This week, President Obama will release a budget that won't take any meaningful steps toward solving our entitlement crisis. The President has failed to offer a single serious idea to save Social Security and is the only president in modern history to cut Medicare benefits for seniors. I believe we can save Social Security and Medicare with a few commonsense reforms, and — unlike President Obama — I'm not afraid to put them on the table." —Mitt Romney
Once Again, President Obama Is Offering No Meaningful Proposals To Solve Our Entitlement Crisis Or Get Spending Under Control:
The President's Budget Does Nothing To Address America's Fiscally Unsustainable Entitlement Programs. "'Medicare is going bankrupt ... The president's health care law takes the $500 billion from Medicare to spend on Obamacare,' said House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. With the help of Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Ryan is offering an alternative plan that he says reduces the speed of Medicare spending growth. ... 'Unfortunately, the president and his party leaders, they're not a part of this conversation. And that to me is very disappointing.'" ("President Obama's Budget Meets Early GOP Skepticism," Fox News, 2/12/12)
The President's Budget "Has Only Minimal Curbs On The Unsustainable Growth Of Medicare." "[The budget proposal] avoids sacrifice with only minimal curbs on the unsustainable growth of Medicare even as it proposes a 10-year, $61 billion 'financial crisis responsibility fee' on big banks to recoup the 2008 Wall Street bailout." (Andrew Taylor "Obama Budget: New Spending With Recycled Tax Ideas," The Associated Press, 2/11/12)
The President's Budget Is "Unlikely To Result In A Genuine Effort To Address The $15 Trillion National Debt Or The Entrenched Deficits That Keep Piling On To It." "The White House is focusing on re-election themes such as jobs and public works projects in President Barack Obama's new budget blueprint while relying on familiar but never enacted tax increases on the wealthy and corporations to reduce future deficits after four years of trillion dollar-plus shortfalls. ... It's unlikely to result in a genuine effort to address the $15 trillion national debt or the entrenched deficits that keep piling on to it." (Andrew Taylor, "Obama Budget: New Spending With Recycled Tax Ideas," The Associated Press, 2/11/12)
The President's Budget Contains More Of The Same Failed Policies And Is Being Unveiled At A "Campaign-Style Appearance." "Obama planned to promote the budget at a campaign-style appearance Monday in the Virginia suburbs. The White House is delaying its release until the president's appearance. ... 'The Obama approach is simply more debt, more taxes, and more blaming others,' Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell said in the Republican radio address Saturday. 'This will not be a proactive budget built to promote fiscal responsibility and future prosperity. Rather, it appears we'll see a bloated budget that doubles down on the failed policies of the past.'" (Andrew Taylor, "Obama Budget: New Spending With Recycled Tax Ideas," The Associated Press, 2/11/12)
Mitt Romney Has Proposed A Bold, Conservative Fiscal Plan To Turn Around The Federal Government:
Set Honest Goals: Cap Spending At 20 Percent Of GDP
Any turnaround must begin with clear and realistic goals. Optimistic projections cannot wish a problem away; they can only make it worse. As president, Mitt Romney's goal will be to bring federal spending below 20 percent of GDP by the end of his first term.
Take Immediate Action: Return Non-Security Discretionary Spending To Below 2008 Levels
Any turnaround must also stop the bleeding and reverse the most recent and dramatic damage. As president, Mitt Romney will send Congress a bill on Day One that cuts non-security discretionary spending by 5 percent across the board, and then seek to cap non-security discretionary spending below 2008 levels
Reform Entitlements For Future Generations Of Americans
In their current form, Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable. We cannot afford to avoid our entitlement challenges any longer. Mitt Romney is the only candidate for president who has offered a sweeping, specific plan to save Social Security and reform Medicare. These are sensible and critical reforms. Under his plan, no one at or near the retirement age will see any changes — and tax hikes are off the table.
Follow A Clear Roadmap: Make Government Simpler, Smaller, And Smarter
Any turnaround must have a thoughtful, structured approach to achieving its goals. Mitt Romney will attack the bloated budget from three angles:
Stop Doing Things The American People Can't Afford. Eliminating Obamacare alone will save $95 billion annually by 2016. Mitt Romney will also eliminate or cut a wide range of programs, from Amtrak to the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, always asking the question: "Is this program so critical that we should borrow money from China to pay for it?"
Empower States To Innovate. State and local governments are far better equipped than is the federal government to understand the needs of their residents and craft the appropriate programs to serve them. Returning anti-poverty programs to the states will lead to programs that are less costly to the government and more effective for those in need. Mitt Romney will begin by block granting Medicaid to the states and limiting its rate of growth, saving well over $100 billion per year by 2016. He will also block grant housing, hunger, and retraining programs.
Improve Efficiency And Effectiveness. Where the federal government does need to act, it must do a better job. The White House estimates that more than $100 billion was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse last year. Mitt Romney will aim to cut this problem in half, producing more than $50 billion in annual savings. He will also pursue commonsense reductions through attrition in the federal workforce, and an alignment of federal employee pay and benefits with compensation in the private sector, saving an additional $50 billion.