Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his first-hand view from Capitol Hill. In his own words:
"Unfortunately, after 1,400 days without producing a budget at all, Senate Democrats announced a predictable plan that relies on hefty tax increases and never achieves a balanced budget. Similarly, we have a President who has never even met a deadline to submit a budget. His last budget failed 414-0 in the House. It’s time Washington changed course.
"We all know we are facing over $16 trillion in debt as a nation, but let’s put that in perspective. If you just take away some zeros and put it in context with a family’s household numbers, you find that on average, the family brings in $24,000 a year, but spends approximately $35,000. So they add $11,000 to the credit card. But on this credit card they already owe $160,000. That’s the magnitude of the debt we are currently facing as a nation and it’s not sustainable.
"We can’t get out of our debt crisis by continuing to spend irresponsibly. The budget my colleagues and I laid out this week is a commonsense plan that balances the budget in ten years. Here’s how:
1. Stop spending money we don’t have by cutting the waste. On the current path, we’ll spend $46 trillion – a 5 percent increase each year. Our proposal reduces spending by $4.6 trillion, slowing spending growth to 3.6 percent and balancing the budget by 2023.
2. Simplify our broken tax code by closing loopholes and consolidating tax rates to just two brackets -10 percent and 25 percent - to create jobs and increase wages.
3. Protect and strengthen healthcare by repealing the President’s health care law and replacing it with reforms that focus on the patient. It also protects and strengthens Medicare without changes to those in or nearing retirement.
4. Reform entitlement programs so they remain intact for future generations. Our plan gives states flexibility in tailoring programs like Medicaid and food stamps while helping them to get people off of the welfare rolls and onto payrolls.
"If we take these steps, we can tackle the real drivers of our debt without raising taxes on hardworking Americans. This week I held a tele-town hall with nearly 10,000 people in Bakersfield. I asked the callers if they agreed with the our plan to balance the budget in ten years and a staggering 88 percent responded “yes.” I agree that it is past time for leaders in Washington to act, and next week the House will vote on this new budget plan. I will continue to fight for policies that will allow the economy to grow, foster more private sector job creation and restore the American Dream for future generations.