Representative David Price (NC-04) issued the following statement today on the budget put forward by House Republicans. Rep. Price planned to vote against the legislation.
"Last year, I called the Republican budget a 'lemon' because it simply doesn't work as advertised. This year's budget is same thing, with an extra helping of what Newt Gingrich called, 'right-wing social engineering' layered on top. It's not about deficit reduction as advertised, it's about ideology, and that ideology calls for forcing middle class families, seniors, our kids and veterans to bear the burden of deficit reduction alone.
"Republicans tell us there's a debt emergency--there's not. And that we have to make tough decisions--this budget asks nothing of the wealthiest Americans. And that that path to a prosperous future for all Americans rests on cutting investments in our future, such as education, infrastructure and job training, so we can fund tax breaks for the wealthy few. Well, that's wrong too. Do they not realize these programs are our seed corn? You can save money by providing fewer of our children with educational opportunities, but that's the very definition of penny-wise and pound-foolish.
"The Republican budget would fundamentally change the relationship between the American people and their government, tearing down programs that have helped build the strongest middle class in the world and given generations of Americans dignity in old age. Under the Republican budget Medicare as we know it would end, breaking our promise to seniors. Medicaid as we know it would end, making a mockery of what I think is a basic American ideal--we're stronger together than on our own.
"Why are these decisions necessary under the Republican budget? The answer is simple: the budget provides more money in special interest tax breaks than it does in spending cuts. Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, education, infrastructure, veterans care and job training are plowed not into deficit reduction, but tax cuts that will mostly benefit the wealthiest Americans. In fact, middle class Americans will pay an average of $2,000 more per family because the Republican budget fails to reduce the deficit by one dime by closing special interest tax breaks, like those for big oil, corporate jets, and overseas tax havens.
"These aren't my priorities, and they aren't my values. I plan to support a number of constructive democratic alternatives including the substitute budget offered by Rep. Van Hollen, the Congressional Black Caucus budget and the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget. Each budget makes targeted spending cuts and asks some of the wealthiest Americans to go without certain tax breaks to balance the budget in the long-term. The democratic alternatives don't balance the budget on the backs of middle class families, seniors, or veterans, and all represent the approach Americans want us to take to getting our fiscal house in order. If only Republicans were listening.