Washington, D.C. – Sunday morning, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), a member of the Senate Finance and Budget Committees, appeared on Fox News Sunday to discuss the release of the President’s budget proposal next week.
“We’re looking at two things right now. One is incredibly slow economic growth – the slowest recovery we’ve had since World War II. We just saw that fourth quarter numbers were adjusted downward. So we know that last year’s growth was far below the year before. We also know that unemployment is extremely high. We know that we have record number of people on long-term unemployment. So our economy is hurting. The last two months’ jobs numbers were the worst we’ve had in three years. So we need economic growth, not new taxes. New taxes will make it harder to grow the economy. Second, we know, because the Congressional Budget Office just told us a week or so ago, that we have record levels of debt and growing levels of debt – another $10 trillion added to our debt in the next ten years. We get back up to a trillion dollars a year in deficits during that time period. So we know those two things. And, yet, the President is saying, ‘No, we’re going to put more taxes on the economy. We’re not going to deal with the debt and deficit.’”
“This is the most predictable economic crisis in the country’s history. We’ve got to deal with it. The President refuses to. If you look at his budget last year, it barely had deficit reduction relative to what would happen otherwise. In other words, there was a slight decrease in the deficit. You would hope there would be a significant one. But the only reason there was, was because he had a provision in there about a more accurate measure of inflation under the CPI and Social Security. We now hear that he’s actually going to take that out of the budget at a time when Social Security has a $63 billion short fall every year, at a time again when we were told by this nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office things are getting worse, not better. So if he takes that out, as he’s apparently going to do based on the leaks, because it’s a partisan political year, he’s not going to have any deficit reduction. In fact, he’s going to increase the debt and deficit. If that’s true…this is not responsible. This is not responsive to what is really happening in this economy.”
“Again, you look at what is happening in Ukraine. Also, look beyond Ukraine and look at what is happening in the South China Sea with China. Look at what is happening in the Middle East…Unfortunately, the United States is still in the position of having to lead around the world to avoid the kind of instability we see right now in Crimea. This is incredibly important that we get this right. Yes, I agree that we need to be sure we’re restraining spending and everything is on the table – waste, fraud, and abuse – every place including the Pentagon. But let’s not take the Army to those levels. I do think that it makes it more difficult for the United States to project force around the world.”