May 1 is Tax Freedom Day in New York, the day we stop working solely to cover our share of federal, state and local taxes -- and start working for ourselves.
We've logged 121 days at work to pay for these three levels of government, yet have little idea of how our money is being spent. In fact, Americans collectively hand over nearly $1 trillion in wages to members of Congress -- who subsequently spend that amount and much more.
In recognition of Tax Freedom Day, I offer this accounting of how my Democratic opponent has helped spend your money -- or would like to do so in the future:
$3.6 TRILLION: Since Bill Owens took office, the federal government has added $3,634,818,405,726 in new debt -- a 30 percent increase. (Source: U.S. Treasury)
$1.76 TRILLION: Owens twice voted for Obamacare, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will cost $1.76 trillion between 2013 and 2022. (Source: Congressional Budget Office)
$1.25 TRILLION: Owens voted for Rep. Chris Van Hollen's budget, which would spend $3.65 trillion in fiscal year 2012 while taking in $2.4 trillion in revenues. The Van Hollen budget would not lead to a balanced budget under any time frame and would add $6 trillion to the deficit by 2022. (Source: Roll Call #150, 3/29/12; Committee on the Budget, democrats.budget.house.gov)
$831 BILLION: Owens was not in Congress when the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act was voted on, but did express support for the stimulus program multiple times. Budget deficits will increase $831 billion between 2009 and 2019 because of the program, which has not come even close to producing the 5 percent national unemployment rate that its supporters promised. (Source: Marc Heller, "Stimulus Emerges As Issue in 23rd Race," Watertown Daily Times, 10/30/09; Congressional Budget Office)
$38.6 BILLION: The Obama administration created a $38.6 billion loan guarantee program for clean tech companies, of which $535 million was handed out to Solyndra. The California solar panel maker subsequently declared bankruptcy and shed 1,100 U.S. workers. Owens defended the loan, saying the near-half billion loss was "inherent in the process" of government-sponsored lending. (Source: Brian Amaral, "Rep. Bill Owens on loan guarantees: There's risk "with any investment,'" Watertown Daily Times, 10/11/11)
My opponent has shown a willingness to spend on programs that expand government or maintain a bloated bureaucracy. He is also unserious about our ballooning deficit.
Owens is a consistent advocate for higher taxes, while routinely voting against plans that would cut spending and bring our budget into balance. (Source: Roll Call #606, 2011; Brian Amaral, "Owens, Doheny Express Tax Views," Watertown Daily Times, April 28, 2012; Marc Heller, "In Tax Debate Recalling 1990, Owens Sides With Obama," Watertown Daily Times, Sept. 20, 2011)
Owens supported raising the debt ceiling because the offsetting cuts "made a serious down payment on deficit reduction." He subsequently supported the Van Hollen budget, which undid the cuts. (Roll Call Vote #690, 2011; Source: Joe LoTemplio, "Owens votes for debt ceiling bill," Press Republican, Aug. 3, 2011)
New York taxpayers should expect that politicians will be responsible with their money. Our current congressman has clearly demonstrated in his short tenure in Washington that he is a reckless spender and needs to be replaced.