Media Advisory: Heartland Institute Experts React to Republican Budget Proposal

Published April 6, 2011

Republicans Tuesday unveiled a 2012 proposal to achieve nearly $6 trillion in savings over the next decade. The federal budget deficit this year alone is projected to be $1.4 trillion.

The following statements by budget and tax experts at the Chicago-based Heartland Institute may be used for attribution.

“Unlike President Obama’s budget plan the GOP’s would actually address the root cause of our nation’s long-term budget problems – principally the current unsustainable levels of entitlement spending. It also starts the process of lowering, broadening, and simplifying our nation’s tax code in a way that would help America’s economy be more competitive.

“A real balanced budget that restrains unrealistic government promises to its citizens is overdue. While the Republican proposal is far from perfect, it is the first time in a long time that Congress has been willing to address some of these third-rail issues in a serious way.”

John Nothdurft
Director of Government Relations
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“There are good parts to it, especially getting rid of Fannie and Freddie, ending bailouts, and tax reform. It’s much better than the increases in spending, borrowing, and taxes that President Obama and leading Democrats want.

“But, ultimately, the Republican plan leaves government in control of huge chunks of our lives. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) makes much of taking spending to 2008 levels, but those levels were the result of outrageous spending increases during George W. Bush’s presidency. Ryan would put federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, saying that is the historic average. Actually, that is merely the modern average. At the end of the Clinton administration, it was 18 percent of GDP.

“There’s no reason to peg the size of the government to the size of the economy. A bold proposal would abolish government programs, such as agriculture subsidies, not reform them as the Republican plan would do.”

Steve Stanek
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor
Budget & Tax News
[email protected]