‘We have run out of road to kick the can down’

    Editor’s note: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) gave the Republican Party’s weekly radio address over the weekend. The following is the text of that address.

    Hello – I’m Paul Ryan – I work for the people of Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District and I serve as the top Republican on the House Budget Committee.  Yes, Congress does have a budget committee, but I’m afraid it hasn’t been very busy this year.

    In fact, this week the House Majority Leader announced that Democrats are canceling this year’s budget.  Instead of reining in out-of-control spending that has pushed our national debt past $13 trillion, Democrats have made clear their intention to raise taxes on middle-class families to fuel their continued spending spree.

    Talk about a recipe for disaster: Democrats are offering no budget, no priorities, and no restraints – yet all their taxing, borrowing, and spending continues unchecked.

    With this budget failure – a first in the modern era – Democrats are missing a critical opportunity to provide the fiscal discipline economists say is needed to create private-sector jobs and boost our economy.  This unprecedented budget collapse also sends a clear signal to American families struggling to meet their own budgets that Washington still doesn’t recognize the severity of its spending problem.

    Democrats say their decision is about what’s best for the future of our country.  It’s not.  With the political season upon us, Democratic leaders believe it’s better to take a pass than to pass a budget.  While Americans ask ‘where are the jobs?,’ they seem content to simply run out the clock and let their borrowing binge continue to drain resources from our economy.

    The debt is on track to exceed the size of our entire economy in the next 18 months.  We have run out of road to kick the can down.  If this is really about the future of our country, then leaders should make the tough choices they promised they would, put moral obligation before political expedience, and focus on what’s in the best interests of the next generation, not the next election.

    This is a time to make tough choices, not run from them.  To that end, Republicans on the Budget Committee have already identified $1.3 trillion in specific spending cuts we would implement right now to make Washington do more with less and help small businesses put people back to work.  These are specific, common-sense ideas, such as canceling unspent TARP bailout funds and ‘stimulus’ money, that would help us focus on creating more jobs, not more debt.  We also propose reducing federal employment and freezing government pay.  Instead of growing government, we need to restart the engine of economic growth.

    Of course, this is just a starting point. Much more needs to be done to set our nation on a sustainable economic course.  We need to start reining in unnecessary spending now so that we can boost the economy and work together to address our nation’s long term fiscal challenges.

    It is our shared responsibility to take on the challenges before us to make sure that our kids and our grandkids have a better life. Let’s begin this important work today.  Let’s make certain we do not simply retreat to the same failed policies.  Let’s make the tough, forward-looking choices that will restore the promise and prosperity of this exceptional nation – and let’s do it together.

    Thanks for listening.

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