Conservative House Republicans propose balancing budget in four years

As Republicans and Democrats try to find middle ground between the budgets that each side has proposed, the most conservative members of the House are throwing another budget into the mix, one that would balance the budget in four years.

The Republican Study Committee’s “Back to Basics” budget proposes some of the same things as the budget introduced last week by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, but it proposes to balance the budget by 2017, rather than 2023.

It does so by returning discretionary spending to $950 billion, lower than 2008 levels, cutting non-defense discretionary spending by $6 billion over 10 years and making serious cuts to entitlements.

Under the RSC budget, the retirement age at which people could receive Social Security payments would go up to 70, a change that would “slowly phase in” for people 51 and younger, and it would also adopt the chained CPI cost of living adjustment.

The budget would also raise the age at which people become Medicare eligible for individuals who are currently younger than 55. Like the Ryan budget, it would turn Medicare into a premium support system, but the RSC budget would enact this reform for persons under age 60, while Ryan’s budget changes it for people younger than 55.

It proposes a flatter tax code, where individuals can choose to pay their income tax rate as it is or move to a system in which there are just two rates for personal income taxes. The corporate tax rate would fall to 25 percent. Loopholes would be eliminated, as would the death tax and the alternative minimum tax.

Speaking to The Daily Caller, Scalise said the RSC budget “build[s] on a lot of the same reforms as Paul implements,” saying that “both of those are major milestones” in contrast with the Senate Democrat’s budget and President Obama’s pending budget.

The reforms proposed, he said, “represents a lot of the values and the goals for our membership” and shows that “we’re serious about addressing the big problem.”

Scalise also said that RSC members would support the Ryan Budget.

“We want to promote the RSC budget and we’re ultimately going to vote for the House budget,” he told The Hill.

“This plan lays out a clear path towards preserving the American Dream for future generations, controlling spending to create jobs and get the economy back on track, and finally returning Washington back on the path to fiscal responsibility. The mountain of federal debt being dumped on to the backs of our children continues to grow and the window to rescue our economy is closing. We cannot let another year pass without taking the same common-sense steps toward a balanced budget that families have already taken with their budgets,” Scalise said in a statement Monday.

“Both this plan and the Ryan budget are light-years ahead of the Senate Democrats’ proposal which fails to ever balance, and President Obama’s budget which hasn’t even met the legal deadline to be filed for the fourth time in five years,” he said.

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