CONCURRENT RESOLUTION ON THE BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2006 -- (House of Representatives - March 17, 2005)
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Mr. KIND. Mr. Chairman, we are here today in this Chamber to consider a fantasy budget. It is ludicrous for the House leadership to move forward with this budget debate by ignoring the issues of the day merely to lock in huge tax cuts and offer damaging spending cuts to health care, education, veterans' services and much more. We need a better plan. The Democratic alternative that I support would reinstate the pay-as-you-go rule and balance the budget by 2012, just as the Baby Boomers begin their massive retirement, while maintaining significant support for our national defense, veterans programs, education, and health care, which will help grow our economy and create jobs.
I do commend the President for recognizing the importance of the Milk Income Loss Compensation (MLLC) Program as a safety net for America's dairy farmers and including an extension of the program in the Administration's proposed budget. The Republican budget, however, recklessly zeros out this important program, placing struggling family farmers across this nation in peril.
We know that the budget has not included the long-term cost of Iraq, which already cost the country $275 billion, the estimated $5 trillion in the next 20 years for privatizing Social Security, and the full costs of the tax cuts. in fact, it does not even include a full ten-year budget report. The report lacks detail
and leaves many programs vulnerable to steep cuts. I would expect a complete and full report in a document as important as the United States Budget. As the campaign in Iraq continues, our thoughts and prayers go out to the young men and women in uniform as well as to their families. May they complete their mission quickly and decisively so they can return home soon and safe.
Our veterans are returning home as we speak. These are the fine men and women who fought to help bring democracy to Iraq. The budget plan calls for cuts in veterans' health care benefits and reduces medical personal by more than 3,000, along with cutting $9 million from other areas in the already overstretched VA. While the budget cuts to veterans' programs, Medicaid grants, and other important programs represent a very small amount of the overall budget, they will make a large difference to the families who depend on them.
The projected budget deficit of $427 billion for FY06 is revolting. Perhaps the worst aspect of this budget is that it is not paid for. This is the classic recipe for exploding budget deficits as far as the eye can see; it's the height of fiscal irresponsibility occurring at exactly the wrong moment during our Nation's history when 80 million Americans, the so-called baby boomers, are rapidly approaching retirement. This is a demographic time bomb ready to explode. That is why the Republican budget proposal, in effect, constitutes taxation without representation because it will be our children and our grandchildren who will be asked to pay for this fiscal mess. I couldn't think of doing anything more unfair to them. The children are our future, and we owe it to them to give them a stable foundation.
As the father of two little boys, I did not come to this Congress to leave a legacy of debt for them or future generations to climb out of. Our Democratic alternative, however, anticipates this demographic time bomb by achieving balance, while offering an economic stimulus plan now that is fair, quick, and responsible. It supports our troops, but it also supports our nation's veterans, our seniors, and our children's education programs.
So I urge my colleagues to support the Democratic substitute. I would call on the leadership in the House to pull their budget resolution so that we can have an honest debate with honest figures, factoring in a realistic cost of the Iraq operation.
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