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Jackson Citizen Patriot: Republicans in Congress are Trying to Spend Federal Government Money Responsibly

January 25, 2013
Opinion Editorial

While some in Washington would like to downplay our nation's fiscal situation, few dispute this fact: Our country is more than $15.5 trillion in debt and counting.

While individuals on both sides of the political aisle agree something needs to be done, the proposed solutions could not be more different. Last month, the House passed a responsible budget that reduces spending and protects taxpayer dollars. In contrast, President Obama and his Democratic colleagues have offered the American public higher taxes and even more government spending.

American families on tight budgets find ways to cut their spending not add to it or take from their wealthier neighbor. It's no wonder they expect their government to do the same.

I believe, to paraphrase former President Ronald Reagan, the problem is not the government taxing people too little, but spending too much. One of the more obvious ways to rein in government spending would be to develop and pass a fiscally responsible budget to address long-term debt. However, the president and Senate seemingly disagree with this approach.

In February, Obama offered more of the same in his latest budget proposal: higher costs and increased taxes. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the president's budget would cost $3.7 trillion for the upcoming fiscal year and add $1.9 trillion in tax increases on American families and job creators over the next 10 years. Since taking office, his budget has grown by more than 20 percent, with an estimated $1.326 trillion due in 2012.

And despite claims he's eliminated dozens of programs that weren't working, the savings add up to less than 0.1 percent of the entire budget. In fact, the president's latest budget proposal was so unpopular this year that not a single member of the House voted for it and was defeated 414-0. At least Congress can agree on something.

In fairness, at least Obama proposed a budget. My colleagues in the Senate haven't passed one since April 2009. Not only is the Democratic-controlled Senate dodging its own duties by failing to pass a budget, it's creating a climate of uncertainty for businesses and families. Companies and consumers hold back on spending when they're unsure what new taxes may be sprung on them next. In turn, this hinders job creation. Since taking back the House of Representatives in 2010, my colleagues and I have worked to restore this certainty and passed a fiscally responsible budget — twice.

Throughout the 112th Congress, I have vowed to reduce government spending and trim our nation's deficit, even if those cuts hit close to home. I have voted in support of a budget to cut spending by nearly $6 trillion compared to the president's request over the next 10 years and have supported saving taxpayers an additional $26 billion by freezing the wages for federal workers and members of Congress for one year. Additionally, I also voted to cut the operating budget for House offices by 11 percent. And to make sure our country doesn't drive itself into a deeper hole, I voted in favor of a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution.

We must put an end to delegating even more hard-earned taxpayers' dollars to politicians and bureaucrats who spend irresponsibly, without a plan, and without an understanding of the needs of real Americans. I remain committed to letting families and businesses keep more of their resources so that our country can grow the private sector and create jobs, while protecting future generations from having to pay our tab.

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