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Ryan Fights Higher Taxes, Reckless Spending with Budget Substitute

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March 13, 2008 | Matt Lavoie (202-225-3031) | comments

WASHINGTON – Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan, the Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee, presented a budget alternative for Fiscal Year 2009 today. 

Congressman Ryan’s budget alternative would achieve balance by 2012 without raising taxes. It repeals the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) and supports national defense, boosts homeland security and veterans’ funding, and takes steps toward rescuing the Federal Government’s major entitlement programs – especially Medicare and Medicaid – from their currently unsustainable spending path. The budget also promotes accountability by imposing a moratorium on earmarks and requiring a vote in Congress before increasing the debt. 

Although Congressman Ryan’s budget received 157 votes, it was not enough to pass the House. Instead, the House voted largely along party lines in favor of the Democrat majority’s budget that includes record tax increases, out-of-control spending, and ignores the entitlement crisis. 

“Today’s vote on the federal budget was about priorities and choices,” Ryan said. “When prices are rising for gas, food and health care, the last thing taxpayers can afford right now is an enormous tax increase. When families are trying to make ends meet, Congress should not increase government spending while doing nothing to address the entitlement crisis, wasteful government spending and an abusive earmark process. The Majority’s budget, however, does just this by putting the taxpayer last while expecting them to pay more taxes to fund the Majority’s spending increases. This is a shocking lack of accountability and fiscal restraint that will cost residents of Wisconsin nearly $3,000 per person in additional taxes. And the absence of any effort at entitlement reform only makes matters worse for future generations.” 

“As stewards of the federal budget process, we have a responsibility to take action that will prevent our children from being left a legacy of debt and higher taxes. The alternative budget that I brought before the House would address each of these critical issues,” Ryan continued. “My budget, a pro-growth plan, would balance the budget in 2012 without a single tax increase, begin the process of rescuing the major entitlement programs, and halt the earmark process until there is real reform.” 

The Democrat Budget Resolution calls for the largest tax increase in American history. By allowing tax relief enacted in 2001 and 2003 to expire, the Democrats will raise taxes on the American public by $683 billion dollars. That translates to an average tax increase of $2,965 per person in the state of Wisconsin. The Democrat tax increases would:

  • Cut the Child Tax Credit in half, from $1000 to $500, increasing taxes on 31 million taxpayers, on average, by $859.

  • Reimpose the marriage penalty, increasing taxes on 31 million married taxpayers, on average, by $466 because they are married.

  • Raise the 10 percent tax rate bracket to 15 percent, imposing the individual income tax on 6 million individuals who previously owed no taxes.

  • Increase Dividend and Capital Gains tax rate, hitting senior particularly hard with an average increase of $2,540.

  • In addition to these tax increases, the deficit for this year will double. Under Majority’s plan, discretionary spending increases $23 billion above the President’s request. At the same time, earmarks will continue as an earmark moratorium was rejected. The Democrat budget ignores the calls of numerous experts who have testified before the House Budget Committee that the entitlement programs are in crisis and action must be taken now.

Comparatively, Congressman Ryan’s budget alternative would impose a fiscally sound plan for America’s future. The plan would achieve the following:

  • Retains 2001/2003 Tax Relief. Contains no increases in marginal rates; no increase in taxes per child; no restoration of the marriage penalty or death tax; no increases in capital gains or dividends tax rates; and no expiration of other provisions of the 2001 and 2003 laws.

  • Repeals AMT. Prevents expansion of the AMT for the next 3 years; begins phasing in repeal in 2012; achieves full repeal in 2013.

  • Reforms Major Programs. Congressman Ryan’s budget takes steps toward rescuing the Federal Government’s major entitlement programs – especially Medicare and Medicaid – from their currently unsustainable spending path. These programs, as currently structured, will be unable to keep their promises to beneficiaries, and at the same time pose the greatest single threat to the budget and the economy. The reforms incorporated in Ryan’s budget alternative will make these programs meet their mission of providing retirement and health care security.

  • Incorporates Bipartisan Legislative Line Item Veto. Includes provisions of the bipartisan Legislative Line Item Veto Act passed by the House in the 109th Congress.

  • Imposes a Moratorium on Earmarks. Places a hold on congressional earmarks for the remainder of the 110th Congress, and dedicates the $14.8 billion in savings to keeping taxes low and balancing the budget.

  • Strengthens PAYGO. Applies pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) to direct spending measures only, and prohibits the use of tax increases to finance increases in direct spending.

  • Establishes discretionary spending limits in the House through 2010. These caps would act as an additional control over discretionary spending provided by annual appropriations bills.