Republicans and Democrats unveiled their proposed budget plans earlier this week in an attempt to reach a budget deal and get the country's fiscal house in order.
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan led the Republican charge, releasing a blueprint that aims to eliminate the federal deficit within 10 years. The Senate Democratic budget initiative, led by Sen. Patty Murray, is based on a combination of controversial tax increases on the wealthy as well as a variety of spending cuts.
"Both budgetary visions will plant seeds for future political games, and the data points in each budget will permeate the upcoming fiscal battles — including the coming clash over the debt ceiling," wrote Nancy Cook, economic and fiscal policy correspondent for the National Journal. "The proposals will offer a framework for the policy ideas and political strategy leading up to that fight in late July or early August, when the stakes will be higher, given the potential economic consequences of a default."
We look at the differences in the plans and what lies ahead for the country's budget.
• Obama says budget differences could be 'too wide' for a deal. "Right now, what I'm trying to do is create an atmosphere where Democrats and Republicans can go ahead, get together and try to get something done," President Barack Obama said on ABC News. "But ultimately it may be that the differences are just too wide." (New York Times)
• Balanced budget dispute is fiscal and philosophical. Would a balanced budget actually stabilize America's economy? (New York Times)
• Dueling budget plans help define both parties. Cook goes through both budgets and explains what Republicans and Democrats are trying to accomplish. (National Journal)
• House Republican budget offers more of the same. Comparing the new Republican budgets to the ones we've already seen. (National Journal)
• Does a falling deficit change the budget debate? David Wessel of The Wall Street Journal explains the current deficit situation and what that means for the budget battle. (NPR)