The House of Representatives today passed a budget for the 2012 fiscal year, which will run from October 1, 2011 through September 30, 2012. The legislation will cut $6.2 trillion in spending from President Obama’s budget proposal over the next ten years and reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion. It puts the nation on a path to actually paying off our more than $14 trillion in debt and drops federal spending to below 20 percent of the gross domestic product. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement.
“I am proud to have joined a group of my colleagues in the House and passed Congressman Ryan’s plan for 2012 and beyond. This budget truly puts us on the ‘Path to Prosperity.’ Not only does it dramatically curb federal spending, but it also encourages economic development, works towards ensuring programs like Medicare will be available to future generations, and does not irresponsibly raise taxes on American families and small businesses.
“I know there have been some irresponsible public figures who have been using scare tactics and out-and-out lies to put fear and doubt in Americans about the impact of this budget, especially with regards to the changes to Medicare. So I would like to set a few things straight. First, this legislation does not create a voucher system for Medicare. What it does is allow individuals to pick a plan, just like federal employees and Members of Congress do now, and the government will pay for the plan rather than directly paying the doctor. We are not trying to end Medicare; we are trying to save it for the next generation. Without reform, Medicare spending will eclipse all other federal spending in the next decade and completely bankrupt our budget. This solution allows us to keep Medicare without dragging down our entire economy. Second, if you are age 55 or over, these changes will not affect you at all. Both your Medicare and your Social Security will remain exactly the same as it is now. So any comments made in the press about this budget ‘killing seniors’ or ‘ending Medicare’ are completely false.
“I also know that there are those out there who feel these cuts are ‘extreme.’ However, the mess we have gotten ourselves into over the last few years is also extreme. Our national debt tops more than $14 trillion, almost equivalent to our entire economy. If we continue down President Obama’s path of ‘spend now, pay later,’ we would see the national debt double over the next ten years. This mentality is simply no longer sustainable and we must make some very serious changes to the way we operate here in Washington if we want to pass on a better country to our children and grandchildren,” stated Westmoreland.