I just read the 56 page budget plan by John Boehner and I thought it would be a lot more detailed. I’ll post a pdf of the bill that I found over at Politico
Okay, for those of you who don’t have the time or the interest in wading through the file I’ll give you a very brief rundown. Mostly it takes existing clauses that include dollar amounts and it updates them. Funding that was appropriate in 1965 is not appropriate in 2012 and will not be sufficient in 2020. That isn’t surprising is it? What bothers me about this bill and what I assume will bother other people is that it has definite costs figured for what spending will be allowed for each program it details. And any additional spending will be removed from other accounts because this bill demands a balanced budget.
So that means that we have a certain amount of money set aside with which to use in the far future- cause 2020 isn’t that close. And if the US needs to “borrow from Peter to pay Paul” it is going to be a lot harder than it is right now.
If the President decides he wants to spend without worrying about the balanced budget requirements the House will censure him by sending him notice that they are in disagreement with his actions. There are timelines for how this new action will occur. If the Senate ignores the House then it goes back to the House and they can continue working on it so that a vote can be taken on it and if the President signs a veto then there is language that almost makes it easier for the House to override his veto through cutting back on how much time the bill has to be discussed and argued over.
There is also a section that eliminates funding graduate programs with Pell Grants.
There are built in increases for costs in Social Security and health costs. (I’m not sure I’d want to agree now on determining future costs up to 2020.)
Other than that the bill contains a lot of information on the new budget balancing rules. There will be a committee created to keep an eye on how things are going. They’ll make sure their numbers are accurate by using the CBO’s numbers.
So that is it. There are a lot of formulaic pages. If you don’t have an original clause it’s hard to see what is being changed with the addition of a certain clause or a new paragraph but I’m guessing that the only major change Boehner is promoting is this balanced budget theme.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t object to a balanced budget myself. If it makes politicians have to work harder to get things done then I’m all for it, but the real question we have to face is will it?
Will changes be made so that America can move forward and become strong again? Or will the changes be so convoluted that nothing gets done. Remember if you have to subtract money from one area in order to fund another it is going to be a lot noiser with assorted groups challenging one another for funding.
Will politicians engage in making those changes? Or will the leaders simply make the rules and the status quo will decide how things move forward?
A lot of folks are going to be applauding Boehner on coming up with a plan- but I say read the darn thing! You’ll find it isn’t much of a plan at all. There are no real elements of change in it. There are some dollar figures pulled out of thin air and a tiny bit about no more Pell grants to grad students and no incentives for paying loans back early.
That is the plan!
Not much of a plan at all if you ask me!