News Feed Item

Concord Coalition Welcomes Ryan Budget Proposal But Expresses Doubts On The Details

WASHINGTON, April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Concord Coalition today welcomed the budget proposal from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan but expressed concern that it does not represent a realistic blueprint for making progress on a fiscal sustainability plan.

"It is the statutory duty of the House and Senate Budget Committees to produce a budget," said Robert L. Bixby, Concord's executive director. "Chairman Ryan thus deserves credit for following 'regular order' by proposing a budget in an election year when some may argue that it would be more convenient to remain silent."

Bixby added: "Ryan has laid out an ambitious but positive goal to achieve budget balance within 10 years. However, like the President's budget, Ryan's proposal is best viewed as a statement of party principle with little chance of moving the fiscal debate forward, much less of being enacted."

Given the size and nature of the structural problems in the budget, the goal of eliminating deficits within a decade sets up some very difficult policy choices. A renewed focus on open-minded budget negotiations -- using policy levers that affect both revenues and spending -- would offer a better chance to enact reforms with a positive fiscal outcome.

The Ryan budget achieves its deficit reduction by cutting over $5 trillion from spending programs. It proposes no revenue increases. The savings would come from repealing the insurance expansion in the Affordable Care Act (40 percent of savings); Medicaid and other health savings (14 percent); reductions in "other mandatory" programs such as food assistance (19 percent); discretionary spending reductions below the current caps (9 percent); Medicare reductions and shifting to premium support (3 percent), and interest savings (15 percent).

The discretionary spending assumption allows defense to exceed the current caps but achieves overall discretionary savings by cutting non-defense spending below the caps. Non-defense discretionary spending would fall to 2.2 percent of GDP by 2024 -- nearly half the amount spent in 2011, when spending caps were first agreed to, and 20 percent less than in 2014. Over the past 40 years, such spending has averaged 3.8 percent of GDP.

One caution in depending on such low spending is that the recent bipartisan budget agreement actually added back some non-defense spending because the 2014 levels were too low to pass appropriations bills through Congress.

"Sticking with the defense caps will be hard enough, even with the increase proposed by Chairman Ryan," Bixby said. "But taking non-defense spending down to the level assumed in this budget is not at all realistic and would greatly reduce the government's ability to make legitimate domestic investments in transportation, education, homeland security and basic research."

Concord also questioned some of the budget's mandatory spending assumptions.

For example, in a glaring inconsistency, Ryan specifically criticizes the President for abandoning a proposal to switch the government's inflation measure to the more accurate "Chained CPI" -- yet the chairman's plan itself fails to adopt that proposal.

One encouraging point, however, is Ryan's opposition to using Social Security's Old Age and Survivors Insurance funds for the Disability Insurance program, which expects to run out of money in 2016. Instead, Ryan calls for a comprehensive fix for Social Security, which should be a top priority for the next Congress.

Achieving the health care savings in the budget is likely to be hamstrung by political rhetoric.

"The Medicare savings included in Ryan's budget -- such as those from the current-law reductions in Medicare Advantage plans and the shift to a Medicare premium support system -- are valid and achievable," said Joshua Gordon, Concord's policy director. "However, fully realizing them will require a break from the current rhetorical stance of many in both parties against the Medicare Advantage financing trajectory and the narrow provider networks and private insurance regulations in the ACA insurance exchanges, without which budgetary savings from premium support would be unlikely."

"Furthermore, the Ryan budget draws large savings from reductions in Medicaid, but it is difficult to see how such cuts won't exacerbate the Medicaid problems of access and low provider reimbursement referenced in the budget's review of the program," said Gordon.

The proposed budget supports base-broadening tax reform bit does not embrace any particular proposal, including the comprehensive plan that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp recently released. Ryan points to the Camp plan's scored economic growth but does not embrace its policy choices.

As the Camp plan revealed, however, difficult choices are required to broaden the tax base, lower rates, and remain revenue neutral. Camp was not able to do all this and stick with just the two tax rates of 25 and 10 percent that are recommended in the Ryan budget.

A small but growing portion of the assumed savings in Ryan's budget comes from an estimate of its macroeconomic feedback, often referred to as "dynamic scoring." In a departure from the usual practice, Ryan includes a specific macroeconomic score for each year that is then factored into the estimated deficit.

According to this score, the macroeconomic impact in the first three years of the budget would be to add $76 billion to the deficit. From 2018 through 2024, however, the impact would be to reduce the deficit by $251 billion, for a net deficit reduction over 10 years of $175 billion.

The Concord Coalition does not favor this approach in scoring budget resolutions because it introduces even more uncertainty into the projections. It is one thing to give an illustrative estimate of the effects that a particular path of deficit reduction may have on the economy, as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has done at Ryan's request. But it is quite another to count that as a year-by-year score.

This is particularly true when specific policy details are absent, as they are in a congressional budget resolution. One set of policy details could have a much different feedback effect than another.

As the budget office cautioned in releasing its economic assessment of the deficit-reduction path in Ryan's budget: "The projections do not represent a cost estimate for legislation or an analysis of the effects of any specific policies….CBO has not considered whether the specified paths are consistent with the policy proposals or budget numbers that Chairman Ryan released on April 1, 2014 as part of his proposed budget resolution."

A copy of this release can be found on our website at: http://concordcoalition.org/press-releases/2014/0401/concord-coalition-welcomes-ryan-budget-proposal-expresses-doubts-details

The Concord Coalition is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to fiscal responsibility. Since 1992, Concord has worked to educate the public about the causes and consequences of the federal deficit and debt, and to develop realistic solutions for sustainable budgets. For more fiscal news and analysis, visit concordcoalition.org and follow us on Twitter: @ConcordC

SOURCE The Concord Coalition

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Coalfire will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Coalfire is the trusted leader in cybersecurity risk management and compliance services. Coalfire integrates advisory and technical assessments and recommendations to the corporate directors, executives, boards, and IT organizations for global brands and organizations in the technology, cloud, health...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
DevOps is being widely accepted (if not fully adopted) as essential in enterprise IT. But as Enterprise DevOps gains maturity, expands scope, and increases velocity, the need for data-driven decisions across teams becomes more acute. DevOps teams in any modern business must wrangle the ‘digital exhaust’ from the delivery toolchain, "pervasive" and "cognitive" computing, APIs and services, mobile devices and applications, the Internet of Things, and now even blockchain. In this power panel at @...
Governments around the world are adopting Safe Harbor privacy provisions to protect customer data from leaving sovereign territories. Increasingly, global companies are required to create new instances of their server clusters in multiple countries to keep abreast of these new Safe Harbor laws. Is it worth it? In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Adam Rogers, Managing Director of Anexia, Inc., will discuss how to keep your data legal and still stay in business.
The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
Successful transition from traditional IT to cloud computing requires three key ingredients: an IT architecture that allows companies to extend their internal best practices to the cloud, a cost point that allows economies of scale, and automated processes that manage risk exposure and maintain regulatory compliance with industry regulations (FFIEC, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FISMA). The unique combination of VMware, the IBM Cloud, and Cloud Raxak, a 2016 Gartner Cool Vendor in IT Automation, provides a co...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Traditional on-premises data centers have long been the domain of modern data platforms like Apache Hadoop, meaning companies who build their business on public cloud were challenged to run Big Data processing and analytics at scale. But recent advancements in Hadoop performance, security, and most importantly cloud-native integrations, are giving organizations the ability to truly gain value from all their data. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, David Tishgart, Director of Product Marketing ...