In tough times like these, it is critical that we look for ways to tighten our belts. But not all cuts are wise, just, or advised. It makes no sense to save a dollar today only to spend two dollars tomorrow to restore the same program or repair the harm done by imprudent cuts.
Neither should we, in difficult times, mindlessly eliminate all investments in our future. There will be times when, even in a struggling economy, we borrow money to invest in projects such as education, infrastructure and medical research that will pay dividends down the road and help us out of these hard times more quickly, more completely, and more fairly.
Unfortunately, the debate in Washington seems to be completely removed from any responsible discussion of when and how control expenses, how to manage revenue streams, when to borrow, and how and where to invest. The failure of the Super Committee and the automatic cuts that will go into effect because of it are a prime example of Congress's inability to lead.
We need to find a different path.
As a member of Congress, I will work to change the debate. I will seek to intelligently, responsibly and fairly address both spending and revenues. We must do so methodically and in such a way that does not hamper economic growth and job creation. But we must also do so in a way that distributes the burden, and the rewards, fairly and equitably to everyone, not just those at the top.
The Bush tax cuts will, and should, expire at the end of next year. We need to stop kicking the can down the road and rethink our entire tax system towards long-term, comprehensive tax reform. I believe in a progressive tax structure that fairly distributes the costs of government in a way that those of us fortunate to have more, carry more of the burden. But at the same time, everyone must have a stake in setting our priorities as well as supporting the costs. We truly are all in the same boat together.
I will also seek to match expenditures to revenues over time to reduce and ultimately eliminate deficits in our generation, so that our children's generation can begin to pay down our debt and have a future of hope and promise that is our American tradition.
Finally, I will make sure that as a country, we continue to invest in people, technologies and infrastructure to create future opportunities and maintain our global leadership.