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E-news 4/15/11

1) The Week Just Past: Attacking Government Spending, Deficits, Debt

2) The Largest Non-Defense Spending Cut in History

3) By the Numbers: The FY 2011 Final Appropriations Bill

4) Noted with Interest:  A Deficit of Consistency

5) The New House Budget: The “Path to Prosperity”

 

The Week Just Past: Attacking Government Spending, Deficits, Debt

“The people of New Jersey are deeply concerned about stubbornly high unemployment and rising prices including the cost of food and gasoline.   That’s why I continue to insist that private sector job-creation remain atop Congress’ ‘to do’ list.  And that’s why I am working to reduce our dependence on oil, especially imported oil. 

“However, I know from my regular contacts with them, my constituents are also seriously worried about the America that we will hand down to their children and grandchildren.  Instinctively, they know that Washington’s out of control spending has fueled a $14 trillion national debt that is being financed by overseas creditors like China and Japan.  And sooner or later, these creditors will want their money back, with interest!

“It’s just common sense that we can’t continue to spend money we don’t have.  And the American people also understand that by doing so, we damage our economy and hamper private sector job creation.

“It was against this backdrop that this week’s debate over deficits and debt occurred.

“First, the House and Senate passed and the President signed the final appropriations bill of the current fiscal year – six months late!  The reason: in a serious dereliction of duty, the leadership of the LAST Congress failed to fulfill one of Congress’s most basic responsibilities by not passing a budget for 2011 and failing to approve ANY of the 12 annual appropriations bills.

“So the task was left to the current Congress and we succeeded to pass a federal government funding bill that cuts nearly $40 billion from current spending levels.  

“Now, this isn’t cause for celebration or back-patting.  In fact, I would have supported a bill that contained much deeper spending cuts.  But I also recognize that House Speaker Boehner had to negotiate with a President and a Senate Majority Leader who said as recently as last month that they would not support any spending cuts at all!

“Admittedly, this agreement isn’t perfect.  But it is exactly what we need to pave the way for the courageous budget offered by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI), which moves the debate from cutting billions of dollars to cutting trillions.  It also sends the signal to job creators nationwide that we have begun to end Washington’s spending binge.

“Today, the House approved Paul Ryan’s budget plan which helps spur job creation, stops the Washington spending spree and lifts the crushing burden of debt.  The Ryan plan puts the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

“To reduce the economic uncertainty hanging over American job creators we must demonstrate that we’re willing to take action.  We need to grow our economy – not our government – by creating a better environment for private sector job growth.  That’s why we’re fighting for meaningful spending cuts and against any tax increases on American small businesses.”

                                      Rodney Frelinghuysen

The Largest Non-Defense Spending Cut in History

Yesterday, the John Boehner-led 112th Congress finally closed the book on the work of the Nancy Pelosi-led 111th Congress.  Because the Pelosi Congress failed to pass a budget or ANY of the 12 annual appropriations bills last year, despite enjoying significant majorities, the new Congress has been forced to pass a series of measures that maintain the operations of the agencies of the federal government.  

The House and Senate approved a government funding bill that cuts $315 billion from the federal budget over the next 10 years — the largest non-defense spending cut in our history with zero tax hikes.  These are real cuts.

 “This first step,” the Stanford economist John B. Taylor wrote, “helps establish the credibility needed for the budget strategy to increase economic growth and encourage private investment.”

By the Numbers: The FY 2011 Final Appropriations Bill

  • Zero:Amount of spending cuts President Obama called for when the year began.
  • Nearly $40 billion:Amount the agreement cuts Washington spending compared to FY 2010 spending levels, making it the largest spending cut since World War II.
  • $315 billion:Amount the agreement cuts Washington spending over the next decade.
  • $78.5 billion:How much less the federal government will spend this fiscal year compared to what President Obama requested.
  • Zero: Amount of tax increases in the spending cut agreement, despite Washington Democrats’ best efforts to protect favored programs and discretionary spending by demanding tax increases.
  • More than 40:Amount of ineffective Department of Education programs terminated by the spending cut agreement.  Overall, the agreement eliminates or cuts hundreds of ineffective Washington programs.  A full list is available here.
  • $35 billion: Amount the agreement saves over the next 10 years by eliminating the ability to draw two Pell Grant awards at the same time.

Noted with Interest:  A Deficit of Consistency

President Obama declared in his highly-touted speech addressing the nation’s debt and deficit crisis this week, that “doing nothing on the deficit is just not an option.”  However, the President’s own budget proposal, formally submitted to Congress just two months ago, would add $9.5 trillion in deficits.  In fact, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the President's plan would increase the debt held by the public to 87 percent of gross domestic product!

The New House Budget: The “Path to Prosperity”

The House of Representatives this week approved a courageous budget framework for the fiscal year that begins October 1.  This “budget resolution,” developed by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, seeks to reverse the relentless government spending, taxing, and borrowing that today are leading America toward a debt-fueled economic crisis and the demise of America’s exceptional promise.

The Ryan budget resolution seeks to limit government to its core constitutional roles, keeping America’s promises to seniors, and unleashing the genius of America’s workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

For too long, government at all levels has been mired in debt. Mismanagement and overspending have left the nation on the brink of bankruptcy. Only recently, millions of American families saw their dreams destroyed in a financial disaster caused by misguided policies, perverse incentives, and irresponsible leadership.  This crisis squandered the nation’s savings and crippled its economy.

The Ryan plan puts the budget on the path to balance and the economy on the path to prosperity.

Key Facts about the Ryan “Path to Prosperity:”

SPENDING

  • Cuts $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade compared to the President’s budget.
  • Eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs, reflects the ban on earmarks, and curbs corporate welfare, bringing non-security discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.
  • Brings government spending to below 20 percent of the economy, a sharp contrast to the President’s budget, in which spending never falls below 23 percent of GDP over the next decade.

DEBT AND DEFICITS

  • Reduces deficits by $4.4 trillion compared to the President’s budget over the next decade.
  • Puts the budget on the path to balance and pays off the debt.

TAXES

  • Keeps taxes low so the economy can grow.  Eliminates roughly $800 billion in tax increases imposed by the President’s health care law.
  • Prevents the $1.5 trillion tax increase called for in the President’s budget.
  • Calls for a simpler, less burdensome tax code for households and small businesses.
  • Lowers tax rates for individuals, businesses and families.
  • Sets top rates for individuals and businesses at 25 percent.
  • Improves incentives for growth, savings, and investment.

GROWTH AND JOBS

  • Creates nearly 1 million new private-sector jobs next year and results in 2.5 million additional private sector jobs in the last year of the decade.
  • Spurs economic growth, increasing real GDP by $1.5 trillion over the decade.
  • Unleashes prosperity and economic security, yielding $1.1 trillion in higher wages and an average $1,000 per year in higher income for each family.

Read more about the “Path to Prosperity” here.

Recommended Viewing: House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on April 10.

At Work in Committee

Rodney returned to Washington this week and participated in two important meetings of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

A senior member of the Subcommittee, Rodney on Wednesday questioned Undersecretary of Defense, Dr. Ashton Carter, about the Pentagon’s broken weapons acquisition system.   He also engaged in a dialogue about the “aggressive” posture of the People’s Republic of China with the Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, Admiral Robert Willard. 

Recommended Reading: Martin Indyk, writing in the Washington Post,Amid the Arab Spring, Obama’s dilemma over Saudi Arabia.”

Additional Human Interest Recommended Reading: Caitlin Gibson,writing in theWashington Post, “Finding the Japanese boy who had saved his grandfather during World War II.”