Using two charts to illustrate his points about the federal budget, U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman told some 110 people at Thursday's Republican Lincoln Day dinner in Decatur that the GOP plan keeps the budget under control, but the Democratic plan will double the national debt to $28 trillion.
Stutzman, speaking at the Knights of Columbus Pavilion, reported that, last year, the federal government received $2 trillion in revenues, but spent $3.5 trillion. He called that situation "a predictable catastrophe." Therefore, he said, reducing the budget is a requirement and that includes military appropriations, some of which he said the current defense secretary, a Republican named Robert Gates, is proposing.
However, he added, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Republican John Boehner, "is in a very tough position" in regard to President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The problem in Washington, D.C., said Stutzman, is that too many people in the U.S. government "spend without any thought for tomorrow."
Stutzman, elected last November to fill the seat formerly held by Mark Souder after Stutzman served a number of years in the Indiana General Assembly, said the Republican budget plan does not do away with Medicare or Social Security, although he said Medicare "may look different" for those age 54 and under if that plan is put into effect.
The Republican budget concept, he noted, continues Medicare without any changes for those aged 55 and older.
The problem the nation faces, said Stutzman, is paying off the national debt and balancing the budget. In Indiana, he remarked, Republican leaders balanced the budget and eliminated the debt.
He described his years in the state legislature as "a very valuable asset" for his new job and referred to Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is mulling a presidential bid, by saying, "We could use President Daniels in Washington very, very badly."
Stutzman said of Republicans, "We believe in people rather than government" and commented that, at the national level, "there are too many hands in the cookie jar."
He observed that Japan recently cut its corporate tax from 38 percent to 25 percent, which means, he said, that the U.S. has "the highest tax rate in the world" on businesses.
The 2012 elections, he said, will give the voters "two clear choices: "debt, despair, and big government" versus more rights for people, more competition, and greater national energy production.
"People are looking for leadership," Stutzman stated, and the nation is "at a crossroads" in regard to the roles of local, state, and federal government.
According to Congressional redistricting this year, Stutzman will have Adams County in his Third District next year. At present, the county is in the Sixth District, represented by Mike Pence.