crisp's presidential youth debate


My balanced budget shows that it is not necessary to raise taxes to address the current financial challenges facing Medicare and Social Security. I will continue to fight to protect and strengthen Medicare, and protect Social Security for the future -- without raising taxes.

My balanced budget proposal improves Medicare by preserving benefits for 37 million elderly and disabled, without boosting premiums. It also ensures the fiscal integrity of the Medicare Trust Fund through the next decade, while saving $116 billion.

Our approach to addressing Medicare's financial challenges is twofold. My balanced budget proposal includes savings and policy changes that would extend the life of the Medicare Trust Fund to the year 2006. I have repeatedly called on Congress to join me in developing proposals that safeguard and strengthen -- and do not undermine -- Medicare. By reducing bureaucracy and combating fraud and abuse, we have saved taxpayers $15 billion. We need to act now to address Medicare's short-term problems and then engage in thoughtful, bipartisan dialogue to address the long-term challenges.

Social Security, too, provides a critical foundation of economic security for older Americans -- and I am committed to ensuring the long-term integrity of the Trust Fund. We need to address Social Security's long-term financing and demographic changes through serious, bipartisan efforts, and with broad support from seniors. I am committed to ensuring that Social Security's financing remains sound and provides the same security for our children that it has provided to our parents -- without raising taxes.

The entire point of my economic plan is to put more money back in your pocket. I have absolutely no intention of raising anyone's taxes. My promise to you is this: I will give you a 15% tax cut; I will pass and sign a Constitutional Amendment to balance the budget; I will require a 60 percent supermajority to ever raise income taxes ever again; I will scrap the entire, horribly flawed tax code and replace it with a fairer, flatter and pro-growth one; I will put the "Service" back in the IRS, remove the need for 40 million Americans to even file a return, and simplifying the process for those who still file. I hope this makes my intentions perfectly clear.

The federal government takes too much money from middle-income Americans and does not spend it wisely. As. President, I will allow families to keep more of their hard-earned money. On August 5, I unveiled my Plan for Economic Growth, which will replace today's tax system through a two-step process: tax relief to raise economic growth immediately and fundamental tax reform. By repealing the 1993 Clinton tax increase on Social Security benefits, which imposed a tax on 85% of Social Security benefits, senior citizens would gain tax relief. This, in turn, reduces the necessity of a tax burden on young workers.