By Casey Harper | The Center Square
As President Joe Biden promotes an additional $4 trillion in federal spending, House Republicans are releasing an alternative plan that they claim would lower taxes, cut spending and balance the budget within five years.
The House Republican Study Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana, this week is expected to release its proposed budget, which would reduce taxes by $1.942 trillion, giving each American family $15,800 on average.
“The RSC Budget would make the individual tax code provisions of the [2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act] permanent,” a report summarizing the budget says. “This includes important pro-growth features such as lower income tax rates, a number of tax base-broadeners, and pass-through tax relief. Allowing the individual cuts and reforms to expire would undo much of the hard-won victories of the TCJA.”
The Republican budget comes as a direct response to Biden’s, which would increase non-defense discretionary spending by 15.5%. The president’s budget plan also allows for only a 1.7% increase for military spending.
“This moment of crisis is also a moment of possibility,” Shalanda Young, acting director for the Office of Management and Budget, wrote at the time of Biden’s budget’s release. “The upcoming appropriations process is another important opportunity to continue laying a stronger foundation for the future and reversing a legacy of chronic disinvestment in crucial priorities.”
In addition to his budget, Biden has proposed roughly $4 trillion in additional federal spending on a range of items, along with a series of proposed tax increases to pay for it. Critics say the national debt – more than $28 trillion – has grown too large for additional spending at this rate and that tax hikes will stymie economic growth.
“Federal budgets are more than charts and numbers,” the GOP summary report says. “Budgetary figures reflect the real-world intervention of the government in the lives of our people. This budget is a reflection of the conservative values of its authors. The policies and reforms proposed here are designed to appropriately limit government and prevent tyrannical abuses.”
The GOP budget also points to what it says is the unsustainable path of the nation’s spending patterns, which have been perpetuated under both Republican and Democratic administrations in recent years.
“We’ve faced a year of unprecedented spending,” the committee said. “Since March of last year, we’ve spent over $7.6 trillion dollars, almost $62,000 per American household, and more than the federal government spent in the first 200 years of our nation’s history. We’ve spent more in the last year than the annual economic production of every country in the world except our own, China, and India. It’s not just the spending that stifles our economy. Interest costs on the debt alone are expected to almost triple in ten years, making interest on the national credit card the third largest federal program behind only Medicare and Social Security.”
The Republican plan also includes provisions supporting balanced budget amendments and would create a committee to reform Medicare and Social Security trust funds.
However, the Republican budget likely will not be considered for wholesale use for any passed legislation, but pieces of the plan could be incorporated into future negotiations with Democrats. The Republicans will also use the plan to argue their vision for the country is fiscally responsible and sustainable.
“With our national debt climbing to $28.1 trillion and beyond, we don’t need to tell you why it’s so important we reverse our current course,” the committee adds. “That’s why we appropriately named this budget Reclaiming Our Fiscal Future.”