House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has been producing federal budgets for over five years. At first, when he was just a ranking member, they were ignored. Then, when the Republicans took over the House, they began to matter. Today, Ryan’s sixth and latest budget, will both define and unify the Republican Party.

In this morning’s Wall Street Journal, Ryan writes:

In four of the past five years, the president has missed his budget deadline. Senate Democrats haven’t passed a budget in over 1,400 days. By refusing to tackle the drivers of the nation’s debt—or simply to write a budget—Washington lurches from crisis to crisis.

House Republicans have a plan to change course. On Tuesday, we’re introducing a budget that balances in 10 years—without raising taxes. How do we do it? We stop spending money the government doesn’t have. … By giving families stability and protecting them from tax hikes, our budget will promote a healthier economy and help create jobs. … A balanced budget isn’t unprecedented. President Bill Clinton worked with a Republican Congress to get it done. House Republicans’ last two budgets balanced, too—albeit at a later date. But a balanced budget is still a noteworthy achievement, considering the competition.

Indeed, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney confirmed yesterday that whenever Obama does eventually get around to releasing a budget, it will not balance. Ever. Neither will the Senate Democrat budget set to be released this week, despite including a brand new trillion dollar tax hike.

No wonder, according to the latest McClatchy-Marist poll, more Americans (44 percent) prefer the Republican approach to deficit reduction over Obama’s (42 percent).

Perhaps more importantly, by delivering a budget that balances in 10 years, Ryan has honored a promise House Republican leadership made to conservatives earlier this January. Without the support of those conservatives, House Republicans would never have made it pass either the debt limit, sequestration, or Continuing Resolution fights. Republican unity going forward, depends on the success of this Ryan budget as well.

From The Washington Examiner
Examiner Editorial: The phony Democratic budget
Phil Klein: Florida Senate axes Rick Scott’s Medicaid expansion
Byron York: Ted Cruz pushes for vote to stop funding for Obamacare

In Other News
McClatchy Newspapers, Obama tumbling in voters’ eyes: President Obama’s rating has dropped to the lowest level in more than a year, with more voters now turning thumbs down on his performance than thumbs up, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
Read more here:
The Wall Street Journal, SEC Says Illinois Hid Pension Troubles: For years, Illinois officials misled investors and shortchanged the state pension system, leaving future generations of taxpayers to foot the bill, U.S. securities regulators allege.
The New York Times, Judge Blocks New York City’s Limits on Big Sugary Drinks: A judge struck down New York’s limits on large sugary drinks on Monday, one day before they were to take effect, in a significant blow to one of the most ambitious and divisive initiatives of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s tenure.
The Washington Post, Nuclear energy loses momentum: In the face of falling natural gas prices and sluggish and uncertain electricity demand, only five new nuclear plants are under construction, while at least that many are slated for permanent closure or shut down indefinitely over safety issues.

Lefty Playbook
Jared Bernstein says Ryan’s new budget “looks a lot like the platform he and Gov Romney ran on, and lost on, last year.”
Ezra Klein on Paul Ryan’s love-hate relationship with Obamacare.
Think Progress says Bloomberg’s Supersize Soda Ban Rejected By Judge, But Backed By Science.
David Dayen on why February’s great report may be overstated.

Righty Playbook
Bridget Johnson reports that the federal government has advertized for nearly 2,600 new jobs since sequestration.
James Pethokoukis charts America’s path from warfare to welfare state.
Ramesh Ponnuru & Jonah Goldberg on Sam Tanenhaus preposterous history of the Republican Party.