By Congressman Geoff Davis
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan put it best: "This coming debt crisis is the most predictable crisis we've ever had." We have a choice of two directions for our country: we can adopt a responsible budget that preserves our future or continue to spend ourselves into a Greek-style disaster.
In the House, Republicans for the second straight year passed a long-term, fact-based budget plan that addresses our debt burden. Chairman Ryan's budget, "The Path to Prosperity," grabs control of our deficits now and reins in exploding health care costs -- all without raising taxes. The President is constantly in search of a "fair" solution, and we have one with this blueprint.
The Path to Prosperity treats our debt burden as the spending problem it is instead of an excuse to raise more revenue from job creators. With four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits and a total debt in excess of $15 trillion, Washington has spent well beyond its means for far too long. The House Republican plan cuts spending by over $5 trillion relative to the President's budget, and it does so in a responsible manner that protects seniors.
This proposal does not alter Medicare for current beneficiaries or those nearing retirement. In addition, it gives future retirees the flexibility to choose the plan that best fits their needs or to stick with the traditional Medicare plan, and it does so without bankrupting the system. By ensuring that Medicare is on a more sustainable path, we can preserve and strengthen the system for current and future beneficiaries.
The budget also proposes to strengthen our economy by enacting pro-growth tax reform. The Path to Prosperity simplifies the tax code and reduces rates for everyone. This plan moves from the current six individual tax brackets to two at rates of ten and twenty-five percent. In addition, it reduces our corporate tax rate -- currently the highest in the industrialized world -- to a competitive twenty-five percent. In these times of financial strain and low growth, this tax reform proposal would get our economy moving again and keep more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.
The Path to Prosperity puts us on the road to a balanced budget, a growing economy, and a smaller, more manageable debt. These are the goals we need to achieve to position our nation for a stronger future.
Unfortunately, the President and the Senate are on a different page. The President's blueprint, which imposes $2 trillion in tax increases and adds $11 trillion to our debt, falls woefully short of addressing our fiscal or economic challenges. The President's budget has not received a single "yes" vote in Congress.
While the President's budget proposal is impractical and unpopular, the Senate Democrats have not even bothered to offer one. They have not passed a budget in over 1,000 days.
By the year 2037, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projects that the U.S. economy will collapse -- if we fail to adopt a solution to our fiscal challenges. Given the options before the Congress, the question of which budget is our best choice is clear: The Path to Prosperity.