Budget sleight of hand

It used to be that liberals were known as the tax-and-spend crowd. Now they are the tax, borrow and spend group, as a federal budget proposal unveiled Monday makes plain.

Americans pay too much in taxes. As a nation we are too deep in debt, at $17 trillion and counting. Yet liberals in the House of Representatives want to keep up the bad work.

U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., released the liberal plan. It calls for $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue during the next 10 years. It projects a $600 billion annual deficit by 2024.

Even to get the numbers to that point, Van Hollen had to employ some sleight of hand. Part of the expected new revenue is $500 billion he is counting on from new immigrant workers. Don’t count on that. Instead, reflect that similar liberal pledges in the past have had to be redeemed through higher taxes on the middle class.

Van Hollen’s blueprint was hammered out in response to a budget plan from U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. It relies on $5 trillion in spending cuts to balance the budget within a decade.

Ryan’s proposal also calls for repealing Obamacare, and thus saving tens of millions of families money the president’s signature law will suck out of our pockets.

Fortunately, Republican control of the House means Van Hollen’s package has no chance of being enacted. He and fellow liberals would have done better not to demonstrate once again to voters that their priorities are far out of line with those of most Americans.

Still, they have done the public a service, if only by reminding us of the need for voters to wrest control of the Senate from Democrats this fall.