Weekly Columns

The President Has Failed To Lead The Nation On A Path To Fiscal Responsibility

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Washington, April 13, 2011 | comments

At the eleventh hour last Friday, leadership in Congress and the Administration came to an agreement on how to proceed with this year’s spending bill in order to prevent a government shutdown.  Was anyone happy about the agreement that was made? Certainly not, but my conviction on the vote was without a doubt dependent upon our troops getting paid. 

Under no circumstances can we ask our men and women in uniform to fight in three wars but not pay them.  If Congress failed to pass the bill by Friday at midnight, soldiers all around the world, fighting on the frontlines for our freedom, would not have received a paycheck for their service.  The domino effect could have been disastrous, as many of their family members are dependent upon that money to keep their family secure.

This agreement is a start, but certainly not the finish of the spending debate.  There’s no doubt about it – our government is overweight, and it’s time we put it on a diet.  You can’t lose all the weight over night – but you have to start somewhere.  Now, we’re starting a bigger debate and fight on the 2012 budget, where we are going to be talking about cutting trillions instead of billions.  It’s going to take lots of discipline and patience over the years, but we have to work towards balancing the budget. 

This means drastic spending cuts are on the horizon – they have to be.  Chairman Ryan’s FY 2012 budget would cut government spending by $6.2 trillion over 10 years and lower the top rate on individuals and businesses to 25 percent.  Furthermore, the blueprint aims to balance the budget, excluding interest payments, by 2015.  This is the first real proposal we’ve seen that enacts spending cuts at such a high magnitude.  This diet is not going to be easy – it’s going to take hard work, discipline, patience and focus.  But this is a fight worth having for the future of our country.

I am disappointed the President has failed to lead this nation on a path to fiscal responsibility. The nation saw his lack of engagement in the budget debate, and we witnessed his inability to present Congress with a 2012 budget that would even remotely lower the deficit.  His budget is so inadequate that he’s proposing a second budget before the first one has even received a vote.  The President’s budget proposes an additional $10 trillion in new debt.  Where do you think the President’s budget leads America?  It endangers our livelihood and keeps us on the dangerous path of unsustainable spending that threatens our national security. Obama’s budget is another example that he is not serious about the government living within its means.

The government needs to live within its means, because if we don’t, our national security is endangered.  We’re going to have several important votes in the weeks and months ahead on reining in our out-of- control federal budget, and those of us fighting for fiscal discipline will need to continually return to the facts and have an honest dialogue with the American people about what is required.

 

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