Since 2009 began, the majority in Congress has pursued a reckless fiscal agenda that has already created a record deficit that will approach almost $2 trillion this year. The national debt has skyrocketed – so much so that every man, woman and child in America now owes over $37,000 as their share of the debt. Meanwhile, millions of jobs have been lost and American families are feeling the weight of this recession every single day.
Yesterday, the House Majority passed a flawed “pay-go” plan that, while well-intended, won’t address the fiscal problems we are facing. In fact, it would likely make things worse.
• It is riddled with loopholes, and weakened with broad exemptions, that would prevent real change.
• It excludes nearly 40% of the budget from any cuts.
• It fails to reduce deficits, and fails to address the existing crisis of entitlement spending.
• It’s once again being rushed through the House, bypassing the Budget Committee.
Unfortunately, I fear the measure passed yesterday will ultimately lead to higher taxes, without reducing spending or adequately addressing our enormous debt and deficits.
I supported an alternative plan put forward by Congressman Paul Ryan, which would have put real teeth into plans for fiscal discipline. This plan addressed the fundamental problem with the budget: spending and deficits. It would have prevented federal spending from growing faster than the economy; established a cap on discretionary spending, rather than exempting it as the majority’s plan does; rejected the current practice of linking higher spending and higher taxes; and reduced deficits.
We can, and should, pursue real policies to rein in spending and protect American taxpayers. Unfortunately, the House of Representatives missed a great opportunity to do that yesterday.