Republicans continue push for balanced budget
March 23rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Republicans continue push for balanced budget

(CNN) - Republicans continued the battle of the budget in their weekly address Saturday, dissing the Democrat-controlled Senate's recently proposed annual fiscal plan.

Speaking for his party, Sen. Mike Lee of Utah repeated demands for a provision to balance the budget and urged President Barack Obama to craft his upcoming proposal accordingly. The president's budget plan is set to release next month.

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"We should spend only what we need to cover the constitutionally authorized functions of government and not a dollar more," Lee said.

Like the Senate's plan, the president's is not expected to include a balanced budget provision, either.

In an interview last week, Obama said he's not trying to "chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance."

"My goal is how do we grow the economy, put people back to work, and if we do that we are going to be bringing in more revenue," Obama told ABC News. "If we control spending and we have a smart entitlement package, then potentially what you have is balance - but it is not balance on the backs of the poor, the elderly, students who need student loans, families that have disabled kids. That is not the right way to balance our budget."

The Senate voted for several days on its proposal for 2014, which was first introduced last week. It is supposed to lay down funding levels for government agencies, but with spending levels already set as part of last year's debt ceiling agreement, this year's budget proposal represents a list of priorities for the Democrats.

Authored by Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Washington, the proposal increases government spending and raises taxes on the wealthy.

While it reduces the deficit over 10 years, it stands in sharp contrast to the House budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, which the House of Representatives passed Wednesday.

The Ryan plan slashes trillions of dollars from government accounts and balances the budget in just 10 years.

"We have a moral obligation to future generations to make the people's priorities our priorities," Lee said in the GOP weekly address. "Again, this budget debate isn't about dollars - it's about common sense."

The Senate voted Thursday on the Ryan budget in what appeared to be a political move to show it could not pass. Fifty nine senators voted against it, 40 in favor.

By the same token, any budget the Senate passes is not expected to go far in the Republican-controlled House.

"Republicans recognize that keeping dollars, decisions, priorities and power in the hands of the people is what has made America the greatest civilization the world has ever known," Lee said. "Now is the time to return to that model."

Filed under: Budget • Mike Lee • Republican
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Tony in Maine

    Like most Republican "policy" it sounds so "Mom, apple pie and the flaggish." Most people immediately react with the absurdity that if a household has to do it...

    But a household doesn't. We borrow money for houses, cars, large appliances, and (very sadly) to pay for health care's inflated costs. What we shouldn't do is borrow for operating expenes like food or luxuries like a vacation.

    Similarly, government needs to be able to borrow for building roads, bridges and airports, partly because of cost and partly to force actual users in the future to pay that cost. Wars usually cost more than we can afford without borrowing though no government before Bush's has also cut taxes for those who would benefit by selling armaments or services to the military.

    The Republicans don't really want a balanced budget – it just sounds good to those who really don't want to think beyond the 3 word bumper sticker.

    March 23, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  2. Rick McDaniel

    Democrats are total spendthrifts. They will destroy the fiscal well being of the entire country.

    Just look at California........broke, and unable to meet their obligations.

    March 23, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  3. Paul

    What is 'balanced'? I hear this word thrown around a lot when talking about the budget in both sides of congress and from Obama. When I hear 'balanced' I hear we will not spend more than we take in from taxes. I only see one budget that does this so far. Maybe we should work to ensure that we as a government should spend more than we make then work on policies that do not pit on group against another. All I'm seeing right now, even in the budgets is the 'have nots' want to take from the 'haves' just because they don't have it. Maybe instead of taking, try working for it. I know I find life more enjoyable knowing I've worked for something then it just being given to me.

    I myself am a high school drop out with a GED and I own my own house, three cars and build my 401k for retirement. I worked hard to make something of myself in my short 40 years and most people today, from my point of view, expect it to be given to them. Work for want you want, work hard. Don't expect it to be given to you

    March 23, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |
  4. Malory Archer

    Any serious budget reduction plan would have to include a top to bottom audit of the Pentagon. There's a lot of fat and redundancy to be cut there, not to mention the fraud, waste, abuse and outright THEFT! Unless/until a Pentagon audit is performed there's no hope for us to ever make a dent in spending.

    March 23, 2013 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  5. Ed1

    And they should that's what the people want not more taxes and more spending do you not hear us out here.

    Are the Democrats really that stupid guess so when you have 49% of the voters receiving Government checks.

    March 23, 2013 09:27 am at 9:27 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    The military industrial complex model is the wrong economic model for the United States. Sending young Americans to die in an effort to secure dwindling natural resources for ourselves is just wrong. How much oil are we wasting just to keep the war machine running? America – and the world – deserves better.

    March 23, 2013 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  7. Freetobe

    As long as there's plenty of cuff for defense spending to put upon, there's no problem. Let some wretch need a book to learn, or a can of beans to keep from starving, and the answer is no. Absolutely no.

    March 23, 2013 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  8. Donna

    While it reduces the deficit over 10 years, it stands in sharp contrast to the House budget, written by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, which the House of Representatives passed Wednesday.

    Come on CNN, please be honest in your reporting. The Democrats DO NOT BALANCE the budget EVER in ANY of their budget proposals. They propose to continue what they have been doing all along, spending more, taxing more borrowing more and eventually bringing this country to where Greece is. Then blaming it on others. It is the leftist way.

    March 23, 2013 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  9. freedom

    Obama said he's not trying to "chase a balanced budget just for the sake of balance."

    You are the president – you need to present a balanced budget for the sake of the American people! You took an oath to serve America – on your watch – our deficits have increased astronomically without the consent of the citizens, your negligence allowed 3 servicemen and an ambassador to be brutally murdered in Benghazi, you have lied repeatedly to the American people – all of these are impeachable offenses.

    March 23, 2013 10:43 am at 10:43 am |