Fiscal Responsibility Held Hostage to Democrat's Big Spending Agenda
During President Obama's State of the Union address last week, I thought I heard him pledge to take a new direction -- one of fiscal responsibility. However, since delivering that speech, the President proposed a $3.83 trillion budget plan that will result in another record deficit this year, and House Democrats passed the single largest debt limit increase in history. While I appreciate the promise of a new direction in Washington, the saying holds true, "making promises builds hope; keeping promises builds trust."
As a certified public accountant, I understand the importance of considering both sides of the ledger, and Washington has a spending problem. So I appreciate the President's proposed spending freeze of non-defense discretionary spending. But proposing a freeze that will only affect 13 percent of the budget months after signing into law legislation that has led to an 84 percent increase in non-defense discretionary spending over two years is not going far enough. In my weekly update last week, I asked you what you thought about President Obama's proposed spending freeze, and 76 percent of those who answered the survey said that President Obama should rescind some of the spending increases from 2009.
For the third time in one year, our nation has reached its debt ceiling. Unfortunately, rather than tightening the federal government's belt, yesterday the Democrat leaders in Congress pushed through a $1.9 trillion debt limit increase, bringing our nation's new debt ceiling to $14,294,000,000,000. To make a bad situation worse, Democrat's held fiscal responsibility hostage to their big spending agenda yesterday. In order to gain votes, they attached "pay as you go" budgeting restrictions to the debt limit increase. While I support the concept of pay as you go, the bill that passed the House yesterday was nothing more than a cynical political tactic to further a fiscally irresponsible agenda.
The spending habits in Washington are unsustainable. They are threatening our nation's long-term stability, our national security, and they are burying our kids and grandkids under mountains of debt they should not have to pay back. Kansas families are struggling, and the policies coming out of Washington are making it harder on them. It's time to stop making empty promises and start making sense.??
Click here to watch my remarks after the Democrats passed the single largest debt limit increase in history.
NBAF Continues Moving Forward
For the past year I have worked very hard with my colleagues from Kansas and with the officials at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to ensure that NBAF is constructed in Kansas and that the project stays on track. I was pleased this week to learn that DHS intends to dedicate $40 million from previously unobligated funds to move forward with NBAF construction in Manhattan. NBAF is critical to the safety of our nation's food supply and agriculture economy, and I will continue working to ensure we do not lose any speed on this critical project.
Tax Time Again
A representative from the Taxpayer Advocate Service stopped by my Washington office this week. Their office provides services to help answer any tax question or resolve disputes with the Internal Revenue Service. If you have tax questions please contact them at: http://www.irs.gov.advocate.
Spending Time in Kansas
The earthquake earlier this month in Haiti has left hundreds of thousands in need, and tomorrow I will participate in a benefit for all of those in need in Haiti. If anyone wants more information regarding the earthquake, please visit www.state.gov. Saturday I will also go to Holton to update the Holton Chamber on what I've been up to in Washington lately. Monday I will be speaking at the Kansas Motor Carriers Association annual meeting about what has been happening in Washington, and I look forward to hearing their concerns. Please never hesitate to contact my Topeka office at (785) 234-5966 or my Pittsburg office at (620) 231-5966 if you have an event or meeting you would like to me to attend while I am home in Kansas each weekend.