READ: Senate Democrats' Budget

A blog about business and economics.
March 13 2013 5:25 PM

Senate Democrats Unveil Their "Foundation for Growth"

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: (L-R) Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL) hold a news conference at the U.S. Captiol on the eve of the budget sequester February 28, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Republicans have their "Path to Prosperity" and today Senate Democrats are rolling out the "Foundation for Growth"—their balanced answer to the GOP's all-cuts budget document. You can read it here:


The nickle summary is that this does $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction. That's $975 billion in tax hikes and $975 billion in spending cuts plus $100 billion in new stimulus. The tax hikes are intended to come from curbing loopholes and deductions for high income taxpayers and corporations, but the details are left up to the Finance Committee.

The cuts come about 25 percent from the military, 25 percent from reduced interest payments, and the rest divided between health care and non-health care functions. The assumption is that the health care cuts can be made on the provider side—though, again, details are left to the Finance committee. Those dollar targets are lower than the ones for provider-side cuts that the White House has previously endorsed so there should be a broad menu of options to choose from.

At a briefing earlier today, committee aides spent a fair amount of time jostling with journalists over baseline issues. The way this works, more or less, is that the Budget Committee started with the $2.4 trillion in mostly-cuts deficit reduction that's already been enacted if you don't count sequestration. This new round of deficit reduction is meant to, among other things, supplant sequestration and thereby achieve (and somewhat exceed) the old Simpson-Bowles goal of $4 trillion in deficit reduction. Which is to say that if you enacted the Senate Democrats budget you'd end up with discretionary spending that's higher than if you fully implemented sequestration, but an overall deficit that's lower since tax revenues are on the table.

The overall result is a budget that's super-boring but reflects voters' preferences for a mix of tax-side and spending-side deficit reduction much more faithfully than Paul Ryan's plan.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


The World

The Budget Disaster that Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

Are the Attacks in Canada a Sign of ISIS on the Rise in the West?

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

Is It Offensive When Kids Use Bad Words for Good Causes?

Fascinating Maps Based on Reddit, Craigslist, and OkCupid Data


The Real Secret of Serial

What reporter Sarah Koenig actually believes.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea

Can Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu Pull Off One More Louisiana Miracle?

  News & Politics
Oct. 23 2014 3:55 PM Panda Sluggers Democrats are in trouble. Time to bash China.
Business Insider
Oct. 23 2014 2:36 PM Take a Rare Peek Inside the Massive Data Centers That Power Google
Atlas Obscura
Oct. 23 2014 1:34 PM Leave Me Be Beneath a Tree: Trunyan Cemetery in Bali
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 11:33 AM Watch Little Princesses Curse for the Feminist Cause
  Slate Plus
Oct. 23 2014 11:28 AM Slate’s Working Podcast: Episode 2 Transcript Read what David Plotz asked Dr. Meri Kolbrener about her workday.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 4:03 PM You’re Doing It Wrong: Puttanesca Sauce
Oct. 23 2014 11:45 AM The United States of Reddit  How social media is redrawing our borders. 
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.