If you wanted to design a budget plan that would help accelerate the economic recovery, promote job creation, lay the foundations for future growth, and set federal finances on a sustainable course for the foreseeable future, what would it look like? First and foremost, you’d probably want to make sure not to do anything that would actually hamper the economy—or in medical parlance: First, do no harm. So that should rule out immediate massive cuts. Second, you’d want to protect—and probably even enhance—critical investments in things such as infrastructure, science, and education. Third, you’d want to pursue modest, responsible changes in future fiscal policies so that the national debt doesn’t rise faster than economic growth. And you’d certainly want to accomplish the latter without unduly burdening the middle class—and without making it harder for people in poverty to reach the middle class.
In other words, if you wanted to design a pro-growth budget, it would look absolutely nothing like the budget that was released earlier this week by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI). It might, however, look much more akin to the one released yesterday by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
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