Heading Towards Reform,Away From Fiscal Irresponsibility

The Securing America's Future Economy (SAFE) Commission Act establishes a national commission to examine these systems and present long-term solutions to place the United States on a fiscally sustainable course and ensure the solvency of entitlement programs for future generations. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced a similar bill in the House.Last week I voted against the fiscally irresponsible repeal of the estate tax and called on Congress to heed Americans' demand for fundamental tax and entitlement reform. This legislation shows that I am serious about that call.

The reported deficit for FY2005 was $318 billion and that's not taking into account the funds borrowed from the Social Security Trust Fund, which brings the total to nearly $500 billion. Even more, when utilizing the Department of Treasury's accrual accounting method, the deficit is a disturbing $760 billion. Also, the national debt has increased from $5.6 trillion in 1999 to $8.4 trillion today, an increase of 50 percent. Full repeal of the estate tax beginning in 2007 through 2016 would cost $368 billion according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.

As a fiscal conservative, I believe we must focus on simplifying the tax code and ensuring the solvency of our entitlement programs.