America's looming debt crisis is the most predictable -- and avoidable -- economic calamity in our nation's history. Make no mistake: empty promises from both political parties have gotten us where we are today. This explosion of debt is threatening to cripple our nation and rob our children and grandchildren of their future.
For the second time in as many years, the House put forth and passed a budget which is honest with the American people about the difficult decisions ahead. The plan, which I voted for, would lift the crushing burden of debt by cutting trillions in spending, balancing the budget without job-killing tax hikes, and creating a long-term blueprint for economic growth.
No other proposed plan accomplishes these things. The President did offer a budget, but it calls for record levels of spending increases, tax hikes, and debt. Last week, it was defeated unanimously in the House 0-414. Meanwhile, the Senate has failed to pass a budget resolution for nearly 1,100 days, leaving our nation adrift in a sea of red ink. Their absence of leadership could not come at a more perilous time for our country.
Budgeting is one of the most basic responsibilities of governing. The State of Nebraska is required to pass a balanced budget biannually. Governors from both parties have accomplished this by setting priorities and making government live within its means, like families and employers do every day. The House-passed budget follows the same common sense approach.
Some in Washington have cynically chosen, as they did last year, to use our budget as a political tool. In fact, their claims are so outrageous non-partisan fact checkers at Politifact dubbed them the "Lie Of The Year" in 2011. These tactics are the worst Washington has to offer and do our nation a great disservice by blocking solutions we need to enact. It is indisputable that absent meaningful reform, programs such as Medicare will go bankrupt within the next decade, resulting in sharp and sudden benefit cuts.
The reality is the House-passed budget advances bipartisan solutions to take power away from Washington bureaucrats and put you in control. There are no changes for those in or near retirement and the Medicare guarantee is strengthened for future generations, with less support given to the wealthy and more assistance for the poor and the sick. And unlike the President's proposal, the House-passed budget does not rely on arbitrary cuts which would negatively impact Nebraska's Critical Access Hospitals.
Nebraskans have a choice between two distinct futures: one of mounting debt and national decline; or one with less debt, better tax policy, and greater opportunity. My responsibility to you is to promote solutions which tackle the big problems we face today so we avoid facing even bigger problems tomorrow.
Our budget will ensure we carry on the uniquely American tradition of passing on a stronger, more prosperous nation. We have a lot of work to do and I am committed to advancing these commonsense solutions so future generations have a shot at the American Dream.