Rep. Steve Scalise, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, tells Newsmax that President Barack Obama is “just not serious” about addressing the federal government’s spending and deficit problems.
The Louisiana legislator also discloses that his committee will put forth a plan that would balance the budget in 10 years, while Obama has no plan to balance the budget.
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Rep. Scalise was first elected to the House in 2007, winning the seat formerly held by current Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal.
The president for the fourth time in five years has missed the budget proposal deadline. In an exclusive interview with Newsmax TV, Scalise comments: “The president again failed to meet his deadline to produce a budget. It’s a legal requirement and it shows that, number one, the president’s just not serious about addressing the massive spending problem in Washington. He seems reluctant to even admit that there’s a spending problem.
“Of course 40 cents of every dollar the federal government spends is borrowed money, money borrowed from China and other countries, and then the bill’s sent to our kids.
“So when the president keeps asking Congress to give him a new credit card to spend more money, the first thing we said is Mr. President, it’s time you lay out your plan and meet your legal obligations under the law to lay out your budget.
“We’re going to produce a budge in the next few months that will meet our statutory deadline, a legal deadline, and then also show when we’re going to get our country back to a balanced budget, and the president ought to do the same thing.
“The president continues to avoid this problem and act like it doesn’t exist.”
Asked how the Republican Study Committee’s budget differs from House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s proposal, Scalise says: “Last year our RSC budget balanced in five years. Paul Ryan and the House budget that ultimately passed did eventually get to balance, but it took longer than the RSC budget to balance. But at least it’s finally balanced.
“The president’s budget never gets to balance. In fact, it leaves us with trillion-dollar deficits every year. You just can’t keep borrowing that kind of money and allow our kids to have the same opportunities at the American Dream that we enjoy right now.
“The RSC will now be looking to do something that balances within the 10-year window. Hopefully Paul’s budget will do the same.”
In Ryan’s budget there are no calls for new revenue, just spending cuts. Asked how that would affect the economy, Scalise responds: “First, we know what the economy looks like under President Obama’s current agenda of higher taxes and more spending, and it’s bad. It’s a bad economy.
“Just last week we had another round of really bad jobs reports. The economy actually shrunk. That’s under the president’s plans where he just got the tax increasers that he’d been calling for. It showed that those tax hikes actually hurt the economy and did nothing to reduce the deficit.
“What we said is if you want revenue, you do it through growing the economy, getting people back to work, creating more middle-class jobs, and that produces tax revenue as people are working and paying taxes instead of on food stamp programs or unemployment. They don’t want to be on unemployment but the economy is so weak because of these bad policies by President Obama.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will pass a budget soon for the first time in more than four years.
“The difference now is we finally passed a law, the No Budget, No Pay Act,” Scalise points out.
“This is something we in the House pushed in relation to the debt ceiling. We said the country needs to meet its obligations to pay its debts. But at the same time, Congress owes it to the American people to actually produce a budget, just like families do every year.
“So we finally said, if you don’t pass a budget, you’re not going to get paid. And now, mysteriously, Chuck Schumer and others in the Senate are saying, okay, we’re going to do a budget. We shouldn’t have to threaten to withhold their pay to get them to do their jobs.”
Scalise says that sequestration and its forced spending cuts is “the only way right now that’s on the table where real cuts happen. We’ve asked President Obama for years now to work with us in a bipartisan way to control spending. And all the president kept saying was he needed more taxes and he wouldn’t agree to any spending cuts until he got his tax hikes.
“I opposed his deal that increased tax rates because it hurts the economy and evidence shows that, but he got it. He raised taxes. And yet now we’re still seeing the economy struggle and the president won’t lay out any cuts.
“He campaigned promising for every dollar in tax hikes there’d be three and a half dollars in spending cuts. So he got $600 billion in tax hikes. That means he ought to agree to $2 trillion in cuts. And yet he won’t agree to any.”
Scalise also declares that America needs tax reform “to get our economy going again and make America competitive.
“We have the highest [corporate] tax rate in the world right now. So a lot of our companies are not competitive. It’s one of the reasons so many middle-class jobs get shipped overseas. We need to stop that.
“We want to eliminate tax loopholes, but we want to use that to lower overall rates so that America’s competitive again, families have more money in their pockets. People are seeing their buying power lowered. Their wages don’t go as far anymore because the economy’s not doing well. And yet President Obama wants to just keep raising taxes.
“That’s not the answer. It’s never gotten us to a balanced budget and it’s only going to hurt the economy more. So we need to work on solutions that are bipartisan and will actually solve the problem.”
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