February 14, 2011

Crapo: President's Big Government, Big Debt Budget Out of Touch with American Priorities

Proposal continues to spend, tax and borrow too much

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo, a member of the Senate Budget Committee and the President's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, released the following statement this morning regarding the President's Fiscal Year 2012 budget, which was delivered to Congress this morning.

"The challenges facing our country are great, but there are none greater than the looming financial destruction that we are facing because of rampant federal spending and the seeming inability to recognize that we cannot spend our way out of this deficit hole. This budget delivered today pushes our country down that same unsustainable path. It spends, taxes and borrows too much, thereby tripling our national debt over ten years. This is not the solution that the American people and economic reality have demanded of our elected leaders. The message was made loud and clear in election results last November--the explosion in spending we have seen in the last two years, including all the stimulus packages and bail-outs, must end. It is neither responsible nor affordable to simply freeze government spending at these grossly-inflated levels, as the President has called for.

"This budget calls for hundreds of billions of dollars in new taxes, penalties and fees, not to pay down the debt, but to pay for more spending. It calls for modest reforms and spending cuts, not to pay down the debt, but to pay for more spending. This budget simply moves the money around, with no measurable reduction in the overall size of government. This is not only out of step with the priorities of the American people, but it fails to recognize the realities that the President's own colleagues in Congress have begun to recognize. In Congress, the American people are now seeing strong bipartisan proposals, like a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution, hard caps on federal discretionary spending, and an expedited rescission proposal, based on the concept of the line-item veto. In addition, last year, I was part of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which produced a blueprint for Congress that would shrink our debt by $4 trillion. This proposal generated strong, bipartisan support, and continues to be the basis for ongoing discussions in Congress to address our fiscal crisis in a meaningful way.

"Sadly, the budget proposal unveiled today falls well short of any of the efforts we are beginning to see in Congress and the private sector. As many of my colleagues on the Senate Budget Committee and in Congress have said in recent weeks, Presidential leadership is needed to engage in this process that, in many ways, began in TEA parties across our nation and is now gaining a hold in the halls of Congress. If the President fails to engage and lead, then Congress must pick up the slack and push fiscal reform and debt reduction process to its successful conclusion. As the Budget Committee puts together the congressional blueprint for the next fiscal year, I will advocate for sensible policies that recognize the deep hole that our country is in and provide for the reasonable and sustainable economic growth that is needed to restore jobs and stability for American workers and families."