House Republicans Release Low Tax, Less Spending Federal Budget
April 1, 2009 - 7:22 PMClaiming that President Obama's 2010 budget "spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much," House Republicans unveiled their own budget plan on Wednesday. They say their plan would "spend less, tax less, and borrow less."
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com that while he agrees with the Republican assessment that the Democrats’ budget is too expensive, Democrats have few options because of the economic situation left to them by the Bush administration. Hoyer said the GOP budget does not seem feasible.
“You have heard the expression or the coin of phrase that the president’s budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much,” Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.Y.), a member of the House Budget Committee, said at press conference Wednesday. “This budget will spend less, tax less, and borrow less and create more jobs.”
The Republican budget, which was written by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), ranking member of the House Budget Committee, would spend $4.8 trillion less than the Democratic budget over the next 10 years. The GOP plan also would freeze most non-defense/veteran spending instead of increasing it, as proposed under the Democrats’ plan.
In addition, the budget would permanently extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003, reduce corporate tax rates to 25 percent, and would repeal much of the economic stimulus spending signed into law by President Obama earlier this year – spending which many Republicans termed “partisan.”
The GOP plan would also offer a simplified tax code under which couples would pay a 10 percent tax rate for the first $100,000 of earned income and 25 percent for income over $100,000. Under the plan, individuals would get an exemption on the first $12,500 of income and pay 10 percent on income up to $50,000.
Most taxpayers would have the option of filing all of their federal taxes on a postcard.
At a press conference Wednesday afternoon, however, Democrats – who said they had not yet thoroughly examined the Republican budget – raised questions about the Republicans' proposed reductions in spending, taxing, and borrowing.
“The size and magnitude seems improbable to us,” said Rep. John Spratt (D-S.C.), chairman of Budget Committee. “What they are proposing far exceeds anything that has ever been accomplished before.”
“I can only conclude that if, in fact, the Republicans’ approach is achieving the ends they say they are achieving, they do so by employing draconian means as it relates to the impact on people in this country and on our ability to grow this economy, create jobs, stop mortgage foreclosures and get our people back to where they want to be and to the quality of life they want to lead,” said Hoyer, who said he also agreed with Spratt’s assessment.
“It’s hard to believe you get to where they say they are going without doing some things I think the American people will reject,” he said.
Hoyer told CNSNews.com that he agrees with the Republicans’ criticism that the Democrats’ budget “spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much.” But Democrats are forced to do these things because of the deficit and economic crisis left them by the Bush administration, said Hoyer.
“I agree with that,” in reference to GOP criticism of the Obama budget, said Hoyer. “The reason that it does [tax, borrow, and spend] is because of the fiscal irresponsibility of the last eight years under the Bush administration, which put us so deeply into debt, ran up so many deficits when we were in good times and when the economy was growing.”
“The inheritance we have received has put us into a position that we have to do some things that we would prefer not to do,” Hoyer told CNSNews.com. “But we ought not, in the short term, stop investing in our children, and in the health care of our people, in our competitiveness, and our energy independence, which would have a continuing tamping down of our economic recovery.”
But Ryan said that inherited deficits and a recessionary economy are no excuse for more inflationary spending.
“Yes, the president did inherit this economic crisis,” Ryan told CNSNews.com. “But the question is, is he fixing it or is he making it much worse? We believe the president’s budget makes our fiscal crisis much, much worse.”
“Rather than getting spending under control, it sends spending out of control,” said Ryan. “Rather than keeping taxes low to create jobs, it chases ever-higher spending with ever-higher taxes and results in ever-higher debt.”
Meanwhile, Hoyer said his staff will read every page of the Republican budget and report to him on their their propositions.