Cole: Spending Cuts and Revenue Not Enough
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) pressed Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the necessity of entitlement reform to balance the budget. During a hearing of the House Budget Committee on Thursday, Cole asked Bernanke if a combination of revenue increases and spending cuts would be sufficient to address long-term structural debt. In response to Bernanke's admission that Congress "could cut discretionary spending pretty close to zero and not solve the problem in the long term," Cole released the following statement:
"The CBO report should be a wake-up call that discretionary spending cuts alone will not save us from a catastrophic debt crisis. While CBO projects a slow decline in discretionary spending, mandatory spending for Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security continues to grow.
"One year after President Obama refused to endorse the recommendations of his own debt commission, the Republican budget remains the only comprehensive legislation to address long-term entitlement reform. The negligence of the Obama administration and congressional Democrats on this crucial issue is unacceptable.
"We must move forward on meaningful entitlement reforms before it's too late."
Cole serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Appropriations Committee.