House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) appeared this morning on CNBC’s Squawk Box and CNN’s Starting Point to discuss the president’s FY 2013 budget and the House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators. Below are excerpts from the interviews.
On the president’s budget
“…I’m looking forward to seeing the details of the president’s budget. But this detail is obvious: that is he is about to give us our fourth – fourth – trillion-dollar deficit in a row. The nation is just drowning in red ink, there is a number of reasons why we are looking at the slowest, weakest recovery since the Great Depression. But frankly, this debt is a huge drag on this economy. We’ve got to quit spending money we don’t have. So I’m very concerned at what he is trying to do, and he is not really facing up to the drivers of our problem. The president has admitted that the big drivers of our debt are Medicare, Medicaid and health care – nothing else comes close; that’s pretty much a quote. But yet he doesn’t do anything about it in his budget to save and secure these programs for future generations. So again I look forward to seeing the details, but I’m afraid it may be more of the same, that is red ink, fewer jobs, less hope, and less opportunity.”
On the nation’s debt crisis
“…this is the highest debt as a ratio of our economy since World War II. World War II was a temporary phenomena; this [budget] is presenting red ink as far as the eye can see. At a time where we desperately need to create jobs in this economy, where almost 13 million of our fellow countrymen are out of work, we can’t handle this level of debt. It’s not even a matter of cutting the budget, it’s just making sure the federal budget doesn’t grow beyond the ability of the family budget to pay for it. In that respect the president’s policies have failed yet again.”
“Spending, which has been at 20 percent of GDP since World War II, is due to double to 40 percent over the course of the next generation. So you can’t tax your way out of this problem. You have to deal with the spending side. Even if we gave the president every single job killing tax increase he asked for, as you well know it’s about 16 – maybe 17 – percent of the additional debt he is going to add onto the national debt. You just can’t tax your way out of this problem.”