I voted for the Republican budget because it is a responsible plan that puts our country on a fiscally sustainable path. I was elected to Congress by promising the people of Tennessee’s 3rd District that I would cut federal spending, eliminate unneeded programs and finally put our financial house in order. My vote for “The Path to Prosperity” does just that.
This budget cuts an unprecedented $6.2 trillion in government spending over the next decade, reduces deficits by over $4 trillion, eliminates hundreds of duplicative programs and defunds ObamaCare. The budget puts us on course to balance our books while keeping taxes low so that the private sector can thrive and create the new jobs of tomorrow. In addition, it saves Medicare and Medicaid for future generations.
This vote was just one step, but it was an important step in the right direction.
This plan stands in sharp contrast to President Obama and the Democratic leadership who promise more of the same Washington spending, phony budget numbers and higher taxes. They simply do not understand that Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem.
When the president delivered his speech that he billed as his solutions to our debt and deficit problems, he merely continued his highly partisan rhetoric instead of acting like an adult — like he claims he wants everyone else to act. He then went on to suggest that much of his solution to our country’s fiscal crisis was predicated on raising taxes on the backs of those who create jobs in this country. Mr. President, our country does not have a revenue problem. We have a spending problem. The last thing our economy needs is a tax increase on the small businesses who are the backbone of our economy and who are still trying to recover from the recession.
He also largely took off the table the overall drivers of our debt and deficits. It was not a serious plan, but instead the first campaign speech for his 2012 re-election bid.
While the president may prefer to play class warfare, and frame the problem in the terms of revenue, we know the truth. The federal government has more than adequate revenue and an addiction to spending and growth. In fact, since World War II tax revenues have averaged about 18 percent of the economy and are predicted to remain at about that level for the foreseeable future. However, spending has recently shot up well above this amount and is predicted to go much higher unless we act. This is what must be reformed and stopped. This is why I ran for Congress and this is why I have gotten out of bed for the first 100-plus days of my term.
In what should be another wake-up call for this administration, and other Washington politicians, Standard and Poor’s recently downgraded their outlook of our country’s long-term fiscal outlook from “stable” to “negative.” They also told many of us what we already knew, except for the president apparently, that our country is on an unsustainable fiscal path.
It is obvious that we cannot continue down the path we are currently on, and tough, bold decisions must be made — decisions that leaders, in every true sense of the word, make. “The Path to Prosperity” is a great blueprint that starts the process of such decisions and choices.
In just over 100 days, and while controlling only one-half of one-third of the government, the Republican-led House has changed the dialogue in Washington from how much can we spend to how much can we cut and save. While the president might be trying to ignore this shift and continue the reckless policies that have gotten us here, I look forward to working with my colleagues to make “The Path to Prosperity” blueprint a reality.