The House Republican budget authored by Rep. Paul Ryan isn’t getting a great deal of love, even from conservatives. Fred Hiatt’s Washington Post editorial page slammed it as “dangerous,” and the Club for Growth is opposing it because it isn’t dangerous enough.
That opposition extended to Ryan’s committee yesterday, where the budget was passed by just one vote, despite having 22 Republicans to just 16 Democrats.
Justin Amash and Tim Huelskamp, two of committee’s most conservative members, voted against Ryan’s plan. Another, Rick Mulvaney, voted for it in committee, but says he might vote against in on the House floor. As Erik Wasson reports in the Hill, “the tight vote indicates that next week House GOP leaders could face a larger floor defection than they did on last year’s budget, which got every Republican but four behind it.” [...]
The conservative skeptics all voice the same problem with the Ryan budget: It does not go far enough, fast enough. The budget doesn’t balance till 2040. The spending levels envisioned in this year’s budget are slightly higher than the spending levels envisioned in last year’s budget. The Medicare reforms have been moderated to preserve fee-for-service Medicare as an option, and Social Security remains untouched.
That’s obviously not enough for the nihilists, which is pretty astounding. Ryan’s budget is as extreme a policy document as could be imagined. As Ezra Klein says in the linked story, its breadth is staggering:
[T]he Affordable Care Act is repealed, Medicare is substantially privatized, Medicaid is turned over to the states, the tax code is flattened into two brackets, and [...] the federal government’s role in infrastructure, worker retraining, education, nutrition support, veteran’s benefits, and much more dwindles to nearly nothing.
There’s a surreality to the thought that elected representatives’ primary goal is the destruction of the government they’re serving. It gets even more surreal when you look at the Ryan plan, which would achieve that destruction in less than half a century, and his party responds, “That’s not fast enough.”