So taking the Vice President at his word, let's take a look at the priorities demonstrated by the Senate Democrat budget and the House budget crafted by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
What priority is placed on actually having federal budgets that balance -- granted a rather quaint idea these days? The Ryan Budget balances after ten years. The Senate-passed Murray budget balances... well... never. Apparently, Senate Democrats have no "priority" to reduce federal government overspending, only to increase tax revenues.
The Ryan Budget does not increase taxes on American families or businesses. The Senate Democrat budget increases taxes by $1.5 trillion over ten years. It's important to note that the fiscal cliff deal from December raised taxes by $620 billion, as income-based rates went up for select Americans and the payroll tax increased for everyone blessed enough to hold a job. Remember also that ObamaCare's taxes are now starting to kick in so there's a medical device tax, increased Medicare taxes and new business taxes for many Americans. But, on top of all these tax hikes already in place, Senate Democrats have made raising additional taxes a "priority" in their budget.
But, let's be fair to the President and Vice President on the budget. By "priority" they mean spending tax dollars to supposedly show their compassion for fellow Americans in need. For them, bigger budget allowances equate to a bigger heart. But does their logic really hold up to scrutiny? Food stamp spending under their administration has gone up by 108 percent, ostensibly suggesting they care more about poor Americans. In reality though, nearly two years after the “recovery summer,” food stamp spending and poverty levels continue to remain incredibly high. If their "priority" truly is helping poor Americans then they should consider the ways in which their policies are failing to help our fellow citizens climb up out of poverty.
The fact is, ultimately the budget process is not just about numbers, but about American families. The decisions made in Washington directly impact your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.
If we consider the Senate Democrat budget in its proper light we discover it actually hurts our seniors and those nearing retirement by undermining the safety net programs on which they rely and devaluing their savings. It hurts students by depriving them of the opportunity to find a good, paying job and limits what they will be able to take home. Finally, this budget hurts our entrepreneurs and small business owners who create jobs and are critical to a functioning economy.
Our elderly on fixed incomes are facing a sort of economic double jeopardy: rising costs of staples like food and energy combined with the looming bankruptcy of entitlement programs they paid into throughout their lives. The Social Security and Medicare Boards of Trustees estimate that the Medicare Hospital Insurance Fund will be exhausted in 2024, and Social Security will be bankrupt by 2036. These programs are facing severe challenges yet the Senate Budget telegraphs that all is well.
As the roster of Medicare recipients continues to grow, the younger generation is left to fund these entitlements they cannot afford. Medicare is quickly becoming irretrievably bankrupt. But if Congress were to act today to address the problems of Medicare and Social Security, benefits for the elderly could be saved while keeping the funds solvent for years to come.
The Ryan budget includes serious and substantive reform that could preserve the future of these critical social programs. The Senate Democrat budget once again comes up short on a critical priority.
Our nation’s college students are grappling with a new harsh reality; a stagnant job market. In January of this year, the unemployment rate for Millennials, those born in the mid 80’s, increased to more than 13 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Higher unemployment rates have become the norm, as government expansion and overspending has crowded out hiring and innovation in the private sector. Young people are hurt now and in the future. Current budget "priorities" are dooming our young to chronic under-employment and stagnant earning power combined with ever higher taxes to pay for accumulating government debt and failing entitlement programs.
Small Business Owners and Employees
Small business owners and employees also suffer under the Senate Democrat budget. First, the ObamaCare regulations funded by their budget will cost these businesses billions of dollars while resulting in literally millions of small business employees being dumped into an already failing health-care bureaucracy. The Society of Actuaries estimates that insurance premiums will go up 30 percent, which for small businesses is on top of the payroll tax increase from January.
But it doesn’t stop there; the Senate budget takes another bite from both businesses and employees. Federal subsidies for expensive renewable energies like wind and solar mean higher energy prices for businesses. In turn owners will have a harder time pricing goods competitively versus foreign corporations, and workers will be left with less take-home pay.
So the President and Vice President can continue to point to their bigger spending as evidence of their supposed moral superiority. However, Americans should ask themselves if it is "moral" for more and more Americans to be trapped in the web of poverty, unemployment, lower wages and less opportunity that is being spun by the budget "priorities" of this administration.
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