Weekly Republican Address: Chairman Ryan Challenges President Obama on Balancing the Budget
WASHINGTON, DC – In the Weekly Republican Address, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) touts Republicans’ plan to improve the lives of American families by balancing the budget in 10 years and invites President Obama to join us in this common-sense goal. In the address, he details how Republicans’ balanced budget means more economic security for workers and parents, a more secure retirement for the elderly, and more opportunities for younger Americans. “So today we invite President Obama to do what President Clinton did,” Ryan says, and “work with Republicans in Congress to balance the budget.”
NOTE: The Weekly Republican Address is embargoed until 6:00 a.m. ET, Saturday, March 16, 2013. The audio is accessible now, and video of the address will be available to view and download once the embargo is lifted. A full transcript follows.
“Next week, the House of Representatives will vote on a plan to improve the lives of American families by balancing the budget in ten years.
“How do we do it? Well, it’s pretty simple: We stop spending money we don’t have. Historically, we’ve paid a little less than one-fifth of our income in taxes to the federal government each year. But the government has spent more—a lot more. And the results are plain to see: Despite the President’s promise, the stimulus didn’t work. Today, 46 million people are living in poverty, the highest in a generation. One in seven workers either can’t find a job or works only part time.
“Our plan lets Washington spend only what it takes in. This is how every family tries to live, in good times and in bad. Your government should do the same.
“But the crucial question isn’t how we balance the budget. It’s why. The budget is a means to an end. We’re not balancing the budget as an accounting exercise. We’re not trying to simply make numbers add up. We’re trying to improve people’s lives.
“For Americans worried about jobs and the cost of living, our plan protects them from tax hikes and calls for Congress to fix the tax code by lowering rates and closing loopholes. We’re also going to approve the Keystone pipeline and unlock our nation’s abundant domestic-energy resources.
“For Americans trying to keep up with the cost of health care, our plan repeals the president’s health-care law and clears the way for patient-centered reforms.
“For younger workers hoping for a secure retirement, we will protect and strengthen Medicare so that it’s there for them—just like it’s there for my mom today.
“And for taxpayers fed up with the status quo, we will cut wasteful spending. We will rein in red tape, and we will give states flexibility on how to implement their federal welfare programs.
“If we take these steps, our economy will grow. Our country will regain confidence. And we will reignite the American Dream. All we need is leadership. We owe the American people a responsible, balanced budget. It’s not fair to take more from families just to spend more in Washington.
“I wish the powers-that-be in Washington agreed. President Obama and Senate Democrats say they want a “balanced approach” to our fiscal issues. But their budgets never balance—ever. Instead, they want to raise taxes to fuel more spending.
“We know where this path leads—straight into a debt crisis, and along the way, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, and less security. What would this look like? First, lenders will demand higher interest rates. And when they do, interest rates across the country will skyrocket—on credit cards, on mortgages, on car loans. And as interest rates rise, debt payments will overwhelm all other items in the budget. The debt will overwhelm our economy. Our finances will collapse. The safety net will unravel. And the most vulnerable will suffer. You think this can’t happen here? Just look at Europe.
“We don’t accept that future—not for our children, not for our country.
“So today we invite President Obama to do what President Clinton did—to work with Republicans in Congress to balance the budget. He can join in the effort, or he can choose the status quo. But he must choose.
“The American people deserve an honest account of our challenges—and what’s needed to confront them. We have an opportunity to face them with courage and resolve—as we have always done throughout history.
“Thanks for listening."