At the House GOP retreat on Friday, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), the second-ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, questioned President Obama about the anticipated rollout of his annual budget expected today.
Hensarling asked if the new budget would follow the 2010 budget which — if its path is continued — will triple the federal deficit. Obama denied Hensarling’s statement.
“The President challenged the facts I presented to him about House Republican budget priorities and Democrat budget priorities,” Hensarling said. “I stand by what I said. In particular I have been challenged to support the assertion that, ‘What were the old annual deficits under Republicans have now become the monthly deficits under Democrats.’”
Hensarling released documentation backing up that assertion.
Democrats in Congress have had the Constitutional power of the purse for three years. In the 12 years that Republicans controlled the House, the average deficit was $104 billion (average of final deficit/surplus FY1996-FY2007 data taken from Table F-1 below). In just three years under Democratic control, the average deficit is now almost $1.1 trillion (average of final deficit/surplus FY2008 and 2009 data taken from Table F-1; FY2010 data taken from Table 1-3). (Source: http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/108xx/doc10871/Chapter1.shtml)
Also, according to CBO’s September 2009 Monthly Budget Review, July 2009’s deficit was $181 billion. According to CBO’s December 2009 Monthly Budget Review, October 2009’s deficit was $176 billion. Comparatively, according to OMB’s Historical Tables (Table 1.1), Republicans’ last annual deficit was $160.7 billion in FY2007. Even Republicans worst annual deficit — $412.7 billion in FY2004 according to OMB’s Historical Tables (Table 1.1) — pales in comparison to Democratic deficits. According to CBO’s January Monthly Budget Review, in the first three months of FY2010 (October-December 2009) alone, Democrats have run up a deficit of about $390 billion — $22.7 billion shy of the GOP’s worst annual deficit.
“I have great respect for President Obama, and I appreciate his willingness to come to our retreat, but he didn’t answer my specific question on whether he would continue us on a path to tripling the national debt and increasing government spending to 24.5% of the economy,” Hensarling added. “On Monday, February 1, when the President’s budget is expected to be released, we will have our answer.”
Declaration of Health Care Independence
Spearheaded by Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Steve King (R-Iowa) and Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), lawmakers last week unveiled a Declaration of Health Care Independence. Members present at the event signed the document committing to health care reforms that encompass 10 principles that are within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution. (Full text is reprinted below.)
Rep. Mike Pence, chairman of the House Republican Conference, joined in the signing ceremony.
“House Republicans, like millions of Americans across this country, oppose a government takeover of health care,” Pence said. “I’m grateful to have the opportunity to sign this, I’m grateful to all my colleagues for their leadership and I urge every American take the opportunity to sign the Declaration of Health Care Independence.”
Bachmann invited members from both sides of the aisle to sign onto the effort.
“I believe the majority of Washington supports these 10 principles, and I invite members on both sides of the aisle to sign the Declaration so we can move forward and implement reforms that are good for the American people,” Bachmann said. “The people have spoken, and they have overwhelmingly rejected what’s been put forth so far. It’s time to get back to the drawing board.”
Rep. Gohmert pointed out that a government takeover of health care limits options.
“As a Member of Congress, I have heard people say, ‘We want the health care you have,’” Gohmert said. “Actually, you don’t want my health care. I did not like my health insurance last year so I changed this year. You want my choices. You want the booklet I have that has page after page of private insurance policies so you can choose as much or as little coverage at competing costs.”
Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), objecting to government bureaucrat control over life and death decisions, quoted Samuel Adams before signing the document.
“If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace,” Franks said quoting Adams. “We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
Full text of the document:
Declaration of Health Care Independence
In order to retain the Blessings of Liberty as secured to us by our Founding Fathers and as expressed in our Constitution, We the People reject the imposition upon us of a new, Washington-controlled system of government-run health care. We demand Constitutional protection of the right to make our own health decisions and our own health care choices free of government denials, bureaucratic red-tape, and greater intergenerational debt.
A Washington takeover of American health care will
1) Deny fundamental personal and economic liberties and indisputably violate the Principle of Limited Government as established by the Constitution;
2) Impose increased costs and taxes upon individuals, families, and businesses, as well as taxpayers at the federal, state, and local levels;
3) Irreparably cripple the American economy, at the cost of jobs, businesses, productivity, and quality of life;
4) Create an inescapable new tax by imposing individual and employer mandates;
5) Institutionalize a massive, ever-expanding federal bureaucracy that is impersonal and impractical;
6) Empower bureaucrats to interfere in the doctor-patient relationship, undermine the quality of care, limit choice, and increase the cost of health care.
We have appealed to the decency of the elected majority to respect the rights of all Americans, but their leaders have been deaf to the Voice of the People. We are appalled by their cavalier disregard of the Constitution and of the demands of the People. We are repulsed by their blatant political bribes and kickbacks.
We, therefore, the People and Representatives of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, do solemnly Publish and Declare that health care reform, as a matter of principle must
1) Protect as inviolate the vital doctor-patient relationship;
2) Reject any addition to the crushing national debt heaped upon all Americans;
3) Improve, rather than diminish, the quality of care that Americans enjoy;
4) Be negotiated publically, transparently, with genuine accountability and oversight, and be free from political favoritism;
5) Treat private citizens at least as well as political officials;
6) Protect taxpayers from funding of abortion and abortion coverage;
7) Reject all new mandates on patients, employers, individuals, or states;
8) Prohibit expansion of taxpayer funded health care to those unlawfully present in the United States;
9) Guarantee Equal Protection under the law and the Constitution;
10) Empower, rather than limit, an open and accessible marketplace of health care choice and opportunity.
Tea Party Patriots were consulted on the content of the document and have made it available online for signature.