Toomey: Ryan Spending Cuts Not ‘Draconian’

Thursday, 28 Apr 2011 08:39 AM

By Hiram Reisner

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Freshman Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., says there is a “substantive difference” in vision between President Barack Obama, who believes in larger government, and House Republicans. Toomey also said Thursday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that GOP-proposed spending cuts are not “draconian,” and would lead to smaller government.

toomey, ryan, budget“There’s a big difference, very candidly, I think there’s a substantive difference,” Toomey said. “I think he’s got a vision for a much bigger government — I think he’s been pretty open about that — he’s calling for a much larger government, more spending, higher taxes. And, to the credit of [House Budget Committee Chairman] Paul Ryan and House Republicans, they proposed an alternative — it’s a much bigger America, but one that accomplishes it with a smaller government.

“What the president needs to do is get specific now,” he said. “He gave us a budget where he completely punted on all the tough challenges — he didn’t take on any of the structural problems we face — the fact that we’re on an unsustainable fiscal path. And then he came along later and gave a speech where he derided, and he mocked, this very serious budget attempt by the Republicans.”

Toomey stressed Obama can disagree with the House proposal, but it was “inappropriate for the president to suggest that it lacked courage and wasn’t serious.” The House budget proposal “is a serious attempt to deal with the long-term problems we have and we need the president to get engaged with us,” he added.

Host Joe Scarborough noted even though the House proposal has been called “extreme,” it still adds over $5 trillion in debt over the next decade, and asked why “there is no way to actually cut spending.” Toomey said it does cut some spending.

“But the thing that is described as a draconian cut, is taking the level of federal spending — in many categories — all the way to where it was in 2008 — that’s not ancient history in my book, and that’s the kind of thing we need to do,” he added. “I think the other point I would make about the fact that it does project to increase the debt over time — the Ryan budget is very conservative about revenue estimates, very conservative about the economic-growth rates.

“And I think if we adopted the tax reforms that he’s called for, if we put the federal government on a sustainable fiscal path, frankly, I think we’d see so much economic growth that the actual deficit numbers would be much, much smaller than even the Republican budget projects,” Toomey said.

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