The White House, along with Congressional Republicans and Democrats, are continuing their efforts to break the gridlock in order to hammer out a long-range economic plan for the nation. In an interview Wednesday morning on MSNBC, South Carolina Congressman James Clyburn says his fellow Democrats, along with Republicans need to stop trying to fit an economic plan into a 10-year window. Clyburn says a more sensible time line would involve a 20-year window.
“Most experts I talk to tell me that the big savings come in years 13, 14 and 15. So if we were to see a change to the trajectory going out to 20 years, I do believe this would give us much better definition for both sides to find some comfort levels.”
The South Carolina Congressman made the remarks after U.S. House Republicans unveiled their plan to balance the federal budget in 10 years without increasing taxes. Most of the cutbacks would be done by overhauling “entitlement” programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Clyburn says drastic federal budget cuts within a 10 year period— especially in entitlement programs— are totally unacceptable. He says the proposal would ensure that stalemate continues in Washington.
“We Democrats cannot afford to see these draconian cuts in so-called entitlement programs and Republicans can’t seem to abide any significant rise in revenue,” he told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts on Wednesday.
Clyburn says lawmakers have to take into account the expected improvement in the economy beyond the next decade in order to hammer out a plan that will amount to a balanced approach. “We’ll get it from growth in the economy, but if the growth is not going to take place until years 12, 13, 14 and 15, why not incorporate that in our budget discussions and I really believe we will find some common ground upon which to build a budget going forward.”
Fellow South Carolina Congressman Tom Rice, a freshman Republican, was part of the GOP committee which drafted the budget proposal. In a statement, Rice said he believed the proposal was a responsible,”Not only does our budget balance by 2023, it also slows the growth of spending to 3.4%, instead of the current projections of 5%. At a time when hardworking American families are living off of a budget, the federal government should be no different.”