Congressman Steve Rothman (NJ-9), a member of the House Appropriations Committee, released the following statement on his opposition to the budget being proposed by the Republican Leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives today:
America's annual deficit and our growing national debt are critical problems that will not only burden our children for generations, but will severely weaken our country.
I agree with what President Obama has said about the need for shared sacrifice and balance in making the cuts and investments to get our economy back on track when he said, "my vision for America [is] a vision where we live within our means while still investing in our future; where everyone makes sacrifices but no one bears all the burden; where we provide a basic measure of security for our citizens and we provide rising opportunity for our children."
We must not balance the budget on the backs of America's elderly, the middle class, or the poor. The Republican plan is not a real deficit reduction plan; it is an unjust and unwise transfer of further wealth and power to our country's super rich.
The Republican budget prioritizes giving tax cuts to America's millionaires and billionaires over tax relief for middle class families and the providing of services to seniors and the poor. The decision to gut Medicare by turning it into a voucher program is especially unconscionable.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the Republican budget will double out-of-pocket Medicare costs for seniors by 2022. According to Families USA, the Republican budget will repeal tax credits for the middle class that will amount to $777 billion in increased taxes for the middle class through 2021. And according to figures from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, two-thirds of the cuts in this plan will come from programs that help the poor.
The authors of the Republican budget preferred to take money out of the pockets of seniors, middle class families, and the poor instead of asking the richest Americans to pay their fair share or, for example, to cut subsidies to Big Oil or corporations that ship jobs overseas.
We must develop a balanced budget, achieved through smart policies and shared sacrifice. The Republican budget plan fails in each regard.