Press Release--Lewis Disappointed by President’s Proposal to Cut Defense, Ignore Mandatory Spending, Raise Taxes

For immediate release                                               Contact: Jim Specht (202) 225-5861

April 13, 2011                                                     


Lewis Disappointed by President’s Proposal to Cut Defense, Ignore Mandatory Spending, Raise Taxes


WASHINGTON – Congressman Jerry Lewis Wednesday expressed disappointment over the latest budget proposal from President Obama because it would raise taxes on small business, cut back on defense spending and do little to rein in the largest federal spending problem – mandatory entitlement programs.


“It is good to see the President engaged on trying to reduce our record $1.6 trillion deficit, especially since his original 2012 budget continued trillion-dollar deficits for years, and especially since he has fought at every turn against even modest reductions championed by the House this year,” Lewis said. “But his plan has almost nothing new – it raises taxes, attacks our support for the nation’s military, and does virtually nothing to reform entitlement spending. There is no question that this is a purely political budget plan.”


Lewis noted that the tax increases proposed by the president’s plan would hit small business hard, since nearly 75 percent of small business owners file their taxes as individuals. Congress agreed with the majority of Americans and rejected the idea of tax increases last year when the Administration opposed extensions of tax breaks.


“With unemployment still over 10 percent in California, we cannot afford to raise taxes on small businesses, which are the main engine of our economy,” Lewis said. “Republicans in Congress are ready to work with the administration on true tax reform, but simply raising taxes is not the answer.”


The president’s budget proposal would seek to find savings for Medicare by increasing the power of the bureaucrats in the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which will almost certainly lead to health care rationing and put a barrier between patients and their doctors, Lewis said. Rather than seriously consider the House Budget Committee’s innovative proposal to let Americans save health care costs through personalized choice and competition, the administration continues the drive toward government-run health care, he said.


Lewis said there is no question that Congress must encourage more efficient Pentagon spending and ensure that defense programs are effective and meet the needs of our men and women in uniform. But he warned the administration that it is a mistake to target defense spending to carry the main burden of reducing federal spending.


“You cannot eliminate the deficit by scrimping on support for our nation’s military – we have learned that lesson too many times before,” Lewis said. “You cannot issue a call to reduce the deficit, then spend all of  your time opposing every possible spending cut proposed by Congress.”