Conservative Caucus: We Can Balance Budget in Five Years

House conservatives will unveil a budget proposal today that vows to balance the budget in just five years without raising taxes — as opposed to nearly three decades in Budget Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) “Path to Prosperity” released last week.

“We feel it’s important to have this budget out there for members to see and for the public to see what really needs to be done,” Republican Study Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told reporters in a preview on Monday.

The proposal, “Cut, Cap, and Balance: A Budget for Fiscal Year 2013,” sets FY 2013 discretionary spending at $931 billion and freezes it until the budget balances in 2017.

Like Ryan’s plan, ObamaCare is repealed. Mandatory cuts in defense sequestration are also battled, but are pushed back “in a more straightforward way,” according to Jordan.

“The budget should embrace reforms that will make it easier for this and future congresses to reduce spending,” said Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), who is vice-chairman of the Budget Committee.

That includes completely eliminating a number of programs from the National Labor Relations Board to the Presidential Campaign Fund. The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Economic Development Agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts would also fall under the ax.

Jordan and Garrett said they felt a responsibility to put forth a budget that wholeheartedly addressed the scope of the debt crisis.

“We have now crossed a line in which our debt is larger than our entire economy,” Jordan said.

“It’s only 2013 spending that this Congress controls and that is why we push so hard on the areas we control,” Garrett said, hence the focus on discretionary spending cuts.

“Obviously there are a lot of us who thought we could do better” than Ryan’s budget-balancing timetable of 28 years, he said. “I think it’s doable; that’s why we want to have a vote on the option of a doable budget.”

The budget enacts the conservatives’ State Health Flexibility Act and the Welfare Reform Act.

Jordan told PJM that the RSC budget is the ultimate conservative contrast to put forth in an election year.

“We certainly think it will help because we’re being realistic,” he said.

In an election year where President Obama has already been pressing a doctrine of urging that everyone in America pay their “fair share,” Jordan said a simplified tax code will be a “great way” to contrast class warfare stoked by the left.

“People understand that any tax code that allows 47 percent of the population to pay no tax is just broken,” he said.

“What we need to do is make our case. We think the budget is a way to highlight that.”

Like the House Budget Committee’s plan, the RSC proposal makes no changes in Medicare and Social Security for those currently 55 and older. It would, however, gradually realign Social Security eligibility by two months each year, to account for greater longevity, until benefits begin at age 70.

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