House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan
, R-Wis., says the looming government shutdown can be averted, but the federal operations extension won’t happen unless Democrats agree to $4 billion in spending cuts. Ryan Monday told Fox News’ Sean Hannity he will not rubber-stamp any spending increases proposed by President Barack Obama.
“We are not interested in actually rubber-stamping these elevated spending levels that President Obama pushed through Congress two years ago,” Ryan said. “The kind of spending increases he got on government agency budgets, 24 percent on average – you throw stimulus on top, that’s an 84 percent increase – so what the president’s budget tries to do is to lock in all those big spending gains, we don’t want to accept that.
“We’re not looking for a government shutdown, but we … want spending cuts in return, and that’s what this is all about,” he said.
Hannity noted according to Obama’s spending levels in past budgets, and in his recently proposed 2012 document, the national debt will soar to 800 percent of the gross domestic product by 2080. Hannity displayed a pie chart of what will happen if the president’s current wave of spending policies continues.
“This assumes very low interest rates for the future. So, it is an actually conservative estimate,” Ryan said, referring to the chart. “It shows you that we are running into a tidal wave of debt so great [and] – according to the Congressional Budget Office – not only will our children inherit a lower standard of living, the economy absolutely crashes in 2037 if we stay on the path we're on.
“These projections, by the way, don't even count Obamacare and its fiscal affects. So, this is what America is looking at right now, according to the Congressional Budget Office – and every other independent fiscal authority says the same thing,” he said. “That's why we were so stunned that the president gave us a budget that proposed to do nothing about this other than double down and stay the same direction. We are going to have a debt crisis unless we preempt it.”
Hannity said Obama’s 2012 budget also assumes an unrealistic growth rate of almost 5 percent in the next two years. Ryan agreed.
“In order to make his budget look somewhat respectable for the year 2015 or 2017, he assumes extremely high economic growth in the year 2013, when he's imposing a massive tax increase on the economy, on small businesses and job creators,” he said. “So, it is not a budget that anybody agrees with. Even the Washington Post said he punted. So, why is punting? I don't know.
“You know, I don't know what the motivations are, I'm not going to speak to that. I don't really care. We owe the country a choice of a different future,” Ryan said. “We owe the country a political party that will stand up and actually take on the country's challenges before they get out of our control.
“And that's why we have to tackle this deficit problem, this debt problem. And come up with a budget that actually solves our fiscal problems,” he continued. “We are going to go after the drivers of our debt. And the drivers of our debt problem are the entitlement programs.”
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