House Ways and Means committee member Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tx.) unveiled a new spending plan earlier this week, the Maximizing America’s Prosperity Act.
Brady’s plan is a “complement” – not an alternative – to Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) Path to Prosperity, which has been adopted by House Republicans and aims to shrink the size of government and address the nation’s deficit crisis.
The MAP Act would make government “a little smaller than what Paul Ryan has envisioned in the Path to Prosperity,” according to the Texas congressman. Brady’s plan relies heavily on spending caps that increase over time, including a spending cut of 10 percent across the board if the caps are not met.
The spending cuts are determined by a percentage of potential GDP, a unit of measure that has been “successful in other countries that have undergone fiscal consolidations.” This measure would also ensure that spending cuts would ease up in harder times, and tighten in boom times. “These are guardrails, but they’re flexible,” said Brady.
“Potential GDP is the smarter brother in the GDP family,” he added. “You know that show ‘Two and a Half Men’? It’s the other brother. It’s not Charlie Sheen.”
Brady’s plan also prevents a future government shutdown by allowing the government to run on 90 percent of the current year’s budget until Congress would be able to pass an appropriations bill.
“What happens now is that everyone in Congress complains, and then they all hold hands and jump across the guardrail and spend more,” he said. “With the MAP act, inactivity will actually reduce spending.”
The MAP Act would also require the president to rank all programs by priority and separate them into five categories. Brady noted, “This transforms the budget from a political wish list into a meaningful contribution to spending reductions.”
MAP Act’s goal is to create specific “mechanism” for reducing government spending.
“We think [Ryan’s] is the right plan, it’s a bold plan, and we want to be sure we reach that goal,” Brady said.
Kate Havard, a student at St. John's College, is an intern at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.