The Republican Study Committee, which consists of eight conservative GOP lawmakers in the House of Representatives, put forth a proposal on Wednesday to slash federal spending by $14 trillion over the next decade to eliminate the ballooning budget deficit and generate a surplus.
“We—the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force—put our noses to the grindstone and produced a budget that would balance the budget in 5 years. 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. That’s why we appropriately named this budget Reclaiming Our Fiscal Future,” Representative Jim Banks (R-IN), the Committee chair, wrote in an open letter to the American people.
The programs that Banks and his colleagues seek to fiscally starve should be surprising to absolutely no one. On the chopping block are essential services such as Medicare, Medicaid, and other entitlement programs.
The group’s alternative budget proposal would virtually eliminate the deficit by 2024 and go into surplus by 2026 by making aggressive cuts to discretionary spending and mandatory programs, relative to their current projected paths.
It would cut $2.5 trillion from current Medicare projections, $3.3 trillion from other health programs including Medicaid, and lop another $3.5 trillion from other mandatory programs that largely comprise the social safety net.
Discretionary spending, which funds the government, would drop by $3.5 trillion, reducing its size as a share of the economy by a third.
Predictably, the RSC wants the grotesque tax breaks for the wealthy that were part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law in 2017 by then-President Donald Trump to become permanent, in spite of the fact that they are one of the primary contributors to the deficit:
The RSC Budget would make the individual tax code provisions of the TJCA permanent. This includes important progrowth features such as lower income tax rates, a number of tax base-broadeners, and pass-through tax relief.91 Allowing the individual cuts and reforms to expire would undo much of the hard-won victories of the TCJA.
It also seeks to spend even more money on the military:
The RSC Budget would provide for a robust U.S. military, strong support for our allies, a foreign aid strategy that supports human rights and American values, and efficient allocation of national defense resources. The RSC Budget seeks to achieve all these aims while attaining fiscal discipline and preventing trillions of dollars from being added to the national debt, which defense experts have said is the greatest threat to our national security. To provide for the nation’s continued security, the RSC Budget would provide $778 billion in FY 2022 for national defense discretionary funding, a growth rate of 3% over inflation from current enacted levels.
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.