WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading fiscal conservative in the U.S. Senate, today made the following statement after the Congressional Super Committee announced that it failed to reach an agreement that would result in $1.2 trillion in budget cuts:
“Today’s announcement that the deficit committee failed to come to an agreement to cut spending by $1.2 trillion is not surprising. Congressional Democrats and President Obama have consistently stated that they want significant tax increases to be a part of any solution to lower the deficit. There’s a simple problem with that approach: our country does not have a revenue problem; we have a spending problem. Our government’s addiction to runaway spending was just made crystal clear by the announcement that our national debt has topped $15 trillion. Over the next ten years, our nation is projected to spend $10.3 trillion on welfare spending, and with Obamacare expected to cost between $1.5 trillion and $2.5 trillion during the same time period, our debt will only continue to grow if we do not quickly reform our entitlement state. That is why I have joined with my Senate colleagues in supporting legislative measures that would reform our welfare entitlement programs and repeal Obamacare. Together, that could save well over $2.4 trillion in ten years. If we really want to cut our deficits and balance our budget – which is something we must do – then we should start by implementing these reforms and start the tough work of responsibly reforming Medicare and Social Security, which are on unsustainable paths as currently structured.
"We didn’t need a Super Committee in the first place, because it should be up to Congress to make these tough decisions. Now that the Super Committee has failed, we're faced with the possibility of automatic defense cuts that will threaten our national security in the near term and beyond. If implemented, the budget cuts would translate into real and unsustainable reductions to our military's size and capability. To avoid these painful, long term consequences, which will have a lasting impact for decades, we must reduce the size and trajectory of our entitlement state. I will continue to work with my colleagues to ensure that our budget is balanced without crippling our economy or our defense capabilities. Defense spending did not get us into our current fiscal crisis. Years of living without a balanced budget, endless bailouts, failed stimulus programs, and runaway entitlement spending are to blame. We already ask our nation’s fighting forces to pay a heavy price to defend our freedom while having billions in budget cuts. It is morally wrong for us to ask them to pay an even higher price to get us out of a mess they didn’t create."