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Rep. Kind Participates in White House Summit on Fiscal Responsibility

February 24, 2009
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DCU.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) participated Monday in the White House’s “Fiscal Responsibility Summit” convened by President Obama to begin addressing the country’s long-term fiscal challenges. This summit was in response to concerns raised by Rep. Kind and others about the sustainability of projected federal spending.

“The summit was a productive meeting that brought together the Administration, members of both parties in Congress, and economic experts to begin the difficult process of getting our fiscal house back in order,” Rep. Kind said. “Under our current course, we are committed to spending $57 trillion over the next 75 years that we don’t have. This is obviously unsustainable, and we must put a plan in action now so that we can protect the crucial programs people depend on down the road.”

The summit broke the members up into several groups to discuss necessary reforms in health care, social security, the budget, the tax system, and the defense system. Rep. Kind, as a member of the Ways & Means Subcommittee on Health, participated in the health care group.

“There is broad consensus that containing health care costs is crucial to this process,” Kind said. “I have long believed we need to change the way providers are reimbursed in this country to focus on outcomes. We have got to get to a system that starts rewarding what works.”

This evening President Obama will address a joint session of Congress and discuss some of the ways he plans to address our fiscal crisis, including: using honest budgeting that does not rely on gimmicks to hide deficits, making pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting the standard, and reducing the deficit by half in his first term

“President Obama’s commitment to honest budgeting, using pay-as-you-go principles is an admirable step forward in this process,” Kind added. “For too long, the Bush Administration masked the deficit by not including things we knew were coming – like spending for Iraq or a fix to the Alternative Minimum Tax. With everything on the table we will be in a better position to turn things around.”