Republicans are criticizing President Obama's proposed budget, saying it avoids significant changes to the country's costliest programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
In the Republicans' weekly radio address, Georgia Congressman Tom Price, trumpeted the GOP's push to cut $60 billion from the current fiscal year budget and promised a 2012 budget proposal that, unlike Obama's, offers "real entitlement reform."
"Our reforms will focus both on saving these programs for current and future generations of Americans and on getting our debt under control and our economy growing," Price said. "By taking critical steps forward now, we can fulfill the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans without making changes for those in or near retirement.
Here is the text of Congressman Tom Price’s speech.
"Hello, I'm Congressman Tom Price and I have the privilege of working for the people of Georgia's Sixth Congressional District. In addition to serving as the Chairman of the House Policy Committee, I'm a member of the House Budget Committee.
"And by now you've probably heard a lot of talk coming out of Washington about a so-called budget battle. We've even got some Democrats who run Washington threatening to shut down the government instead of listening to the American people and cutting spending. Right now, our focus should be creating jobs and getting our economy moving again.
"After all, the President promised that this would be the year that he got serious about the deficits and the debt hurting our economy. Instead, he started out by asking Congress to raise the debt limit, without any commitment to cutting spending at the same time. In his State of the Union address, he called for more ineffective 'stimulus' spending. And this week he submitted a budget for the next fiscal year that destroys jobs by spending too much, and borrowing too much, and taxing too much.
"Listen to economists, listen to the folks who create jobs in this country, and you'll hear that we need to end Washington's spending binge to reduce uncertainty, to boost confidence, and to encourage private investment in our economy. To help create a better environment for job creation in America, the spending binge has got to stop. Now with the support of Republican governors and our reform-minded colleagues in the Senate, the new House majority is working hard toward that goal.
"That's why the House spent this past week working on a bill to cut discretionary spending by $100 billion over the last seven months of the current fiscal year. We're not only living up to our Pledge to America, we're exceeding it. And more cuts and more reforms are on the way.
"Now as part of our focus on job growth, committees in the House are combing through job-crushing government regulations, and conducting rigorous oversight of how the government spends the people's time and your money. We'll soon begin work on legislation to cut wasteful mandatory spending.
"In the spring, under the leadership of our Budget Chairman, Paul Ryan, we'll put forth a budget for the next fiscal year that confronts the fiscal challenges facing our nation instead of ducking them. It'll offer ideas for real entitlement reform so we can have a conversation with the American people about the challenges we face and the need to chart a new path to prosperity.
"Now as a doctor and as a parent, I find it astounding that the President has submitted a budget that ignores the recommendations of his own fiscal commission and it punts on all of the tough choices - including entitlement reform. Instead, he's expanded entitlements through ObamaCare - a government takeover that will destroy 800,000 jobs, according to the non-partisan
Congressional Budget Office, and will accelerate our path to fiscal ruin.
"This issue demands presidential leadership - something that the President so far just seems unwilling to offer.
"Now if we can find an upside, it's that the President admitted that his budget fails to address our fiscal crisis. You see, some Members of Congress still won't even acknowledge that there's a crisis. One in particular, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, said not too long ago, and I quote, "Social Security is fine." But you know it's not fine. This year, for the first time, it will pay out more money than it takes in.
"And, with the wave of Baby Boomers starting to retire, there's no way that we can protect programs like Social Security for the future and get our debt under control unless we begin to honestly address entitlements. Now for the President, leadership requires telling friends like Harry Reid the truth, even if it's politically difficult.
"Now, our reforms will focus both on saving these programs for current and future generations of Americans and on getting our debt under control and our economy growing. By taking critical steps forward now, we can fulfill the mission of health and retirement security for all Americans without making changes for those in or near retirement.
"The new Republican majority will lead even as the Democrats who run Washington ignore their responsibilities.
"And if Senator Reid and President Obama change their minds, we'll be ready to work with them. In the meantime, Republicans are focused on listening to the people, confronting our nation's challenges, and helping our economy get back to creating jobs.
"Thanks for listening."
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