RSC) alternative amendment.  Unlike our tax-and-spend President and do-nothing Senate, these two important proposals work to get Washington’s spending problem under control, reject tax increases, and put our country on a path to fiscal sanity.  We need bold action like this at a time when the federal government continues to spend at unsustainable levels.  
 
I urge you to vote YES on H.Con.Res. 112 (Chairman Ryan’s Budget Resolution) and Garrett amendment number 9 (the RSC budget alternative).  Americans for Prosperity will rate these votes in our congressional ratings.
 
Chairman Ryan’s blueprint offers a future of lower spending, lower taxes, and lower deficits when compared to the President’s proposal.  It cuts spending by a moderate amount in FY2013, with discretionary spending, for example, falling from $1,043 billion to $1,028 billion.  It saves a Medicare program that is rapidly going bankrupt by employing market-based reforms and preserving seniors’ choices.  It block grants funding for federal assistance programs like Medicaid and food stamps, giving states more flexibility to find better ways to serve their neediest citizens.  It also smartly calls for the House to refocus the sequestration cuts from the Budget Control Act across the federal budget, instead of targeting a few select areas.  Although, AFP would have preferred to see all of the replacement cuts happen in the first year.  
 
The RSC budget alternative adopts and improves on Chairman Ryan’s framework.  It cuts discretionary spending even further (to $931 billion in FY2013, a $112 billion cut) and freezes it at that level until the federal budget balances in the year 2017.  It also corrects a major oversight from Chairman Ryan’s proposal by including death tax repeal in its tax reform package.  We are disappointed to see, however, that the RSC chose to address Social Security’s fiscal problems by raising the retirement age.  This is simply a benefit cut in a program that already provides a bad deal for workers.  Optional personal savings accounts provide a better path forward for America’s signature retirement security program.  
 
I urge you to vote YES on H.Con.Res. 112 (Chairman Ryan’s Budget Resolution) and Garrett amendment number 9 (the RSC budget alternative).  Americans for Prosperity will rate these votes in our congressional ratings.

In addition to urging all Members to support the Ryan and RSC budgets, AFP urges Members to oppose the Cooper-LaTourette tax-and-spend budget amendment.  Raising taxes by more than $1.2 trillion distracts from the true driver of our nation's fiscal woes: runaway government spending.

I urge you to vote NO on the Cooper-LaTourette Budget Amendment.  Americans for Prosperity will include this vote in our congressional ratings.

Heritage Action

Today, the House will vote on the Cooper-LaTourette Substitute Amendment to H.Con.Res.112. The amendment, based off President Obama’s fiscal debt commission from 2010 known as Simpson-Bowles, would raise taxes by $1.2 trillion and reduce future spending increases by about $2 trillion – mostly through defense cuts.

The Simpson-Bowles budget continues the Washington status quo: spend as much as you want, and then raise taxes to pay for it. America does not have a tax revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Any budget that raises taxes in order to defer the necessary choices needed to rein in spending needs to be scrapped.

Historically, revenues amount to 18% of our gross domestic product (GDP). The Simpson-Bowles budget would raise revenues to 21% of our GDP – a massive increase that continues the tax-and-spend agenda of the Washington Establishment. Introducing a budget that gives both sides a little of what they want in order to claim the mantle of bipartisanship will not fix our problem, it will exacerbate it.

Simpson-Bowles contains numerous other flaws: it retains all $2.5 trillion of Obamacare; excludes structural reforms of Medicare and Medicare; contains timid spending cuts; and fails to address massive increases in education and transportation policy.  Washington needs to change its spending habits, not tweak the status quo. Failure to do that will ensure we face this same crisis year after year until our nation ends up like Greece.

Heritage Action opposes the Simpson-Bowles budget and will include it as a key vote on our scorecard.

Heritage Foundation

Rule #1 of tax reform: Tax reform does not raise taxes.

The budget resolution sponsored by Representatives Jim Cooper (D–TN) and Steve LaTourette (R–OH) breaks this rule. In reality, it is a massive tax hike of nearly $2 trillion, according to Americans for Tax Reform.

The Cooper–LaTourette budget follows the faulty path first worn by President Obama’s Simpson–Bowles deficit reduction panel. Cooper and LaTourette, like Simpson–Bowles before them, would eliminate most credits, deductions, and exemptions and lower marginal tax rates—but not nearly enough.

Their plan targets a top rate in the range of 23–29 percent. That means they could’ve reduced rates considerably lower than that range to keep the plan revenue-neutral.

They passed on this growth-oriented option because they want higher revenues to lower the deficit. But higher taxes never lower deficits, because Congress spends all the extra money it raises. True deficit reduction comes only from spending restraint, as House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan showed last week.

Tax reform also requires more than eliminating all exemptions, deductions, and credits with one broad stroke. Some misnamed tax expenditures—such as the mortgage interest deduction, the deduction for charitable contributions, and exemption for contributions to retirement savings accounts—are vital to maintaining a neutral tax code.

The exclusion for employer-provided health insurance, while not sound policy, should not be thrown out without other reforms to the treatment of health insurance.

Simply ridding the tax code of these provisions in a misguided effort to lower the deficit through tax hikes will compound the problems that the tax code poses.

Congress should look to a real tax reform plan—such as Heritage’s New Flat Tax—for an example of how to do tax reform the right way.

Club for Growth

Washington, DC – The Club for Growth today issued the following statement on the budget proposal by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN) and Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH):

“The Club for Growth opposes the Cooper-LaTourette budget proposal,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. “This budget is not only a huge, anti-growth tax increase, but it bizarrely repeals the sequester that both Rep. Cooper and Rep. LaTourette voted for as part of the August debt deal, otherwise known as the Budget Control Act. The Club for Growth urges members of Congress not to break their promises to the American people and to pass a budget that both balances quickly and complies with the spending levels required under the Budget Control Act.”

National Taxpayers Union

“NO” on Amendment #13, the “Simpson-Bowles” substitute: Though the Simpson-Bowles Fiscal Commission made admirable efforts to reform entitlements, it also called for a $1.2 trillion tax increase and spending well above historical averages.

Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute

Reps LaTourette, Bass, and Reed push Bowles-Simpson, meaning real tax hikes, fake spending cuts, no entitlement reform

Jim Pethokoukis of AEI

Simpson-Bowles/LaTourette-Cooper enshrines Obamacare + $2T tax-hike kicker

More from Americans for Tax Reform

hidden