Kentucky’s junior senator, Republican Rand Paul, today unveiled his FY2013 budget, "A Platform to Revitalize America," a plan that would balance the budget in five years, significantly reduce spending, and restore fiscal order to Washington. Billed as “the only budget proposal that balances within the Balanced Budget Amendment window,” the measure is supported by all 47 Republican Senators.
At a press conference in the U.S. Capitol this afternoon, Sen. Paul was joined by co-sponsors Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), where he laid out the details of his plan, which would bring spending below historical average in the very first year. Following the press conference, Sen. Paul issued the following statement.
"Americans deserve not only to have the debt reduced, but to have every taxpayer dollar spent more wisely. While Washington continues to spend recklessly and ignore the ever-growing deficit, I am offering a plan that will address this country's looming debt crisis in a truly timely manner - balancing the budget in just five years," Sen. Paul said. "The time has come for a change that will restore fiscal order in this country, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that this happens."
"The biggest problem facing the nation right now is the out-of-control spending and borrowing. The Budget Control Act doesn't address the underlying problems, and it's been well over 1,000 days since Senate Democrats passed a budget. I stand behind anyone who is willing to confront this issue through a serious proposal that will put us on the path toward a balanced budget," Sen. Lee said.
"This balanced budget makes the commonsense decision that we've got to stop spending more than we're bringing in," said Senator DeMint. "Already, what was once considered unthinkable has occurred: the creditworthiness and economic outlook of the United States of America has been downgraded. This is more than a national embarrassment, it's an indication that the world is losing confidence in America's ability to pay our bills and of our government to change course. This budget shows we can stop the debt crisis, improve our economy, expand freedom, and secure the future for our children and grandchildren."
Sen. Paul’s proposed budget significantly reduces spending relative to both the President's budget and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline. It also brings spending below the historical average of 19.6 percent of GDP in the first year, eventually reaching sustainable levels below historic revenues. Based on current CBO baseline, the budget would spend $8 trillion less over the next 10 years.
The Platform to Revitalize America purports to:
- Bring federal spending below historical average in very first year
- Reduce spending by nearly $11 trillion relative to the President's budget
- Achieve a $111 billion surplus in FY2017
- Remain in surplus after initial balance, pays off $2 trillion of national debt in 10-year window
- Include entitlement reform for Medicare and Social Security
Additionally, the proposal promises to:
- Maintain block-grants Medicaid, SCHIP, foods stamps, and child nutrition
- Preserve Social Security and fix trust fund over 75 years
- Preserve Medicare by giving all seniors the same health care plan as Members of Congress
- Reduce most discretionary spending to FY2008 levels
- Eliminate FY2013 Defense sequester cuts
- Freeze foreign aid spending at $5 billion per year
- Defund duplicative or wasteful agencies and programs
- Sell off excess federal properties and land
- Eliminate the Davis-Bacon prevailing wages provisions
- Liquidate government ownership of "bailout" companies
- Privatize Transportation Security Agency
- Repeal Obamacare and Dodd-Frank
- Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil and gas exploration
- Permit the Keystone XL Pipeline project
Sen. Paul proposes to eliminate the following:
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Education (preserves Pell grants)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of Energy (transfers nuclear research and weapons to Department of Defense)
Sen. Paul’s budget provides a number of incentives to increase investment. By allowing Americans and businesses to keep more of their money, the sponsors hope to quicken the pace of deleveraging, allowing the economy to find its equilibrium, facilitating growth and employment. As a major tax reform initiative, the budget proposes a 17 percent flat tax for individuals and corporations.
Some major changes in the Social Security program are also included in Sen. Paul’s budget proposal; including a gradual increase in the retirement age and progressive indexing. The budget also includes reform of Medicare through the Congressional Health Care for Seniors Act. This reform will provide seniors with better health care at a lower cost to the senior and to the taxpayers. Seniors will receive the same health insurance as their Members of Congress, at lower out-of-pocket cost.
Other changes in Social Security include:
- Increase the retirement age over time, protecting beneficiaries
- Progressive Indexing, slowing the growth of benefits for high-income and increasing benefits for low-income individuals
- Gives all seniors the same health care plan as Members of Congress
Review Sen. Paul’s Platform to Revitalize America:
Louisville.com 's The Arena section features opinions from active participants in the city's politics. Their viewpoints are not those of Louisville.com (a website is an inanimate object and, as such, has no opinions). The Arena is read by more people in Louisville than in any other city in America.