House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says Americans are becoming more complacent and dependent on government under President Barack Obama and the only way to reverse course is to elect Mitt Romney and a Republican-controlled Congress.
“We can turn this stuff around and fix it before it gets too late, before we become a nation of net takers vs.makers, before we have a [growing] debt crisis,” Ryan said Wednesday, noting that the country is now facing the highest poverty rate on record and the worst economic growth and job creation in two years.
The first he described as a “European-like” economic situation “where we have a managed decline” and “a stagnant, lost decade” of growing debt burden that the nation’s lawmakers refuse to address. The second, he said, is “a crisis of more and more people seeing the government as a provider of their livelihood instead of themselves.”
“We want an upwardly mobile society,” Ryan continued. “We want to have a safety net, not a hammock of . . . dependency and complacency. “We are worried that the president’s taking us down the wrong path.”
Ryan stressed if the nation’s leaders continue to ignore the growing debt crisis, even those who have become more dependent on entitlement programs — such as seniors and the poor — will soon be faced with a wake up call.
“We will have a debt crisis and we’ll have to respond rapidly to appease the debt markets, the bond markets, so we can avoid a catastrophe,” Ryan said. “That means cutting benefits to current seniors, raising taxes that slows down the economy, which is exactly what Europe is doing.
“Economic growth and spending control, and entitlement reforms, are the key recipe of what we are trying to do to prevent this debt crisis from happening,” Ryan added. “And we think the next president and the next Congress will basically decide how this all goes.”
Ryan said he believes one of the main reasons Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has refused to pass a budget in three years is to avoid putting vulnerable Democratic incumbents on the spot.
“I think they basically made the calculation, it’s better that we just do nothing and take the heat for that than show the country all the tax increases that are required to fulfill the spending vision that we have,” Ryan said.
The congressman also blasted Reid for refusing to hold a vote on whether to repeal the healthcare reform law. The House again voted on Wednesday to kill Obamacare.
But, Ryan said, the Democratic-controlled Senate is unlikely to revisit the issue for the same reasons Reid has refused to produce a budget — because a debate on it would reveal its “broke promises.”
Noting the Supreme Court decision, that the mandate penalty for failing to have insurance coverage under Obamacare is as a tax, Ryan said the law should be repealed because “it was sold on misleading grounds.”
“We really believe that if these facts were known then when it passed [in 2010], it would not have passed,” he said.
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