As the Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee and the Chairman of the Republican Study Committee's (RSC) Budget and Spending Task Force, Congressman Garrett is on the frontline of House Republican efforts to rein in runaway government spending and shrink our country's ballooning national debt.
A lifelong advocate of limited government and lower taxes, Congressman Garrett knows our country doesn't have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. The key to addressing our country's fiscal crisis is not through higher taxes, but through the reduction and elimination of duplicative and unnecessary government programs.
Congressman Garrett has long warned that our country's addiction to spending and debt would eventually come back to haunt us. With our national debt now topping $14 trillion and our budget deficit cresting above $1.5 trillion last year, it appears that the time of reckoning has finally arrived.
Congressman Garrett understands the gravity of the situation and is committed to balancing the U.S. budget and getting our fiscal house in order. Congressman Garrett believes our country must learn to adhere to a strict budget just like American families do every day. We are beyond the point of making small tweaks to balance the budget -- only wholesale, comprehensive reform will suffice.
While making cuts to balance the budget will be difficult, Congressman Garrett understands it's the only choice we have to secure the economic future of our children and grandchildren. His record proves he is willing to make the tough choices in order to fix our spending problem.
Congressman Garrett was a lead author of the RSC Spending Reduction Act, which called for $2.5 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years. In addition, he was an original cosponsor of the Full Faith and Credit Act, which would direct the U.S. Treasury to pay the principal and interest due on debt held by the public before making any other payments in the event the debt ceiling is not reached.
Honest Solutions: Fiscal Year 2012 Budget
Most recently, as Chairman of the RSC Budget and Spending Task Force, Congressman Garrett was the lead author of Honest Solutions: Fiscal Year 2012 Budget, a conservative budget blueprint that balances our country's federal budget deficit in less than ten years.
"This budget blueprint proves that it is possible to balance the budget in ten years, despite what skeptics would like you to believe," said Congressman Garrett when unveiling the RSC budget. "These common-sense conservative solutions to address our country's fiscal crisis will ensure that we meet this challenge head on, rather than put off the tough decisions for another day. Gimmicks and tricks won't cure our spending addiction -- we need honest solutions for the challenges ahead."
Specifically, the RSC proposal addresses the following areas to balance the federal budget deficit in less than ten years:
* Repeal ObamaCare to eliminate $677 billion in additional spending over ten years.
* Ensure that our nation spends responsibly by freezing total discretionary spending at 2008 levels ($933 billion) beginning in 2013.
* Ensure our nation's national security by meeting Defense Secretary Robert Gates' defense request. Defense spending would total $696 billion in 2012 and would increase to $747 billion in 2021.
* Reduce non-defense discretionary spending from $409 billion in 2012 to $218 billion in 2021.
* Reduce unnecessary mandatory spending--other than Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security--by $1.9 trillion between 2012 and 2021.
* Strengthen Medicare's long-term finances. This budget would slowly phase-in an increase in the Medicare eligibility age for those born in 1952 and after.
* Provide improved healthcare choices for individuals at or near retirement. The RSC believes that current Medicare beneficiaries should have the option to voluntarily opt-in to a menu of private health insurance plans. This optional "premium-support" system would be structured much like the health insurance that Members of Congress receive. Over time, Medicare would transition to a solvent premium-support system.
* Block-grant Medicaid and remove Washington D.C.'s burdensome red tape. This budget would empower the states with the appropriate flexibility to determine Medicaid eligibility and benefits, thereby improving the quality of care and access to vital services for the neediest and most vulnerable Americans.
Safeguard Social Security
* Strengthen Social Security's long-term finances. This budget would slowly phase-in an increase in the Social Security full retirement age for individuals born in 1952 and after.
Enact Pro-Growth Tax Reform
* Prevent any new tax increases on the American people and repeal the unaffordable $813 billion tax increase included in ObamaCare. This budget proposes a smarter tax code that would lower rates while broadening the tax base.