Ryan Statement on President's FY09 Budget Proposal
Wisconsin's First District Congressman Paul Ryan, the Ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, released the following statement in response to the President's Fiscal Year 2009 budget proposal. The President's proposal provides Congress with a starting point for discussion of upcoming appropriations bills. Ryan's remarks follow:
"The President's budget achieves the important goal of balancing the budget in the near term - without raising taxes - through fiscal policies that promote economic growth, and limit federal spending to realistic levels.
"The President's budget also recognizes that our nation's challenges go well beyond the next few years. This budget takes a significant, critical step toward addressing the greatest threat to our nation's future strength and prosperity -- the unsustainable growth of our largest entitlement programs. While acknowledging it doesn't 'fix' the entitlement problem in one fell swoop, this budget proposes reforms that would reduce Medicare's long-term unfunded liability by nearly one third.
"Last year, this Congress adopted a budget that called for massive increases in the already-unsustainable rate of federal spending -- all to be financed by the largest tax increase in our nation's history. It also failed to propose critical entitlement reforms - instead choosing to further expand these programs that we know, today, cannot keep their promises as currently structured. With each year Congress fails to address the entitlement crisis, the worse the problems, and more difficult the solutions, become.
"There are two key goals Congress must keep in mind as it crafts this year's budget: first, to keep taxes low and spending in check; and second, to set a sustainable path for our nation's future."