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A tale of two budgets

Legislative update

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POSTED: April 3, 2013 9:00 p.m.

It is budget season in Washington. Recently, dueling proposals were introduced by House Republicans and Senate Democrats. Each offers a start contrast in vision for the country.
House Republicans offered a proposal — the Path to Prosperity — that would balance the budget within 10 years. It reduces deficits by $4.6 trillion by targeting wasteful Washington spending and reforming the drivers of our debt.
In addition to relieving the economic uncertainty created by debt, our plan would fix our broken tax code to create jobs and increase wages. It equips the American people for success in the 21st century by fostering innovation in education programs.
We would harness America’s energy potential — the largest natural gas, oil and coal reserves in the world — and approve the Keystone XL pipeline. This energy plan would create thousands of jobs and billions in private-sector infrastructure investment, as well as achieve North American energy independence without costing taxpayers a dime.
The Path to Prosperity also repairs the safety net for the poor by building on the success of bipartisan welfare reform of the 1990s, which led to child poverty falling by double digits. It gives states more flexibility to tailor programs and empowers those closest to the people to improve effectiveness.
Our plan strengthens and protects retirement security for current and future generations. Those who rely on the program today would see no changes. Beginning in 2024, eligible seniors would be given a range of insurance plans to choose from — including traditional Medicare — and would be provided assistance to ensure they can afford them.
In contrast, Senate Democrats have offered a budget that, as the Washington Post put it, “gives voters no reason to believe that Democrats have a viable plan for — or even responsible public assessment of — the country’s long-term fiscal predicament.”
It relies on budget gimmicks and accounting tricks to claim $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction. When you get past the double-counting and get to the real numbers, the total comes to a paltry $279 billion. Their plan calls for $7.3 trillion in new debt, increases spending over current projections and fails to balance the budget — ever.
Just two months after the American people saw their tax bill go up by $618 billion, the Senate Democrats’ budget is back for more. They seek another $1.5 trillion in new taxes in order to fund more wasteful government spending.
By failing to offer a plan to preserve the safety net or shore up programs like Medicare or Social Security, their plan is implicit in the demise of these programs on which so many rely. In fact, the Senate Democrats offer no real reform of anything.
Four years without a budget proposal and this is the best they could come up with?
America needs a serious, honest budget that makes Washington accountable, protects taxpayers and provides a path to a stronger America. The simple truth is that Washington Democrats have once again refused to provide one.
Every day we fail to address our fiscal problem, the solution becomes harder. The more we spend, the more we borrow and the further indebted we become to countries like China.
The less we owe, the more we own our future. In the Path to Prosperity, we have put forward a plan that would re-establish America’s economic independence and renew the American dream.

Kingston, R-Savannah, serves the 1st Congressional District of Georgia, which includes Liberty and Long counties.

 

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