November 4, 1995
Web posted at: Nov. 5, 6:15 a.m. EST
Featured speakers were Sen. Pete Domenici, R-New Mexico, and Rep. John Kasich, R-Ohio.
KASICH: Pete, even before last year's elections, we promised that if the American people gave us the chance, we'd balance the budget in seven years. To live up to that pledge, the House and Senate are now working out the specifics of a plan that will bring more change to the way government operates than at any time in the last 60 years.
As you've said so many times, Pete, we're balancing the budget honestly, without gimmicks, without phony numbers, and without smoke and mirrors.
How are we doing it? Simply by slowing the growth in federal spending. I started arguing in 1989 that if we could just slow the growth of spending, just put Uncle Sam on a slight diet, we could balance the budget and provide a better future for the next generation.
Despite what our listeners have heard elsewhere, under our balanced budget plan, federal spending will actually increase each and every year through 2002.
In a nutshell, what we're doing over the next seven years is bringing down the rate of growth for federal spending to the point that, by 2002, government will spend no more than it takes in.
So while the federal government spent $9.5 trillion over the last seven years, our balanced budget plan allows it to spend about $12.2 trillion over the next seven years. That's almost a $3 trillion increase.
Let's look at some of the specifics. Medicare spending isn't being cut. It's increasing from $926 billion over the last seven years to about $1.6 trillion in the next seven.
Medicaid spending goes from $443 billion to about $785 billion over the same period. Spending on welfare increases, too, but at a slower rate, thanks to some common sense reforms.
And we're showing that you, indeed, can balance the budget and at the same time provide tax cuts for America's working families, as well as to spur economic growth.
It's disappointing to hear the President threaten to veto our work, even though he has, at various times, voiced support for its main components.
He's admitted the budget can be balanced in seven years. Well, we're doing that. He's called for welfare reform. We're doing that, too. In his campaign, the President said he wanted to cut taxes for America's families. We're doing exactly that.
And while he keeps saying he'll veto our plan, the President has not offered a balanced budget proposal of his own. He's had the opportunity to show leadership, but instead he's taken a pass.
Balancing the budget is not a matter of being a Republican or a Democrats, a liberal or a conservative. It's a matter of doing the right thing for America. In short, we're making the changes people across the country have called for over the years, but Washington has failed to deliver.
Pete, by keeping our word and balancing the budget, we'll go a long way toward ensuring that American's greatest legacy -- that our kids and grand-kids will be better off than we are - - will continue for generations to come.
DOMENICI: You're right, John. Balancing the budget will generate economic growth, create new family wage jobs and protect the American dream for all our citizens, young and old. and a balanced budget doesn't just mean a better future for our kids, it will put more money in the pockets of working Americans today.
It will mean lower interest rates, cheaper mortgages, lower car payments. With our budget in place, working Americans will have an easier time sending their kids to school or buying their first home.
Economists predict a balanced budget will result in a two-point drop in interest rates. That's $200 a year savings on the typical 10- year $10,000 loan or $2,000 over the life of the loan.
A family will save more than $2,500 a year on a $100,000 mortgage when the budget is balanced.
We have concluded that this budget will boost an average family's income and many studies concur. Other studies and evaluations indicate this balanced budget will create 2.4 million new jobs.
John, we began this debate by calling for unity in this effort. It was our hope that all of us, Republicans and Democrats alike, would work together in the bipartisan spirit, the American spirit, looking for our peoples future and for today.
But rather than cooperation, we have been met with confrontation. That's too bad. Opponents of this budget have employed every trick, every political maneuver, and every scare tactic to halt our march to a balanced budget.
The President says he doesn't like our budget. I understand that. But what Americans don't understand is how our President can honestly balanced the budget by spending more money.
Still, I believe there is hope. I am ready to meet with budget leaders at the White House any time, and I'm sure you are too John, so they might join with us and the White House in forming a new budget plan that gets us to a balance in seven years.
But, the ball is in their court. They have to bring something to the table. I'm ready to do it now -- today, tonight, this weekend. Yet, this administration said this week it won't negotiate anytime soon. Instead, it will wait in the wings to veto the balanced budget. Then, and only then, will they sit down to do the people's business.
But we can't be swayed by veto threats. We must continue to move forward.
Admiral Halsey told us, "There aren't great men. There are just great challenges that ordinary men like you and me are forced by circumstances to meet."
We face a great challenge. Let us -- ordinary men and women -- have the courage to meet that challenge and, in doing so, preserve America's promise of opportunity.
Thank you for listening.
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