By Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) - 01/22/10 07:06 PM EST
Now here’s another gem: In an attempt to portray fiscal discipline, Democratic leaders have announced a plan to form a bipartisan presidential commission to make recommendations on deficit reduction.
Well, I would argue that we already have such a commission. It’s called Congress. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution states, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States …”
We have the responsibility and the means to balance the federal checkbook. We need to find the will. The American people don’t need a commission to tell us that when revenues are down, it’s time to restrain spending. But the reality is that the tax-and-spenders in Congress want a commission merely to provide political cover for the taxes they want to raise on the American people.
At a time of economic uncertainty, strong leadership is critical. Leadership requires making the tough decisions about where to cut spending to maintain fiscal discipline. If we make the tough decisions regarding spending and then clearly explain it to the American people, they will understand what we are doing and why.
Our national deficit stands at $1.4 trillion. Statistics now indicate that my children will probably have a lower quality of life than I enjoyed. As an American, I find that unimaginable. And any attempt to waste billions more and further mortgage their future is simply immoral. We face tough choices on what we can afford to spend our tax dollars on. This requires genuine leadership on the part of Congress and the president. We should not delegate this responsibility to a commission created to avoid our constitutional obligations. The American people deserve better.