House Republican leaders have unveiled a budget plan that would reduce government spending by more than $5 trillion, simplify the tax code, and reform entitlement programs to ensure their long-term sustainability without increasing the national debt.
Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA), a leading fiscal conservative, applauded House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) for his efforts and pledged to work with him to implement a pro-growth budget.
"The challenges we face today are too great to simply pass off to the next Congress or the next generation," said Kingston. "We are at a precipice and the Path to Prosperity offers a vision to restore America, reignite our economy, protect seniors, and give our children and grandchildren the same opportunities afforded us. In it, we have an honest assessment of the problems we face and common sense solutions to overcome them."
The plan revealed today builds on a budget passed by the House last year aimed at reforming and modernizing government to check the growth of the nation's debt. It would reduce spending by $5.3 trillion from the plan outlined by the Obama Administration.
It would also greatly simplify the tax code by consolidating the current six tax brackets to two: a 10% for lower-income filers and 25% for those with higher-incomes. At the same time, it lowers the top corporate tax rate from the second highest in the world at 35% to a more competitive 25%, bringing it in line with the average for economically developed nations.
"This plan gets rid of a broken system that has failed the American economy," Kingston said. "It eliminates special interest loopholes and simplifies the system to one everyone can understand. By implementing a tax system that encourages economic growth, it will actually increase revenues and help alleviate our fiscal woes."
To preserve Medicare, the plan builds on a bipartisan proposal Congressman Ryan introduced with Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) earlier this year as well as one put forth by the Clinton Administration.
Those enrolled in the program today and those nearing retirement would see no change. However, those with a decade or more before retirement would be given the option of continuing with the fee-for-service plan currently available or the choice of a slate of guaranteed services through a premium support system.
"Opening this system to competition will increase access to the highest quality care at the lowest possible price," said Kingston. "Increasing competition won't just save money for Medicare, it will bring down the cost for everyone and increase accessibility and affordability."
While this proposal may not please everyone, Kingston notes that Senate Democrats have failed to put forward a budget in more than 1,000 days and the President failed to put forth one that gains credibility with his own party.
"Budgets are always accused of cutting to deep or too little," Kingston said, "but to the critics I ask "where's your budget?' The Senate refuses to even consider one for fear of what it might look like and the President's failed 97-0 in a Senate controlled by his own party. Leadership demands a realistic counter proposal to have a real debate."