By Meghashyam Mali - 02/14/12 02:54 PM EST
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) blasted President Obama’s budget proposal on Tuesday, dismissing it as a “tax-and-spend budget, not a tax-to-reduce-the-deficit budget.”
“It didn’t lay out a plan to change our debt course,” Sessions, the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe." He added that the United States was on an “unsustainable path” and that Obama’s blueprint did little to tackle the nation’s debt, which he called the “most clearly identifiable threat to our future.”
“The spending increase in the debt stays the same over 10 years,” he added. “I don’t think that’s what the American people want.”
Sessions said the administration had failed to produce a comprehensive approach to addressing the nation’s fiscal health. He said lawmakers “also have to deal with Social Security, also have to deal with Medicare.”
“None of those are dealt with seriously in the president’s budget,” he added.
The budget also includes $350 billion in new stimulus measures to boost the economy.
The budget would roll back the Bush-era tax rates, which are expected to expire at the end of the year, and calls for a tax overhaul requiring the wealthy to pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.
Republicans attacked the proposal, noting that the national debt would reach $26 trillion under Obama's budget by 2022, up from $15 trillion today.
Sessions did sound a hopeful note on possible Medicare reform, saying that he believed a bipartisan proposal floated by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) could gain traction in Congress.
“I like the plan that the House members put forward. I think that the Wyden-Ryan bipartisan plan has real potential to put Medicare on a sound course.
“They’ve been through these wars for some time and know the numbers,” he added.
The White House, though, opposes the Wyden-Ryan plan. The proposal allows seniors to choose between the current Medicare setup and a subsidy to purchase private insurance.
Ryan worked on the proposal with Wyden after his earlier proposals for Medicare reform were attacked by Democrats.