Press Release P Ryan WI01: Paul Ryan on Fox and Friends – The Budget Battle is On
Paul Ryan on Fox and Friends – The Budget Battle is On
House Links: Paul Ryan (R-WI-1)i
February 8, 2012
Gretchen Carlson: The battle of the budget is on and many predict the fight is going to be especially nasty in the run-up to November’s elections. Democrats are already on the attack. Just take a look at this poster demonizing Republicans over proposed changes to Medicare and in a press release just last week Democratic spokesperson Jesse Ferguson said: “(House Republicans) made crystal clear they won’t back away from this ideological crusade to dismantle Medicare that seniors have paid into for a lifetime and depended on for generations. House Republicans will once again show their true priority is the ultra wealthy and will leave seniors to wither on the vine.” But the President is expected to release his own budget, which makes dramatic cuts in Medicare and Medicaid spending as well. Congressman Paul Ryan is the Chair of the House Budget Committee, good morning to you Congressman.
Congressman Paul Ryan: Hey, good morning Gretchen. How’re you doing this morning?
Gretchen: I’m doing just fine. There’s a lot of going back and forth there, but what do you make of where you are right now with your budget?
Congressman Paul Ryan: We’re used to this. This is what they do— the President and his party leaders’ rhetoric obviously never match up with their agenda. We’re going to put out another budget to save this country from a debt crisis. We want to get the economy growing by lifting the burden of debt off it. With respect to Medicare, let’s just remember the plan that we put out—and we’re going to be advancing more ideas as well—saves Medicare, strengthens Medicare. It doesn’t change Medicare for people over the age of 55 and saves it for future generations from bankruptcy. That is opposed to the President’s law, which puts 15 bureaucrats in charge of Medicare this year who are in charge of putting price controls on Medicare which leads to denied care for current seniors. So the President has a plan to raid and ration Medicare—still doesn’t save it from bankruptcy, that’s the law today. We get rid of the rationing, we stop raiding money from Medicare and we save it for not just this generation, but future generations and we make no changes for people age 55 and above. When the dust settles and the facts actually get out there, we think we’ll be fine.
More to the point, what’s disturbing about this is the President, from early press reports, is again not going to put a solution on the table to save us from a debt crisis. The Democrats, we hear, aren’t going to do a budget again. They didn’t pass one in 2010, they didn’t pass one in 2011 and now Senator Reid is saying they’re not going to budget again in 2012. The law says we have to budget every year; they’ve ignored it now for three years.
Gretchen: It’s hard to believe it’s already been a year, but I remember when you revealed your budget from last year and you had all those posters and graphs. You knew you were going to be annihilated for that, and then the President came out with his budget and it didn’t get one vote, did it?
Congressman Paul Ryan: No, it didn’t. It failed 97-0 in the Senate. Here’s the issue, Gretchen: If we are just afraid of demagoguery and attacks from the other side then that will paralyze us into doing nothing. We’re not afraid of that because we believe the country understands that we are in a really tough situation. We have a debt crisis on the horizon that will be just like Europe is right now.
We want to take on these issues, fix this problem before it gets out of our control and preempt a debt crisis so that nobody gets hurt. So that seniors can depend on these programs that they’ve organized their lives around. So we can get this economy growing by getting this debt under control. And by the way, all these tax increases that they keep talking about, they don’t actually go to reducing the deficit or the debt, they only fuel more spending in Washington and that is part of our problem, spending. So we just don’t see it that way.
Gretchen: Before I let you go, do you think we’re going to get back to talking about the debt crisis in this country? Because it seems like we talked about it a lot in 2011 when there were a lot of votes and trying to come up with solutions, but we haven’t discussed it recently.
Congressman Paul Ryan: I do, quite simply because this is budget season. The President is a week late but he’s coming out with his budget on Monday. We will do our budget in March, on time, before the deadline. The Senate obviously isn’t going to do a budget but this is what we call budget season so yes, we have no choice but to talk about these issues. More importantly Gretchen, look at Europe. They’re in the throes of a debt crisis. We’re just a couple of years behind them, so we have no choice but to talk about this because this really affects the destiny of America. Whether we’re going to be a prosperous society that keeps its promises to people or whether we’re going to have a debt crisis and keep sending empty promises to Americans.
Gretchen: That’s why the election is so important, coming up in 2012. Congressman Paul Ryan from Wisconsin, great to see you this morning.
Congressman Paul Ryan: You too.