It is common sense to American families that they cannot spend more than they have - but this same principle has been lost on Congress. Unfortunately, there are too many people in Washington more concerned about spending our money than paying attention to the bottom line.
That is why I introduced HJR 1, a bill to amend the United States Constitution to force Congress to rein in government spending and balance the federal budget. I am pleased that over 160 members of the United States Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have signed onto my legislation. If passed, Congress will have to follow the same fiscal constraints that American families face each day.
In addition to fighting to balance our federal budget, I am also working to protect taxpayers' hard-earned income. I joined several other Members of Congress to announce an American Taxpayer Bill of Rights. This Bill of Rights is built upon four basic principles aimed at reducing wasteful spending, simplifying the tax code, ensuring a stable retirement program, and balancing our federal budget.
We must focus our efforts to reduce wasteful government spending where it matters most - the budget process at the beginning of the year. That is why I always vote for the tightest budget possible and support the line-item veto. I also support reform of the earmark process so we can guard against wasteful projects like the "Bridge to nowhere" in Alaska.
I have also introduced bi-partisan legislation to scrap the Tax Code which would abolish the Internal Revenue Code. It takes over 7.4 billion hours each year for Americans to comply with our current tax code. This legislation would repeal the entire tax code, except for portions that deal with Social Security and Medicare by December 31, 2010. This will allow for a great national debate over which plan will replace our broken system, including finally allowing a debate on proposals like the Fair Tax, the flat tax and other ideas.
Finally, we must also work to stop those who wish to raise our taxes. By simply doing nothing, the Democrats in Congress have found a way to dramatically increase our taxes by $683 billion. If we do not make the 2001 and 2003 middle class tax cuts permanent, millions of hard working families all across America will see a reduced paycheck, as the federal government reaches into our pockets for more of our money. Since gaining the majority in 2006, the Democrats in Congress have passed legislation that will increase federal spending by $190 billion over the next five years and want to force working Americans to pay the bill.