Emphasizing what he sees as the merits of the 2013 federal budget passed by the House of Representatives on Thursday, 9th District Congressman Todd Young said the budget is one that would balance.
Young, a Republican whose seat is up for election, was in Bedford Monday, where he toured Indiana University Health Bedford Hospital.
"Health care is very much something that those of us who serve in Congress are focused on right now," Young told reporters after the tour. "Health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid comprise the biggest programmatic segment of our budget. So, getting our heads around and getting command of exactly what is driving health care costs is really important."
He said an objective for lawmakers is to get health care costs under control. That's necessary, he said, "if you want to make our economic environment more hospitable to private-sector job creation."
Young helped craft the fiscal year 2013 federal budget plan that was passed Thursday in the House by a 228-191 vote. The House, also on Thursday, voted unanimously, 414-0, against President Obama's budget request.
"Our greatest priority, No. 1, let's keep the American people safe," Young said of the House-passed version of the budget. "Let's recognize that the world is dangerous. And we need to spend whatever is required to keep the American people safe during this War on Terrorism."
He added, "I think we satisfied that responsibility. We spent more than the budget had proposed on defense."
In discussing what he called a budget that would balance, Young said, "Our budget reduces, over time, gradually and humanely, the amount that we spend on different government programs and grows the size of our economy at a more rapid rate because of changes we make in our spending and taxing patterns, and eventually we will balance the budget and pay off our debt."
He said of the $15 trillion debt. "You're not going to pay this off overnight and you shouldn't try to. What we need now, what our creditors who loan us money ... what they need right now is an assurance that they're actually going to be paid back, that when they loan us money, there is a very specific and coherent plan to grow the economy and pay this debt off over a period of time."
As a third advantage of the House-passed budget, Young said, "We also focused a lot on creating a future federal government that would help do its part to ensure there's more private-sector job creation. We get private-sector job creation by simplifying the tax code so that compliance costs aren't as burdensome on small business in particular, which are the real engines of economic growth in this country. We reduce the number of tax rates and make our corporate income tax rate, which is now the highest in the western world, competitive with other countries."
During his Bedford stop, Young also called attention to the Veterans Self Relief Act, which he introduced to allow recently discharged veterans who are unemployed to draw from their individual retirement accounts without penalty.
Young noted that nearly all of the troops, no matter their age, have some money in a pension fund through the federal government. He said his bill would allow someone returning home from service -- to a shaky economy -- to withdraw funds from his retirement account while searching for a job.