By Representatives Paul Ryan and Frank Guinta
AMERICA is a nation founded on the belief that all people are born with the right to freely pursue their own happiness, and that belief entails a trust in the American people to make choices for themselves.
Throughout history, this trust has been vindicated. Our constitutionally protected freedom to choose among competing goods and services, competing candidates, and competing ideas has helped make America the greatest country the world has ever seen.
When it comes to our nation's greatest fiscal and economic challenges, we face one of the most momentous choices our generation will ever have to make. Will we continue down the path of more spending, higher taxes and inaction on the drivers of our debt? Or will we choose to act -- to lift the debt and free the nation from the shadow of a severe and sudden crisis?
The Democrat-controlled Senate has made its choice: It has chosen to ignore this looming crisis by failing to pass a budget for more than 1,000 days now, thus depriving small business owners and families in New Hampshire and Wisconsin of the stability and predictability they need to prosper.
The Obama administration has made its choice as well -- but its massive spending increases and tax hikes chart a path to debt and decline. The administration's budget reheats the same failed formula it has proposed in the past: too much spending ($47 trillion over the coming decade), record tax increases (totaling $1.9 trillion), and massive deficits and debt (four straight trillion-dollar-plus deficits and $11 trillion in new debt over the next decade).
Americans deserve to choose a brighter future.
Building upon the principled reforms advanced last year, and joined by our colleagues at the House Budget Committee, we have introduced a budget this week that offers Americans a path to greater opportunity, real security and renewed prosperity. This afternoon, we are bringing our budget before the full committee for consideration, with the goal of moving this important resolution to the House floor for a vote next week.
The House Budget Committee's proposal meets our legal and moral obligation to address the tidal wave of debt headed our way. After years of empty promises, both political parties have contributed to the mess we find ourselves in today. We reject the broken politics of the past. Instead, we are advancing an alternative that builds on the growing bipartisan consensus for Medicare reforms that make the program stronger -- with no disruptions for current seniors and more choices for future retirees -- and tax reforms that make the code simple, fair, and competitive so the economy can grow.
We must stop spending money we don't have and borrowing money from foreign nations to fuel government waste. We must repair our safety net so that critical 20thcentury programs can deliver on their promise in the 21st century. We must save and strengthen our health and retirement security programs from bankruptcy and bureaucratic control. And we must clear government hurdles to job creation and economic growth.
The America our children will inherit tomorrow depends on the choices we make today. Our budget relies on the wisdom of the American people to choose wisely -- and to build a prosperous future for themselves and for generations of Americans to come.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee. Rep.
Frank Guinta, a Republican, represents New Hampshire's 1st District in Congress.