December 9, 1995
Web posted at: 2:10 p.m. EST
NICKLES: Good morning. I'm Senator Don Nickles from Oklahoma.
The president has talked a lot about his budget priorities over the last few weeks. As we continue to work to balance the budget in seven years, you need to know our priorities.
We believe in reducing Washington, D.C. spending and cutting taxes on families to encourage economic growth. We are fighting to guarantee the solvency of Medicare while giving seniors the right to have a say in their own health care decisions.
We believe in reforming an outdated welfare system that costs too much, undermines families, and discourages work. And we believe in moving power out of Washington and back to the American people and to the states.
Lately, Americans have heard too much rhetoric and too few facts about our efforts to balance the budget. Reality should replace rhetoric, so here are some facts to remember.
Compared to our plan, President Clinton's latest claim to balance the budget calls for much higher spending and higher taxes, and he never ever balances the budget.
The president wants your taxes higher, so big government can spend more of your money. We want the government to spend less so you can keep more of your money.
Now, we can't ignore the fact that Medicare is going bankrupt, and we have to save it. The rhetoric that you have heard is that we are cutting Medicare. The reality is that Medicare spending goes up, rising from $4,800 per beneficiary to over $7,200.
Now, that's a 50 percent increase. And when people in Washington call that a cut, they are only trying to scare you. As for a balanced budget, you know it has important benefits for you and your family.
President Clinton's veto of our balanced budget means an American family with a home loan, car loan, and student loan will pay about $2,500 more each year. The president's veto this week means higher taxes on 28 million families.
In fact, we eliminated income taxes on 3.5 million low-income families, but the president said no. The American people are asking us to put aside political differences and balance the budget -- now.
No excuses, no games, no tricks. Mr. President, you agreed to balance the budget in seven years with honest numbers. Let's get it done, and let's do it now.
BOEHNER: Don, that's exactly right. I'm Congressman John Boehner from West Chester, Ohio.
As Senator Nickles just said, the Republicans have an honest balanced budget, one that entirely eliminates the deficit in seven years. It's reasonable, it's responsible, and it's long overdue.
The president now claims to have a seven-year plan of his own. After months of foot-dragging and double talk, a few weeks ago, the president signed a law -- that is a law -- which said that he and Congress would approve an honest balanced budget by the end of the year.
After 18 days of delay, this week the president sent us a budget. One problem, though -- it's never in balance. It misses the mark by around $400 billion.
Despite what he promised, it seems the president just can't deliver, can't live with slowing the growth of Washington spending enough to honestly balance the budget.
If he didn't present a balanced budget, what did he do? President Clinton said no to using honest numbers to balance our budget. President Clinton said no to giving money and power back to states, local communities, and parents who know better how to spend it.
President Clinton said forget his campaign promise to change welfare as we know it and yes to continuing our failed welfare system.
What did the president say yes to? Unfortunately, it was more Washington spending, more Washington gimmicks, and more Washington phony numbers that never balance the budget.
I know you must be thinking, "But the president says he balanced the budget." Yes, he says he has a balanced budget, but as you know, the president says a lot of things. The only way we can ensure a prosperous America is by dealing with our spending problems honestly.
President Clinton likes to tell the American people that he wants a balanced budget. But the sad truth is he has never proposed a real balanced budget. And the only one he has ever seen -- the one passed by this Republican Congress -- he vetoed.
I am deeply troubled by this entire debate. Back in Ohio, when someone makes a promise, you can count on their word. This new Republican Congress promised we'd give America an honest balanced budget, and we kept our word.
Now, the president wants to put off balancing the budget until next year, just like politicians have done for the last 30 years. We believe the time to act is now.
No more Washington gimmicks, Mr. President. No more excuses. We have to balance the budget now, for our kids, for our country.
Thank you and have a good weekend.
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