GOP Rep. Broun: Paul Ryan budget ‘fails to seriously’ cut spending

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) is opposing House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) latest plan, arguing in a New York Times op-ed that it does not go far enough to cut spending. 

“The latest budget proposal by Representative Paul D. Ryan, called ‘The Path to Prosperity,’ is anything but,” Broun, a member of the Tea Party Caucus, wrote in the opinion piece published Tuesday.

"It fails to seriously address runaway government spending, the most pressing problem facing our nation,” he added. “I cannot vote for something that would trick the American people into thinking that Congress is fixing Washington’s spending problem, when in actuality we’d just be allowing it to continue without end."

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Ryan’s budget, unveiled a week ago, would cut spending by $5.7 trillion and reduce the top tax rate to 25 percent, moves Broun argues are insufficient.

Broun's op-ed comes as the House prepares to vote this week on the Ryan budget, as well as alternative plans proposed by House Democrats and conservative GOP lawmakers.

Broun, who is currently running to succeed Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), argues that lawmakers should eliminate federal departments, and suggests ending the departments of Education and Energy. 

"Just reducing growth in spending does almost nothing. We have to dig deeper and make profound cuts now. We cannot continue to assume that future Congresses will do our dirty work for us," Broun added. 

"We ought to get rid of certain federal departments and agencies, stopping only to shift the role of governing back to the states, where it belongs. The Departments of Education and Energy, for example, are two bloated bureaucracies that we don’t need; their core functions would be absorbed by the states through block grants, saving taxpayers at least $500 billion over the next decade.”

Broun proposes that the Pentagon take over the Department of Energy's job of handling nuclear weapons. 

"The only constitutionally necessary service provided by the Energy Department is regulation of the nation’s stockpile of atomic weapons, a function that can return to the Department of Defense," Broun wrote. "Eliminating this bureaucracy would be a large, permanent spending cut, and restore energy-related venture capitalism to its natural home, the private sector."

Broun said Ryan's plan is just "nibbling around the edges." 

"Rather than nibbling around the edges as the Ryan proposal does, we must do all of this and much more now,” Broun wrote. "The only way to protect our nation’s financial future as well as our citizens’ liberty is to stop the outrageous spending in Washington and permanently reduce the size of our overreaching federal government."