'Contract' Promises to Balance Budget Again

The Republican Study Committee released its budget for FY 2007 “Contract with America: Renewed” this morning amidst a crowd of supporters and reporters.

Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), RSC chairman, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R.-Texas), RSC Budget & Spending Task Force chairman were backed by 18 other members of the RSC as they publicly introduced the bill during a press conference.

“The time has come to level with the American people — we are not, as a nation, living within our means,” Pence said.

The budget proposed by Pence’s committee is based on the “Contract with America” budget passed in 1995 by the Republican House majority. According to an RSC press release, the budget proposes approximately $350 billion in reconciliation savings and $392 billion in deficit reduction over five years (taking into account increases in defense spending.)

He said that by enacting the proposed budget, the federal budget will be balanced because wasteful government spending will be cut and outdated government programs ended; tax cuts will be protected allowing the economy to thrive; Social Security will be strengthened and veterans and national defense will be provided for; promises will be kept to “to future generations by reforming the entitlements that threaten to bankrupt our national government in the decades ahead.”

“The American people know that unbridled growth of government threatens our future, and our freedom,” Pence said.

Hensarling said the time has come get “get back to our roots and balance the budget.”

“American families every year have to balance their budget,” he said. “They expect no less from the federal government.”

Hensarling said he thinks of the proposal as a “family savings machine.”

“By limiting government, we will give families unlimited opportunities,” he said.

The point was made repeatedly throughout the press conference that families have to balance their budgets and government should be expected to do the same.

Following Pence and Hensarling, House members present were given time to address the audience and show their support. Some of their comments are posted below:

Rep. John Shadegg (R.-Ariz.):

“Nearly every Republican – whether they were elected in 1994 or 2004 — campaigned on a promise to cut wasteful spending and shrink the size of the federal government. It is time to keep that promise to the American people.

“Our reckless spending is mortgaging the future. If we don’t act now, our children and grandchildren will pay for this spending in higher taxes, less economic growth, and a lower standard of living.

“Some people argue that the answer is to raise taxes, but the facts prove otherwise. Over the past few years, as we have cut taxes federal government revenue has increased- but that increase has been swamped by the massive growth in government spending.

“We do not face a choice between raising taxes and cutting spending — because raising taxes will slow our economy and lead to less tax revenue, not more. Instead, we need to keep our economy strong by making the tax cuts permanent, while finding commonsense ways to reduce spending like those in the RSC budget.”

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R.-N.C.):

“Our budget proposal provides a general framework for how we can hold the line on spending, balance our budget within five years, pay down our national debt, and maintain tax relief for American families — all at the same time.

“Like every family across America, we need to make tough budget decisions and cut back on wasteful spending. It’s not easy but it is the right thing to do.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.):

“I think the time is now to pass a budget that balances the budget, that equips us with tools to weed out waste, fraud and abuse out of our budgets and to give our children and grandchildren a chance to prosper like we have by tackling these tough issues today instead of passing onto them a mountain of debt in the future.”

“I’m very excited about this budget. I want to congratulate Jeb Hensarling for his hard work in putting this together. Only be these kinds of efforts are we able to actually do the right thing for our constituents and give them not only a balanced budget but stop taking so much of their money here in Washington so they can have more freedom at their homes and at their businesses and in their own lives.”

Rep. Tom Feeney (R.-Fla.):

“Government spending is through the roof and it is time this Republican Congress returned to our fiscally responsible roots. In 1994, the American people elected a Republican Congress that promised them fiscal sanity and reform. I am proud my colleagues and I are renewing our commitment to this promise.

“The federal government must stop using taxpayer dollars like Monopoly money. These are real families who work hard to send their dollars to Washington, D.C. and we should not be playing games with them.

“Spending other people’s money is an intoxicating experience-it takes extraordinary disciple and self-control to govern responsibly. Republicans must be the adult party in spending restraint or the country’s fiscal soundness will collapse.”

Other congressmen are putting out statements as well:

Rep. John Boehner (R.-Ohio), House majority leader:

“The RSC budget is a serious effort to address a serious problem: the runaway cost of government that threatens our children’s future. This serious problem can only be solved by making tough choices. The RSC budget is an important contribution to the process of putting forth a responsible budget blueprint that takes the interests of our children and grandchildren into account.”

Roy Blunt (R.-Mo.), House majority whip:

“I want to thank the RSC for developing an aggressive budget that focuses on reining in government spending. Their proposal highlights the very difficult decisions that must be made to return the budget to balance.

“Republicans began making progress on this front last year by passing a $40 billion deficit reduction bill — $10 billion more than was called for in our budget. We’ll keep working to make additional progress towards our goal of balancing the budget.

“The RSC budget underscores that, while the Republican conference is discussing the amount by which spending should be reduced, the Democrat caucus is only debating the amount by which taxes should be raised on the American people.”