On Monday, President Obama unveiled a disappointing budget for next year. Like the budgets he has given us the last couple of years, the President remains committed to a bloated government spending spree, massive tax hikes on families, businesses and America’s energy producers, and the crushing burden of additional debt. The President’s vision takes the nation even further in the wrong direction. His budget will stifle job creation by imposing a $1.6 trillion tax increase, adding $13 trillion to the national debt and fueling uncertainty in the private sector.
Last year, not only did the spending spree continue unchecked, but in an unprecedented failure, Washington Democrats irresponsibly chose not to pass, or even propose a budget during a year when Americans were in desperate need of accountability. For the first time since the current budget rules were enacted in 1974, the Democrats’ abdication of duty resulted in the passage of a continuing resolution, essentially punting the issue.
In the 112th Congress, we will do better. And that starts with implementing immediate, substantial spending cuts and reforming the budget process itself. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testified before the House Budget Committee last week that one of the best things Congress can do to get businesses hiring and spur economic growth today is to demonstrate that we have a serious plan for tackling our fiscal crisis. House Republicans have a serious plan.
In my first weeks in Congress, I have already seen the new Majority take the necessary steps to meet our pledge to cut spending and save taxpayers’ money. Starting in our own backyard, we immediately took action by reducing Congress’ own budget by five percent. Next, we voted to cut trillions in future spending by repealing the unconstitutional health care law. We also set a goal to bring non-security spending back to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout 2008 levels for the rest of this current fiscal year. In keeping with our promises, Republicans will set out this week to cut discretionary spending by $100 billion over the next seven months.
I would like to see spending cuts go much further, which is why I co-sponsored the Spending Reduction Act. This effort put forth by the Republican Study Committee outlines more than $100 billion in savings in fiscal year 2011 alone and more than $2.5 trillion over the next ten years.
In the State of the Union, the President said “every day, families sacrifice to live within their means” and “they deserve a government that does the same.” Yet, the President consistently fails to match his actions with his rhetoric. By proposing a plan that continues the job-destroying spending binge of the last two years, the President’s budget is a complete contradiction and will take the country even further down the wrong path.
The President has criticized Americans for their lack of patience, remaining committed to his new catch phrase “winning the future.” But his reckless calls for more national “investments” only amount to spending away our children’s future and robbing them of the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. President Obama failed to put forth a serious plan for tackling our fiscal crisis. His budget failed to prove that he can make the tough choices necessary to govern responsibly during our current economic downturn.
The new House Majority is working tirelessly to chart a new course: a path to prosperity. We have already taken the critical first steps to restore fiscal sanity and restart the engines of economic growth so that individuals and businesses can once again flourish. We will continue to advance real spending cuts and entitlement reforms so that we may earn back the trust of a skeptical public and restore confidence to the private sector. These tough, yet responsible decisions must be made so that we may restore the American Dream for our children and grandchildren.
Rep. Bill Flores represents the 17th Congressional District of Texas and currently serves on the House Budget Committee.