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The President’s Budget: Dead on Arrival

Ratcliffe Responds to Obama's FY 2017 Budget Request to Congress

In the final year of his disastrous presidency, it comes as no surprise that President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request is his biggest, most expensive and most out-of-touch budget yet. At whopping $4.1 trillion price tag, his budget calls for an additional $196 billion spending increase above the already dangerously high levels that I voted against in the first place. Worse yet – the budget’s largest component of self-described “deficit reduction” relies on a total of $3.6 trillion in taxes, fees and other revenue, including a $10.25 per barrel tax on oil. This 25-cent-per-gallon tax on hard-working Americans is unacceptable, and you can count on me to oppose it vigorously.

As a former small-town Texas mayor, I relied on a basic yet fundamental principle completely foreign to President Obama – living within your means. I maintained a balanced budget all eight years I was in office – without ever raising taxes. Doing so didn’t require rocket science, but it did require making tough decisions.  By contrast, President Obama has proposed doubling down on his tried and failed strategy of more taxes, more spending and more borrowing.

His budget represents a model for Congress of what doesn’t work. Starting with a 2017 deficit of over half a trillion dollars, the national debt would rise to a whopping $27.4 trillion by the end of the budget’s ten-year window.  And it does so while still relying on the unrealistic assumption that the unemployment rate will remain lower than 5 percent for each of the next ten years. Beyond this, it counts $170 billion in new revenue to be generated from changes to immigration law that Congress, not the President, must initiate.

Last year’s budget request by the president received a grand total of one vote in the Senate, and I expect this one to be dead on arrival as well. It’s now up to Republicans in Congress to provide an alternative fiscal vision for this country, and I look forward to playing a leading role in the process. In contrast to the president’s budget, which designates more spending for climate change than for countering terrorism, I’m committed to advancing pro-growth, job creating policies that will foster the ingenuity of the American people.

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