Lewis Statement on the Democrats’ Budget

Apr 12, 2011
Press Release

Lewis Statement on the Democrats’ Budget
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Jerry Lewis, Ranking Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on the House Democrats’ proposed budget resolution currently being considered on the floor of the House:
“Mr. Speaker, it’s only fitting that we begin consideration of the Democrat budget resolution on April 1st.  Like April Fool’s Day itself, this budget is full of mischief and sleight of hand that will have Uncle Sam dipping his fingers into your pocket as if your wallet was his very own personal ATM. 
“The President’s budget request proposes huge spending increases now with only intentionally vague promises to make hard choices to cut spending in the future.  All of this spending is couched in the same soothing rhetoric we heard during the stimulus debate—while kicking the can down the road on many tough decisions. 
“As Daniel Hannan, a Member of the European Parliament, said in remarks last week, “Perhaps you would have more moral authority in this House if your actions matched your words.  The truth is you have run out of our money.”
“While the House majority portrays their spending plan as a reduction from the President’s request, the fact is this budget resolution represents more spending, more taxes, and more debt.  The only proposed cuts in this plan are within the area of national defense, an ill-advised course of action as our country continues to engage in the Global War on Terror. 
“Since Democrats assumed control of Congress, they have proposed increases of at least nine percent each year for non-defense discretionary programs.  For next year, they propose yet another 11 percent increase and a 27 percent boost over the next five years
“The proposed surge of federal spending represents the largest non-war government expansion since the New Deal.  Domestic discretionary spending—including the spending in the stimulus package—has been hiked over 80 percent since just last year.  As a result, Washington will run a budget deficit of 12.3 percent of GDP, by far the largest since World War II. 
“Some in the majority will justify this out-of-control spending as a necessary, temporary response to a recession.  But there’s nothing temporary about it. 
“After harshly criticizing budget deficits under President Bush—which averaged $300 billion annually—President Obama has proposed a budget that would run deficits through the roof for a generation or more. 
“Three expected developments—the end of the recession, the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, and the phase-out of temporary stimulus spending—would by themselves cut the deficit in half by 2013. 
“The President’s budget shows deficits averaging $600 billion a year even after the economy recovers from the recession and even after our troops come home from Iraq.  That’s not good enough.  Between 2008 and 2013, the budget will add $5.7 trillion, or $48,000 per household, in new government debt.  The annual interest alone would equal nearly the entire U.S. defense budget by the year 2019.  
“On top of this mountain of debt, consider the unsustainable costs of paying Social Security and Medicare benefits to 77 million retiring Baby Boomers.  Without real reform, the result is likely to be devastating tax increases for decades to come. 
“These higher debt levels will accelerate an increase in interest rates.  Higher interest rates will slow down the economic recovery by making it more expensive for businesses to invest and more difficult for families to afford homes and auto loans.  This isn’t economic recovery, this is economic madness. 
“To quote again from Daniel Hannan from the European Parliament, “You cannot spend your way out of recession or borrow your way out of debt.”
“With that, Mr. Speaker, I yield back the remaining $20 billion of my time.”

112th Congress