Rep. Paul Ryan's budget creates jobs, lowers taxes on small businesses, controls spending and reduces crippling debt. In 2040, this budget will produce a surplus and our nation will begin repaying debt.
We must cut the budget or our nation will cease to exist. Raising taxes in this economy will hasten us to that end. But while I agree with the majority of the Republican budget proposal, I would not vote for the plan without key changes.
I'm satisfied the Ryan budget will provide for the common defense while avoiding a tax hike on Western New Yorkers. The plan does this in part by cutting funding for diplomacy and foreign aid. I support that.
The Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station is essential to our national defense, and the Ryan budget can save its 997 jobs. Rep. Kathleen C. Hochul supports deeper defense cuts that may force the closure of the air base. I do not.
On the domestic spending front, Ryan keeps Social Security solvent without touching it by achieving other savings, and I support that.
Medicaid should be put "on budget" to control spending. The GOP plan puts $260 billion in Medicaid state block grants, but we must also assure mothers on the Children's Health Initiative Program, people with disabilities and elderly on Medicaid have subsidized opportunities for private insurance.
The Democrats' policy would hike retirement age to 69 years old in 2075; the Republican plan wants it by 2022. I believe we must increase retirement age only after we change Medicare.
Medicare in 2010 was $519 billion of the $666 billion of non-defense domestic discretionary spending. Growing 7 percent each year, it will consume us in my lifetime.
Ryan would give 65-year-olds subsidized private insurance just like Medicare Plus in 2021. In fact, I believe this should take place in 2031 -- restructuring Medicare for my generation, not for anyone now in or near retirement.
I want to be clear: I am 36 years old, and I propose overhauling Medicare starting with my generation. Not for my parents, not for my grandparents -- for me, my wife and our contemporaries.
If we also drill for oil, create a fair and balanced trade policy and strengthen the dollar to compete more aggressively internationally, we will completely change the budget playing field and save our nation.
My opponent in the Republican primary, Chris Collins, is naively focused on efficiency of the Niagara Falls air base, not its mission. He also won't reveal his Medicare position until after the June 26 primary.
Voters want to know where we stand on the budget and more. They deserve debates. I challenged Collins to debates 25 days ago. The clock is ticking.
David Bellavia is a Republican candidate for Congress in the 27th Congressional District. He earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and the Conspicuous Service Cross for valor in Iraq War combat and was nominated for the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.