House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan says lawmakers have two years to get the nation’s debt under control “before we have a debt crisis like Europe is experiencing.”
“What is going to happen is, just like Europe, politicians made all of these empty promises, which turned into broken promises,” the Wisconsin Republican told Fox News’ Sean Hannity Wednesday. “The bond markets turn on and you have a debt crisis, cranking up taxes, cutting benefits for current seniors, slowing down the economy, having a lost decade.”
Ryan, who met with officials from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) earlier Wednesday, warned the country could be facing an economic disaster without a course correction.
“I had a hearing with the CBO just today. They are saying that the path we are on, with the debt levels we are incurring, they don’t know how to measure the economy going forward after the mid-20s, -30s because the debt will crash the economy,” he told Hannity.
Ryan blamed President Barack Obama for much of the problem, saying his push to raise taxes and increase spending ignores the advice of some of his own former economic advisers and respected experts who happen to be Democrats.
“People from the left and the right on economics agree, don't raise taxes in this economy,” Ryan said, referring to calls to extend the tax cuts enacted under President George W. Bush.
“The president, though, is so wed to the class warfare, pitting Americans against each other . . . that he is willing to trash all the advice from people in his own party of what to do to prevent us from going into a recession,” Ryan continued.
“The CBO is telling us, if these tax increases hit, we will have a recession and the president’s doubling down on this direction. So we need new leadership.”
Ryan also disputed Obama’s claims that federal spending has increased less under his presidency than any other in the last 60 years.
“The president has roughly increased spending by a fifth from where it historically has been,” he said “He gave us a gusher of new spending, he gave us a $4.5 trillion increase in the public debt, a 70 percent increase in the debt just since he has taken office.
“So, this is a spending binge we haven’t seen the likes of in decades in this country,” Ryan added.
Turning to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory over recall opponents on Tuesday, Ryan said it shows that Americans are ready to face tough choices and meet the debt problem head-on.
“They are not going to buy the tortured statistics,” he said referring to what he called “cooked” numbers being used by the Obama administration.
“They are not going to buy the status quo that the president is offering them. They want leaders who are going to rise to the challenge and offer real solutions, [and] that’s what we are proposing."
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