Last month, I had the unique privilege to personally ask President Obama why he thought the federal government did not need to pass a budget like Hoosiers families. Surprisingly, he responded that “America is not a family,” and “if we balance too fast, we will get less revenue."
I strongly disagree with the president’s answer. This country is a family, and together we will rise and fall as Americans. We cannot continue to spend money that we do not have or fund wasteful programs — the federal government must be held accountable to the taxpayers.
The president’s budget is loaded with over $1 trillion in tax hikes and $964 billion in government spending — never balancing. In reality, more spending and higher revenues translate to less money in the pockets of American households and businesses. It is negligent to avoid the obvious dangers of overspending, like slowed economic growth and rising debts, that will be unfairly cast onto the backs of our children.
Americans are seeking a compromise from Washington to ensure we pass on a better future to the next generation. Together as a nation, we share the desire to seize opportunities, provide for our families, and achieve success to fulfill the American dream. A balanced budget will lay the foundation to reduce our national debt and achieve these feats — but the president’s budget never will. Republicans recognize that a healthy economy naturally fosters job creation and a pro-growth business environment — putting Americans back to work and illuminating opportunities for our children.
Republicans are offering a better way. Our ideas work toward establishing a simpler tax code, lowering tax rates, and closing loopholes to deliver higher wages and more jobs. It even lays the groundwork for shovel-ready projects, like the Keystone XL Pipeline, to support our nation of builders and start moving America toward energy independence.
The House plan repeals ObamaCare and addresses pressing issues driving our national debt to cut spending and strengthen critical programs like Medicare and Social Security — finally putting America on a path to prosperity. So far, the President already raided over $700 billion from Medicare, and his budget calls for deeper cuts. According to the Wall Street Journal, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recently reported that young people could see higher health insurance premiums from new requirements in ObamaCare.
In the State of Indiana, ObamaCare is an economic threat to the medical device industry. The onerous 2.3 percent medical device tax is just one example of new laws that have forced companies to delay expansion and warn patients of rising medical costs. Eliminating the tax will free innovation and provide advanced medical devices for our seniors, veterans, and the most vulnerable.
As part of the balance, Congress must provide necessary funding for our military, ensuring our brave men and women are equipped to carry out the mission to defend our nation and keep our shores safe. Once more, the president’s budget suggests $120 billion in military spending cuts. Just a few months ago, the joint chiefs testified in front of the House Armed Services Committee warning that our military could not absorb additional budget cuts. We must heed these warnings to protect our troops.
While serving in the Indiana General Assembly we proved that responsible governing and step-by-step reforms balance a budget — understanding it was the right thing to do for Hoosier families and the next generation. Our state formulated a common sense equation to turn a deficit into a surplus, restore a triple-A bond rating, and led the nation in job growth. This year our hardworking families were awarded with a tax refund, paving the way for better opportunities. It is time for the federal government to follow suit, and it starts with passing a smart budget.
Walorski is a member of the House Budget Committee.