Gosar: No give in spending debate

KINGMAN - U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Prescott, encouraged Kingman business owners to take a closer look at the federal budget Monday evening.

"As business owners you know we have a problem in Washington, D.C.," he said. "This year's budget deficit may be less, but that's because the president raised taxes."

Federal budgets proposed by the U.S. Senate and President Barack Obama are DOA, Gosar said, adding that he backs the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

Ryan's budget calls for replacing the current Medicare program with a voucher program in 2022 and increasing the eligibility age for Medicare to 67 in 2033. It would convert Medicaid to a grant program that would give a lump sum of money to the states each year. The budget also calls for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It would also reform the U.S. tax code and calls for reducing government spending from 12 percent of gross domestic product to 6 percent by 2021. Ryan's budget passed the U.S. House of Representatives but was defeated in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate budget calls for increased spending on infrastructure and increasing revenue by closing tax loopholes. The budget passed the Senate but is unlikely to pass the U.S. House.

"I can tell you that the Senate budget is dead on arrival when it reaches the House," Gosar said. "The House has the only balanced budget."

The federal government hasn't had a balanced budget since the Clinton administration.

President Obama's budget calls for additional spending on clean energy, infrastructure and employment programs. It increases funding for education and raises the minimum wage to $9 an hour. It also calls for decreasing the deficit by $1.8 trillion.

"The president's budget won't balance the budget in 10 years," Gosar said. "He keeps thinking the growth is going to come in solar technology and infrastructure. It's not. He doesn't understand. He's not a businessman."

The federal government has to reform the Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security programs in order to fix the debt, he said.

Gosar did not give a specific solution as to how the federal government could reform the three social programs, but suggested it would have to be done incrementally with the help of all parties involved.

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