Six Budget Proposals Side-By-Side

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Every spring in Washington, Republican and Democratic members submit their proposals for the following fiscal year’s budget to the House Budget Committee. The chart below contrasts “The Path to Prosperity” plan proposed by Republicans — championed by House Budget Committee chairman and vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, and approved by the House of Representatives on March 29 — with the Democratic Party budget submitted by the budget committee’s ranking member Chris Van Hollen. Also included are proposals across the political spectrum from other interest groups that have created alternative budgets, hoping that some of their ideas may make it into legislation.

This comparative budget chart focuses on programs that affect the nation‘s safety net — access for low-income families and the unemployed to jobs, food, housing and health care. Some of the proposals include actual amounts and percentages, listed by budget categories, while others only address priorities, so the comparisons may at times be a little difficult. Nonetheless, we thought highlighting them side-by-side would be interesting and useful, and you can click on each of the plans to read them in their entirety if you wish to dig deeper. If you would like to compare them with our current budget, check out this nice snapshot from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Sources: Six budget proposals (linked above), Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Special thanks to Sister Marge Clark at NETWORK for her research assistance and advice.

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  • Dave ר Kliman

    You’re missing the things that actually will make the most difference, such as education, r&d, infrastructure. when you take care of those 3 things all the other things follow.

  • Harold Jacob Waterman

    I’m also curious why the Libertarian party is not represented.

  • Anonymous

    Three of the above budgets include, education, infrastructure, public safety etc. Notice it is just the two republican budget proposals that promote tax reductions and de-regulation. This austerity type of budget is destroying Europe. It does not work. Investing in the American people will and it will also restore our pride and dignity.

  • Anonymous

    Just so you know, the chart above does not display well in Internet Explorer – at least that is my experience. A second elephant appears and gobbles up the Republican data. Works okay in Mozilla, but your techies may want to have a look.

  • Needs-a-Choice

    Alternative progressive parties (Green, Peace and Freedom etc.) have a different vision that needs to be represented here. The libertarian position is also missing. Only when we see a full spectrum can we see where “mainstream” positions fall.

  • Natalie Dandekar

    I wish these were more comparable– how does each fund or defund infrastructure, r&d, education, environment and jobs. Even blank space would be a help.

  • mg

    This is great and I would “share it” if it wasn’t for the omission of defense spending comparisons. Oh, wait, no one proposes cutting that, do they. We MUST maintain a military budget that is more than the next 26 country’s budgets COMBINED to stay safe, right ???

  • cliffmid

    Lots of spending, lots of tax reduction. Nothing on reducing a $16 trillion hole they have dug for us and for our succeeding generations. All sounds like more Washington crap to me. Agreed. Where are the Libertarians?

  • evostevo

    It would be nice if these budgets were scored. Which ones, if any, are balanced?

  • Marn

    Because the Ryan Budget is the most libertarian ever produced by a house of congress and it’s maligned by the American people. “Instead of reducing taxes for the rich, let’s abolish all taxes, all social services, all public welfare, all infrastructure, all environmental protections and all public education” is a political position whose chances of success are zero. When push comes to shove, the American people aren’t the sort of malicious, self-serving sociopaths envisioned by classical economists and libertarian philosophy.

  • elgordo42

    The full chart shows up well on Google Chrome, but not on Internet Explorer.
    I agree with the other comments about our out-of-control military spending.

  • Craig Baker

    but the real question… any of these balanced or in the black instead of putting american into more debt?

  • Craig Baker

    well considering we are larger than most those countries combined……

  • don juan

    oh yeah… we are like what.. 20 times bigger than china and russia put together right?

  • Lindi

    Are you suggesting the Libertarians are best suited to fill the $16 trillion hole? Their flat 10% tax probably wouldn’t even be able to pay the interest on the debt let alone do anything else. If the numbers don’t add up, why is it even under consideration?

  • Fikenhild

    What about Brazil, Australia, and India?

  • Tricia

    Anybody want to talk about the Negative Income Tax? You know, those above a certain income level are taxed while those below it receive whatever will bring them up to it. Meanwhile all other welfare and revenue beauracracies are dismantled; no loopholes, other credits, sin death, marriage taxes, etc. How would that play out?

  • csweet

    I dont see Social Security on here. Cant support Paul Ryan when he is taking Railroad Pension funds away from Workers to help fund his budget. Alot of fine print that needs to be highlighted in his budget. Love the libertarian approach but why does middle class get screwed.

  • Don Jessy

    I hear a lot about tax cuts, budget cuts, etc, BUT NOTHING ABOUT CUTS TO THE BIGGEST COST OF ALL – THE MILITARY. There has got to be good oversight on the military expenditures. And now that the government has hired killers (Blackwater, and all its ilk -subsidiaries) These need more supervision than anything else. The potential for coruption is just too vast.

  • Madeline Roberts

    Thank you!

  • Rebecca Phillips

    Are the proposals supposed to open in chart form? When I click, I’m taken to the full budget proposal.

  • Theresa Riley

    You should click on the issues and you can see the details display below each budget title.

  • ML

    From the congressional progressive caucus budget, “In total, the Budget for All achieves nearly $1.9 trillion in savings by bringing our troops home and realigning the Department of Defense. Our budget invests in foreign diplomacy and international aid to stabilize key regions of the world by smarter, more efficient means.”

  • Charlotte Shapiro

    Not one of these budgets addresses laying foundation for building all new systems and forms under the IMPACT of AQUARIUS. The radiating emanations of Pisces are totally withdrawn. FOLLOW the appearances of NEW ORDERING of LIFE that are being vitalized by AQUARIUS impact, such as the OCCUPY movement, ENVIRONMENTAL movement, NATIONAL BANK, Right use of MONEY, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, EDUCATION that restores the ARTS and addresses the whole person…NO WARS! EQUILIBRATION of GENDERS!!!! I could go on…

  • Cstanbro

    Kind of interesting how this appears in
    browser….both of the conservative budgets are obscured from view. Paul Ryan’s
    is covered by the second elephant icon and the second plan is obscured from
    view below the other items on the page…..nice. I’d
    like to be able to see ALL the plans. Any ideas how I can do that? Not even an
    option to print. That would be nice.

  • Prof. Kiergen

    If you do a little deep reading on government sites rather than media sites.. You can see we’d save almost 800 billion just in contracts still out there for stuff our wonderful democratic senators sell (via their own or companies they have shares in) to the government… Contracts for stuff the military hasn’t used in years… for “research” into things the military never sees… Oh and let us not forget they still pay 28k+ for those wonderful diesel dirtbikes that the rest of us can pick up for 11k