Members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation are not seeing eye to eye on the federal budget.
First District Republican Paul Ryan (R-WI) released his proposed federal budget Tuesday; a package U.S. Representative Ron Kind (D-WI) referred to as a “bad April Fool’s joke.” The Democrat from the state’s Third District says “The Republican budget that just came out fails on all fronts. They’re talking about drastic cutting in job training programs, huge cuts in the Pell Grant program, which goes to low and medium income students, over $125 billion in cuts. This will only drive our students further into debt, and right now, student loan is over a trillion dollars exceeding credit card debt.”
The Ryan proposal cuts $5.1 trillion in government spending. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the proposed deficit reduction would boost the economy. As a result of commonsense spending restraint and much needed economic growth, the budget balances in ten years and starts paying down the debt.
Ryan says, “This is a plan to balance the budget and create jobs, and it builds off a simple fact: We can’t keep spending money we don’t have. This budget provides relief for families. Too many Americans struggle to make ends meet, while Washington continues to live beyond its means.”
Kind disagrees, saying government should be doing more for job creation. “Address the skills gap that has opened up in our economy with businesses that are expanding right now. We should be investing in broadband expansion, and we need a major infrastructure modernization program in the 21st century so we’re establishing the foundation for sustained, long term economic growth.”
Republicans and Democrats both acknowledge a need to address the skills gap. Kind believes the government can do a better job of this.
Congressman Ryan’s budget plan is scheduled for mark ups in the House Budget Committee Wednesday. He says it would balance the budget and begins to pay down the debt within ten years, grow the economy, cut government spending by $5.1 trillion over ten years, strengthen national security and the Medicare program, and repeal The Affordable Care Act known as Obamacare.
Kind says repealing Obamacare is a mistake. “Perhaps the most cynical aspect of this budget, is it contains all of the cost savings that’s embodied in the Affordable Care Act right now. They pocket it, while still claiming to repeal the Affordable Care Act, so they’re trying to have it both ways, and it’s not only hypocritical, it’s disingenuous.”