Campaigning for office, Tim Walz promised to help restore PAYGO rules for balancing the budget. Today, he issued this statement:
Today, Congressman Tim Walz praised the FY 2008 Budget Resolution passed by the House of Representatives.
Rep. Tim Walz voted for the budget proposal because it restores fiscal responsibility and accountability to our government, strengthens our national defense and invests in America's next generation.
"I firmly believe that a nation's budget is a moral document that demonstrates our priorities. The budget resolution passed today does exactly that - it fixes the Alternative Minimum Tax for 19 million middleclass Americans, provides an additional $3 billion for rural development programs and increases funding for Head Start and child care."
Walz continued, "Today's resolution puts us on track to balance our nation's budget by 2012 while upholding the pay-as-you-go principle. Over the past six years this President borrowed more money from foreign nations than the previous 42 presidents combined. It's about time we restore some fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C. Today, the Democratic majority in the U.S. House did just that. "
Nonpartisan groups such as the Concord Coalition and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities recently endorsed this budget's approach to restoring fiscal responsibility through the PAYGO process. In addition to abiding by PAYGO rules, the Democratic budget includes provisions to invest in efforts to identify and eliminate wasteful spending by government agencies and contractors.
The Democratic budget resolution provides the largest single increase for veterans' health care in the history of the United States. "This increase is needed to ensure that the 426,591 veterans in Minnesota receive care worthy of their sacrifice," said Rep. Walz. "It is also critical for the 18,150 brave Minnesotans who have served their country in Afghanistan and Iraq since September 2001, many of whom will require VA health care services."
In Minnesota, 86,060 children do not have health insurance. The Democratic budget puts children and families first by increasing funding for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - reducing the number of uninsured children across the county. This budget also provides nearly $8 billion more for K-12 education and teacher training than the President's budget.
Finally, this budget supports middle-class tax cuts and protects middle-income families from a tax increase by setting up a reserve fund for a long-term fix for the alternative minimum tax (AMT). In 2004, 57,000 Minnesota families were subject to the AMT - and if nothing is done to fix the system, an estimated 420,000 families here in Minnesota will be subject to the AMT in 2007. [CRS, 6/06]
For additional information on the impact of the Democratic budget on the State of Minnesota, download the file on Minnesota_budget_impacts_fy_2008