Americans for Prosperity Lauds Chairman Ryan for Bold and Serious Budget Proposal

March 20, 2012

ARLINGTON, VA. — In response to today’s introduction by Chairman Paul Ryan of his FY2013 budget resolution, Americans for Prosperity (AFP), the nation’s leading free market grassroots organization, released the following statement.

AFP President Tim Phillips:

“Once again House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan has laid down a marker that provides a clear and credible path forward for the federal budget. The Ryan Budget simultaneously calls for much-needed pro-growth tax reform and reforms to the biggest drivers of the nation’s runaway government spending. In contrast to the President’s budget this plan is a legitimate legislative effort to budget for the coming fiscal year.

“On tax policy, the Chairman repeats his call from last year to unify the top individual and corporate rates at 25 percent. This is crucial as many small businesses are taxed at the individual rate and the looming rate of more than 40 percent is an unacceptable burden on these job creators. What’s more, the proposal moves toward a territorial tax system, eliminates the alternative minimum tax and calls for the removal of many special provisions in the code. AFP is disappointed that the proposal doesn’t call for ending the death tax, one of the most hated and immoral taxes in our entire system.

“On entitlement programs, the Chairman’s proposal address two of the big three programs. By introducing choice and competition to the current flawed Medicare model while at the same time ensuring that current seniors are not affected, the proposal moves in the right direction. Block granting numerous federal welfare programs, including the mammoth Medicaid welfare medicine system, to the states builds on a proven model to control costs, empower states and protect the most vulnerable in society. AFP would also like to see conservative lawmakers champion optional personal accounts for retirement, a plan that has worked everywhere it has been tried; we find the lack of attention to this third prong of our spending crisis disappointing.

“In addition to calling for pro-growth tax reform and tackling a significant portion of the long-term spending problem, the Chairman’s budget also makes immediate first years cuts. Setting discretionary spending levels at $1,028 billion (down from FY2012 levels of $1,043) holds to the House-passed levels from the budget resolution last year and begins to address the sequestration that is coming later in the year. AFP would support the House making further cuts in discretionary levels and urges the House to make as much of the sequestration cuts occur this year as possible. We cannot control what future lawmakers will do, but we can work to cut spending this year. This budget’s call to move a portion of the sequestration cuts into future years jeopardizes those cuts actually occurring. Additionally, while AFP is not wedded to the artificial ten-year budget window, we are concerned that this budget calls for deficit spending far into the future.

“Overall, this budget builds on last year’s success. It certainly does not include everything that AFP would like to see and does not solve our fiscal crisis. However, it does begin that process and we look forward to working to see many of these reforms enacted.”

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