Path to Prosperity: A Budget for America's Youth
With a budget shutdown averted and behind us, it is time to move onto the real battle – the FY2012 budget! This is where conservatives will really have to get into the fight over debts and deficits. Democrats may have failed to pass a budget for this fiscal year, and now it's time for Republicans to show the American people that we are leaders and will pass a fiscally responsible, pro growth budget for the next fiscal year.
As I’m sure many of you heard, the Republican 2012 Budget was unveiled by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI-1) last week. This budget is exactly what we need to be doing--enough with the cuts to non-defense discretionary spending! It is not that cutting inefficiencies in non-defense discretionary spending is a bad thing. It’s just that it only composes approximately one-third of our national budget, and that percentage is constantly shrinking as our debt and entitlements continue to balloon. Congressman Ryan’s budget hits right at the heart of the problem, which is exactly the type of leadership we need.
Over the next decade, Congressman Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity” cuts $6.2 trillion in spending in contrast with President Obama’s budget which adds $400 billion in new spending. Many of these cuts would come from reforming entitlement spending such as Medicare and Social Security. Of course the left would like you to believe that this means Republicans want to take away grandma’s medical care and paycheck. Nothing could be further from the truth!
For starters, the defined “guiding principles” of this “Path to Prosperity” include:
- no changes to those in or near retirement,
- fulfill the mission of health and retirement security,
- lift the crushing burden of debt,
- spur economic growth and path to prosperity.
Nowhere do I see “take away grandma’s health care.” In fact, I see that half of these principles focus on fulfilling the promise made to the elderly in exchange for their years of hard work and service to our country. My parents and grandparents have worked hard and contributed to our society. I would not expect for them to all of a sudden lose Medicare or Social Security; after all, they’ve actually earned it. The truth is, last year, when they passed Obamacare, Democrats actually cut $500 billion from Medicare. Yes, Republicans want to cut, but we actually have a more efficient alternative. Democrats just cut Medicare so they could mandate that we all have insurance! Some trade-off. . .
On the other hand, those of use who are younger have an obligation to our nation to make some sacrifices and get creative. I don’t see what incentive there is for my generation to continue on without reforming Medicare and Social Security if there isn’t going to be anything left for us. Our alternative is to continue funding these programs for “those in or near retirement” as Congressman Ryan puts it, and move towards a private system for younger generations. In my opinion, we have much more to gain from this type of alternative.
As Congressman Ryan’s proposed budget makes it clear, we have the choice between two drastically different futures for our nation. We can either continue down the current path, a path in which my generation and future generations are burdened with debt and nothing to show for it, or we can get serious about our nation’s real financial problems – unrestrained and out-dated entitlement programs.
I understand the political risks of being the brave one to talk about these programs, but I am glad the Republican Party decided to go first this time. Due to this type of leadership we will not only see our nation return to a sound financial standing, we will also see to it that everyone is taken care of as they age and we will ensure that there actually is a future for our children.