Federal Budget 2012: Reaction to Obama's proposal
Updated 5:43 p.m.:
The non-partisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) president Tom Kiernan expressed his organization's approval of the president's budget request -- specifically as it addressed the National Parks.
"We're pleased that in a challenging budget year the Administration has prioritized investments in our national parks. From Yellowstone to Gettysburg, our national parks protect America's heritage and deserve this modest investment," said Kiernan via a press release.
"We're grateful that our national parks would have the funding they need to keep visitor centers open and park rangers on the ground," continued Kiernan. "People travel from across the world to enjoy these special places, so this investment not only preserves our national heritage, but also protects jobs in communities that benefit from park tourism."
Kiernan also expressed concern over proposed cuts in the Republican's continuing resolution. "The House committee clearly recognizes the importance of park operations in the way they prioritized investments; however, these cuts still have consequences. The Park Service is already underfunded with an operations shortfall of $600 million," said Kiernan. "We're also quite concerned with the size of the House committee cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is critical to protecting national parks from the constant threats of development."
Americans for Prosperity president Tim Philips issued the following statement:
President Obama had an opportunity today to offer an approach to the budget that would show the American people he is genuinely serious about resolving today's economic issues. Obama could have proposed to cut spending, cut taxes, and cut back on federal regulations that are discouraging economic growth and demoralizing the country's economic outlook. Instead, the president proposed a number of tax hikes that would inhibit economic growth and undermine our recovery. While it's refreshing that for the first time in three years, Obama's budget doesn't assume future revenue for a cap-and-trade program, the president is still playing favorites with federal agencies like the EPA, giving the regulations side an extra $24 million boost from last year. It's rather unsettling that President Obama would even consider additional spending on regulations, when the country is trying to get its economy back in shape.
National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) president Colleen M. Kelley released the following statement regarding the president's budget:
"The federal government has a large role to play in securing our country, providing vital taxpayer services, leading our economic recovery and bringing in necessary revenue. The administration's budget recognizes that this country cannot simply institute widespread cuts and expect to prosper."
In response to the president's propose $1.1 billion in increased funding for the internal Revenue Service, Kelley said, "This commitment by the White House reflects an understanding of the reality that every dollar invested in the IRS results in additional revenue to the treasury--an absolutely critical element in attacking the federal deficit and the $345 billion gap between taxes owed and those paid."
The NTEU also expressed approval of the fact that the president's request was not entirely in line with the president's deficit commission's recommendations.
NTEU is one of the largest federal workforce unions, representing 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Fla.) had the following reaction to the president's budget proposal for NASA:
"In this time of necessary budget cuts, NASA does well compared to most other agencies. But the president's budget does not follow the bi-partisan NASA law Congress passed late last year. The Congress will assert its priorities in the next six month."
Former senator Rick Santorum (R) released this statement in response to the president's budget:
"The budget released today by President Obama tells a very clear story: we are writing checks our government cannot pay. Excessive new spending coupled with damaging tax increases will do nothing to improve our economic outlook or reduce the size and scope of government. Congressional Republicans must act to stop this budget in its tracks."
"This budget also lacks a very critical component - it does not address entitlement reform. We cannot have an honest conversation about consequential spending cuts without reforming Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and repealing our country's most recently enacted entitlement: Obamacare. We must also address the skyrocketing costs of running the federal government with an excessive number of new employees and the costs associated with federal benefits. Our elected officials must have the courage to be honest with the American people - even when politically difficult - that these issues must be tackled if we are to reduce our government's spending," Santorum concluded.
Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) released the following statement:
"The President's budget shows a willingness to cut spending on programs he cares about. It also demonstrates there is only so much that can be achieved in a one-year budget when the problem is a significant, long-term structural imbalance in our country's budget.
"That's why I am continuing to work with a bipartisan coalition of senators who are willing to step-up to tackle our budget deficit and debt challenges. Every day that we delay making these tough choices, we add an average of $4 billion to the national debt.
"This problem cannot be solved simply by focusing on cuts to non-defense discretionary spending, which is only 12% of the budget. Increased revenues and economic growth by themselves will not get us there, either. That's why we must have a grown-up discussion about spending cuts, tax reform, and necessary changes to entitlement programs, including Social Security and Medicare.
"This is the only way we will put our nation back on a responsible fiscal path that allows us to be competitive as we move forward."
Former Republican Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty released the following statement:
"President Obama's budget proposal is not a serious fiscal plan. By adding $7.2 trillion on top of an already unsustainable national debt, the President is putting America on a path towards insolvency. During these tough times, Washington must make the same tough decisions as families, businesses and state governments.
It's especially disappointing that the President is refusing to reform runaway entitlement programs. We need to be honest with the American people and reform these programs before they bankrupt our nation."
The AARP released the following statement in reaction to the president's budget:
"AARP recognizes that the large federal budget deficit provides many challenges that we must address as a nation. Our members believe it is important for the President and Congress to work together to find responsible budget solutions that emphasize the health and financial well-being of all Americans.
"We are pleased that the President's budget would give millions of seniors in Medicare the peace of mind that they'll be able to see their doctor by preventing drastic cuts in physician payment for two more years. Although we will continue to urge a long-term replacement for the current flawed payment system, preventing for two years the cuts that are driving doctors out of Medicare would help protect the critical doctor-patient relationship. We will be carefully reviewing the Administration's proposed funding for this patch, but are pleased that it includes improving access to lower cost generic drugs, such as by getting safe, generic versions of biologic drugs used to treat diseases like cancer to market faster.
"AARP is deeply troubled, however, by the disproportionately large cut in the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which would mean that millions of Americans, particularly older Americans, would have a hard time paying their heating and cooling bills next year. With heating costs rising for many this past winter, cutting $2.5 billion from this program is unfair and potentially dangerous, and would mean that millions of households wouldn't get the help they need to keep their homes warm in the winter months.
"Additional proposed funding for the Social Security Administration (SSA) is welcome news for the millions of Americans who rely on Social Security, including those facing a delay in disability claims, appeals and hearings. The increased assistance is much needed for SSA's field offices, which provide a critical role in local communities throughout the nation. Apart from this budget conversation, we also have an opportunity to talk about the future of retirement security for Americans, and the critical role that Social Security will continue to play for Americans of all ages."
"We are also pleased with proposals to make health care more accessible and affordable through implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
"The coming budget debate must balance the serious challenge of putting our country's fiscal house in order while also addressing the needs of millions of Americans who are struggling to find employment, strengthen their retirement nest eggs, and pay for rising health care costs. AARP stands ready to work with the Administration and Congress on enacting a budget that would help us achieve, not sacrifice, the health and financial security needs of Americans."
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) released the following statement:
"We need to come together - Democrats and Republicans - to take a hard look at ways we can cut spending and lower the deficit. Current spending is not sustainable and we need to cut the waste, fraud and abuse. But the cuts must be responsible and preserve security funding and critical investments in small businesses and economic development.
"House Republicans' plan is irresponsible and would cut vital services for veterans, reduce the number of police on the streets and eliminate funds to help seniors heat their homes. We cannot cut critical funding for our national security or investments that help create jobs and grow our economy.
"While I don't agree with every aspect of his plan, the President's budget provides a good place to start the conversation. I don't think we should balance the budget on the backs of seniors who cannot afford the rising costs of heating their home. There are a number of additional proposals that I am advocating for that would reduce waste, fraud and abuse, and allow us to keep critical services, such as emergency heating assistance. In the coming weeks, I hope we have a respectful debate about how to solve our long term budget problems, and fund critical priorities like our security and job creation."
Today the White House finally produced its proposal for the 2012 budget. Beware of the left's attempt to sell this as "getting tough on the deficit," because as an analysis from Americans for Tax Reform shows, the White House's plans are more about raising taxes and growing more government than reducing budget shortfalls.
The fine print reveals a White House proposal to increase taxes by at least $1.5 trillion over the next decade. If you want to know how minuscule their proposed $775 million-a-year budget "cuts" really are, please look at this chart. The proposed cuts are so insignificant - less than 1/10 of 1% of this year's $1.65 trillion budget deficit - that they are essentially invisible on the pie chart. That speaks volumes about today's budget.
Here's how minuscule the White House's $775 million a year cuts are: less than 1/10 of 1% of this year's budget deficit http://j.mp/fsjlop
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) released the following statement in praise of the president's budget:
"I am particularly encouraged to see a non-security discretionary spending freeze, which would cut $400 billion from the deficit and compel government to live within its means, just as Connecticut's families do every day.
"However, several of the President's proposed cuts would adversely affect Connecticut, including the recommended cuts to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). A reduction in this crucial assistance would be devastating to Connecticut's low-income families and seniors at any time, much less particularly during one of the most difficult winters in memory.
"While fiscal responsibility and eliminating excess spending is a top priority, it should not be done on the backs of those struggling every day just to pay their heating bills or put food on the table. I have already joined my Senate colleagues in opposing these cuts, and I will continue to fight for Connecticut's families.
"Creating jobs, boosting our economy, and reducing our debt and deficit are my top priorities, and the President's budget provides a good blueprint for achieving many of our shared goals. In the coming days, I will continue to review the details to make sure that we are set on the right economic course for Connecticut, our nation, and most importantly, for future generations."
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered remarks in response to the president's budget request Monday.
"It is a patronizing plan that says to the American people that their concerns are not his concerns, " said McConnell. "It's a plan that says fulfilling the President's vision of a future of
trains and windmills is more important than a balanced checkbook."
"The President's budget comes in at close to a thousand pages, he continued. "The people
who voted for a new direction in November have a five-word response: We don't have the money."
McConnell ripped into the president's proposal, saying it "abdicated the future," playing on the president's "Win the Future" slogan introduced during his State of the Union address in January.
"Look," said McConnell, "there's a time to experiment with high-flown plans and to test
theories. But you have the balance the checkbook first. You have to be able to afford it. The American people get that. This administration doesn't seem to."
McConnell also made a call for bipartisanship, ""After years of overspending by both parties, it's time to make tough choices, just as any family does when times are tough, even among very good things. ... We'll need Democrats to join us," he said before going back on the offensive. "Above all, we need a President who gets it. And this President clearly does not get it yet."
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the president's budget:
"Today, President Obama released his proposed Fiscal Year 2012 budget. The president's budget makes the tough choices we need to reduce spending and put our nation's fiscal house in order; in fact, it would reduce our deficit by $1.1 trillion over the next decade. At the same time, however, the budget identifies those investments we need to grow our economy and create jobs--investments in out-building, out-innovating, and out-educating competitors around the world. President Obama's priorities--protecting our fiscal future while investing in growth--stand in strong contrast to the priorities of Republicans. Their spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year would make indiscriminate and short-sighted cuts to the investments our economy needs to stay competitive. I hope that Republicans will, instead, work with President Obama to reduce our deficit without sacrificing America's competitive edge."
The non-profit Peter G. Peterson Foundation, founded by former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Pete Peterson, released a statement regarding the president's budget request. The foundation's stated goal is to increase "public awareness of the nature and urgency of key long-term fiscal challenges threatening America's future and to [accelerate] action on them." The following comments are those of Michael A. Peterson, vice chairman of the foundation:
"President Obama's proposed 2012 budget and the discussion in Congress represent a starting point to begin addressing our nation's fiscal challenges.
"Both parties need to go much further. The real threat to America's long-term economic future is not short-term discretionary spending, but the long-term structural deficits that result in massive interest costs that would burden our nation for decades. To address our long-term fiscal and economic challenges effectively, we need a bipartisan plan that fully tackles all of the major unsustainable areas of the Federal budget.
"The only way for us to win the future is with a bipartisan plan for the future: a set of sound and sustainable fiscal policies that solve our long-term structural deficits and can be implemented gradually as our economy recovers.
"Despite the political challenges of reaching bipartisan solutions, the President's Fiscal Commission is proof that this can be done. It is time for lawmakers from both parties to show leadership by putting our country on a path to economic prosperity and fiscal sustainability."
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), vice chairman of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement regarding the president's budget proposal:
"I couldn't be more disappointed with the president's budget. The budget delivered to Congress today doesn't even come close to taking the necessary steps to reign in out of control spending and reduce our ballooning national debt," said Garrett after receiving the president's budget.
"Rather than taking the lead on this important issue, the president has chosen to kick the proverbial can down the road. Even worse, he is actually accelerating our country's race towards bankruptcy by adding another $13 trillion to the national debt."
"With $8.7 trillion in new spending, $1.6 trillion in new taxes and $13 trillion in new debt, the president's budget moves in the opposite direction of where we need to be headed. In the end, this reckless spending will weaken our economy, cost American jobs and shackle future generations with a mountain of debt," added Garrett. "While the president has chosen to ignore his responsibility to the American people, House Republicans stand ready to provide the leadership necessary to reduce spending and return our country on a path towards prosperity."
Former Republican Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee sent this tweet regarding the president's 2012 budget proposal:
Pres. Obama: Stop breaking the bank for future generations.
Democratic National Committee chairman Tim Kaine released the following statement:
"In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress to join him in two major efforts designed to help America win the future: making the tough choices and budget cuts required to reduce America's deficit and restore fiscal stability while also making bold investments in education, innovation, infrastructure and other areas critical to economic growth. President Obama's 2012 budget proposal is a blueprint for success in both those efforts.
"The President's budget does not shy away from the reality of America's difficult fiscal situation. In fact, he offers more than $1 trillion in deficit reduction that puts America back on the path toward fiscal sustainability. Two-thirds of that deficit reduction is achieved through spending cuts - but the President has made it clear that he will not skimp on programs, incentives, or initiatives that will help to make America more competitive in the global economy. In fact, the President's budget directs more money toward research and development in a variety of fields, supports the goal of making America more energy independent, expands tax incentives to spur investment and hiring, expands the successful Race to the Top program to increase educational excellence, establishes a National Infrastructure Bank to support critical infrastructure projects, and funds a National Wireless Initiative that will make American businesses more competitive by expanding high-speed internet access to nearly all Americans.
"It bears repeating that President Obama has offered a budget that makes those critical investments and still manages to reduce America's deficit and stabilize America's fiscal footing. That stands in stark contrast to Republican proposals that would cut spending by starving American entrepreneurs, businesses, and students of the resources they need to grow. Following the Republicans' plan would be like asking a carpenter to sell his tools to pay off his debts - that might stop the creditors from calling, but it would hobble his efforts to work in the future. That's why it's so important that we follow the President's budget model. We have to do more than just reduce the deficit in order to win the future--we have to set America up to out-educate, out-build, and out-innovate our competitors around the globe."
Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) president Bretton Alexander released the following statement, praising the president's budget request -- especially its "strong support" for the commercial crew under the NASA portion of the budget proposal:
"In this constrained fiscal environment, commercial spaceflight is more important than ever. NASA's Commercial Crew program will result in significant savings to the US taxpayer, and will cut the amount of money the nation has been sending to Russia every year. Leveraging private investment is the only way NASA can make its dollars go farther in these times of belt-tightening."
CSF Executive Director John Gedmark added:
"NASA's number one job is to safely keep America flying in space and eliminate our dependence on the Russians as quickly as possible. It's because commercial spaceflight is the fastest way to end our reliance on Russia that robust funding for Commercial Crew is so critical. In addition, Commercial Crew will create thousands more private-sector jobs using a combination of government and private investment. It's time to unleash the innovation of the American private sector in space, and NASA's new budget does exactly that. It's the only way to ensure America's leadership in space."
House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) released the following statement regarding the president's 2012 budget request:
"I appreciate the President's attempt to address the need for cuts in this fiscal year 2012 budget request, finally reflecting a realization that our country must reduce spending and drastically scale back our deficits and debt in order to get our economy moving again.
"However, the President's budget appears to be long on rhetoric and lean on spending cuts. We must go much further than this anemic effort of symbolic reductions and additional spending proposed under the guise of funding "freezes" if we are truly to get our nation's finances on a sustainable course.
"The Continuing Resolution (CR) that will be on the floor of the House this week contains the largest set of spending reductions in the history of the nation - more than $100 billion in cuts from last year's Presidential budget request. This legislation represents a real, substantive effort that will help steer a better path for our nation's budget and economy, starting a trend of spending reductions that will carry forward in Appropriations bills in the coming year. I would welcome the President's engagement in and support of this historic and critical legislation, and encourage him to join us in our goal of immediately and dramatically reducing government spending."
The National Republican Congressional Committee communications director Paul Lindsay had this to say about the president's budget proposal:
"[Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.)]'s Democrat leaders have again shown they lack the courage to address the fundamental fiscal and economic problems that continue to hold back America's small businesses from creating jobs. Instead, Democrats in Washington have made it clear that they will double-down on the policies that continue to push this country toward bankruptcy and place more burdens on job creators. It remains to be seen whether Bishop understands what his constituents already do, which is that more spending, taxing and borrowing does nothing but destroy jobs."
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) released the following statement:
"The new budget proposal misses the mark in two big ways, by locking in current unsustainable spending levels for at least five years and failing to make serious progress toward balancing the budget," said Vitter. "In fact, the president's budget adds $13 trillion to the debt over the next decade while increasing taxes by $1.6 trillion. That's totally unacceptable.
"I will continue to advocate for a much more substantive approach to reducing wasteful spending by going at the systemic problem. The only way to cause deep rooted change in the spending culture is to change the system with a balanced budget amendment or some similar mechanism."
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), the Senate Budget Committee's ranking member, released the following press statement and video in response to the president's budget proposal, calling it a "blueprint for losing the future":
"Our national debt will soon be larger than our entire economy. We borrow 40 cents of every dollar we spend. This crushing debt stifles job growth, undermines economic confidence, and threatens our nation's future. A recent study shows that it may already be costing us as many as a million jobs a year.
But President Obama has failed to lead in the face of this growing crisis. Today he submitted a budget to Congress that accelerates our dangerous trajectory. His budget increases spending every single year, eventually doubling the size of the entire government from what it was the day he took office. The president's budget also doubles the national debt by the end of his term, and then triples it by the end of the decade.
If we follow this course it will be a national tragedy.
The president has spoken in recent days about winning the future. But his budget reads more like a blueprint for losing the future. It puts us on the road to decline. It simply spends, taxes, and borrows too much.
While I am deeply disappointed, my confidence in our future has not diminished. If Washington does not change direction, the American people will change the direction of Washington.
The American people get it.
Significant spending reductions may not be easy. But they will make us stronger today and more prosperous tomorrow. It's a tough road, but it's the right road--and it's the one that leads to a better future."
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (D) issued a statement in response to the president's budget proposal:
"I want to thank President Obama for visiting Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology today to introduce his proposed budget. The President's proposed budget makes the tough and fiscally responsible choices to reduce the deficit, but protect investments in public education and win the future. In Maryland, even in these challenging times, we've protected record education funding for Maryland schools and President Obama's visit today recognizes the importance of these investments as we prepare the next generation of Americans to win the future."
"Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology is a wonderful example of Maryland's best-in-the-nation public schools, which serve as a national model for career technical education, focusing on the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math that prepare our students for the new economy".
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) praised the president's budget proposal Monday, releasing the following statement:
"The President's budget offers a long-term plan to responsibly cut the deficit in half in his first term while investing in things that grow our economy, such as education, innovation and infrastructure.
"The President's plan stands in stark contrast to Republicans' record. One doesn't need to look any further than the President's predecessor to see that Democrats have a history of fiscal responsibility, as opposed to the Republican record of ballooning debts and skyrocketing deficits. The last Republican President actually turned a record surplus into a record deficit while doubling our debt. Now, Congressional Republicans are offering a short-sighted, short-term plan to slash the programs that keep us safe and make us competitive while spending billions to provide special breaks to oil and gas companies, the insurance industry, and billionaires.
"Cutting our deficit by more than a trillion dollars in the next decade means not only cutting waste and excess, but also making tough choices about our priorities. President Obama's budget is a serious attempt to make those tough choices. I look forward to working with him, our caucus and any Republicans who will stop listening to the extremists in their party and come to the table with responsible proposals to bring down our deficit while keeping our economy moving in the right direction."
Freshman Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) released the following statement on the budget:
"Sadly, the President has missed a golden opportunity to have an adult conversation with the American people about the seriousness and urgency of our debt crisis. The President's budget falls far short of tackling our national debt in a serious way. Although we face a $1.6 trillion deficit and a staggering national debt that exceeds $14 trillion, the President's proposal would add $7.2 trillion of new debt over the next ten years. The fact that the President's ten year proposed 'savings' is less than this year's budget deficit alone is proof that this is a budget that cannot be taken seriously.
"While the President insists he will take the commendable step of vetoing earmarks, his silence on entitlement reform, the absence of meaningful spending cuts and his reliance on anti-competitive tax increases will cause more economic uncertainty, stifle job creation and keep America on a path towards a diminished future.
"Today's excruciating problems are the legacy of decades of profligate spending by both parties. We have a job-crushing debt because Washington has repeatedly postponed the tough decisions for someone else to deal with down the road. The American people have every reason to be disappointed by the President's budget and by Washington politicians who either don't understand the seriousness of our fiscal crisis, or who are simply not willing to confront this challenge head-on."
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) joined conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham on Monday to discuss the president's 2012 budget request.
During the interview Boehner said, "Listen, the president's budget - it's real simple - it's going to destroy jobs because it spends too much, it borrows too much, and it increases the deficit."
"As I said yesterday, this isn't winning the future, it's spending the future," said Boehner.
"[T]his week House Republicans will move a bill on the floor of the House that will cut $100 billion in spending. And this is just the beginning," he continued, "Over the next several months you'll see us move ahead with other cuts in mandatory spending, and then you'll see our budget. And our budget will deal with the entitlement crisis that we're facing."
Boehner also took an opportunity to defend Republicans' proposed continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through the remaining seven months of fiscal year 2011, "We're going to do everything we can in this bill to make sure that there's no money for ObamaCare," said Boehner, "But this is a continuing resolution. This deals with what we call discretionary spending. And within the rules of debate for a bill like this, we're going to do everything we can to make sure there's no money."
Earlier Monday, Boehner released the following statement on Monday, the day after an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press," during which he discussed the president's budget and Republican's proposals:
"The president's budget will destroy jobs by spending too much, taxing too much, and borrowing too much. By continuing the spending binge and imposing massive tax hikes on families and small businesses, it will fuel more economic uncertainty and make it harder to create new jobs.
"The president's budget isn't winning the future, it's spending the future. A group of 150 American economists signed a statement sent to the White House yesterday that says we need to cut spending to help create a better environment for job creation in our country. Our goal is to listen to the American people and liberate our economy from the shackles of debt, over-taxation, and big government. That's why the new House majority will vote this week to cut $100 billion in discretionary spending over the next seven months - with more cuts to come - in contrast to the Obama administration, which has proposed no cuts to the current fiscal year's budget while simultaneously asking for an increase in the national debt limit. And in the coming weeks, Budget Chairman Paul Ryan will offer a comprehensive budget for the next fiscal year that will contrast sharply with the president's job-crushing FY12 budget."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) released the following statement on the president's budget proposal:
"President Obama says he wants to win the future, but the future will not be won by repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to live up to our responsibilities in the present. The future will be won by bold and honest leadership that addresses our challenges head on.
"Today, the President missed a unique opportunity to provide real leadership by offering a budget that fails to address the grave fiscal situation facing our country. At a time when unemployment is too high and economic growth is elusive in part because of the uncertainty created by our skyrocketing debt, we need serious reforms that will help restore confidence so that people can get back to work. We need a government that finally does what every other American has to do in their households and their businesses, and that's to live within our means. Instead, President Obama's budget doubles down on the bad habits of the past four years by calling for more taxes, spending and borrowing of money that we simply do not have.
"President Obama has used tough rhetoric about the need to get our fiscal house in order, even assembling a bipartisan commission to address entitlement spending which accounts for more than half of our federal budget including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, the President again failed to put action behind his words by neglecting to even acknowledge these tough issues that everyone knows drive up our debt and must be reformed if they are to meet their obligations for younger Americans.
"As our government continues to borrow forty cents of every dollar that it spends, our Democrat colleagues have offered no credible plan to get Americans back to work or seriously address our debt. In contrast, House Republicans are fully committed to using every tool at our disposal so that we can boost long-term economic confidence and help businesses to grow. And this week we will cut at least $100 billion of wasteful spending, a first step toward getting our fiscal house in order.
"For years, Democrats have proposed more government spending to create jobs, resulting in the largest debt and deficits in history while unemployment remains too high. Republicans believe in free markets and the ability for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep more of their own money so they can invest, grow their companies and hire employees. This is the difference, and it will be clearly evident in the coming weeks as Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans introduce our own budget, one that addresses the challenges we face so that our children have the same hope, opportunity, and ability to achieve that our parents gave to us and their parents to them."
He also tweeted:
President Obama says he wants to win the future, but the future will not be won by repeating the mistakes of the past http://j.mp/gwRJeF
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) released the following statement:
"President Obama's budget is a serious disappointment that spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much - ultimately hurting American job growth. Americans overwhelmingly rejected the taxing, spending, and borrowing adventure that Democrats have taken our country on - and yet President Obama's budget is simply a continuation of the past.
We all know our economy simply can't afford these policies. And yet, the President's budget doubles down on the strategy of the past: locking in unsustainable Pelosi-era spending and debt, while increasing taxes on job creators. That doesn't address the tough challenges we must face for future generations' sake, it is simply a recipe for more of the same.
Americans know that we're broke and the status-quo in Washington can't continue. They know we can't afford more missed opportunities - rather we need decisive leadership to address the serious fiscal challenges our country faces. That's why House Republicans are working to remove the barriers to job growth by cutting government spending and regulation, keeping taxes low, and lowering our massive national debt.
"If we don't meaningfully address our fiscal state, we'll stifle job growth now and for generations to come. Our kids and grandkids deserve better."
The Pew Center of the States released a statement with their reaction to the president's budget Monday. The non-profit is a division of the Pew Charitable Trusts:
"The Obama Administration's budget proposal, which includes a critical investment to strengthen state early learning programs, including pre-kindergarten, creates a solid foundation on which future education reforms can be built.
"By including high-quality early education in his budget, President Obama has taken a critical step in ensuring young children's learning potential is maximized. Decades of research demonstrate that high-quality pre-k produces short- and long-term impacts in academic performance, especially among low-income children. President Obama's commitment to early learning will ensure that the achievement gap is addressed before children set foot in a kindergarten or 1st-grade classroom.
"Fiscal health comes from budget discipline and making smart investments in programs that offer strong returns. The research shows early learning programs provide children with a solid foundation for success, which pays dividends for families, school districts and taxpayers - and ultimately improves America's economic competitiveness.
"States and school districts are using pre-k as the foundation for their education reform strategies, because its benefits multiply when aligned with other effective reforms. If enacted, the proposal would arrive at a critical time for state leaders, the majority of whom have been working vigorously to protect early education funding in a challenging economy.
"Over the last decade, state legislators from both political parties have found common ground in their support of early education, even when facing budget shortfalls. Federal support for state early education efforts has never been more crucial. Congress should support the president's budget as well as make high-quality early education a key component in the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, our nation's major education law."
The conservative Club for Growth posted a short assessment of the president's budget Monday morning:
President Obama is releasing his FY12 budget today. The highlights include higher taxes, no entitlement reform, and a whopping 11% increase in education spending. And he wants to take 10 years (what's the rush?) to cut the deficit by $1.1 trillion.
Budget Committee member and chair of the senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) released a statement Monday critiquing the president's budget proposal:
"More spending, more taxes and more borrowing describes the President's budget in a nutshell. The President's deficit commission, co-chaired by former Senator Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.), as well as the Congressional Budget Office have already advised that maintaining current spending levels - as the President's so-called 'spending freeze' does - will quickly lead to another year with a deficit of more than a trillion dollars. Since 2008, the majority in Congress has increased federal agency budgets by more than 15 percent. They have forced passage of high cost legislation and raised the debt ceiling three times.
"Congress now has the opportunity to do the right thing for our economy and the American taxpayer by passing a budget that will actually move us out from under the shadow of debt, a budget that can grow the economy, not the government. The President missed an opportunity to lay out a vision on how we can rein in spending and fix our entitlement problem.
"For the remaining seven months of this fiscal year, I am urging members of Congress to find $100 billion in budget savings. The Senate Budget Committee needs to put together a budget for fiscal year 2012 that removes obstacles facing businesses, allows states to make wise spending decisions and gives our economy the freedom to expand."
Senator and former OMB Director Rob Portman (R-Ohio) appeared on MSNBC's "The Rundown" Monday morning to deliver his reaction to the president's budget proposal as well. "This is the president's opportunity," said Portman. "This is his vision for the next ten years and, frankly, it doesn't rise to the challenge."
Portman also appeared on CNBC's "Squawk Box":
Portman later released a statement which read:
"America is in need of real leadership to address our fiscal threat. Unfortunately, the budget the President presented does not rise to the challenge. It is a political document that rejects the serious recommendations of the President's own commission. More spending, more borrowing and more taxes are not a prescription for spending constraint and economic growth. Since President Obama took office, we've seen trillions in new spending and record deficits. Today's budget just locks that new spending in place, doing nothing to pull back from the dangerous spiral of debt.
"Not only will our debt and deficit have a long-term impact on our children and grandchildren, who will have to foot the bill for today's spending, but we're beginning to see an immediate impact on our economic stability and job growth as the cost of our debt begins to crowd out private sector investment. We must move quickly to substantially reduce the debt and deficit to strengthen our fiscal house and foster job creation in Ohio and the rest of the country.
"I also urge Congress to move swiftly on recently proposed legislation that will put spending constraints in place going forward. A step in the right direction would be to pass the Balanced Budget Amendment, which will force Washington to spend within its means, just like American families and business owners do every day. The Reduce Unnecessary Spending Act, a proposal that several colleagues on both sides of the aisle and I introduced last week, will provide the President with legislative line-item veto authority and help reduce the deficit. These measures will help Washington weed out wasteful spending and jumpstart the economy."
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Monday to react to the president's budget proposal:
"What's disappointing," said Cornyn "it raises taxes and ignored the recommendations of his own fiscal commission." Cornyn went on to say that Obama's proposal only deals with 12 percent of the budget.
"It's not just about cutting spending...it's also about...growing the economy, taking your neck off of the private sector," and freeing businesses to grow the economy he continued.
Cornyn was challenged by The Daily Beast's Tina Brown on his claim that the president was being "timid" in his proposals -- the same claim made by Sen Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) in his response to the president's radio address Sunday. Brown referred to Republicans' calls to cut funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and other small cuts that did not touch on the main entitlement spending programs or defense. "I think you'll be surprised in how far we'll come to meet" the president, said Cornyn, refusing to directly address the public broadcasting proposal.
The Texas Republican also appeared on Fox News's "Fox and Friends," where he repeated his assessment that the president's budget proposal was "timid":
Cornyn later released the following statement:
"President Obama's timid budget proposal represents a missed opportunity to lead. It increases the national debt by nearly $11 trillion, raises taxes, and ignores the recommendations of the President's own bipartisan debt commission. Republicans are ready to show we are serious about making these tough choices and getting the boot off the neck of American entrepreneurs and small businesses."
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) also appeared on MSNBC to discuss his recent win in the CPAC straw poll and the nature of the federal debt:
"You can't nibble away," said Paul, continuing to refer to to government spending as an "addiction."
"Who wants to cut defense," said Paul, "I don't want to cut defense. ...We have to separate defense from militarism," he continued, going on to say he was in favor of cutting the military industrial complex.
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Read the president's full remarks introducing his 2012 budget proposal.
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The Washington Post's Ezra Klein has collected a number of reactions from around the web in the morning Wonkbook.
| February 14, 2011; 7:31 AM ET
Categories: Budget, Congress
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