Washington has a way of complicating fiscal matters to cloud the debate on spending and taxes. However, the solutions to restore economic prosperity are not out of reach due to their complexity, but rather by a lack of leadership from Washington. Real leadership means engaging in an honest discussion of our financial priorities in challenging times.
The numbers tell the story. You may have seen this recent comparison of the Federal budget and a typical family budget:
Most Americans sitting around the kitchen table when confronted with these numbers would say "Enough! We have to focus on what we need, and stop spending money we don't have." Governor Mitch Daniels has rightfully called our debt crisis the new "Red Menace" because it represents a real threat to our families, our homes, our small businesses, and our children's future.
Federal spending begins with Congress. It takes a return to the core spending priorities of government through the courage to make tough decisions. Our federal tax dollars were meant to fund crucial needs such as a strong national defense and investing in our infrastructure--not for senseless pork projects like brown tree snake interdiction in Guam, or the infamous $398 million "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska.
There are two factors we must immediately change to address our debt crisis. First, Washington must stop deficit spending, end bailouts of failing companies, make real and immediate cuts in wasteful programs, and say no to stimulus bills that simply shuffle money to special interests. Then, stop punishing those that create jobs like small businesses, local and community banks, and companies that create products in America by adopting pro-growth economic policies that reward hard work and initiative.
We can no longer accept a "too big to fail" mentality that leads to reactionary policies like Dodd-Frank that handcuff our economy. And, when it comes to taxes, Washington must first understand that no society has ever taxed its way out of a recession and into prosperity.
As your congressman, I will staunchly oppose all of President Obama's calls for higher taxes, and will work to repeal the stealth $3.5 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years as a result of the expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts beginning in 2013--what would amount to the largest tax hike on the American people in history.
Finally, in a free and just society everyone should be asked to contribute something. Right now, roughly 47% of Americans pay no income taxes, while many get a "credit" back from the government. To expect those that work the hardest to shoulder the burden for all is wrong. That's why I support comprehensive tax reform--beginning with a simple, low flat tax to ensure every individual who earns a living or has investments pays something--if even a small amount.
We can no longer afford passive leadership, nor risk representation that comes with a learning curve. Hoosiers deserve a leader that will make an impact beginning on day one. As your congressman, I will work to immediately leverage the conservative gains we made in 2010 to provide effective, fiscal leadership to make us prosperous once again.