Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins released the following statement in anticipation of President Obama's address to Congress outlining his plan to reduce the federal deficit in half over the next four years.
"Reducing the $1.3 trillion federal deficit is critical, and I look forward to hearing President Obama's plans to responsibly cut the deficit in half by 2013. Out-of-control government spending in Washington got us into the financial mess we're in right now, and I am glad President Obama recognizes that reducing the deficit is crucial to growing our economy. I hope his plan is responsible and focuses on reducing spending on wasteful or duplicative government programs.
"We are in the midst of a recession, and the worst thing we could do right now is raise taxes on the American people. Small businesses are the backbone and engine of our economy, representing ninety-nine percent of employers in this country. Increasing their taxes right now will only make it more difficult for them to pay their current employees or hire new ones. Over the weekend, the Washington Post reported that President Obama plans to eliminate some of the 2001 and 2003 tax relief. Specifically, he reportedly plans to increase the tax burden on struggling Kansans by raising taxes on capital gains and bringing back the death tax. I believe this is the wrong direction.
"There are additional reports that part of the President's plan is to reduce spending on defense. Last week, he announced plans to send 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Until Iraqis and Afghans are able to fight terrorist regimes on their own, it is dangerous to arbitrarily cut funding for our national defense. I am hopeful President Obama will work to reduce the federal deficit in a responsible way, without jeopardizing our national security."