Dem, GOP Insiders Think Ryan Budget Will Boost Their Political Fortunes
House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan's budget proposal is so divisive that insiders from both sides of the aisle see it as a boon for their party. In this week's National Journal Congressional Insiders Poll, 96 percent of Democrats and 88 percent of Republicans said that the second iteration of the "Path to Prosperity" would either help their own party a lot or a little in an election year. In fact, zero percent of respondents said it would hurt their party.
Do you think Rep. Paul Ryan's budget blueprint will help or hurt your party politically?
|Help a lot||42%||64%|
|Help a little||46%||32%|
|Hurt a little||0%||0%|
|Hurt a lot||0%||0%|
Democrats said that by balancing the nation's debts on the backs of the poor, Ryan's plan will backfire with the electorate.
"Eliminating Medicare and Social Security so millionaires don't have to pay more in taxes isn't very popular," one Democratic Insider said.
It's a method that another Democrat said is "out of touch with the American people."
Democrats may hate the policy, but that doesn't mean they hate the forthcoming political debate.
"We should send Paul a thank-you note," one Democrat said. "It underscores our differences on issues people understand and agree with Democrats on."
Republicans, however, say that the American people will rally around them for producing a bold proposal.
"It will reinforce that it was the Republicans who were serious about spending cuts, especially when people need to be reminded in September, when Congress will have to vote on raising the debt ceiling once again," one Republican Insider said.
Republicans agree with Democrats that the budget proposal will illustrate clear differences between the parties. They just believe that it's their own party's vision that the country will ultimately support.
"Elections are about leadership and contrasts," a Republican Insider said. "Obama and the Democrats won't lead. Ryan and House Republicans will. That will be what voters remember in November."
At the very least, Republicans say, the proposal is better than not producing anything at all.
"To compare it to a poker game, we might only have a couple aces, but the president has nothing and the Senate has folded," a Republican Insider said.