Do you like U.S. budget prospects?

Do you like U.S. budget prospects?

March 31st, 2012 in Opinion Free Press

With the Republicans in the majority, the U.S. House of Representatives recently approved a national budget for 2013.

How do you think you'll like it?

The House voted to reduce federal government spending, make changes in Medicare, and cut some taxes. Those decisions surely will be issues in our next national elections.

"Our team actually went and made the tough choices -- tough choices to preserve freedom in America and deal with our fiscal nightmare," said House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

The Democrats have a different view. The vote was 228 to 191, generally on party lines.

How will the American voters react?

Republicans are counting on voters' concerns about high taxes and higher national debt to swing elections in their favor. Democrats, however, think voter reaction will be in their favor.

There are changes in Medicare. No Democrats voted for them. Republicans want to adopt a new system that would provide retirees a stipend to allow them to buy their own health insurance, which they believe would reduce the government's red-ink spending, according to McClatchy Newspapers. Democrats are betting otherwise.

The Republicans are concerned about the $11 trillion national debt. They say that if President Barack Obama's plan prevails, the national debt will grow to $18 trillion.

The Republicans' approval ratings have been slipping. The Democrats hope to gain. With presidential and congressional elections coming, the Democrats are betting that more spending with more debt will be to their election advantage. Republicans are hoping that voters are more concerned about high taxes, big spending and more red ink.

It will be very interesting -- and economically very important -- to see how a majority of American voters decide to express themselves -- financially and politically -- in the elections coming up in November.