Weekly Columns

Deficit Day Sounds Alarm on “Tax, Borrow and Spend”

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Washington, September 12, 2012 | comments

According to the 2011 Financial Security Index, 58 percent of Americans track their spending against a monthly budget. What if this was the case for the federal government? James Harrigan from the Institute of Political Economy at Utah State University and Antony Davies from Duquesne University posed that question in an op-ed published in Real Clear Markets. Harrigan and Davies state “if the federal government were to spend the same amount of money each day starting on January 1, it would run through all of its tax revenue by September 10.” As a result of these findings, September 10 has been declared “Deficit Day.” This means that the government is borrowing $10 billion dollars every day from now until the end of the year—a total of 110 days.

After years of spending money beyond our means, it’s time to get our fiscal house in order. If no action is taken to address our debt crisis, the prosperity of every American is threatened. Since the president took office, our debt has exploded from $10.6 trillion to $16 trillion. Last February, President Obama released his $3.8 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. This budget plan, like his plan for years passed, spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much because it does not make any tough choices. Because he failed to make tough choices, every member of the Senate – Republican and Democrat - rejected his budget.

In April, the House passed a fiscal year 2013 budget that would rein in spending in a meaningful but responsible way. Additionally, this budget lowers tax rates while simplifying the tax code, puts patients back at the center of health care decision-making by reforming and saving Medicare, and spurs American energy production. In spite of House Republicans’ tireless efforts to reduce the size and reach of government and pass a budget, our deficit is still crippling our economy and hindering the United States’ global competitiveness.  

In 2008, the United States ranked number one in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) annual survey on global competitiveness. This report assesses the competitiveness of 144 economies, providing insight into what drives the productivity and prosperity of each. On Monday, Deficit Day, the WEF released their latest report. The United States came in seventh. The survey listed several factors that were the most problematic for doing business. Inefficient government bureaucracy, tax rates and regulations, and restrictive labor regulations were among the top five. In addition to our budget, the House has passed legislation to address each of these issues as part of our Plan for America’s Job Creators. To date, we have almost 40 job-creating bills awaiting action in the Senate.

It is no secret that both the deficit and political climate are putting our country at great risk. We must work together to find solutions to our debt crisis and put the country back on the path to a prosperous future. Yes, our country faces great challenges, but we’ve had hard times before. America is still the best country in the world, and I will continue to work to ensure that when the rest of the world looks at America, they see us in that same light. 

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