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Entries in Budget Proposal (7)

Wednesday
Apr272011

Florida Lawmaker Heckled While Defending Paul Ryan's Budget Plan

Webster [dot] House [dot] gov(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- Republican lawmakers are now getting a taste of what Democrats went through when they tried to defend their vote for the health care law last year.

The latest controversy surrounds Rep. Paul Ryan's budget plan, which calls for major overhauls of entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.

When Florida Republican Congressman Daniel Webster tried to explain his reasons for supporting the Ryan proposal before a hometown crowd at a town hall meeting Tuesday, the session quickly turned into a noisy and heated shouting match.

As Webster calmly tried to detail what he sees as out-of-control federal spending and debt, and how the Ryan plan brings back fiscal responsibility, he was shouted down by audience members belonging to liberal groups like Moveon.org and Organize Now.

Webster didn't get much of a word in as his critics accused House Republicans of trying to kill retirement benefits for people under 55 while keeping tax breaks for the rich.

Even those who rallied for Webster were unable to be heard over the shouting.  Eventually, two police officers had to flank the congressman while calling for cooler heads to prevail.  They didn't, and the meeting ended without Webster getting his points across.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Apr132011

President Obama Outlines Broad Plans to Reduce Deficit

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama Wednesday outlined his own proposal for reducing the nation's deficit by $4 trillion in the next 12 years, calling it a "more balanced approach" than the one championed by congressional Republicans, and emphasized that everything in the budget must be up for discussion.

In a 44-minute speech at George Washington University that included few specific targeted cuts but many broad objectives, Obama said that in order to reach his deficit reduction goals, he would focus on four key areas: keeping domestic spending low; cuts to the Pentagon budget; health care savings in Medicare and Medicaid; and taxes.

The president said these ideas come from the recommendations of the bipartisan fiscal commission and builds on the roughly $1 trillion in deficit reduction that he already proposed in his 2012 budget.

"We have to live within our means, reduce our deficit, and get back on a path that will allow us to pay down our debt," he said. "And we have to do it in a way that protects the recovery, and protects the investments we need to grow, create jobs, and win the future."

With the 2012 presidential campaign looming, Obama tried Wednesday to draw a clear contrast between his plan and that which congressional Republicans have put forward, which has drawn support from several Republican presidential contenders.

The president said that while both sides want to make dramatic spending cuts, their approach goes after the wrong targets and is less about deficit reduction than it is about "changing the basic social compact in America."

Specifically, Obama said that the changes he has proposed for Medicare and Medicaid will keep the commitments to the nation's seniors while still saving $500 billion during the next 12 years and an additional $1 trillion by 2033.

The president also pledged to increase the tax rates on upper-income Americans -- individuals who make more than $200,000 a year or families that make more than $250,000 -- because they can afford to pay a little more. In December, the president agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts for all Americans in order to keep his campaign pledge to prevent a tax increase for the middle class. That won't happen again, he said Wednesday.

Yet even before Obama delivered his remarks, Republicans were already lining up to reject his proposals.

Back from a meeting at the White House earlier Wednesday, Republican leaders in Congress warned Obama that they will not agree to raise taxes in an effort to rein in the country's rising deficits, calling them a "non-starter."

Boehner described the White House meeting as "a very frank and serious discussion" about the debt crisis, but suggested he has tough standards for the administration to meet in order to sway his support from chairman Ryan's budget plan to address the deficit.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia echoed Boehner and said that raising taxes is not the answer.

"And without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political skills tell me that almost no one believes they should be paying higher taxes," he said to polite laughter.

Obama said that the continuing budget and spending debate in Washington is more than just "numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending," perhaps giving a preview of his 2012 reelection theme.

"It's about the kind of future we want," he said. "It's about the kind of country we believe in."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Tuesday
Apr052011

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Sing Praise for Ryan's 2012 Budget Proposal

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Republican Paul Ryan’s controversial and transformative budget proposal would remake Medicare and Medicaid and cut $5.8 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. It was immediately rejected by Democrats and President Obama.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the President respects the goal of lowering the deficit, but said Ryan’s budget proposal does so by cutting taxes for millionaires while placing a “greater burden” on seniors and the disabled.

Potential GOP presidential candidates uniformly praised Ryan for the breadth of his proposal. They are quick to praise the budget chairman, though most notably avoid discussing -- or embracing -- any specifics. Here’s what some White House hopefuls are saying about Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.”

    * Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty: “Thanks to Paul Ryan in Congress, the American people finally have someone offering real leadership in Washington. President Obama has failed to lead and make tough choices his entire time in the White House. While the budget is going to be debated for several months to come, the more immediate issue we face is President Obama’s plans to raise the debt ceiling next month. That's a really bad idea. With over $14 trillion debt already, we should not allow Washington’s big spenders to put us further in the hole. We must get our fiscal house in order with real spending cuts and with real structural reforms that stop the spending spree before it bankrupts our country.”

    * Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney: “I applaud Rep. Paul Ryan for recognizing the looming financial crisis that faces our nation and for the creative and bold thinking that he brings to the debate. He is setting the right tone for finally getting spending and entitlements under control. Anyone who has read my book knows that we are on the same page.”

    * Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum: "I commend Chairman Ryan's long-term budget proposal that tackles entitlement programs, particularly his proposed reforms of the Medicaid program…I also believe the Republicans' approach to reforming Medicare is right on target to streamline the program, reduce waste and allow future Medicare beneficiaries to have more of a say in the needs of their benefits with a market driven approach.  And with over $6 trillion in spending cuts, Congressional Republicans are making the tough choices in the short and long-term to bring the Federal budget under control, and I urge the American people to stand with them in the face of Democratic party obstructionism."

    * Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin on Twitter: @SarahPalinUSA "There is hope! Serious & necessary leadership rolls out serious & necessary reform proposal. Good start."

    * Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee in a statement on his website Monday: “Whatever details are in the Republican proposal, one thing is for sure - getting rid of Obamacare would be a giant step in the right direction...As a firm believer in limited government, spending cuts must be made to save this nation.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Apr052011

Reaction Streams In to GOP Budget Proposal

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan unveiled a budget Tuesday for 2012 that would cut government spending by $6.2 trillion more over the next 10 years than the one President Obama released last month.

Ryan says his plan would save money by changing the Medicaid program for the poor, ending corporate welfare, eliminating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and reducing discretionary spending to below 2008 levels.

Even with these cuts, the budget would not be balanced by the year 2021.

To address the long-term problem, the Ryan plan would transform the Medicare program beginning in the year 2022, changing it from a government-run system that pays health bills for seniors into a system under which seniors buy insurance plans subsidized by the federal government.

The Senate’s top Republican Mitch McConnell praised Ryan’s budget proposal as “a serious and detailed plan” and ripped Democrats for opting to “sit on their hands” and “take potshots at these proposals from the sidelines.”

“Anybody can say that our nation’s problems need to be addressed — but history will show that Chairman Ryan is one of those who actually stepped up to do it. And he should be applauded for that by people of good will on both sides,” McConnell said on the Senate floor.

Likely GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty responded to Ryan’s proposal Tuesday, saying that thanks to the budget chairman’s leadership, “the American people finally have someone offering real leadership in Washington” and said that President Obama has “failed to lead and make tough choices.”

Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., called Ryan’s plan “thinly veiled.”

“We need to do everything possible to responsibly reduce our debt, but we should do that by holding government accountable and eliminating programs that aren’t working, not by putting all of the burden on middle class families and seniors,” she said.

Stabenow said the Republican budget would “dismantle Medicare for tens of millions of Americans.”

“Pulling the rug out from under seniors who have paid into Medicare and Social Security their entire lives is wrong, and extreme plans that dismantle benefits seniors have earned will not pass the Senate.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb142011

Speaker Boehner: President Obama's Budget 'Spending the Future'

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) --  House Republicans are speaking out in masse against President Obama’s new 2012 budget proposal, attacking the plan for spending, taxing and borrowing too much while making it more difficult to create jobs and doing little to address the country’s deficit.

“By continuing the spending binge and imposing massive tax hikes on families and small businesses,” Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement Monday, “it will fuel more economic uncertainty and make it harder to create new jobs.”

Rep. Kristi Noem, one of two freshmen with a seat at the House Republican leadership table, says that President Obama’s budget proposal signals that he is not paying attention to the message that voters sent to Washington last November, when they swept the GOP into the House majority on a pledge to cut spending, reduce the size of the federal government and create jobs.

“Three-point-eight-trillion dollars in spending in the coming year and $8.7 trillion in new spending over the next decade shows the President hasn’t really listened to the message Americans are trying to send Washington,” Noem, R-South Dakota, said. “We have many tough decisions ahead of us and his only proposal is to spend more money we don't have. It is unacceptable and our people deserve better.”

House Democrats, however, say the president’s budget would invest to grow the economy and would spur long-term job creation.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called on House Republicans to work with President Obama “to reduce our deficit without sacrificing America’s competitive edge.”

Boehner says that when House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., introduces the House Republican’s version of the budget in the next couple of weeks it will contrast sharply with the president’s “job-crushing FY12 budget.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Feb142011

Obama Proposes Budget Plan to Reduce Deficit by $1.1 Trillion

Photo Courtesy - Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Monday proposed a 10-year budget plan that would increase the national debt by $7.2 trillion -- $1.1 trillion less than if it wasn't implemented.

The plan shows that President Obama will not take the lead on any aggressive and serious measure to reduce the annual budget deficit and eliminate the $14 trillion debt.  This sets up the Obama administration on a collision course with Republicans, who are calling for serious deficit reduction and spending cuts.  On Friday night, House Republicans unveiled a spending bill to fund the government for the next seven months that they say will reduce the president’s requested spending levels this year by at least $100 billion.

The Obama administration says two-thirds of its proposed $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction would come from spending cuts, and one third from tax increases.

The president's proposal would take in $2.627 trillion and spend $3.729 trillion. The 2012 budget deficit would be $1.101 trillion, less than this year’s projected $1.645 trillion deficit.

Among the tax increases proposed are ending subsidies for oil and gas companies, and reducing the rate at which those in the highest tax bracket and some people in the second highest bracket can itemize tax deductions in areas such as interest on home mortgages and charitable giving.

The Obama administration is also proposing letting expire after 2012 the lower Bush tax rates on income over $200,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a family, but they are not including this revenue when projecting the $1.1 trillion in deficit reduction.

Some of the spending freezes/cuts include:

-- A five-year spending freeze over non-security-related discretionary spending ($400 billion/10 years).

-- Cutting $300 million in Community Block Grants.

-- Cutting LIHEAP in half, or by $2.5 billion.

-- Cutting $125 million from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

-- Cutting more than $1 billion in grants to large airports.

-- Cutting $950 million in states’ funds for water treatment plants and other infrastructure.

-- Having the Pentagon budget grow at just the rate of inflation, which would cut $78 billion.

At no point in the president’s 10-year projection would the U.S. government spend less than it's taking in.  Administration officials say that by 2017 the projected deficit -- $627 billion -- would consist entirely of the interest on the current debt.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Feb122011

Obama Previews Budget Proposal in Weekly Address

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Previewing his budget, set to be released on Monday President Obama promises a budget that will “help us live within our means while investing in our future.”
 
“Families across this country understand what it takes to manage a budget,” President Obama says in his weekly address, “They understand what it takes to make ends meet without forgoing important investments like education.  Well, it’s time Washington acted as responsibly as our families do."
 
With a nod to the debate with Republicans about spending vs. cost cutting the president says that his budget will cut “what we can’t afford” and will pay “for what we cannot do without.”
 
The president’s budget will freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. In the weekly address the president notes that some programs that he “deeply” cares about -- will be cut, in order to reduce the deficit by $400 billion over the next decade, the White House says.
 
“We’ve stripped down the budget by getting rid of waste,” Obama says, “For example, we’re getting rid of thousands of government-owned buildings that sit empty because they aren’t needed.  I’ve also proposed freezing salaries for hardworking government employees, because everyone has to do their part.  And I’m going to make sure politics doesn’t add to our deficit, by vetoing any bill that contains earmarks.”
 
Putting a personal face to this number-crunching story while underscoring the point of making “difficult sacrifices while still investing in the future” President Obama introduces the Breece family.
 
Brenda Breece first wrote to President Obama in a letter.  A self-described “frugal” family who often wait for movies to come out on TV rather than go to the theater, give each other haircuts rather than visit the salon, and watch the food budget -- after the father of the family lost his job at the local Chrysler plant.
 
“Brenda and her husband know what they can do without.  But they also know what investments are too important to sacrifice.  Their daughter, Rachel, is a sophomore in college with a 4.0 grade point average.  The tuition is a big expense.  But it’s worth it, because it will give her the chance to achieve her dreams.”
 
The president says that like the Breece family  -- the nation needs to do this too.
 
“Just as the Breece family is making difficult sacrifices while still investing in the future -- by helping their daughter pay her tuition -- my budget does the same.”
 
The president says those investments mean investments in roads, high speed trains and broadband -- research for clean energy and biotechnology, and improving schools.  On Monday the president will visit a middle school in Baltimore, Maryland to speak about the budget, highlighting investments necessary in education.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 







ABC News Radio