AFP Statement on Ryan Budget: A Bold and Serious Proposal

April 06, 2011

Americans for Prosperity is Encouraged by Ryan Budget Proposal

“I applaud Congressman Ryan for introducing a bold, serious proposal to tackle the country’s fiscal crisis and put our nation on the path to prosperity,” AFP President Tim Phillips said.

“The two main issues that have crystallized public understanding of the federal budget emergency are the exploding annual deficits and the crippling national debt. President Obama has now presided over two straight $1 trillion plus annual budget deficits. Recently the nation’s debt surpassed yearly GDP for the first time in our history. However, the prospect for solving these issues is still manageable, so long as we begin to work on the problem now and do not allow politics and entrenched interests to delay much-needed reforms. Ryan’s budget reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion over the next ten years when compared to the president’s budget. Additionally, the Ryan budget eventually puts the nation in a position to actually begin paying off the national debt, instead of unending measures to raise the debt ceiling, borrowing from our children and grandchildren.

“The country must have strong and robust economic growth both for its citizens’ prosperity and to address the federal budget problems. One important element of encouraging a pro-growth environment is to ease the nation’s tax burden while broadening the tax base. This budget proposal does this both by eliminating the $800 billion tax increase from ObamaCare and by calling for a top individual and corporate rate of 25 percent. By eliminating special deductions and tax loopholes that distort economic decision-making and make the tax code increasingly complicated, while at the same time putting our tax rates in a competitive range with the rest of the world, Ryan’s budget stokes the fire that creates jobs, increases GDP and generates revenues that fund the federal government. I look forward to learning more about the specific proposals to lower rates and broaden the base.

“Another encouraging element of the budget proposal is its outline for specific and attainable reforms to existing entitlement programs. These pieces of the budget are widely agreed to be the main drivers of fiscal insolvency, yet few leaders have had the courage to propose actual reforms. Ryan’s plan to block grant federal funds for Medicaid, and other welfare programs, will allow states to both reclaim control of their spending and protect those most in need. The current funding formula provides matching federal funds and creates incentives that only encourage higher enrollment, higher “spending and no incentive to innovate or police the programs. By block granting federal funds, governors and state legislatures will see an incentive to reform their programs and not face the fear of having federal funds yanked out from under them. I hope this plan will build on the welfare reform success achieved during the historic welfare reform of 1996 that has successfully protected the neediest among us and saved taxpayer money in the process.

“While entitlement programs are undoubtedly the key to solving this problem, discretionary and military spending must also be addressed. Rolling back non-security spending to pre-2008 levels is a good start. Putting the nation on a glide path to get government spending below 20 percent of GDP provides a clear alternative to the president’s expansionary budget proposal.

Addressing $178 billion in defense spending is an important step as well. We all must realize that there is waste and duplication in the Defense Department and we cannot be timid in our examination of those funds. By cutting $78 billion and reinvesting $100 billion of security spending this budget has kicked off that discussion admirably. Providing for the nation’s physical security is the most important task of government, but every government agency or department, including the Pentagon should be scrutinized to eliminate wasteful or unnecessary spending.

“Already, the Left is launching venomous, almost hysterical, attacks against this commonsense effort to repair the federal budget and get our economy moving again with real job creation. Americans had heard their tired “us versus them” rhetoric before and Americans have been down their failed road of bigger government, bigger deficits and job crushing debt.”

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