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Speeches and Floor Statements

Ryan: Hopeful for ‘down payment’ on debt with budget

CBS News' Face the Nation

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March 17, 2013 | comments

WASHINGTON - Wisconsin Congressman and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan spoke with CBS News’ Bob Scheiffer about the importance of passing a responsible, balanced budget in order to grow the economy and pay down our debt. Ryan’s budget, The Path to Prosperity: A Responsible, Balanced Budget, was approved by the House Budget Committee on Wednesday and will be considered this week by the House of Representatives.

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A balanced budget is a means to a healthier economy

“Our budget encapsulates what we think is the right way to go. Fundamental tax reform for economic growth, patient-centered health care replacing Obamacare, getting our budget balanced. It’s a responsible, balanced budget. And we think a balanced budget is a necessary means to a healthier economy and to create more jobs. That’s why we’re saying let’s balance the budget so we can make sure we don’t have a debt crisis, give businesses the certainty they need to plan and invest, give families more of their own take-home pay. I hardly think that is retread, I think that’s what people want.”

The importance of repealing and replacing Obamacare

“We’ve been criticized for repealing Obamacare in our budget but it’s not as if we woke up the day after the election and said let’s change our principles, turn them in, and throw in with government-run health care. We believe that young people, seniors, families, businesses are in for a very rude awakening as Obamacare is rolled out. It still has nearly two years to go before it’s fully implemented and we’re showing there’s a better way of going. This is a better plan to balance the budget.”

Protecting families & seniors by preventing a debt crisis

“We do not have a debt crisis right now, but we see it coming and we know it’s irrefutably happening. The point we’re trying to make with our budget is let’s get ahead of the problem. We know that in a debt crisis you pull the rug out from people living on the safety net and you cut seniors in retirement. This is what we’re trying to avoid. The purpose of having a reasonable, balanced budget like we’re proposing is to prevent a debt crisis from happening in the first place. If we keep kicking the can down the road, if we follow the President’s lead, or if we pass the Senate Democrats’ budget then we will have a debt crisis, then everybody gets hurt. You know who gets hurt the first and the worst in a debt crisis? The poor and the elderly. That is what we’re trying to prevent from happening. Pro-growth economic policies to get people working to bring in more revenue and get the entitlement system under control so it doesn’t go bankrupt, so people can seriously plan for the promises that government has made for them in retirement. That’s what we’re saying: Let’s prevent a debt crisis from happening, we know it’s coming.  This budget does that.”

Dueling budgets reflect parties’ priorities

“Each budget reflects our priorities, reflects our principles, reflects our visions. We believe in balancing the budget, we believe in getting government to live within their means, we believe in pro-growth economic policies, energy exploration, fixing our entitlements before they go bankrupt. And, sure, you could say that Democrats don’t like that but we are not writing a Democratic budget in the House, we’re writing a Republican budget. And same goes for Senator Patty Murray – she’s writing a Democratic budget. A trillion dollar tax increase, which kills tax reform, even more spending, meaning they never ever balance the budget ever. The real question is: Are we ever going to bridge the gap?”

Building on a bipartisan consensus to fix our tax code

“We are saying let’s have revenue neutral tax reform. What does that mean? That means take the current amount of revenue that’s coming in through the tax code and replace it with a better tax code - one that the Ways and Means Committee will write this year - meaning lower tax rates with fewer crony loopholes. This is the whole point of tax reform and there are Democrats who agree with us. The Bipartisan Policy Center, another left-leaning group, says we should lower our tax rates across the board for families and small businesses and corporations and pay for it by plugging loopholes. And you can do so without losing revenues to the federal government, which is what our plan is.”

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