Paul Ryan’s budget would break our spending addiction

Rep. Phil Roe Contributor
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The federal government has a very serious addiction to spending. It’s not a Republican problem or a Democrat problem — it’s an American problem. This spending addiction is dangerous and has contributed to one of the worst recessions of our lifetime. House Republicans are breaking the addiction by proposing important spending cuts in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 budget proposal.

Spending cuts are essential if we’re going to create a better environment for jobs in America. The FY 2012 budget would cut government spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years and lower the corporate tax rate to 25%. Furthermore, the blueprint aims to balance the budget, excluding interest payments, by 2015.

The 2012 budget, introduced by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, includes comprehensive tax reform, puts patients back at the center of health care decision-making, and opens up more energy resources in our homeland.

The current tax code stifles job growth in this country, and it’s too costly. It imposes burdens on families, small businesses and individuals. In order to foster a better environment for private-sector job creation, we need to lift the debt-fueled uncertainty and advance pro-growth tax reforms, and this is exactly what the FY 2012 budget proposes. For example, this plan keeps taxes low so the economy can grow, eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the president’s health care law, and prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the president’s budget. This budget lowers tax rates for everyone, and sets the top rates for individuals and businesses at 25 percent, encouraging growth, savings, and investment.

The FY 2012 budget repeals Obama’s health care law that is widely rejected by the American people. The health care law is simply too expensive, and the problem was compounded by its failure to address cost inefficiencies we currently have in our health care system. Obamacare also takes over $500 billion from Medicare at a time when millions of new baby boomers will be joining the program every year. Repeal of Obamacare will keep that money with Medicare recipients. In addition, the FY 2012 budget allows new Medicare beneficiaries to choose private plans, providing more choices for our seniors.

Medicaid reform is also addressed in the budget, which would save $771 billion over the next 10 years. Medicaid, created in the 1960s, intends to provide health care coverage for the poor, but while it provides insurance, it fails to provide access because most providers can’t afford to take its recipients. This budget offers Medicaid recipients the chance to have access to care by allowing states more flexibility for their Medicaid beneficiaries. This plan also removes the stigma Medicaid recipients face, and allows them to take advantage of a range of available options.

We need to obtain energy independence in this country if we want to see job growth. In this budget, the job-killing drilling bans are lifted, allowing more exploration on American soil. We need to look for new energy sources wherever we can find them, including Alaska, the Outer Continental Shelf and from shale in the West. With the need to create more jobs in our country, development in the former moratoria areas of the Outer Continental Shelf and other restricted areas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Rockies would directly create 160,000 new jobs by 2030, according to ICF International.

This country’s deficit is unsustainable, and changes need to be made in order to dig us out of the mound of debt we are currently facing. It is clear that the American people will no longer accept empty promises, and they demand honest leadership that stands for America’s core principles found in the U.S. Constitution. The FY 2012 budget, offered by Chairman Ryan and House Republicans, is true reform and offers honest solutions. It’s a roadmap out of the debt crisis we are facing. With this, I ask the American people to support the FY 2012 budget because it will preserve the promise for future generations.

Rep. Phil Roe represents Tennessee’s First Congressional District.