Rep Allen West on the Ryan Budget “The US military cannot be the bill payer for the fiscal irresponsibility”

Paul Ryan’s budget affirms my simple position that the US military cannot be the bill payer for the fiscal irresponsibility …

by Congressman Allen West on Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Rep Allen West on Facebook today “Paul Ryan’s budget affirms my simple position that the US military cannot be the bill payer for the fiscal irresponsibility of Washington DC, and especially this Obama administration. Our preeminent duty as the federal government is to provide for the common defense….while we promote  the general welfare of the American citizens. The former means an active role in protecting the American people. The latter means setting the conditions with the proper tax and regulatory policies to advance the prosperity of the individual. Unfortunately President Obama and his liberal disciples believe that we should be providing welfare, while promoting the demise of our military strength.”

Ryans Budget Protects Defense – By Arthur C. Brooks, Edwin J. Feulner and William Kristol

 

In an election year, it’s all too easy for politicians to defer hard choices until after the polls have closed in November. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) has taken the more difficult road with his “Path to Prosperity” budget.

Mr. Ryan’s plan has received much attention for tackling America’s spiraling expenditures on entitlements and domestic discretionary spending. Less reported is the budget’s partial restoration of national defense as the No. 1 priority of the federal government.

Even within the framework of a plan to reduce outlays by $6.2 trillion over the next decade, Mr. Ryan has found a way to replace $214 billion of the $487 billion in military spending reductions that are in Barack Obama’s budget. And he has done so while avoiding the tax increases proposed by the president.

Conservatives recognize that they have to deal with fiscal reality and get the federal government’s balance sheet in order. That is why Mr. Ryan’s plan is so bold. It does not cut indiscriminately, focusing instead on the true drivers of our spending crisis and recognizing that tax increases would worsen our economic situation.

The Ryan plan also helps to reverse what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called the “catastrophic” process of sequestration—the year-after-year, automatic cuts agreed to in last summer’s debt-limit deal between the president and the House leadership. These cuts will eviscerate the United States military if Congress does not quickly pass a law to undo them this year. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has made plain the consequences of sequestration: “We would no longer be a global power.”

The contrast between the House Republican budget and that of our current commander-in-chief is striking. President Obama has been arguing that raising taxes is the only solution to sequestration that he will accept. In other words, he asks the nation to decide between higher taxes and a weaker defense. Mr. Ryan rejects either solution.

Instead, Mr. Ryan takes some important first steps toward facing up to the true drivers of the federal government’s money woes: spending through “entitlement” programs. These now consume roughly 60% of the federal budget, up from 20% in 1970. In contrast, national defense, which comprised nearly 40% of the budget in the 1970s, costs less than 20% today, even with current war spending. Absent reform, entitlements will spiral upward and crowd out all other federal spending—not just on the military.

It’s incorrect to regard entitlements as mandatory programs. They reflect political choices about what kind of country we want and how we will govern ourselves. If we fail to reform entitlements, we’ll go on pretending we can afford a retirement with benefits we never earned, paid for by our children and grandchildren. We’ll be choosing an ever-more socialized medical system. We will in effect choose to become a European-style—and unsustainable—welfare state.

We will also be choosing to lay aside the burdens and inconveniences of world leadership. Mr. Obama insists that he doesn’t believe America is in decline. But his redistributionist policies at home and his preference for “leading from behind” abroad can only be regarded as making exactly that choice.

The Ryan budget is not perfect for some conservatives. Many would like to see American military spending restored more rapidly and an even more aggressive approach to tackling the entitlement problem. But Mr. Ryan’s budget is a choice about our future, and this is a time to choose—not hide behind the sequestration process.

If we want a strong America in a dangerous world, and a freer and growing economy for our citizens, it’s time to choose the direction that Mr. Ryan is charting.

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Rep Allen West “Supporting the House GOP Budget Plan authored by Budget Chrmn Paul Ryan”

I am proud to be called a Reform Republican who will not stand for the status quo that is failing our America…

I am proud to be called a Reform Republican who will not stand for the status quo that is failing our America. I will be supporting the House GOP Budget Plan as authored by my colleague Budget Chairman Paul Ryan. And anyone challenging me on my support to this visionary plan to restore our economic security will be signing up for a suicide mission. My recommendation to any detractors, read Proverbs 17:28 and heed its advice. It is time for those who understand how to govern, not demagogue. Good read:

 Wall Street Journal Editorial – The Reform Republicans

 

The introduction of Paul Ryan’s House fiscal 2013 budget yesterday is an important political moment even if it has no chance of becoming law this year. It shows that the reform wing of the Republican Party is alive and well, one year after Democrats and the press corps had called Mr. Ryan’s fiscal 2012 budget political suicide.

Perhaps you remember the TV spot in which Democrats had an actor resembling Mr. Ryan dump grandma in a wheel chair off a cliff. Democrats chortled that the Budget Chairman’s Medicare reform would help them retake the House in 2012, and President Obama chipped in by trashing Mr. Ryan as he sat in the front row as a White House-invited guest to a speech at George Washington University.

But a funny thing happened on the way to oblivion. Mr. Ryan survived. GOP candidates in special elections beat back the Mediscare onslaught. Slowly, the causes of entitlement and tax reform have advanced, picking up converts and forcing GOP Presidential candidates to embrace them at least in part.

Far from retreating on Medicare, Mr. Ryan once more leads the charge by re-proposing his “premium support” reform. The plan would offer seniors a fixed payment to buy insurance from a government-approved list of vendors. So, for example, a retiree stepping down from a private business with insurance from Aetna would be able to slide smoothly to an Aetna Medicare policy.

Mr. Ryan’s concession this year is that his formula for increasing the support payment over time would be more generous. And as part of his compromise with Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, Mr. Ryan would allow seniors to stay on fee-for-service Medicare if they prefer. The policy bet is that seniors will migrate en masse to private plans over time given the right incentives. The compromise is an easier sell politically, though it means reform (and thus any savings) would be more gradual.

The White House in its re-election bunker claims that all of this will “destroy Medicare as we know it,” but in fact it is the only reform that will prevent Medicare from destroying itself. Mr. Obama’s demagoguery on this subject is his Presidency at its most cynical.

The Ryan budget also stakes out clear policy differences with the President on taxes and spending. Mr. Ryan’s proposal would reduce spending over a decade by some $5 trillion. Mr. Obama’s would increase spending by $1.5 trillion above the current budget baseline. Spending as a share of GDP never falls below 23% under Mr. Obama but slows to 20% of GDP under Mr. Ryan.

Mr. Obama’s budget contains $1.9 trillion in tax increases over the next decade and raises income, dividend and capital gains tax rates. The Ryan budget outlines an ambitious tax reform, collapsing today’s six rates to two—25% and 10%—while retaining the 15% tax rates on capital gains and dividends and eliminating inefficient tax deductions and credits. He gets the corporate tax down to 25%, roughly the international average, and below the 28% rate Mr. Obama suggests. The Ryan plan isn’t a pure flat tax, but it takes the IRS code a giant stride in that direction and creates a tax system far more conducive to faster job creation and greater investment.

The House Republican budget includes a host of other major reforms, notably block-granting Medicaid, food stamps and dozens of other welfare programs to states. Republican Governors have told the White House and Congress that this is a deal they would readily take: less money but more discretion and fewer federal rules.

This is crucial to balancing the budget. Medicaid is expected to cost $804 billion by 2019, more than double the $379 billion in 2009. Because of Medicaid’s rationing through price controls, it also provides a low level of care. Mr. Ryan notes that “by some measures, such as in-hospital death rates following major surgeries, Medicaid patients fared even worse than the uninsured.” ObamaCare would put some 15 million more Americans on Medicaid.

One complaint about Mr. Ryan’s budget, especially from conservatives, is that it won’t balance the budget within 10 years. But the most important goal is to get the deficit down to a manageable level of GDP. The Ryan budget gets the deficit down to 3% of GDP by 2015, a gigantic improvement over the roughly 9% average in Mr. Obama’s four years. With pro-growth tax and budget reforms, the economy will grow much faster and the budget could well be balanced sooner than even Mr. Ryan predicts.

Details aside, the Ryan budget shows a House majority that realizes it has an obligation to reform the listing, unaffordable entitlement state. The GOP’s reform impulse withered under George W. Bush and Tom DeLay, but it has seen a revival with Governors like Mitch Daniels (Indiana), Scott Walker (Wisconsin), John Kasich (Ohio), Sam Brownback (Kansas) and Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)

Many Republicans are still afraid and would prefer to dodge these great debates. But if voters want the status quo, they can vote for Pelosi Democrats. The country wants leaders who are willing to risk their popularity to address America’s serious problems. The Ryan budget is a worthy marker.