GOP ‘Cut, Cap, And Balance’ Plan Would Require A 25% Cut In Every Government Program
House Republicans are planning to hold a vote tomorrow on the radical “cut, cap, and balance” plan, which stipulates that the federal debt ceiling only be raised if a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution is sent to the states for ratification. As we’ve noted time and again, such an amendment is a phony solution to the nation’s budget challenges, and would force the government into actively making economic downturns worse.
But the current version of the amendment that the GOP is pushing is even worse than all that. In addition to preventing the government from taking steps to ameliorate an economic downturn, the plan would also cap federal spending at 18 percent of GDP. To get a sense for how radical this is, the House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) — which eviscerated Medicare and Medicaid — still has spending above that level in 2040.
As the Center for American Progress’ Michael Ettlinger and Michael Linden noted today, actually getting spending down to that level would require 25 percent cuts in every government program, including the Pentagon and Social Security (or, of course, deeper cuts for every program that gets left untouched).