Updated at 4:09 p.m.
President Obama's budget proposal ignores the government's dire fiscal straits, Republicans on Capitol Hill are saying. Here's a running list of reactions put forth by top congressional Republicans today after Obama released his budget proposal this morning:
Senate Minority Leader Mich McConnell (Ky.)--from a Senate floor speech:
"Earlier today, President Obama showed the American people just how he intends to spend their tax dollars, and how much more he intends to borrow, to fund his vision of the future. And it's a huge disappointment to those in both parties who were hoping the President would take this opportunity to address the grave and imminent fiscal crises we face. The President's budget is the clearest sign yet he simply does not take our fiscal problems seriously.
"It is a patronizing plan that says to the American people that their concerns are not his concerns.
"It's a plan that says fulfilling the President's vision of a future of trains and windmills is more important than a balanced checkbook.
"It's a plan that asks our children to pay for an imaginary vision of the future that may or may not come about by adding trillions to a debt that will be very real to them indeed.
"The President's budget comes in at close to a thousand pages. The people who voted for a new direction in November have a five-word response: We don't have the money.
"We don't have the money.
"Americans have been asking a crucial question as we approached this debate: how do we get back to balance, how we get to a place where Washington spends less than it takes in? And the simple fact about this budget is that the President and all his advisors couldn't come up with a single year in the next 10 where we do that.
"That's the key question in this debate, but it's the one question that the President and all of his advisors don't seem to have been the least bit interested in.
"The White House wants us to engage in a debate this week about percentage cuts at this or that agency, about multi-year projections and CBO scores. It all misses the point. The real point is this: We're broke. We don't have the money.
"Look: there's a time to experiment with high-flown plans and to test theories. But you have the balance the checkbook first. You have to be able to afford it. The American people get that. This administration doesn't seem to.
"After two years of failed Stimulus programs and Democrats in Washington competing to outspend each other, we just can't afford to do all the things the administration wants.
"The President has said he wants us to `Win the Future.' But this budget abdicates the future. It spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. It says that the President does not have the will or the ability to do what we need to do with the money that we have. But that's precisely what the Americans are demanding that we do.
"Americans reject the idea that they have to live with another 13 trillion dollars in debt to fund the President or anyone else's vision of the future.
"This budget was an opportunity for the President to lead. He punted. It only pretends to do the things people want. And the reaction we've seen from across the political spectrum so far today suggests that nobody's buying it.
"The President may be determined to keep spending levels at the current high levels -- high levels he put in place -- in the hope that people will get used to them. But he's clearly misread a public that has had enough.
"We must live within our means. We must begin to do the difficult but necessary work of reining in a government that has grown beyond our ability to pay for it. We must acknowledge the mistakes of the past two years and work to correct them.
"The Stimulus failed. This budget says `Do it again.'
"The President has already added more than 3 trillion dollars to the debt as we lost another three million jobs. This budget says let's add more debt and see if we get a different result.
"The President had an opportunity to cut domestic spending from the 25 percent he's increased it since he came into office. Instead, he locked it in place.
"He had an opportunity to start to pay down the tremendous burden of debt that he's added over the past two years. He wants to increase it instead.
"He had an opportunity to work with Republicans on reforming long-term entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. He took a pass.
"This is a status quo budget at a time when serious action is needed.
"This is business as usual at a time when bold, creative solutions are needed.
"This is not an I-got-the-message budget. It's unserious, and it's irresponsible.
"We need to look for ways to preserve what's good that does not put us on path to bankruptcy. That was the challenge of this budget. The administration failed the test.
"After years of overspending by both parties, it's time to make tough choices, just as any family does when times are tough, even among very good things. We have to cut even from programs that are good, as difficult as it is, recognizing that the values we are fighting for in this debate are more fundamental than the survival of any one program. We need to face that fact that we don't have the money. It is not an American value to borrow from others to pay for programs we don't need and can't afford. And it is not an American value to put off tough decisions because you refuse to say no to things you want.
"If there's any good news in this debate, it's that we're finally beginning to talk about how much to cut in this town instead of how much to spend.
"But we're going to need more people to join the fight.
"We'll need Democrats to join us.
"Above all, we need a President who gets it.
"And this President clearly does not get it yet."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.):
"President Obama says he wants to win the future, but the future will not be won by repeating the mistakes of the past and failing to live up to our responsibilities in the present. The future will be won by bold and honest leadership that addresses our challenges head on.
"Today, the President missed a unique opportunity to provide real leadership by offering a budget that fails to address the grave fiscal situation facing our country. At a time when unemployment is too high and economic growth is elusive in part because of the uncertainty created by our skyrocketing debt, we need serious reforms that will help restore confidence so that people can get back to work. We need a government that finally does what every other American has to do in their households and their businesses, and that's to live within our means. Instead, President Obama's budget doubles down on the bad habits of the past four years by calling for more taxes, spending and borrowing of money that we simply do not have.
"President Obama has used tough rhetoric about the need to get our fiscal house in order, even assembling a bipartisan commission to address entitlement spending which accounts for more than half of our federal budget including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Unfortunately, the President again failed to put action behind his words by neglecting to even acknowledge these tough issues that everyone knows drive up our debt and must be reformed if they are to meet their obligations for younger Americans.
"As our government continues to borrow forty cents of every dollar that it spends, our Democrat colleagues have offered no credible plan to get Americans back to work or seriously address our debt. In contrast, House Republicans are fully committed to using every tool at our disposal so that we can boost long-term economic confidence and help businesses to grow. And this week we will cut at least $100 billion of wasteful spending, a first step toward getting our fiscal house in order.
"For years, Democrats have proposed more government spending to create jobs, resulting in the largest debt and deficits in history while unemployment remains too high. Republicans believe in free markets and the ability for small businesses and entrepreneurs to keep more of their own money so they can invest, grow their companies and hire employees. This is the difference, and it will be clearly evident in the coming weeks as Chairman Paul Ryan and House Republicans introduce our own budget, one that addresses the challenges we face so that our children have the same hope, opportunity, and ability to achieve that our parents gave to us and their parents to them."
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus:
"The President's budget reflects a complete lack of seriousness about our present fiscal crisis. If this is our generation's Sputnik moment, then the White House clearly hasn't gotten the message. Three months after receiving a 'shellacking' at the voting booth, Democrats insist on the same failed policies of more spending, more taxes, and more borrowing. Already House Republicans have set a new tone in Washington by committing to $100 billion in spending cuts. If we are serious about cutting the size of government and creating jobs, it is going to require real leadership from this White House. It is not enough for President Obama to 'talk the talk.' The American people want and deserve a President who will 'walk the walk.'"
House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (Texas):
"The American people are suffering trillion-dollar deficits and historic, dream-destroying debt because Washington spends too much, not because the American people are taxed too little. The deficits and debt are symptoms. Spending is the disease.
"For the third year in a row, President Obama's budget should have been printed in red ink instead of black. His budget clings to a failed economic theory that our nation can spend, borrow, bail out, and tax its way back to prosperity. We can't. We cannot continue borrowing almost forty-two cents on the dollar, most of it from the Chinese, and sending the bill to our children and grandchildren.
"It is disappointing to the American people that as families are struggling to pay their mortgages, pay their health care premiums and send their kids to college, President Obama would add to their hardships with more job-destroying spending, taxes and historic levels of debt.
"After two consecutive years of trillion dollar deficits -- with another on the way -- and 21 months of at least 9 percent unemployment, the time has come to permanently change the out-of-control spending culture of Washington. In order to help Americans get back to work and allow small businesses to thrive, we need to respect the will of the American people and cut spending and stop borrowing from our children and grandchildren's futures.
"House Republicans are taking one of the first steps to do that this week when bring H.R. 1 to the floor, which will save more than $182 billion over the next twelve months."
Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.):
"Despite all the talk of fiscal discipline, the president's budget is nothing more than more borrowing, more spending and more taxes and will do little to put our fiscal house in order or put Americans back to work.
"Under the president's budget, the American people will face a $1.6 trillion tax hike on families, small businesses and job creators, $8.7 trillion in new spending and an additional $13 trillion added to the debt over the next ten years. Merely freezing current spending levels will not get the debt or deficit under control and increasing taxes will not get anyone hired.
"For the sake of our children and future generations, we must reject the fiscal recklessness and unsustainable path outlined in the President's budget and come together around the principles of fiscal discipline and reform and put our fiscal house in order."
Thumbnail photo credit: AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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