Spending Cuts – Not Revenues – Key to Solving Budget Shortfall, GOP Leaders Say
Speaking at different Capitol Hill press conferences Wednesday, Cantor – the GOP Whip – and Ryan – its ranking budget hawk – said that the federal government must enact major spending cuts if it is to prevent adding trillions of dollars to the national debt over the next decade.
“We feel very strongly that it is incumbent upon us to put a plan out there that balances the budget,” Cantor said. “Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem – we have a spending problem here.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), appearing with Cantor at a meeting of the House Republican Economic Solutions Group, noted how President Obama had promised to go through the federal budget and eliminate waste – saying he still held out hope Obama would do so.
“Keep in mind the president promised he was going to go through that budget line-by-line and scrub that budget. I have a dream someday the president’s going to do what he says,” Gohmert said.
Ryan, speaking at a press conference unveiling his Roadmap for America’s Future Act – a Republican budget alternative – said that Obama’s increased deficit spending was taking the country toward a “tipping point” where a majority of Americans would soon be more dependent on government for their livelihood than on themselves.
“Their progressive ideology is taking us down what I call a tipping point, after which a majority of Americans are [more] dependent upon the federal government than they are on themselves – a kind of European-style welfare state where high unemployment is a fixture and there is no reward for personal initiative and responsibility, people just expect the government to take care of them.”
Ryan said that if government doesn’t reform its fiscal situation the national debt incurred from continued deficit spending would put the country in economic peril in the future.
“If we do not turn our fiscal situation around, reform government, we will see the best century in American will have been the last century in America,” he added.
CNSNews.com asked Ryan whether he supported doing that by cutting spending by $6 trillion over the next decade, the amount necessary to return to a balanced budget. Ryan said that not only did he support the idea – his legislation provided a responsible way to do it.
“Yes, this is what we’re showing you,” Ryan said. “We’re showing you [that] you can put in place a plan – debt will increase no matter what, simply because of the boomers because of the demographics – but it’s all about your trajectory.
“Are we putting in a plan that shows we’re getting it taken care of – this is the debt plan – are we putting in place a plan that shows…do you have a plan in place to make sure that we have the debt going down over time,” he added.
“The debt will rise for a while, because of the boomers, but the question is do we have the reforms in place to make sure that it goes down,” Ryan explained. “What we show – using CBO [Congressional Budget Office] numbers is not only do we get it under control, but we’re locking in a plan to pay it off.”
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, summed up the GOP position on spending, saying that “deficit is the symptom. Spending is the disease.”
CNSNews.com correspondent Karen Schuberg contributed to this report.