By U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx
Most of us understand what it means to balance a budget. We work hard to get a paycheck. We use that money to feed and clothe our family and keep a roof over our heads. If we’re able, we put a little aside in case of emergency or for a rainy day. We all know the feeling of sitting at the kitchen table, long after the kids have gone to bed, shuffling through bills and pay stubs. But we only spend what we earn.
In my family, balancing our budget isn’t just a priority, it’s a requirement. We need to view America’s budget the same way.
Much of the economic turmoil that has gripped this nation is the result of the federal government spending beyond its means. In North Carolina, I often hear from constituents who are worried that our ballooning national debt threatens economic stability and jeopardizes the American dream for their families.
Unfortunately, President Obama’s budget disregards those concerns and delays dealing with them, ignoring our crushing debt burden. Despite proposing $2.1 trillion in new tax increases, the president’s budget never balances because it still spends too much.
In contrast to the president’s proposal, House Republicans recently approved a budget that balances in less than 10 years, without raising taxes while cutting $5.5 trillion in unnecessary spending. This budget not only places our country on a path to pay off the overwhelming mound of debt we face, but will also spur economic growth and increase opportunity. Washington owes the American people a responsible budget that reins in wasteful federal overspending and guarantees accountability for the use of taxpayer dollars.
The Balanced Budget for a Stronger America also provides a framework for completely repealing Obamacare and calls on Congress to pass comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates for individuals, families and employers.
Following approval of the budget, the House continued its record of tackling tough issues by passing bipartisan legislation to help stabilize Medicare and secure seniors’ access to their doctors.
Medicare is vitally important to millions of retired Americans who paid into the program during their working years. It is also important to today’s taxpayers, who are covering Medicare’s current bills. Every American has a vested interest in the financial health and long-term viability of the program.
Since 1997, the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula has called for annual reductions in Medicare provider payments. To date, Congress has intervened 17 times to stop these cuts. This practice demonstrates that the SGR has not been a viable mechanism and has continually threatened the ability of doctors to treat Medicare beneficiaries.
By transitioning toward a new system focused on quality, value and accountability, this legislation lays the groundwork for future Medicare reforms. It also includes several conservative priorities, including strengthening Medicare’s ability to fight fraud, promoting abstinence education and expanding traditional Hyde protections to ensure that your tax money will not be used to pay for elective abortions at community health centers, National Health Service Corps and teaching health centers after Obamacare removed those protections.
Rest assured House Republicans are working hard to advance solutions that will build a healthy economy, empowering all Americans to seek new opportunities and achieve a better life.