RSC Chairman Jordan: "The Super Committee Failed. What Now?"

The chairman of the conservative, 180-member strong, Republican Study Committee in the United States House of Representatives, Congressman Jim Jordan, R-OH, blasted the Democrats for torpedoing any possible "Super Committee" agreement to cut over one trillion dollars from the $15 trillion debt.

Chairman Jordan said today, "Wednesday, the national debt topped $15 trillion for the first time in history. Our debt is now almost the same size as our entire economy. Greece and Italy were here not too long ago.   Two days later, 161 House Democrats voted against sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. Though 72 Democrats voted for the same balanced budget amendment in 1995, only 25 supported it last week, causing it to fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass."

The rest of the statement by Congressman Jim Jordan is directly below:

The Super Committee Failed. What Now?

What a week.

On Wednesday, the national debt topped $15 trillion for the first time in history. Our debt is now almost the same size as our entire economy. Greece and Italy were here not too long ago.

Two days later, 161 House Democrats voted against sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. Though 72 Democrats voted for the same balanced budget amendment in 1995, only 25 supported it last week, causing it to fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass.

Three days after that, the super committee officially closed up shop without making a deficit deal. Congress and President Obama decided to create this committee in August, rather than getting behind a real solution like Cut, Cap, and Balance. As many conservatives suspected, we ended up with neither a super committee deal, nor a real solution.

Our debt is driven by wasteful spending, lingering unemployment, and the exploding costs of health care safety net programs. President Obama himself admits that Medicare and Medicaid are some of the biggest drivers of our debt — not that Democrats have done anything to save them.

Republicans have spent all year trying to solve these three problems, only to meet resistance from liberals devoted to an ever-growing government.

In super committee negotiations, our members made a good faith effort to find bipartisan ways to cut spending in a town that has only balanced its budget five times in the past 50 years. Some on the super committee even tried to entice liberals to cooperate by offering as much as $300 billion in higher taxes — something I and many other conservatives opposed.

But there were never enough tax hikes to make the Democrats happy. They demanded tax hikes that would transfer at least another $1 trillion from producers to politicians, allowing the spending spree to continue.

In the end, this super committee exercise proved that the liberal appetite for bigger government and higher taxes outweighs everything else.

Now, automatic sequestration is scheduled to begin in January 2013, taking a $1.2 trillion bite out of future spending over 10 years. The defense budget — one of the few places where the federal government is actually supposed to spend money — takes a serious hit, especially in the first few years. But in true Washington fashion, the rest of the “automatic spending cuts” aren’t cuts at all. They’re just spending that grows a little slower than before.

We’re going broke faster than we’re slowing spending. Experts agree we need to reduce spending by $4 trillion just to stabilize the debt. Actually solving the problem and eliminating the debt will take a whole lot more. Without robust job creation and economic growth, however, balancing the budget will forever remain a dream. At the same time, we must reform our health care safety net in order to save it from collapse.

So what now? Here are a few suggestions.

— H.R. 3400, the Jobs Through Growth Act, cuts through red tape, creates a simpler and fairer tax code, and tears down barriers to energy production. In short, it will create jobs by growing our economy, not the government.

— H.R. 1167, the Welfare Reform Act, builds upon the successful reforms of 1996, paves the way to find efficiencies in the maze of 70+ federal welfare programs, and returns welfare spending to pre-recession levels once unemployment falls to 6.5%. Sen. Jim DeMint and other conservatives introduced a companion bill in the Senate just last week.

— H.R. 408, the Spending Reduction Act, targets more than 100 unnecessary programs within Washington’s alphabet soup and saves taxpayers over $2 trillion in the next decade.

— H.R. 2560, the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act, saves about $6 trillion. It cuts spending immediately, caps it in future years, and requires Congress to send a balanced budget amendment to the American public before any increase in the debt limit. And yes, at this rate, Washington will run into the debt limit again.

— The RSC Budget for FY 2012 goes all the way, saving $9 trillion and balancing the budget in nine years without raising taxes. Perhaps most importantly, it institutes reforms to protect seniors and help save our health care safety net programs so they don’t fail the very people who need them most.

I am absolutely confident that we can solve these problems, and I give thanks every day that my country still abounds with freedom and opportunity. The conservatives in the Republican Study Committee have blazed a path for the future. Congress should follow it.