Long before I served on the House Budget Committee, I got a crash course in budgeting 101 as a single, working mom. Those years of bringing up three children on a nurse’s salary have served me well in Congress. I learned how to stretch my dollars and live within my means, because I didn’t have much of a choice.
My story is not unique. Families, students, and young adults across the country all know what it’s like to tighten their belts and live within a real-world budget. Sadly, however, that skill seems to be lost on many in Washington.
Just look at President Obama’s latest spending proposal. His budget never balances, despite calling for $2 trillion in additional tax hikes. Worse, his budget would add $8.5 trillion in new debt for current and future generations. At the end of the day, that isn’t much of a budget at all.
House Republicans believe we can do better. That is the spirit behind our Fiscal Year 2016 budget proposal: A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America.
First, our budget addresses our out of control deficits and debt by bringing our books to balance in less than ten years. We achieve this by cutting $5.5 trillion in runaway spending through reforms that cut waste and eliminate redundancy in Washington. For example, this budget closes a loophole in the Social Security Disability Insurance program that allows an individual to simultaneously receive both unemployment insurance and disability payments.
Further, our budget repeals all of Obamacare – the onerous taxes, mandates, and regulations that are wreaking havoc on our health care system and our economy. This will give policymakers in Washington a clean slate to start over on real health care reforms that put patients, families, and doctors in the driver’s seat – not government bureaucrats.
At a time of increasing threats to our national security, our budget prioritizes defense spending and ensures our troops have the resources necessary to carry out their mission. In fact, this plan would fund our military at levels above the President’s request and well above our current trajectory over the next ten years. And unlike the President’s proposal, we would do so in a fiscally responsible way, ensuring this spending does not add to our debt.
What does this all mean for you? First, our budget means certainty for you and your family. This plan would help restore Congress to regular order and ensure that Americans have peace of mind about the decisions that will be handed down in Washington over the next year. Under our budget, college students could trust that the Pell Grant program would be permanently sustainable and seniors could know that Medicare would be saved from its current path to bankruptcy.
Secondly, our budget offers a pathway to better wages and an improved job market. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says that the framework we have provided in this proposal would boost real economic output by $1,000 per person by the end of the budget window. That means a higher standard of living for middle class workers and an opportunity economy where more Americans are empowered to work, save, and plan for their future.
Our budget offers a vision of what could be: a government that operates as a good steward of taxpayer dollars, that does not spend more than it takes in, and that safeguards the American dream for the next generation. We have plenty of work left to do in order to achieve these goals, but A Balanced Budget for a Stronger America is a good place to start.
— Rep. Diane Black (R-TN)