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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

President Obama's budget proposal stirs unease in Florida



President Barack Obama sent Congress a $3.73 trillion budget Monday that holds out the prospect of eventually bringing deficits under control through spending cuts and tax increases. But the fiscal blueprint largely ignores his own deficit commission's plea to slash huge entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare. (more from AP here)

Here's the reaction from Florida:

Sen. Marco Rubio: "Sadly, the President has missed a golden opportunity to have an adult conversation with the American people about the seriousness and urgency of our debt crisis. The President’s budget falls far short of tackling our national debt in a serious way.  Although we face a $1.6 trillion deficit and a staggering national debt that exceeds $14 trillion, the President’s proposal would add $7.2 trillion of new debt over the next ten years. The fact that the President’s ten year proposed 'savings' is less than this year’s budget deficit alone is proof that this is a budget that cannot be taken seriously."

Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Brooksville: "The President made a lot of noise when he created his deficit commission and then got quiet when they demanded he do something about it. The time for big talk and empty gestures has passed. House Republicans promised America we would address the situation, and we’re doing just that."

Sen. Bill Nelson: “I’m tired of all the critics that keep blasting away at budgets when in fact they offer no real solution and really haven’t done any cutting themselves.  At least the president’s budget is a step in the right direction in trying to get this country turned around, to really do something about lowering the deficit and cutting all of this wasteful spending.”

Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge: “After the Administration let NASA flounder for the past two years, a flawed NASA authorization bill was finally agreed to and signed into law. Now the Administration is proposing to ignore this law, placing a higher priority on global warming research and making cuts to the next generation launch vehicle,” said Posey. “Over two years ago, the President promised to close the space gap, but now he seems intent on repeating the events that created the space gap in the first place – putting in place a new rocket design and then trying to underfund the effort, ensuring that it will never happen and ceding American leadership in space to China and Russia.”

Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers: ‘President Obama didn’t hear the voters, and definitely didn’t hear the voters of my district last November who made clear that liberal government spending is out of control and before we even consider raising the debt ceiling as the President desires, drastic spending cuts must be made.  It’s a complete outrage that under the President’s proposed budget the national debt will balloon to $26.3 trillion in 2012 from its current level of $14.1 trillion, an 86.5 percent increase.  Already this year the national debt will grow to $15.4 trillion, which is larger than the entire economy.  As leader of the REPEAL Taskforce in the U.S House I have called for the repeal of ObamaCare and Davis-Bacon as a good start in curbing government spending.”

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Miami: President Obama’s budget neglects the fiscal and economic challenges facing our country. Instead, he proposes continued runaway spending and borrowing that will only accelerate us into bankruptcy. The President’s budget proposes we head down the same unsustainable path we have been on for the past two years, resulting in record high unemployment and unprecedented debt and deficit. If families are forced to ‘live within their means,’ the federal government should do the same; yet, Obama’s budget sets $8.7 trillion aside in new spending and calls for a job-crushing $1.6 trillion tax hike on families, small businesses, and job creators.

Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Orlando: “Not only does the President’s budget lead us further into debt, it is misguided in its approach, increasing funding for climate change research instead of programs that create jobs like human spaceflight. This further highlights his inability to adequately address what the country’s economic priorities should be. We have an obligation to our children and grandchildren to address our country’s economic problems now instead of continuing to kick the can down the road. While the President’s budget proposal is just that, a proposal, it will be up to the Republican-led House to pass fiscally responsible appropriations bills that fund the federal government.  In order to create jobs and get the economy back on track, it is imperative that the focus remains on cutting spending, keeping taxes low and reforming the government.”

“At a time when American families are struggling to do more with less, President Obama has determined that the best way to strengthen our economy is through more spending, taxes and debt.  Doubling down on bad fiscal policy is not the way to grow the economy, create jobs or reduce the crushing burden of debt on our children and grandchildren.  Quite simply, the President does not get it and he is not listening to the American people.
Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City: “In response to the President’s failure to lead on issues of fiscal accountability, I have joined my House Republican colleagues in demanding a common sense agenda that cuts spending, lowers taxes and reduces our exploding deficits.  Budgetary Band-Aids will not fix our economy when we are hemorrhaging from overspending.  As hardworking North and Northwest Floridians responsibly restrain their own spending, it is time for Washington to follow suit and launch an all-out assault on the debt, which poses the greatest threat to America’s future.”

Rep. Rich Nugent, R-Brooksville: “We simply don’t have a choice anymore - America either hits the iceberg or we change course now.  An economy the size of ours doesn’t turn on a dime. The President made a lot of noise when he created his deficit commission and then got quiet when they demanded he do something about it.  The time for big talk and empty gestures has passed.  House Republicans promised America we would address the situation and we’re doing just that.”

[Last modified: Tuesday, February 15, 2011 11:14am]


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