Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) released the following column today discussing House Republicans' solutions to put us on a path to balance the budget and pay down our debt. Full text of the column is included below:
""For the past few weeks, House Republicans have been in a heated debate with the Democrats who run Washington over our proposals for a responsible budget with significant spending cuts and government reforms. Every day we are presented with more reasons of why we must make the difficult decisions in order to protect our future. For example, reports released last week showed that Medicare is projected to be bankrupt by 2024, five years earlier than last year's projection. On Monday the United States reached its legal debt limit. But regardless of these indicators that serious action is required, President Obama and the Democrats who run Washington are proposing to do nothing and raise the debt ceiling without including major cuts and reforms.
"House Republicans have put forward real solutions that will save entitlement programs, such as Medicare for current and future generations, and put us on a path to balance the budget and pay down our debt.
"In the Republican Budget, "Path To Prosperity,' we proposed a plan to secure entitlement programs today so our children won't come up empty handed. Let me be clear, our plan will not make any changes to the current Medicare plans of anyone 55 or older. But for those 54 and younger, changes are necessary or the funds will be dried-up.
"Just as important as addressing our entitlement programs, the Republican Budget also proposes significant reforms and spending cuts to help put our country get back on track. Republicans have been clear that there will be no debt limit increase without serious changes to the way we spend taxpayer dollars and substantial spending cuts -- cuts higher than any increase. To raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts that are larger than the amount of the increase would be more irresponsible than not raising the debt ceiling at all.
"We cannot continue to borrow recklessly and dig ourselves deeper into this hole. Stanford economist John B. Taylor described it best when he said these reforms and cuts are "essential to a credible return to sound fiscal policy and an end to the ongoing debt explosion.'
"Some argue that to address our debt, we need to raise taxes. I'm totally opposed to that, and here's why. We don't have a revenue problem in Washington; we have a spending problem. The federal budget can only be balanced with spending cuts and long-term economic growth, and we won't have economic growth if we raise taxes. Tax hikes destroy jobs and discourage the investment needed to keep our economy growing. Tax hikes are a nonstarter in this discussion.
"It is time to commit ourselves to government policies that will let our economy achieve long-term growth. Our mission as legislators has to be to liberate our economy from the things that impede growth - to provide clear policies, so that innovators and entrepreneurs have the green light to move forward and create jobs, without having to worry about second-guessing from Washington.
"No more kicking the can down the road, no more whistling past the graveyard -- now is the time to address the serious challenges that face America, and we will. The greatest threat to our country and to our economy is doing nothing. It's time for the President and the Senate Democrats to get serious and join us in making the difficult decisions necessary to set our country on a sustainable path.
"As leaders, we owe it to the American people to ensure that the opportunities our generation had are there for current and future generations. Until our economy is back on track and the American Dream has been restored, there can be no rest.
"Boehner represents Ohio's 8th District, which includes all of Darke, Miami, and Preble counties, most of Butler and Mercer counties, and the northeastern corner of Montgomery County. He was first elected to Congress in 1990."