Rep. Mike Kelly to Budget Critics: Don’t Be ‘Stupid’

To liberals describing the budgets just passed by Congress as mean-spirited and tilted toward the rich, Rep. Mike Kelly of the House Ways and Means Committee says call them what you want — at least they tie spending to revenue.

“You can say those things about being heartless, being insensitive, but the only thing you can’t be when it comes to dealing with money is freaking stupid,” the Pennsylvania Republican on the influential tax-writing committee told “MidPoint” host Ed Berliner on Newsmax TV on Friday.

“Our budget — the responsible budget — is looking out 10 years to actually bring it into balance,” said Kelly.

The Senate early on Friday passed a Republican plan that would balance the budget in 10 years by cutting $5.1 trillion in domestic spending.

Similar to a House budget that Kelly voted for on Wednesday, the Senate version would boost defense spending and erase the deficit by repealing the Affordable Care Act, making cuts in social safety net programs such as Medicaid, and reducing spending on transportation and education.

Kelly defended the plans, which still have to be merged by a House-Senate conference committee and could still be vetoed by President Barack Obama.

“The idea that you can keep on spending and not ever have to worry about balancing a budget … is easy,” he said. “I can sit back and say, ‘We ought to take care of all these things because that’s a great idea.’ How are you going to do it? With your money?

“I don’t mean it comes down to dollar and cents,” he said. “It means it comes down to the reality of, can we really supply those types of revenues that are going to be needed for some of these programs? There’s nothing worse than an unsustainable program. There’s nothing worse than a promise that you know you can’t keep, but you just say, ‘I meant it when I said it; unfortunately I can’t do it now.’

“We are looking realistically at the growth of our economy and what we’re going to have to do to make whole the people who provide the revenue,” said Kelly, criticizing an attitude toward spending that he summarized as, “Don’t worry about the bill; just load the wagon.”

“We’ve got to come to something that’s realistic,” he said.

Kelly said he has no preferred candidate to replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who announced Friday that he will not seek re-election in 2016.

“I have no idea,” said Kelly. “I don’t know who I’d want to work with — I’ve heard them all.”

Kelly, who previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, also discussed the chaos that has spread across the Middle East faster than U.S. policy can keep up.

“A lot of it started several years ago, whenever we had decided to get out of Iraq early and started telling people when we’re going to leave,” he said. “And then all of a sudden things start to back up on us in Afghanistan.

“The one thing we have to realize: these are generational wars,” said Kelly. “I’m 66 now: I don’t think in my lifetime I will ever see it come to an end. It’s almost like a rebirth of the Holy Wars, and it’s going to be a generational war that’s going to take America staying on top of it.

“We can’t fund everybody’s problems around the world,” he said, “but we should be able to add leadership. The president’s theory of leading from behind — which I don’t think anybody quite understands, including himself — has created a vacuum of leadership at the top, which has allowed a lot of thugs — emboldened them now — to do things that they wouldn’t have done before.”

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Mike believes in fiscal responsibility and smaller government. As a business owner, he knows first-hand that businesses create jobs – not the government. Thanks to his seat on the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee, Mike is in a position to promote pro-growth tax reform that would simplify the tax code and lower tax rates.

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