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Democrats' new budget proposal: why it's balanced ... but not balanced (+video)

Senate Democrats have put forward a new budget proposal that offers balanced deficit reduction (between cuts and new tax revenue), but doesn't balance the budget.

Democrats' budget plan
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Senate Democrats put forward a budget whose broad outlines contrast sharply with a rival plan from House Republicans: It avoids controversial entitlement cuts but goes only a small way toward confronting the long-term challenge of a rising national debt.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, pledged to balance the budget in 10 years.

Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington, chairwoman of the Senate Budget Committee, used the word “balance” in a different context. Her plan blends some new tax revenue and some spending cuts to produce a more modest amount of deficit reduction – all while avoiding steep cuts to Democratic priorities.

“House Republicans would dismantle Medicare,” the summary of the Senate Budget Committee stated. “They would slash the investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation that we need to lay down a strong foundation for broad-based growth.”

What’s needed now is to reach out for potential common ground, senators of both parties said. Both sides agree on the need to replace the “sequester,” the automatic spending cuts that will remain in place for 10 years unless some alternative fiscal plan is reached.

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