PICKENS COUNTY – President Obama’s budget proposals are “ludicrous and a non-starter,” in the eyes of U.S. Rep Jeff Duncan, 3rd District, (R).
He believes the budgeting process needs a “discussion” of the spending on what is seen as mandated expenditures, including limits on the length of benefits for unemployment, welfare and work requirements for benefits.
Duncan made the comments in an interview last week following the resignation of U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint. He said DeMint, whom he described as “a mentor and a wonderful man,” will be missed for his conservative views in the Senate.
DeMint has accepted the role as president of the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Duncan said he shares DeMint’s views on limited government, free markets and individual liberties.
“We have to look at the drivers of those spending mandates,” Duncan said. “We have control over about $1.47 trillion in spending.” That is just under a tenth of the $16.27 trillion federal deficit that is growing at an estimated $3.87 billion per day, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
The limited value of cuts to discretionary spending means that the budget negotiations must include a discussion of deeper cuts.
“The president says that we should raise taxes now and discuss these spending cuts later,” Duncan said. He doubts the cuts would come.
As for spending that he would like to see cuts come in he said, “How about 99 weeks of unemployment. It had been set at the 26 weeks at the state level, and the president creates the mandate to extend it.”
Welfare benefits and the triggers allowing are another concern. “I don’t have the numbers in my head but grown tremendously. He (the president) did away with the work requirement for benefits. That is turning temporary assistance into permanent assistance.”