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Smith: House budget is better for economyTell North Platte what you think

The House of Representatives has passed a budget plan that honestly accounts for the federal government’s spending, proposes solutions to balance the budget in 10 years, and grow our economy. 

This plan stands in stark contrast to current policy which will continue to spend more money than we have, burden our economy, and plague future generations with trillions of dollars of debt.

Our national debt has now exceeded $17 trillion, and without reform it is expected to increase by another $7.3 trillion during the next 10 years.

Despite the massive amount of deficit spending by the government, there is little to show for this “stimulus” to our economy.  Five years after the financial crisis far too many Americans are unemployed, underemployed, or live in poverty.  The lack of improvement in our economy is just the latest evidence we cannot tax, spend, and regulate our way to prosperity.

In order to grow the economy and create jobs, we have to get government out of the way. 

The House-passed budget would remove the government imposed barriers to growth by making responsible reforms to long-term spending, calling for a simpler tax code, promoting American energy production, and repealing burdensome policies such as Obamacare.

Economic growth and new jobs would not only benefit America today, they will increase revenue and help reduce the debt.

However, private sector growth alone will not be enough to balance the budget. The United States currently borrows about 40 cents of every dollar it spends. This is irresponsible and unsustainable. 

The House budget goes after fraud, waste, and abuse today, but is also honest about the real drivers of our long-term deficit – entitlement programs. Without reform, these popular programs will go bankrupt, and to do nothing is to endorse their demise.

Thankfully, there is still time to reform health programs including Medicare without making changes for current retirees by introducing market-based reforms.

For example, Medicare Part D costs 55 percent less in 2012 than originally estimated because negotiations and competition have driven down prices at every level. Similar reforms to Medicare as a whole would give seniors more control over their health care and make the program sustainable for future generations.

The budget also calls on Congress and the President to submit their plans to stabilize the Social Security trust fund.

This budget plan is not perfect, but I am proud we in the House of Representatives are working to address these problems not sweep them under the rug.

The President’s budget does not include a plan to reduce our long-term deficit, but rather doubles down on his current strategy of more taxes, more spending, and more debt. Even worse, Senate Democrats have not and do not plan to introduce a budget at all. 

I was disappointed last year when the House and Senate agreed to a budget which failed to address long-term spending and actually broke the budget caps agreed to on a bipartisan basis in 2011. I voted against this budget because I believe we can and must do better. 

Ultimately, the House and Senate will have to work together to pass a spending plan to fund the government, but the failure of Senate Democrats to even propose a budget which moves beyond last year’s agreement to address the long term deficits and debt will all but ensure we pass another stop-gap measure and continue down the current path for another year. 

The House-passed budget is not only a solution to balance the budget and begin to pay down our debt, it represents our governing philosophy and principles. We believe it is possible to restore opportunity, fairness, and prosperity for all Americans through limited government and economic growth. 

I hope you will take the time to learn more about our plan at http://budget.house.gov/fy2015.

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The North Platte Bulletin - Published 4/24/2014
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