We are facing a crisis in our country. We are borrowing 40 cents on the dollar and saddling our children and grandchildren with a crushing debt. The American dream is at stake and the status quo is not an option.
When the President offered his budget in February, he chose not to address the problem at hand. By ignoring entitlements, he failed to offer a credible plan for the future of our country. This week, in what some have described as a "mulligan speech," the President again failed to offer a credible plan. Instead, he delivered a highly partisan speech in which he called for the creation of a commission to come up with a plan.
We don't have time for another commission. In fact, we've already been down that road and the President decided to ignore the plan offered by his own commission.
In the House today, we brought forth a budget that takes on the serious changes necessary to get our fiscal house in order. It tackles tough choices we face in our entitlements and preserves the safety-net programs we have by transforming them for the next generation.
Our budget proposal, The Path to Prosperity:
* cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President's budget;
* eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs, reflects the ban on earmarks, and curbs corporate welfare;
* reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion compared to the President's budget
* puts the budget on the path to balance and pays off the debt
* eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by ObamaCare and prevents an additional $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President's budget
* simplifies the tax code to make it fairer for workers and to incentivize growth, savings, and investment;
* converts Medicaid's Federal share to a block grant program, giving states more flexibility and participants more choices;
* saves Medicare by transitioning future beneficiaries to a premium-support model that allows them to chose a plan that works best for them while providing for no changes for those 55 and over; and
* preserves Social Security for current retirees and strengthening it for future generations by building on the ideas offered by the Bowles-Simpson Commission while providing for no changes for those 55 and over.
A more comprehensive summary with a list of key facts, objectives and components of the Path to Prosperity can be found here. A side-by-side comparison of thePath to Prosperity and President Obama's budget can be found here.
Already, special interest groups have activated to resist the reforms contained in this package. Over and over again, groups like these resort to scare tactics and target seniors with misinformation to block reform. They stand in the way of progress and they stand in the way of preserving the America we know and love for future generations.
No side has the franchise on good ideas and no plan is perfect. That is why we opened the floor today and allowed all sides to put forth their best ideas. While several of the alternative plans offered did not take a serious attempt at fixing the problem, I even voted for one alternative offered by the Republican Study Committee of which I am a member. Read about that plan here.
It's time to put policy first. We need to tone down the rhetoric and move forward with reforms to save these programs and to save the future of our country.