After hearing from constituents throughout the Fifth District over the last several weeks, I sent a letter to the members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction this morning to share their perspective and concerns for reducing the deficit in a balanced way and in a fashion that allows for continued economic growth. Failure on the part of the Super Committee to reach consensus on $1.5 trillion in savings over the next decade would result in automatic and deep cuts to both discretionary and defense spending that would not only harm many essential government programs but our economy as well.
I believe that the Committee must make a real down payment on our national debt, preventing deep cuts from undermining our fragile economic recovery and harming our national security, incorporating broadly shared sacrifices, and protecting the guarantees of Social Security, Medicare, and veterans' benefits.
I also believe that increased revenues need to be part of the ultimate deficit reduction formula. It is both responsible and fair to end tax breaks for oil companies that receive billions of dollars in federal subsidies especially as they are turning record-breaking profits, to end other egregious tax loopholes, and to ask the wealthiest Americans to return to the income tax rates that existed during the 1990s. This is the type of balanced approach that I believe will be needed to achieve the necessary deficit savings.