Republican Budget Calls For Five Year Spending Freeze: ‘We Are Saying Let’s Cut Spending Right Now’

Today, House Republicans plan to bring their official “alternative budget” to the floor, which will supposedly flesh out some of the details lacking from the “budget” that they presented last week. Of course, the plan still revolves around the radical tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) (who wrote the legislation) has previously advocated.

However, the GOP has also added a new wrinkle: paying for the tax cuts with a five-year spending freeze on all non-defense and veteran’s health care funding. As Ryan explained on MSNBC:

We are cutting spending starting this year. We are saying let’s cut spending right now. Let’s cut spending in the out years.

These provisions clearly impressed MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, who asked Chris Matthews “does [Ryan] make a bit of sense there?” Matthews, though, was having none of it:

No, because it sounds very much like Hoover. This is a doctrine which was tried in 1932 and failed. In a period of international deflation, the worst thing you can do is join in the deflation by cutting spending.

Watch it:

Evidently, the GOP believes that Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R-AL) two year spending freeze and Sen. Chuck Grassley’s (R-IA) three year freeze were not crazy enough, and thus, have settled on a five year freeze. The budget basically confirms that the Republican strategy is to negate the stimulus, while betting economic recovery will occur thanks to an abundance of supply-side tax cuts.


As we’ve noted before, the stimulus package’s main purpose is to close the GDP gap by spurring spending by households, government and the private sector. A spending freeze would blunt this, while also allowing inflation to eat away at vital funding for programs like Head Start and Pell Grants.

As USA Today reported today, “early federal stimulus money appears to be hitting its target, paying for new projects and creating jobs.” But Republicans would rather scrap that, to embrace a Neo-Hoover, anti-stimulus plan that doesn’t “make a bit of sense” at all.


ThinkProgress notes that Ryan called the initial GOP budget a “marketing document.”